Hill Mechanical Group Reviews

Updated June 30, 2015
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Robert Krier
5 Ratings

19 Employee Reviews

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  1. This company has been very gratifying throughout my 10+ years with them.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hill Mechanical Group full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Safety-This company will provide anything/everything in order to protect its employees. They truly care about there employees wellness. Training-This company strives to maintain the highest level of training is provided. Onsite, offsite, over lunch, or entire days. All it takes is you show interest and apply yourself. Growth-This company has evolved thru the years. Opportunities for advancement are present, risk=reward and like most companies 90 percent of work is just showing up. The other 10% is hard, challenging, and somewhat demanding at times, this companies culture helps make work enjoyable. SR. Management-They are all approachable, understanding individuals. This helps with maintaining a family like business. Cookouts-The company has historically had numerous cookouts yearly. If that isn't enough, many times in addition to those cookouts food is catered in for various reasons. To name a few recognition for being a part of a successful project/task, safety, or just for showing up for work given inclement weather. Schedule-Very demanding at times, but makes for a quick day or years. The company has made good efforts to retain its employees and offers very competitive total compensation package that includes a third week of vacation after five years of service.

    Cons

    Like most companies, communication can be a challenge at times. However the company is always exploring ways to get better. The company does have a yearly Christmas party. However it's very informal, and has an employees only atmosphere.

    Advice to Management

    I think overall your doing a great job, and always looking for new opportunities to continue to grow the company.


  2. Helpful (3)

    Talk about a real up "Hill" battle...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Account Executive
    Former Employee - Senior Account Executive
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hill Mechanical Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Nice building, lots of lunch and learns, occational BBQs...

    Cons

    Where do I begin with this place... The Hill Group has had much success due to the talent and commitment of many individuals dedicated to seeing the organization as a whole succeed. These individuals hope that upper management will recognize this dedication and reward this hard work by monetarily compensating them for their efforts. Many of these hard working individuals have sacrificed much time away from their families in order to achieve a “piece of the pie.” Unfortunately the organization has taken full advantage of these people’s hard work and loyalty thus creating a very unhealthy environment of high stress and discontent among the masses with no reassurance that their jobs are secure. They love recruiting college students/grads to come work for them. They put them on a "7-year" program. Since this is the first job for many of the students/grads they almost brain wash them to believe that they must put in ridiculous hours in order to learn the trade so they can start making money….for the company. To prove themselves, these kids will work hard and be miserable doing it. Those that stick around become company people who are drinking the “Kool-Aid” and buy into their ridiculous notion that this is how it is everywhere and that they should be happy to have a job. The privileged few who are in control have moved up through way of old loyalties and nepotism. They are the only ones guaranteed employment. Sadly these are the people who make everyone else’s life miserable. They take advantage of their position and power for their own personal gain and not the overall success of their employees. This is quite prevalent in the service department. These privileged folks will make all others life miserable and scrutinize those people’s day to day work through fear and tyranny. Yet who is watching these higher ups? How is it that they get the right to utilize the labor force to do work around their house like relocating a satellite dish or cleaning out their gutters or installing a heated towel rack in their bathroom. I didn’t even know they made those. All the while never paying for this work and burying the techs time in a job somewhere else. These higher ups can afford to pay for these services versus the regular working folks, yet somehow skate by while the rest of the real hard working employees either pay for the services by having deductions come out of their paychecks or “bonus” at the end of the year. Why are employees scared to call their own company when it comes to service being needed at their home? Realistically they cannot afford the outrageous hourly labor rate that they charge employees. One would think that a company this size would encourage employees to ask for help and provide some sort of concession for these hard working individuals, not here unfortunately. Ask any employee there if they are aware that they can call for service. It’s a sad state of affairs if an employee of a huge HVAC company feels more comfortable calling the phone number on the billboard outside the office because its more approachable than individuals at their own company. Something is not right with this picture. Plus the monthly car allowance is a joke. The allowance doesn’t even cover gas for many of the people. It does not cover gas let alone wear and tear. Then they have the audacity to role it into your salary which is taxed as additional income. Why would anyone do business this way?.... To keep their costs/overhead down in comparison to their overall income. Thus inflating my salary and putting me in a different tax bracket. Yet upper management drives around in their “company issued cars.” These company cars are not like the fleet cars at most other companies. These are high end cars (Infiniti/Audi, etc.) Heaven forbid you decide you want to take a vacation with your family. Once again if you are not upper management, it is frowned upon to take more than a few days. Plus you are expected to take your cell phone and laptop with you. If you don't respond to a call or email while on vacation, be prepared to get an ear full when you return. There are countless employees who have never taken more than a few days off at a time because the moto there is "if we can do without you for a week or more, we can do without you period." Nice to know they value their employees... So while hardworking folks are trying to make an honest buck while making the company successful, you have the upper management folks reaping all their hard work. Like someone else said, the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. For those who have prior work experience, they can immediately recognize the disorganized and dishonest state of affairs here. It is no wonder people are leaving this place on a weekly basis. It’s become common knowledge among the industry that this place is not what it used to be...

    Advice to Management

    I know for upper management, this sort of behavior is normal and acceptable, but for everyone else still there, I can assure you there is a life outside of this miserable place. Just ask all the employees who have left!


  3. Helpful (1)

    Bring your knee pads

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Hill Mechanical Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Such a large company with such a poor structure, you can do nothing and no one will notice

    Cons

    Nothing ever improves at this company. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but since your boss didn't think of it, that idea is dismissed. The only way to get anywhere is to get on your knees and be a yes man, and even after that they'll burn you out and toss you. Management talks a big game about improving and adopting new ideas, but when something is being implemented, there is no communication between departments. It takes hours for someone to make a decision because no one knows who's in charge of what. God forbid if you have to deal with the sheet metal department and the guy who runs it. Don't plan on getting anything done for the next week if you do. So if you love chaos and telling your boss you love his tie, then this place is for you.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Not for the faint of heart...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hill Mechanical Group full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    There are many god dedicated people working in this company, at all levels. People are allowed to succeed or fail on their own accord. For the most part you are not micro-managed. The Hill family is still in charge and they do care about the families that they company supports.

    Cons

    There is a distinct separation between between some executive management and the rest of the company. Unfortunately some at the middle and executive management levels look down on others and don't understand or care what others do for the organization. Nor do they appreciate the effort many people put forth to get the job done. Compensation is not commensurate with industry standards, particularly for the level of work that is expected of individuals. The company is run very lean in various departments.

    Advice to Management

    Start hearing what people are saying. Remember what used to be said often in the company, money is made and lost in the field.


  6. Helpful (6)

    To much middle management, no one hears your voice, no progression

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Franklin Park, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Franklin Park, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Hill Mechanical Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Job security if you are ok with being a drone

    Cons

    To much middle management, back stabbing, no one is willing to truly listen, drafting department has awful leadership.

    Advice to Management

    To much middle management, back stabbing, no one is willing to truly listen, drafting department has awful leadership.


  7. Helpful (6)

    Old time company values... (that's not a compliment)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hill Mechanical Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Decent benefits, great projects etc... The general direction of the company seems to be heading in the right direction. Compensation was ok. I feel like the company is always trying to re-invent itself which is rare these days. Every year, they add a new division to the company which will lead to company growth. Working here for 1-2 years will improve your project resume which helps when you leave. The newer recruits to the company are great and I learned a lot from them. I believe that these relationships will remain through out my career.

    Cons

    I was only at Hill for a short time, but I noticed some pretty big Cons... First for me would be the derogatory and negative comments by upper management. Upper management often said politically incorrect phrases to me, gave offensive nicknames to employees or made harassing remarks about minority and female employees. Some examples are: using the N-Word, constantly using 'gay' as an insult, spreading false rumors about women in the office as being promiscuous (etc...). A lot of this was done by senior account execs, senior PM's etc... This is part of the company culture. As I said in the 'Pros' section, compensation was ok. However I did not receive much of a raise. I learned later that it was because I didn't push hard enough for one. So if you are reviewed by management, you need to push really hard for a raise no matter what the review says. The reviews are more of a test of confidence at Hill than measurement of performance. (Though it was partially my fault that I didn't get a raise, it didn't end up helping either party as another company ended up giving me that raise) Each department has baggage from an engineering stand-point. The Operations(or environmental services division) often runs buildings in an extremely inefficient way. The engineering side is typically run more from a project management perspective than an engineering perspective which leads to lots of issues with the end user. The service department works with both of those teams to sell fixes to projects that were done incorrectly in the first place with a significant mark-up.

    Advice to Management

    I would've rated the company a lot higher if it weren't for the derogatory comments. I didn't feel comfortable telling anyone this since so many people in upper management are related and have been working with Hill for many years. The company has evolved engineering wise, but the personalities are straight out of the 50's. Take away these comments, and I would've rated the company a 4 out of 5 .


  8. Helpful (1)

    Hard work but great rewards!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Account Executive in Franklin Park, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Account Executive in Franklin Park, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hill Mechanical Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    A strong and stable company that is well positioned in the market to continue to grow and prosper. Which means long term job security. A true dedication at all levels of the company to Continuous Improvement. Great people both in and out of the office. A strong bonus program that has been proven over the years to reward the hard work of Hill’s employees. Management truly seems to care about the employees. I have worked with Hill for several years and I hope to remain here for the rest of my career. There is a feeling of loyalty and a sense of team that I do not think exists in many other companies or in many other industries. Service specifically has a great young core in and out of the office that I look forward to working with for many years. Hill has proven for many years that they will reward their employees. However, you do have to earn it. But the good news is that THEY WANT TO PAY YOU! They would not hire you if they did not want you to become a profitable contributing member of the group. If you put in the time and the effort you will get those rewards. You have the potential to earn more than double the industry average for this position. But if you expect to be paid just for showing up, this is not the company for you.

    Cons

    Management expects a lot from the employees. That pressure does make work/life balance difficult. But it is not impossible. I have found that by working smart and efficiently and planning ahead that you can have good work/life balance. I put in my time every day and still find a way to eat dinner and spend time with my wife and kids almost every night. Management really is dedicated to continuous improvement. And an incredible amount of work is put into identifying weakness and finding solutions. But this work is not always well communicated to the company as a whole. I think that a lot of this work goes unnoticed and is therefore misunderstood and unappreciated. Improved communication would go a long way. The bonus program, though effective, should be more transparent. The lack of transparency is acceptable if you have tasted those rewards, but it is more difficult for new Account Managers who are just working on building their base. The Junior program also needs work if they are going to continue to attract and keep top talent. The current generation of college grads have different expectations for career growth and stability and like it or not the company may need to adapt if it wants to be able continue to effectively recruit.

    Advice to Management

    Keep working on those improvements. Increase communication and transparency. Find a way to make the Junior program more attractive to a new and different generation of employee. And keep making the good business decisions that have defined the company over the years!


  9. Stable company, always has their employees best interests in mind when making decisions.

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

    I have been working at Hill Mechanical Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people. Everyone is extremely helpful and will stop what they are doing to answer a question you have, even the President of the company. It's nice to have a positive, helpful working environment.

    Cons

    Long hours, but hard work pays off! There are some inefficiencies in the processes, but they are working on improving them and the differences are being noticed.

    Advice to Management

    Keep making good business decisions and keeping us all employed!


  10. Helpful (7)

    If you value your marriage and family, please do not come work here...

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Once a great place to work. Lots of hardworking, loyal people. Many great connectons within the industry.

    Cons

    People are leaving. This place has changed from a "Mom & Pop" or "Family" oriented atmosphere to a corporate mentality in a relatively short amount of time. People used to be so proud of this place and really considered this an extention of their own family, now has become an atmosphere of guile, embarrassement and duplicity. The "Pyramid" scheme that is so clearly happening is directly connected to the "revolving door" effect of employees. Once upon a time this was the place to work. Now you are considered lucky if you leave and are still married. The dedication and time many have given comes at the cost of broken marriages and families. It is distressing to here the number of people who say if only I had spent more time fixing my marriage or spent time with my children as they were growing up. All you have in this world is time. When you give that up under the assumption that you are trying to provide a better life for your family, what price are you willing to pay? Many, including upper management know of this sad truth within their own lives.

    Advice to Management

    There is an old saying that is applied here ---"The rich get richer and the poor get poorer... This unfortunately goes beyond monetary compensation...


  11. Helpful (9)

    Unless your related to Upper Management, expect to be “Churned & Burned, and treated with little to no respect!!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Account Executive in Franklin Park, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Account Executive in Franklin Park, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hill Mechanical Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    As others have rightly noted, Hill has enjoyed a very good reputation with their design build and new construction capabilities over the years. The Hill family is going into its third generation and each member of the Hill family that is actively engaged in the business is genuinely friendly, approachable, and likeable people. The apparent problem is that they have allowed their Upper Management to hijack the company and implement business procedures that promote their personal profit over principle. This, combined with the “discretionary” bonus system has promoted a recipe of nepotism and greed which was evident to me within the first week or two of employment. Unlike ALL other HVAC Mechanical contractors, Hill Mechanical has NO set commission structure or plan to compensate its hard-working Account Executives. I only wish I had heeded the advice of several industry professionals who tried to warn me of this deplorable management structure. The following is somewhat lengthy, but entirely true.

    Cons

    There exists a type of “caste system” where the entire company, outside of ownership, is divided into three groups. First, you have the upper management along with their sons, and brothers, etc. who walk around in a deluded state of self-importance and arrogance knowing that they control everyone else’s destiny…. and most importantly the purse strings to the pool of “discretionary” bonus funds. Every worthwhile internal sales lead, construction turnover, and account where a Hill-employed #399 building engineer is in place is skimmed and given to the Senior Account Executives related to upper management. They are so greedy that rather than spread some of their bounty; they have assistants to manage and attend to their hoard of spoon-fed accounts. The remaining Account Executives are assigned all other low probability, “price check” leads, and ordered around like subjects in some tyrannical little kingdom with long hours, high stress, and continual fear of losing your job as motivation. Next in the caste system, you have a small entourage of boot lickers and “yes men” who have relinquished any remaining vestiges of their self respect in hopes of getting on the good side of the upper and middle management “family” and receiving some crumbs from the bonus pool and possible, but unlikely, career advancement. Lastly, you have the bulk of employees at Hill who recognize the obvious unhealthy pressure cooker environment of stress, intimidation, and arrogance, but endure just to keep a paycheck rolling in to feed their families and pay their bills until they can find another job. For starters, no matter how well one does for the company their first year, there is NO consideration for a bonus. Starting into the second year you are now supposedly part of the voodoo math “discretionary” bonus system to be decided at the end of your second year. If in the unlikely event, you actually receive anything, it takes up to six months into your third year until you see the money!! Looking back in retrospect, the “discretionary bonus system” is nothing more than a pyramid scheme in which the “inside families” profit first and foremost off of everyone else’s efforts. I now believe that the upper and middle service management purposefully set out to purge Account Executives out before they eventually qualify for the “pie in the sky ” bonus knowing that they can retain most of the business that the individual brought in while leaving more in the bonus “pool” for themselves. The field personnel have likewise recognized the downward trend within Hill caused by upper and middle managements policies and are leaving in droves. Hill has been described by the field personnel as “a stopover shop” until one finds another job with a good company. This is a very fitting term and also applies to the inside office. There is a continual revolving door of good people leaving after a year or two, finally getting fed up with the stressful work environment and the realization that only those related to upper management make any bonus money. To add insult to injury, the company offers NO 401K retirement program, only mediocre insurance, and for Account Executives within the service sales department, a monthly car allowance that is less than 1/3rd the industry standard and taxed on top of that as supplemental income!

    Advice to Management

    Upper Management and their middle management relatives are the problem. The policies implemented by them bring out the worst in a business environment. The service department is steeped in a culture of nepotism and greed where middle management has no people skills whatsoever and instead “pontificates” to the Account Executives; treating them like disposable subjects rather than associates. My advice to the Hill Family: I was told that for decades this company grew on a principle of industry professionalism and treating its employees as its most valuable asset. The subsequent growth and wealth were well deserved. Now, a select few within your management team have abandoned that principle and instead are focused entirely on profit for themselves and their immediate family members at the expense of all others. Unless the decision is made to change back to the founding principles that treated all employees fairly and recognized them as people with value, the 75+ year Hill legacy means nothing.



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