There are newer employer reviews for Hill + Knowlton
There are newer employer reviews for Hill + Knowlton

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Helpful (1)

PR giant that lost its way

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
No opinion of CEO

Pros

I was at H&K for three years of incredible highs and also terrible downs. These were the positives: - Strong brand name, with opportunities to work on big brands. In Singapore, it was strong in corporate, public sector, tech and crisis/training - Barring senior management, the organisation was quite flat and worked hard to maintain a collegial, family-oriented culture - Your experience really depends on your practice head and colleagues (more on this later). I received some fantastic opportunities. - Real sense of family and team spirit within practices. Effort is made to make everyone feel welcomed. - Opportunity to not just work but learn from some truly brilliant people. Many were hardworking, driven, down to earth and cared deeply for their teams. - Supportive regional network. US and EMEA offices can however appear to be siloed with little consideration for Asia Pacific. - Strong finance processes and good technology support. H&K invested quite heavily in technology; servers were never down and working remotely was almost seamless. - Great healthcare and dental benefits (one of the better ones among the big firms). - Strong commitment to reducing waste and increasing energy efficiency.

Cons

- As with most PR firms in Singapore, hours are dismal, particularly because of poor leadership and mismanagement of clients. Work/life balance is not impossible. There is a culture of staying late. - Salaries and bonuses are dismally low. Junior staff are underpaid and overworked. - Senior management does not encourage open dialogue. Junior employees often too afraid or intimidated to speak out. Staff meetings can be tense. - HR processes were almost non-existent, from career planning to annual reviews. Promotions can seem arbitrary and used as a retention tool. - Staff training was almost non-existent too and when available, often out-dated (from the 80s). Personal and career growth fundamentally depend on having a senior person as your advocate. - Senior management blatantly exercises favouritism. - Tendency to hire untested 'brand names'. Many lacked EQ, leadership/management qualities or core PR competencies. This led to many departures, across all levels. - High turnover, with employees often leaving unhappy. - In Singapore, overly focussed on government clients (not necessarily a negative) - Real lack of vision or long term strategy at the senior level. The singular objective is one of a bean counter. - Senior leadership lack personal accountability, often resorting to blame games, especially at the regional and group WPP level. - Senior leadership can be unpredictable, aloof yet controlling. - Really lacked depth in consumer, brand and financial communications - Quality and competency is dangerously inconsistent across the firm. H&K as a result has suffered in retaining and winning business. - Internal communications was top down, impersonal and infrequent, from local, regional and global leadership.

Advice to Management

H&K has fallen behind, and really needs to find its way back. Here's a start: - Stop touting your awards (everybody wins them!) and start developing people. That means talking more with your employees, not just at them. Don't just listen to your favourites. - Invest in proper training, fairer compensation and better leadership. You live or die on your ability to retain and attract talent. - Get rid of all of the overpaid figureheads at the senior level. A lot of the work (strategy AND execution) is being done by brilliant junior and mid-level staff. Recognise them and do all you can to grow them. - Really take requests for international relocations seriously and make them a reality. For too long, it has been treated so flippantly. - Encourage more integration and communication within the network, at all levels, not just at the senior level. It's a real weakness and evidently clear to clients. - Take your eyes away from the bean counter and actually live your values. Get to know the men and women who work 16-hour days for you. Reward personal and professional accountability, boldness, and those who foster collaboration and diversity.

Other Employee Reviews for Hill + Knowlton

  1. A great place to start and end your career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant
    Current Employee - Consultant
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    H&K hosts some of the smartest, most brilliant minds I have ever met. Senior management has always been very approachable and there I would consider everyone I work with a 'friend'. In fact, I always feel supported in every project/decision I make here at H&K.

    Cons

    Albeit great benefits, the compensation for junior and mid-level employees is low. It is very hard to move up the ladder, you almost need to leave the company and come back later in your career.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on being supportive, kind and inspiring... however, it's also equally important to show your gratitude and appreciation through promotions and salary adjustments.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Probably the best and most international agency in the world

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Vice President in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    A wonderful place to build a career. Great people, clients and culture. Incredible opportunities to grow and develop. Not seen an agency I like better. Strength in Europe, Middle East and Asia the jewel in the crown

    Cons

    As with an international agency the network can be patchy. The US isn't as strong as it used to be or needs to be

    Advice to Management

    The merger with Public Strategies provides an opportunity to build a strong US business. But with the change that is happening I would make every effort to preserve the culture as it's very special. H&K is the most international agency - that gives it a real advantage over its US-centric competitoirs


There are newer employer reviews for Hill + Knowlton
There are newer employer reviews for Hill + Knowlton

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