Hart Howerton Reviews

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  1. Traditional architecture firm w/ several old-school artistic architects

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Intern in New York, NY
    Current Intern - Intern in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Hart Howerton as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Located in mid town area Learn about traditional method of design Laid back environment and manager

    Cons

    Need to update software system, preparing to integrate the building information management system. Improve the office interior


  2. Great internship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Former Intern - Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Hart Howerton as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Great work experience, clients, and projects -Excellent group of people to work alongside/learn from

    Cons

    -Senior management are a mixed bag. Some don't play well with others.


  3. This is an exciting place to work, but can be frustrating from a growth perspective.

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

    I worked at Hart Howerton full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Opportunities for high-end design abound; clients are impressive; a great opportunity for resume building; if you get on the right project, you can get valuable and marketable experience.

    Cons

    There was a fair amount of political maneuvering required for advancement. The lack of diversification in the client portfolio makes this firm especially susceptible to feast and famine.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    A mixed experience. You can take the good with the bad, depending upon your tolerance.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hart Howerton full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    1) Very nice high end work in both the residential and hospitality sectors. 2) Camaraderie among non-management employees 3) Freedom to grow and take on as much responsibility as you can handle. Don’t expect this to translate to a promotion or a raise however. Some of the projects were fantastic. Definitely material that would contribute to one’s portfolio. It was nice to be able to take the time to do thoughtful design, and to have a decent budget to accomplish it, unlike many of the TI projects I have worked on before. The people were by and large, a very cordial and talented bunch. The renderings done both by hand and computer, and the overall packages the in-house graphic design department put together were amazing. We did have to put in a lot of hours (60-70-80 hours a week was not uncommon) but at least we were in good company.

    Cons

    1) Upper management 2) Overtime hours required 3) Favoritism / politics Upper management was very much a good old boys club. From a professional standpoint, regarding compensation and promotions, members of the female staff were overlooked. Even their general treatment of women seemed a little dismissive to me. But even worse was something I learned of after I left… they had a distasteful habit of making horribly inappropriate remarks about some of the women in the office, of course, only within earshot of their male counterparts. It was not a very diverse office, speaking of gender or nationality. One time someone said to me while laughing, that he/she was glad the Asians in the office were in his/her department, because they are “good, hard workers”. And if you were a white male that graduated from the right school, you were automatically given a free pass to a bigger salary, more responsibilities and better treatment right from the start.

    Advice to Management

    Your employees are you best asset, treat them right. You somehow manage to recruit talented and bright people, but it seems you don’t care at all to retain them. Don’t make demands of them that necessitate such huge sacrifices in areas such as a personal life and sleep, especially if you’re not willing to put in one tenth of their effort. Or if you do, reward them well. Sometimes a simple and sincere “Thank you” is all it takes. Oh, and you might want to actually practice what your HR Sexual Harassment videos preach.


  6. Disheartening and old fashioned work environment- the Mad Men of architecture and planning

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hart Howerton full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very talented people are hired and work for this company on good projects. Many have gone on to make impressive contributions in professional leadership and design. Their annual fellowship program greatly contributes to their reputation and standing as a design leader. The long hours and fast pace of work are a good training experience for mid-level or new graduates. Some charismatic leadership.

    Cons

    Leadership believes they are in the upper echelons of luxury design, but they are barely on the map. Overly pretentious and inflated regarding the small amount of high-end work they are awarded. The very tight-knit upper circle has little experience working outside the firm and their own lack of mentoring and leadership is evident. Extremely competitive between leadership and opportunities for up-and-coming staff are limited. Very high staff turnover is common, hence leadership does not invest in new talent. Very impersonal. Also, very little female leadership or promotions. The firm is basically run like a fraternity or good-old boy's club. Principles and groups of men are mainly allowed to travel and many of them have not picked up a drawing pen in years.

    Advice to Management

    Greater talent and diversity in leadership needed.


  7. Talented, but internally visionless

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hart Howerton full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    This company has an overwhelming amount of talent, and its reservoir of experience and expertise is quite impressive. It is well-positioned with top-tier clients and is attentive to maximizing its value to them.

    Cons

    This firm has eliminated the avenues by which it might continue to innovate in favor of a few well-worn design strategies. Senior personnel are not interested in design collaboration with other members within the firm, and growth of ideas suffers as well as morale. This firm manages to recruit exceptionally talented people, but then minimizes their participation. The trajectory of what the firm is looking to accomplish is unclear. Over time, the intent of what Hart Howerton as a brand is trying to accomplish as a vision has become increasingly nebulous if not myopic.

    Advice to Management

    Be ambitious in your vision with this company, and leverage the design talent, portfolio, and client connections to be a major innovative player. Be bolder with your brand. Re-invent the working environment to get the most out of the talent people left in your firm.


  8. Poorly managed

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Receptionist in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Receptionist in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great location in nice area of San Francisco.

    Cons

    I worked at the front desk Reception. There was never enough coverage at the front desk because they let one girl work half days and off on a Friday. It was chaos. Then they brought new management in and he cleaned house. I was only there 6 months or so but it seemed like every different department wanted to manage the front desk and give you tasks to do so of course you were swamped with admin work while trying to answer phones. Seems they couldn't spring for a Receptionist and an Admin. They tried to combine the two and it didn't work. A lot of attitude in the work place as every architect thought they were Gods gift to the world.

    Advice to Management

    Be consistent and don't let your employees go before telling them what they were doing wrong in the first place. When you are told you are doing a good job and then let go a few days later, something was fishy.


  9. Helpful (1)

    not good.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Design in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Design in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    co-workers great in the main.

    Cons

    Bullying was encouraged and tolerated. from day one.

    Advice to Management

    respect people.


  10. Helpful (2)

    HH review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The middle management and entry level employees were great to work with.

    Cons

    Upper management pushed extremely hard and didn't listen to employees advice and the majority of the projects were resort related and not sensitive to new environmental concerns or innovative design.

    Advice to Management

    I would advise management to create more innovative design and remember that not everyone "lives to work"


  11. Helpful (1)

    Most dysfunctional working environment in 16 years of experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate
    Former Employee - Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hart Howerton full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good pay Global project opportunities Travel opportunities to exotic locations Learn how to produce well crafted product.

    Cons

    Company reputation and profits take priority over teamwork. The company provides crafted product using standard surfacing and materials like a design/build contractor. Highly talented staff are squandered on formulaic design approaches. Deviation from that formulaic approach results in the competency of those individuals being questioned. Unprofessional management and leadership, with some employees receiving preferential treatment. In one instance an employee was asked to monitor and report on their director. 50+ hour regular working weeks. Selfish attitutudes and undermining by higher status employees led to anxiety disorders in lower status colleagues, low quality interpersonal communication and extremely low morale. Redundancy was a blessing for many.

    Advice to Management

    The standard of your leadership is a joke. Being uncompromising and demanding of your staff is arrogance. Treat ALL your employees, particularly those who are not US born, with more respect and make an effort to EMPATHISE with each of them. Take some leadership courses. The Four Quadrants programme by Will Jarvis is recommended. If you care about more than just profit and external reputation, admit there is a problem with the workplace culture. Just because people don't mention it doesn't mean there isn't an issue. It means they don't wish to be singled out and fired. Otherwise sites like this will catch up with you eventually. The company's reputation for good design is a fabrication and triumph of marketing. The design ability of the company is limited and comparable to what an upmarket contractor might offer. Limited stock palette of materials, planting and design standards. But commercial objectives are the companies perogative and when you're making such massive profits off the back of your clients, where is the driver for change?



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