Hanover Research

  www.hanoverresearch.com
  www.hanoverresearch.com

Hanover Research Reviews

Updated November 23, 2014
Updated November 23, 2014
42 Reviews
3.6
42 Reviews
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Peter G. Dodge
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    It's getting better all the time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Content Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Content Analyst in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Hanover Research full-time

    Pros

    First of all, I can't imagine finding a cooler group of people to work with. I would be friends with my coworkers had we met in some other situation, and I think that is pretty rare. They're amazing people and they are my favorite part of Hanover. Speaking about the education side of research, projects are often objectively interesting. Higher ed researchers get exposed to a large number of topics and research methodologies, including the increasing use of primary research. Most projects are reasonably enjoyable, but if you don't like what you're doing, you know you'll be through with it in a week. Managers are usually responsive and offer insight into project expectations. The company clearly has an eye towards improvement and they really care about worker satisfaction. Management strives to develop a greater sense of collaboration and long-term vision among researchers. Employees who carve out a path for themselves will absolutely do well. As far as benefits and compensation are concerned, I am satisfied, and I was definitely pleased at the recent company-wide increase in PTO.

    Cons

    The work of a researcher can, over time, become tiring. It can be difficult to keep in mind the ultimate impact of what you are doing as a researcher because you are always onto the next thing and often are crunched at deadlines. You'll do better if you can set aside your perfectionist tendencies and think about how you can effectively answer a question *in the time given.* Fast readers/writers will also do well. But, given a couple of years in research, you will probably want to move on to something with more variation in workload and more responsibility. That can be challenging. In the same way that employees who carve a path for themselves will succeed, those who do not will probably grow bored in time. To succeed in research, you either need to be a superstar researcher, which will enable you to find a niche where you can be a research specialist or will let you move into client-facing roles, OR you need to find some other area of interest and pursue that. If you're good - but not great - at research, you may find it hard to move to those roles. Still, if you find something you can be great at, Hanover will reward you for that in time and I do believe they value people who work hard and find their strengths.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to invest in researcher satisfaction and long-term career development and let us know that you value us, particularly around the time researchers start to feel fatigue. Upward reviews, surveys, and so forth have been helpful. Transparency is also key. Also, while it has been undeniably good to hire some external CDs, it is unclear to researchers whether we are still wanted as CDs as well, so making our career path options really clear would be helpful.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Hanover Research Response

    Aug 3, 2014CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. We are glad to see that you are seeing the changes and improvements we are making constantly in response to staff feedback. I appreciate the feedback about keeping staff ... More

  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Swipe left on Hanover

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Hanover Research full-time

    Pros

    I’m not sure where some reviews come off with positive and gushy things to say. I must live on a different planet. If you read anything positive it’s because these individuals have low standards. Hanover 101: products lack quality and consistency. Target clients are middle market companies who join because of Hanover's cost effective value prop. For the little guys, it's all about the Benjamins and Hanover sells itself on price. If you're a type A perfectionist stay away. You won't have the time or resources to do a quality job and it will drive you insane.

    You may be intrigued by Hanover receiving #16 on the 50 fastest companies in the Washington DC area ranking. This growth is deceiving because when you look behind the curtain you'll find that the ship is sailing without a captain. Every Hanover strategy is short term and fails to consider long term implications. It's always "how do we save this quarter?!?" rather than "let's build a road map with ROI three years from now." Failure of upper management to challenge the CEO's short term theories is largely responsible. I get that you were successful in creating a custom market research firm, but that doesn't mean every subsequent idea is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    Cons

    For the TLDR version and all you Tinder users: I advise you to swipe left on Hanover.

    First off, I anticipate a CHRO response to this review. Don’t believe it. Words are words and actual changes to back these comments are about as rare as finding Santa and Rudolph on Christmas Eve.

    People
    Most Hanoverians are fresh from school and riding the post college bro-ski high (sales/development/whatever you call them). I can't tell you how many times I heard unprofessional discussions on the floor or heard stories from other people.

    HR is "trying" to bring in people with outside experience for managerial roles, but it proves challenging to retain them because they aren't brought in at the proper level. You start at the bottom and they give you the spiel of short review cycles to allow you to move up the ladder quickly. Enter: the age and experience complex. Years at Hanover are more important than years before Hanover. Read that again. You’ll have to suffer working with people in higher positions that lack outside experience and are younger than you. Let me clarify, I’m all for smart, qualified people advancing, but these individuals are not Steve Jobs caliber. It’s hard to want to emulate or take direction from someone that only has 2 years of Hanover under his/her belt (for some context a 1 year work anniversary is akin to celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary – it’s rare these days because "society is so disposable" paraphrased per an HR email). As a result, if you need a mentor you’re not going to find it here. Additionally, they’ll gloat about personal managers, but that’s a joke. Instead, they should just be called “managers” because it’s all in the luck of the draw who you get and unfortunately, most managers are poor. Interpersonal skills are prime managerial traits that most Hanover employees lack, or better yet some believe they have which makes them delusional. This sentiment is expressed in other reviews. It’s still true. Exhibit #1092209: Mine took no interest in me and was not concerned for my career development at all. And don't get me started on the whole "managing up" shindig. Any relationship (professional, personal, etc.) is a two way street. When the other party fails to deliver, you can manage up all you want, but it's not going to move the needle.

    At the end of the day, if you want to feel valued this isn’t the place for you. Maybe it’s my years of experience, but I’ve worked at other places where it’s not so blatantly obvious that we are just a gateway to more dollars. No matter how much you like work, if the people are awful it will impact your work satisfaction levels. As that dude says in the Men’s Wearhouse commercials: “I guarantee it.”

    Pay
    If you’re not in sales or account management, pay is static without real performance based bonus potential. In Content, you may receive an increase at review time, but they are also known to just promote you to a new title without a pay bump (I've heard this on multiple accounts). While this looks great on your resume, your bank account will be like the Sahara desert – barren. My advice is to go elsewhere if you have high rent and student loans to pay. I had several years of experience including a graduate degree and my starting salary was difficult to make ends meet even with a roommate. I have a spreadsheet in excel tracking all expenses. If you think that’s a fun exercise every Saturday morning, then this is the place for you! Talking with your manager about a raise is most likely fruitless. If you don’t reward people for good performance reviews, the incentive to do a good job flies out the window.

    Work
    If you’re in Content, expect to stare at a computer all day with minimal collaboration. Yeah, you have Content Directors, but they are busy trying to retain clients and you’re pretty much on your own to get the job done. I’m not sure what they tell you in HR (it’s been a while for me), but ask to meet with individuals who have the role you are applying for. I did not do this and regret it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the review cycle to annual frequency. Biannual promotions just create an org structure nightmare. You find yourself having to create new positions when you run out of tiers (e.g., SENIOR Content Director) and the progression between tiers just becomes fuzzy.

    Hanover is clearly Sales focused, but Content deserves some respect - it is the life force of the machine. Offer Content higher, more competitive salaries and create an incentive program based on metrics (e.g., report quality). Ask yourself why people are leaving and care enough to do something about it. The job market may be in your favor now, but it won’t always be that way.

    There isn't opportunity everywhere for custom research. Push through products that will sell.

    Use data to drive decision making. Hanover is a market research firm who doesn’t capitalize on the talent for its own internal ops.

    Look beyond revenue and promote initiatives that create a long term strategy rather than just immediate ones.

    The clipart in HR emails announcing birthdays and work anniversaries should be discontinued.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Soul Crushing Workload, But Great People

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Hanover Research full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Overall, I've had a moderately good experience at Hanover. I started as a researcher and have moved into a client-facing role. My work as a researcher was not incredibly challenging, but I enjoy research and overall I was happy in the role. My coworkers (both laterally and at the senior levels) were and are easily the best part of the job. Everyone is great and supportive, and the culture has really been the facet that has kept me around for so long.

    Cons

    The challenges started when I moved into a client facing role. Unfortunately, there aren't many career pathways here, and researchers often end up in a client-facing position, regardless of whether that is truly the best fit for them. The transition was difficult, and there was very little training or soft onboarding to ease the blow. Dealing with curmudgeonly partners on a daily basis, after a long time with no partner interaction whatsoever, has been extremely stressful and has taken a severe emotional toll. Add to that the fact that I, as well as many of my peers, are very, very overworked, which creates additional stress as I strive to provide high-level service to all clients in my pool, even if it means personal sacrifices. Although I am relatively unhappy, I am not sure of how to broach this with my managers, as I'm not sure there are alternative positions for me in the company that I could move into laterally - all the other roles that might be more suited to my nature would be a decided step down the ladder, and at this point in my career, that is a move I do not want to make.

    Again, I want to reiterate that the people I work with are fabulous, and if it wasn't for the crushing workload and the often unpleasant interactions with clients, I would be singing Hanover's praises. I'm optimistic that as a growing company that has proven time and time again to be open to feedback, things will improve as we continue to develop.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would recommend some investigation into the optimal client ratio for those in client-facing roles; bringing down the ratio to a more manageable level would do wonders to improve morale in the mid-level staff.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Hanover Research Response

    Oct 11, 2014CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. I am glad to hear that you enjoy working with your peers and coworkers but I am sorry to hear that you are not enjoying your current role as much as you did your position ... More

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  5.  

    it;s good here, people are nice, training sessions are various.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Intern in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Hanover Research as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Professional environment, nice people, good training

    Cons

    time stress, a lot of projects, a lot of new things to learn, far from my home

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    balance your time and work efficiently

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Hanover Research Response

    Aug 3, 2014CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback on your internship experience. We are glad that you enjoyed the people, training and environment. Hanover's internship program aims to give all of our interns the same ... More

  6. 12 people found this helpful  

    Company taking a nose dive and treating employees terribly along the way

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Content Analyst in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Content Analyst in Washington, DC

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The peers I worked with were fantastic. Bright, driven people I am happy to call friends. It was hard to watch them getting crushed under the demands from our executive team. Very good salary when I entered the company although I've heard they've started reducing the offers for newer employees.

    Cons

    For a company that seemed to have so much promise in 2010 - 2013, the insane goals the CEO has set for the company and the subsequent failures to hit that goal has significantly impacted the company as a whole. Several new executives have been added to the team and have influenced the company in an extremely negative way. While attempting to copy the Advisory Board's strategies (several execs came from there) but failing to invest in keeping talent happy, the company is a rapidly sinking ship with many employees fleeing from it. The executive team seems to only care about the bottom line. The CDO has been quoted to say he doesn't care about business ethics. The CEO refuses to speak to anyone but his executive team and drives them to push their mid level management to the max. My advice is to stay as far away from this company as possible. I'd be shocked if they make it through the next 5 years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your mid-level management, they are closer to the work than you. Practice good business ethics rather than just attempting to make a quick buck. Stop towing the party line of "taking no advice from anyone" because you definitely need it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Hanover Research Response

    Aug 3, 2014CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. I agree that Hanover staff are outstanding and that it is the people that make the company a success. As at any high growth organization, we do need to strive towards ... More

  7.  

    Challenging work, for better or worse

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Content Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Content Analyst in Arlington, VA

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Each project I worked on was different, presenting its own set of challenges and obstacles. This was something I was looking for in a job.

    Cons

    Deadlines are extremely tight. Very little guidance given for each project, but it's liable to change radically the day before it's due. Nevermind the deadline, it's frustrating to work on something for naught.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good researchers are promoted to management, but the two don't always go together.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Hanover Research Response

    Jun 15, 2014CHRO

    Thank you very much for your feedback. I am sorry to hear that your experience at Hanover was not always positive. Our clients and partners set very high expectations in terms of product quality and ... More

  8. 21 people found this helpful  

    Do your research and know what you're getting into

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Content Analyst in Ballston, VA
    Current Employee - Content Analyst in Ballston, VA

    I have been working at Hanover Research full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The first thing I would like to suggest is that potential employees should do their research about Hanover – not just on Glassdoor – before applying or accepting an offer. Try to get in contact with current or former employees in your desired position and look up the company management team and mission to decide if Hanover is the kind of place you want to work. The anonymity that Glassdoor provides is great at making employees feel comfortable being honest, but it also allows the HR department to plant reviews and upvote favorable reviews. Some people are satisfied working at Hanover, but there are just as many who are unsatisfied, so make sure you know what you’re getting into.

    Hanover’s strengths are its people and the flexibility of conducting research from a laptop (I can’t speak to work on the development side of the company). The research team is friendly, smart, and eager to help when they can.

    Flexibility is also one solid characteristic of work at Hanover. In the case of unforeseen events, blizzards, etc., Hanover tends to let researchers work remotely. It saves you the trouble of burning vacation time to handle an unexpected situation. The office atmosphere is casual, and the company generally allows researchers a significant amount of autonomy regarding how they structure their day. Micromanagement has not been much of an issue in my experience.

    Cons

    The most glaring deficiency of Hanover as a company is its approach to management. Hanover has a heavy emphasis on merit-based advancement. Researchers who consistently exceed expectations earn promotions. It’s a great idea in theory, but Hanover tends to promote great researchers to management positions without any assessment of their managerial ability. The result is that research managers typically have little to no management experience and lack almost any of the basic skills required of effective managers. The qualities that make great researchers (attention to detail, ability to focus on one task for extended periods of time, research and writing ability, ability to work in solitude) have almost no overlap with the qualities that make great managers (interpersonal skills, empathy, long-term vision, ability to understand, motivate, and communicate with team members). In short, it’s likely that your manager will not have the experience or personality needed to be effective in that role. Do not expect to work for someone who will understand, respect, or truly lead you.

    Work at Hanover is also quite isolating. You receive a project once a week, are given a five-day timeline to complete it, and are expected to complete it without much interaction with other researchers. Managers tend to be unresponsive and unhelpful when asked for information or assistance. There’s no real infrastructure for researchers to share knowledge or expertise, either. Hanover is just not a collaborative place, and you’ll probably feel quite alone despite being in a room full of people. To be fair, Hanover seems to try to select people who are comfortable working in solitude. They administer personality tests and mention the isolating nature of the job in interviews. Just be aware that the solitude can be quite acute and depressing if you are more of a social person.

    The pressure of work at Hanover is high. Deadlines tend to be inflexible, managers are often inaccessible, and Hanover expects you to complete your project within the given time period regardless of the amount of time required to complete the project. This means you may regularly work 50+ hour weeks, especially when you are a new researcher. One perk is that you get free dinner if you work in the office past 7 PM.

    Hanover does not value its employees. It makes little secret of this, and there seems to be a tacit understanding of this among employees and company management. Plenty of people are comfortable coming into work, completing projects, earning a paycheck, and going home. But Hanover is by no means an employee-centered company. The company tends to be shady with major decisions that affect the lives of all its employees, providing little information to researchers and acting deceitfully in many cases. Company executives have repeatedly acknowledged being unwilling to invest in researchers or improve the research experience. Turnover is high and morale is low – ask to go to a happy hour with current employees and you will understand.

    This lack of respect for employees manifests itself in a pretty mediocre benefits package. The 401(k) takes years to vest, vacation time is limited and increases slowly, and there’s no bonus system for researchers. Basic health insurance is free, though.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve the management system – it’s the main reason employees are unhappy and it’s inefficient. It damages company productivity and smothers morale. Vet the candidates that you choose to promote to management positions and don’t simply make it a reward for good research performance. Hire outside managers, and pay them for it, if you need to. It will pay off for the company in the long-term.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Hanover Research Response

    Mar 27, 2014CHRO

    Thank you very much for your feedback. I am sorry to hear that your experience at Hanover has not been a positive one. Our clients and partners set very high expectations in terms of product quality ... More

  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Content Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Content Analyst in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Hanover Research full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Chilled-out work environment; very few meetings; independence; challenging and interesting work; lots of room for promotion; great benefits.

    Cons

    None come to mind ... I guess the pay could be a tiny bit higher?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fast-paced environment at a small but growing company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Talented and fairly young employee pool. Great benefits.

    Cons

    Lean leadership team which also tends to be on the younger, less experienced side.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Young company with a bright future

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Development Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Development Associate in Washington, DC

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time

    Pros

    -First, and most importantly, Hanover's services are excellent. Working in development, I never once felt like we were trying to take advantage of a client. Contract renewal rates are very high, and clients get tons of value from Hanover's services. The research staff is full of PhDs, MBAs, and other advanced degrees (I saw a review on here questioning that, the qualifications of the staff are readily available: http://www.hanoverresearch.com/grant-consulting-bios/). Clients are very confident in our work. Hanover's business model is phenomenal and stands alone against competitors.

    -Coworkers: All of the employees at Hanover are very bright, driven, and hard-working. Hanover attracts talent from top, elite universities, and the entire staff was a pleasure to work with.

    -Culture: Bureaucracy is minimal, and if you do good work, you WILL be noticed and acknowledged. The entire development staff works hard to succeed together as a team, not in spite of each other.

    -Office: Great location on K Street, just a few blocks from the White House. One block from the red line, tons of restaurants and food trucks nearby, and nice office space with gym.

    -Perks: From Redskin tickets to impromptu (and frequent) comped lunches to free snacks, the little perks DO make a difference.

    -Benefits: Fully covered healthcare, 401K with employer match, gym access.

    Cons

    -Bonus pay can be uncertain, and can sometimes feel like it depends more on luck than effort. This is a issue with practically any development/sales job, but I believe that somewhat higher base salaries would help retain top talent who are capable of collecting bigger paychecks elsewhere.

    -Management can, at times, be unrealistic with goals and expectations. We need to rely on our own research capabilities more.

    -As a development associate, the work can feel monotonous. If you just come in, do your job description, and go home, it will get old fast. You need to be proactive. Study trends in your industry, work closely with your director, perform your own analysis projects. Management is always happy to hear input from the entry level employees, take advantage of this. Since Hanover hires high caliber staff, most associates don't fall into a monotonous routine, but it would be nice to have some more career training to facilitate and encourage interesting projects.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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