Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Reviews

Updated June 29, 2015
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2.8
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt President & CEO Linda K. Zecher
Linda K. Zecher
119 Ratings

Pros
  • Work Life balance seems pretty good too (in 14 reviews)

  • I get to work from home and I love it (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Senior Management are pretty much clueless (in 31 reviews)

  • Upper management has designed a box and expects everyone to fit into the same box - Customer Service is the worst (in 24 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

354 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great Company

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

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    - work from home on non-travel days (for my role as a Content Specialist)
    - plenty of healthcare options
    - 401k matching
    - everyone is a professional
    - a lot of support
    - great pay
    - opportunities for growth and taking on different roles
    - company continues to grow and acquire other businesses

    Cons

    - ton of accounts and passwords


  2. Account Manager

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    Pros

    Enjoyed the autonomy of working in the field in the K-12 space.

    Cons

    Not transparent with the merger plans and dealt an unfair decision.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Education Specialist

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

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Fair salary, pleasant staff, excellent company overall

    Cons

    Not enough assignments
    Problems with getting payment of services
    Frequent changes in company organization and presenttion

    Advice to Management

    There should be more communication between regional managers so that the understand what each is doing. Employees should be advised of all training requirements when hired. Travel time should be compensated on an hourly basis.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (1)

    HMH

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

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Great team
    -Flexible schedules
    -Ability to work remotely

    Cons

    -Too many cooks at times; VPs, execs required to make decisions that teams can make on their own

    Advice to Management

    -Loosen the reins


  6. Helpful (4)

    Account Executive

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

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    HMH has a great reputation and some really good products that resonate well with educators. Good benefits, and robust bonus potential.

    Cons

    Too many products too many problems and not enough hours in the day to get expected "office work" completed and make adequate sales calls.


  7. Helpful (5)

    potential black hole...

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

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    1) Decent place to start out/entry level.
    2) Location in Boston convenient.
    3) Decent flexibility in daily schedule.
    4) Close to several bars for when you get fed up on a Friday afternoon and need to get a drink or two (but that's it b/c the pay doesn't afford you the ability to have more)...

    Cons

    1) Total lack of communication from management.
    2) Managers running departments completely disparate from their skill-set.
    3) No accountability, empowerment, or trust of professionally trained work-force by management.
    4) Wages woefully lower than industry standards.
    5) Preferential treatment/privileges and perks which are standardized for all (by lip service only) are held back as "premiums" for select few; depending on manager.
    6) Antiquated thinking... the world is much different than it was in the 70s.
    7) Review process is bloated and unnecessarily complex, driven less by individual desires/goals, and more by management dictating what they want you to say, couched in buzzwords and doublespeak... ultimately pointless.

    Advice to Management

    Dump your entrenched and antiquated middle-management who are stuck decades in the past, encourage and empower the **professionals** you hire to do their jobs, and become competitive in your compensation to attract a stronger pool of talent.


  8. Helpful (5)

    Conflict of Interest

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

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Engaging, intelligent people and the opportunity to make an impact on our educational system. Benefits are decent. Work/life balance is good if you chose to take advantage of that. Can work from home. Taking time off is a matter of managing your time and projects.

    Cons

    HMH and it's subsidiaries have been fodder for the banking/investment community. Over the past 15 years, I've been the victim/survivor of 3 acquitions and four layoffs. Now HMH finds itself (like so many other educational publishers) too big and unmanageable. We have offices across 3 continents and several cities. A dated top down management system, doesn't allow for the type of agile approach required of the now tech driven approach to learning. Upper management is beholden to their quarterly numbers and won't risk the type of serious restructuring that would need to take place to clean up the mess that has been created in the wake of greed driven speculation.

    Advice to Management

    The reality is that the system is stacked against those who are visionaries and rewards those who can push efficiencies to make next quarter's numbers. It's a deal with the devil . . . Interesting to know one of our biggest investors is a hedge fund. My advice would be to allow a representative of the employees to sit on the board of directors. Entrust middle managers and small teams rather than use the "command and control" approach now in place.


  9. Helpful (4)

    Buyer Beware

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

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Autonomy in most projects EXCEPT high profile to the executive branches pet projects to the Board of Directors.

    Cons

    Be careful whatyou say to directors of groups other than yours. HMH is a political minefield.

    Advice to Management

    Try listening to the people actually doing the digital implementations rather than the sales people who know little about the products they are selling.


  10. Helpful (2)

    HMH review

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits are competitive and the company is constantly working to improve them.

    Cons

    Constant change and lack of communication. Inconsistency between how employees are treated between departments.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to improve you are finally on the right track.


  11. Helpful (9)

    Worker

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

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    As others have said, fabulous coworkers abound. Without question, our dept. acts as a team, which I've rarely experienced elsewhere. At our location, managers are very sensitive to employees' families and work/life balance. Furthermore, we were like one big happy family long before we were acquired.

    Cons

    Since the merger, probably the lousiest "increases" (hard to use the word raises, since they don't), which when offset by the enormous medical plan costs probably puts us back every year. The number of announcements for new VPs and EVPs is astonishing: there are many chiefs and fewer Braves to do the work. I honestly can't imagine what they're all doing--besides being paid a lot more than the workerbees. The announcement of physical moves baffles me: if we're doing so well, why don't we see it in our pay checks?

    Advice to Management

    Knock off the talent management jazz; it's a waste of time and only serves to wring more work out of us. If you are truly interested in employees, give us all a decent raise (starting at 5%, say) and drop the cost of the higher end health plans. Then, cut out all those EVPs and VPs! And do we really need to move to swankier quarters?



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