Hitachi Consulting

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3 people found this helpful  

Great teammates and interesting work almost made up for the terrible salary

Manager, Specialized Services (Former Employee) Los Angeles, CA

ProsThe people I worked with at Hitachi Consulting were, with only a few exceptions*, smart, motivated, reliable and fun, and a job like this is only bearable when you have great teammates, due to the heavy travel, long hours and sometime difficult clients and nightmare projects. Of course some projects go well, are exciting, and teach you a bunch of new things, and my experience was that even the trainwrecks were rarely the fault primarily of Hitachi--a terrible client will undermine even the best consultants' efforts to help them.**

Hitachi Consulting tries (sometimes a little too hard, but that's better than indifference) to foster a cohesive corporate culture and make people feel connected to others in the regional practice (about 150 people at the time I was there), which can be tough when people are staffed on long projects at far-flung client sites. I didn't entirely appreciate this aspect of the company until I worked at Deloitte Consulting where it's so easy to feel like a cog in an enormous and very hierarchical machine.

If I ran into a technical problem that wasn't easily resolved I could send a broadcast message to the member of the relevant competency and people were great about taking time to reply with useful information and helpful advice, even though they were often across the country and we might never have met in person. In the case of problems tricky enough to require a collaborative approach to solving, people regularly carved out time from their already busy days, staying late or missing lunch, to do a web-ex or whatever was needed to help out.

I also appreciated that there was a minimal amount of the three P's (Pettiness, Politics and Power-trips—hey, I just coined a phrase!) compared with some places I've worked. And although the annual review and career management processes were cumbersome and time-consuming, they were worth it because of the objectivity and transparency the detailed exercise lent to a process that can be woefully opaque, if not plainly arbitrary at some jobs.

Cons*One of the exceptions I mentioned in the Pros section happened to be my designated Career Advisor. Bummer.

**I also mention in the Pros section the fact that Hitachi had its share of troubled projects, as well as my perception that the majority of blame usually belonged more to the chronically difficult clients where they those projects went on than to HCC. The problem was that Hitachi Consulting would never walk away from that type of client; they were just too desperate for the work. They were always in tough spot, trying to compete for the same big projects as the household-name big-four firms, and the same small projects (at least in my competency) as the specialized boutiques, with low overhead and rockstar consultants, and it was tough for them. The old cliché is that nobody ever lost their job for hiring IBM (I might be paraphrasing). So Hitachi had to undercut the bigger firms on rate to be in the running, and they had to take the dysfunctional clients that weren't worth the trouble they cause to the Accentures of the world.

The other problem with that, from an employee's perspective, is that to bid for the same work as Deloitte or Accenture, but with a enough discount to differentiate themselves, Hitachi had to keep salaries way down compared to those firms. It's a testament to their college-hire recruiting, their non-fiscal retention efforts, and the appeal of a no-travel local model (since abandoned) that they had such a high-caliber group of people willing to work for less than they could have gotten at a big firm. I imagine that for most of those people, the promise of not having to travel every week was a worthwhile trade-off for the smaller salary

But my experience was much less positive, and by any reasonable measure I was badly underpaid at Hitachi Consulting. When the Great Recession sent everyone's business into a tailspin in late '08 and early '09, I (along with a majority of HCC employees not RIF'ed outright) was offered a choice of furlough (no work, receive 30% of salary plus UI) or a decent severance. I took the latter and was promptly hired by Deloitte, where my first year compensation represented a NEARLY 50% INCREASE from what I made my last year at Hitachi—and this was at the absolute low-point of the most severe economic downturn in 70 years. So I think it's fair to say I was below market value. Yet they never would have adjusted me to a fair amount. I was promoted from Sr Consultant to Manager/Architect after a year and got less than an $8K pay raise, and was still in the five-figures, less than I'd been making in 2000 at an industry job with <10% travel.

I only accepted the original offer from Hitachi because the local model was supposed to mean being home every night and because I had a one-year-old daughter. So as mentioned, that seemed like a reasonable trade-off, given that most consulting jobs require constant travel (though there are notable exceptions, like Slalom where a lot of Hitachi people now work). Unfortunately the VP who hired me couldn't sell any work in the local market, so if I wanted to be utilized at all it turned out that I was flying all over the country, pretty much the entire time I worked there.

Fully half of my projects were in the Eastern time zone, which is a killer if you live in California because you have to fly out Sunday instead of Monday morning. Say goodbye to half your weekend every single week.That was a big enough drag later on when Deloitte made me do the same thing, but at least they were paying me for it; it really stunk to be doing the same work, with the same travel obligations, but at the paltry Hitachi Consulting "local model" salary I'd accepted in the belief that I'd see my wife and daughter every day in exchange.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Review

    Manager, ITPS (Current Employee) Newark, CA

    I have been working at Hitachi Consulting full-time for more than 5 years


    Pros: Carrier Growth and Knowledge growth Cons: Lack of business growth and improvement. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good place to work

    Senior Consultant (Current Employee) Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at Hitachi Consulting full-time for more than 3 years


    Pros: Relatively new and expanding in many areas Cons: Growth rate is slow compared to other companies Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
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