Heidrick & Struggles

  www.heidrick.com
  www.heidrick.com

Heidrick & Struggles Reviews

Updated October 23, 2014
Updated October 23, 2014
83 Reviews
3.1
83 Reviews
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Tracy Wolstencroft
9 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Access to the top, brand name gets you in - (in 5 reviews)

  • Candidates recognize the H&S brand and it still has a great reputation (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Expect to work long hours and be on-call 7 days per week (in 3 reviews)

  • Puzzled why the Board of Directors have confidence with an Executive Team that runs the company to the ground (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good brand, but there is a reason the company is up for sale

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

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Brand still has cache
    There are still some very strong partners still with the firm
    Good starting roles as associates coming into the work force

    Cons

    Many of the good partners are long gone to other top executive search firms
    Work the associates really hard and underpay them

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a new CEO. This board should have done this a long time ago before the decline

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Overall concept

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Finance in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Finance in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great company with good history

    Cons

    Should continue to improve to meet up with the challenge of the economy.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    Honestly, really really bad

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

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time

    Pros

    1) The rank and file employees are great. Very smart people, hard working, friendly and collaborative. H&S has brought in some amazing and talented people.

    2) Candidates recognize the H&S brand and it still has a great reputation.

    Cons

    There are major problems here:

    1) Terrible leadership team. The CEO has no clue what he's doing and the company continues to tank quarter after quarter and no one seems willing to do anything about it. The company promotes search consultants into leadership roles which never works.

    2) This is a partner driven culture. Partners make amazing money while everyone else gets the leftovers. Clearly partners bring in the business and should be compensated well, but there needs to be more equitable compensation for those who actually deliver and do the work. Target bonuses are a joke - they are never paid.

    3) Zero work/life balance. The company is in a dire financial position and so everyone is expected to work 24/7 and the level of stress and pressure is very high.

    4) Attrition - most of the great and even reasonably good talent has already left or is actively looking to leave. Because of the poor compensation and insane number of hours people are expected to work, most people have left. To add to it, the promotion process and cycle is way too long. The criteria to get promoted is unclear, changes every year and typically has more to do with politics than performance.

    5) Heidrick has lost what made it a great brand - world class service. It has turned into a sales culture and execution, quality and commitment to delivering phenomenal service is long gone. Most partners sign a deal and then very junior people do the real work. Most clients have figured this out as well.

    6) Heidrick touts itself as doing top-level leadership work at the C-Level but the vast majority of people stay afloat taking on VP-level and even Director level searches to pay the bills. Only a small handful of people at the top do any meaningful C-Level work.

    7) Database is a complete joke. It was a joke before, then they invested millions in making it cutting edge and world class and they actually made it worse than the old system from the early 90's! It's basically a non functional database. The company expects recruiters to deliver without even the most basic tools.

    It's a shame that a firm with such a tremendous candidate brand is such a gigantic mess on the inside. Plain and simple, this is not a place to build a career. If you come here early on, learn the trade, build a network and get the brand on your resume and get out.

    Someone else in a previous review summed it up as a place with "greedy" people. I would absolutely agree.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) CEO and BOD to go. Everything else stems from there.
    2) Remember that it's a two way street with your employees. They need to get as much as they give to the business. Terrible compensation, negative culture, slow path to partnership and a shockingly outdated technology platform and database are just not going to cut it. Your competitors are flying past you and you need to fundamentally change the way the firm is run if you want to retain your top talent. The old days of people grinding out searches for partners in hopes that they will one day become a partner and make $$$ are over.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    always "on call"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Administrative in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Nice people and collaborative work environment.

    Cons

    - Admin work, by nature of this business, is repetitive, bordering on boring.
    - Frequent non-work time interruptions dealing with clients and candidates who expect immediate action.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    unfortunate situation at Heidrick...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    people are nice and benefits are good.

    Cons

    Certainly having the word "Struggles" in the name should have been a sign as it is the most appropriate adjective to describe my time at Heidrick. For those considering to join, make sure you negotiate a salary and can live off that for at least 3 years. There is a bonus, but no bonus pool for EAs. They can only seem to pay the partners via layoffs, management changes, restructurings, etc. Then there is the spending - partner meetings in Barcelona, practice meetings, all internal meetings at a high cost to the firm. Would be nice to have that money in the bonus pool rather in their family vacations.

    The CEO has removed every single C-level executive at least one time (if not more) in the past three years and that hasn't solved anything...it doesn't take a PhD to figure this out.

    So much there needs to change - and the board is completely unwilling to do it. And why should they? They write books or whatever and the CEO hosts parties for them at Heidrick's expense.

    Mostly now I am curious as to what will be the event that actually triggers change...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    change the CEO and board immediately
    figure out how to properly compensate EVERY one not just the partners
    figure out how to not spend more than you bring in
    when you get the core competencies correct - the culture and mentality of employees will change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Good place to work - Team is very collaborative, screamers, SOBs are shown the door

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Strong mentoring if you seek it out, collaborative environment, practices pull together and won't let a client/search team down by putting more resources where needed.

    Cons

    Be prepared to work at all hours. 110% is expected.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Bad CEO at the helm

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great SF office, fun collaborative environment

    Cons

    Company is being destroyed by poor management, the CEO is running the company into the ground while he advances his own political agenda. Sad really.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The BOD should get a new CEO, breathe new life into the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Quite Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Heidrick & Struggles

    Pros

    Meet interesting people; flexibility; allow telecommuting

    Cons

    One track for growth opportunities; more difficult on West Coast

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    A nightmare

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in New York, NY

    I worked at Heidrick & Struggles

    Pros

    The office space is very nice and for the most part, your colleagues are pleasant, smart and helpful to you.

    Cons

    The workload is completely unmanageable and even though you have vacation time, you're told you're unable to take it. Unfair.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't lie to employees - tell the truth during the interview process and during employment - everything was a lie.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Supporting senior partners in their searches; identifying top talent across a variety of industries

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate
    Current Employee - Associate

    I have been working at Heidrick & Struggles

    Pros

    Heidrick is undoubtably the best company to work for within the search field. Their brand recognition and excellent execution of searches is unparalleled, and the firm makes applaudable efforts to promote from within. The pay is great. It's a global firm, so one can work from a variety of offices across the globe. The senior leadership includes the best in the industry, and the searches completed are top of their field.

    Cons

    It is unfortunate that Heidrick, as a services company, is publicly held. It should be private.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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