Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Reviews

Updated August 27, 2015
371 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  • Full-time
  • Part-time
Employment Status

Reset
3.0
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt President & CEO Linda K. Zecher
Linda K. Zecher
125 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

371 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Anonymous

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

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

    Pros

    Extreme flexibility in working hours and location. Genuinely caring managers.

    Cons

    No one really knows what is going on.

    Advice to Management

    Clear lines of communication. Clear processes. Don't change everything for every new project.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Uninspiring workplace

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Product Marketing Manager in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Associate Product Marketing Manager in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Short hours (37.5), ability to work from home. Many kind and engaged employees...

    Cons

    ...but more are disengaged. Hard to get anything meaningful done - so much process to work through, as many others have said. The bloated processes make it hard to see the fruits of your labor more than, say, once or twice a year. Incredible redundancies across departments. There were multiple times my team realized that another team we had never even heard of was working on the exact same project as us. Many at the company are terrible communicators, but it's mostly because they have far too many emails to deal with and/or are on the phone all day. Expect to ask people for things (and provide things for them) multiple times before you can check it off your list. Sales force pushes marketing hard for what they want, which can be a real pain to deal with day in and day out when you have different marching orders. You work in a 6x6 cubicle with fluorescent lighting, no daylight nearby except in mid-level manager offices (and I wouldn't want to do their jobs for a day). Very limited upward mobility - expect to work for 3-5 years at a particular level before getting promoted. Minimal pay raises each year. Perks are nonexistent. They provide hot and cold drinking water... that's it. No snacks, no coffee. Expensive health insurance. No real sense of community built into the company.. you have to work hard to create it for yourself, if you want it. Opportunistic business decisions = acquiring technology that makes absolutely no sense for an educational publisher.

    Advice to Management

    If you're going digital, commit to it, and invest in people who actually know what they're doing when it comes to technology (rather than continuing to hire people who have been in educational publishing their whole lives) - at all levels.


  3. Happy New Employee

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

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time

    Pros

    Ability to work from home and great co-workers and management who are willing to help in any way possibly.

    Cons

    Can be gone for multiple days in a row traveling for presentations


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


  5. Helpful (7)

    Glad to be gone

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    At one time it was the best company I had ever worked for. And there are still great people there, creating fine products and moving the industry forward.

    Cons

    The merger in 2007 turned the place into a nightmare of endless reorganizations, layoffs, ineffective processes and choking bureaucracy. It never improved again. Life is too short for this.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the consultants and overpaid excess executive staff. Listen to your product development staff and sales force.


  6. A good place to start

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX

    Pros

    HMH provides you with a good, stable, position. There are a lot of changes, but that is to be expected with any company. This company will provide you with great benefits, good pay, and a good work/life balance.

    Cons

    there are not too many cons to list here other than the typical office crud (gossip, unprofessional behavior, obnoxious sales people)


  7. Helpful (2)

    Boring company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Web Developer in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland)
    Former Employee - Senior Web Developer in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland)
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    I got to know very Nice People

    Cons

    Everything is a mess in there. Too much red tape and nothing that resembles a software development company.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Toxic workplace

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Easy to get a job there - Convenient office locations - Relatively good leave benefits (summer hours, maternity etc.)

    Cons

    - Extremely abusive environment, especially for genuine, hard working people who put their heads down and don't demand special treatment - A lot of politics and favouritism for people who play the political game, but don't deserve the promotions and rewards - A lot of the wrong people in the wrong positions - incompetent management who are destroying the company and who are appointing staff to positions that they are not qualified for, or capable of doing - Very little, to no acknowledgement for hard work, trying to improve working conditions or suggesting ideas. You're more likely to be blamed than encouraged - Career path is very poor, unless you play the political game - Very little to no benefits for staff. Company thinks that staff should be excited over a company themed mug, as opposed to real benefits and acknowledgment - No regard for any kind of process, quality measures or business sense. Work is mis-managed and then others are left to clean up the crisis, while the original the people to blame walk away unscathed (or even get a pat on the back for saving the day when it is cleaned up!). This is considered 'normal' and a good way to do business! - No communication or relationship between groups or teams - morale is very low and groups very much protect their own - Teams finger-point and play the blame game when they allow disasters to happen by mis-management, with managers never encouraging their staff to stay solutions focussed or improve process, skills or relationship building

    Advice to Management

    - Hire qualified staff for the roles and stop encouraging people to thrive in crises - Stop pandering to finger-pointing and encourage your teams to accept their part when things go wrong - Encourage cooperation between groups - Stop abusing the genuine, hard working staff - they will continue to leave and the company will suffer - Encourage staff to contribute and suggest ideas to make the company better. Everybody is so afraid to raise their hand, as there is such an abusive blame culture in there


  9. Great People at a Good Company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Content Specialist
    Current Employee - Associate Content Specialist
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Take time to train you in your new role with opportunities to observe and collaborate with senior members. Will not put you in a position where you feel unprepared in front of a customer.

    Cons

    Working from home can feel isolated at times. Takes time to get all accounts set up, which can be frustrating as you attempt to navigate your first couple weeks. Travel may be too much for some to handle.

    Advice to Management

    Get your new employees in to meet with their manager during the first week. This will give them more confidence that they are on the right track with the work that they are doing at home.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Likes and dislikes

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

    I have been working at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I love eh department that I am a part of. enjoyed setting company goals bottom up... Very interesting experience

    Cons

    The company made some strategic decisions but left out some of the key players who were affected. It was not done thoughtfully.

    Advice to Management

    Strategic changes need to be well thought out. They have to address all the group of people who will be affected proactively.


  11. Helpful (8)

    A Big Company That Loves Its Profits, but Not Its People

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

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

    Pros

    Great place to learn the ropes and get experience in educational publishing. Truly believe there are some savvy and brilliant executives that you can learn from.

    Cons

    If you are looking for a fulfilling career where you see evidence of your impact and purpose, this is not the place for you. It's easy to get lost in the shuffle and feel undervalued at HMH. With offices spread across the nation, you may or may not work directly with your team. It's also difficult to get your job done as HMH is a meeting crazed place with long lead times. With so many processes, it's easy to spend more time navigating the process than actually working on the project you are trying to get done.

    Advice to Management

    Let your hair down, HMH. Your employees and your customers want to see you for who you are...not the perfect, unflawed, pristine version of who you want to be.



Showing 371 of 395 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.