Hydrogen Group plc

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Hydrogen Group plc Reviews in London, England

Updated Jul 26, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.5 22 reviews

35% Approve of the CEO

Hydrogen Group plc CEO Tim Smeaton

Tim Smeaton

(17 ratings)

32% of employees recommend this company to a friend
22 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Good at first but the company has completely changed and is a poor example of a business and treats employees badly

    Consultant/Senior Consultant (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsGood training and very good Learning and Development team. Good clients - however these clients are starting to see the negatives to doing business with Hydrogen and are choosing other recruitment companies as their preferred partner. I am hearing a lot of negative feedback from key clients, some now refusing to ever work with Hydrogen again because of their approach.

    ConsThe company cannot stick to a vision and do not manage people or create and implement strategies well. The company is very divisional, with each practice area working independently to one another (for example Finance, Law or Oil & Gas). The company has grown too quickly and made many mistakes in terms of structuring and developing teams. They also seem to be confused as to which markets they are entering, with no clear direction or focus. This is poor from a client and candidate perspective (not to mention employee) because Hydrogen are claiming to be experts in things areas they no nothing about. Hydrogen used to be a lovely place, great culture, good consultants and managers, but the turnover is so high that this has completely changed and none of the great people want to stick around for long. This is because of the poor management, poor opinions from industry, poor career progression and also very low salaries compared to market average. The problem seems to be that Hydrogen management are trying to create a 'quick fix' to a financial problem that has been worsening for some time due to running the business badly and growing too quickly in an unsuccessful way. This quick fix is all about money and Hydrogen are forgetting that clients will be around for much longer, they all talk, and the bigger picture is not being considered. All this company look for is where is the next deal? & why are you not working with a particular account? They then bulldoze in without thinking of the client or the candidate - just trying to make quick money, a very unintelligent approach and a poor service to the client. It is not a pleasant place to work and it is somewhere I am very ashamed to be a part of.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you want a quick fix to sell the business- then fair enough. However, if you want a business that is successful in the longer term then you really must re-address everything that is being done, and make better informed, more careful business choices. Don't take my word for it, I urge you to ask clients and candidates what their impression is and I am confident my above comments will be echoed.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Churn & burn seems to be management's motto

    Recruitment Consultant (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsGood location, global company, great l&d and ops teams - that's about as far as the pros go.

    ConsI joined Hydrogen after graduating. The sell is that it's a quick fire way for graduates to earn a fair bit of money with uncapped commission, work in a dynamic, vibrant environment where you work hard play hard with clear opportunities for progression. Unfortunately, not one bit of this sell is true. There is no work/life balance - standard hours are 8.30am - 6.30pm on paper but realistically that's 8am post 7pm most days of the week. Some practices also impose compulsory longer hours if you aren't reaching your targets. Salaries are very poor compared to competitors as is commission structure. Leadership appears to be quite poor across the practices. Within my practice area I felt there was a real lack of professionalism from team leaders who were quick to offer their opinions on more junior members of the practice. There's very little loyalty in the business but at the very least you should expect that your team leader values the work you are doing and the contribution you are making to their pay package every month (team leaders all get a percentage of their consultants' commission...) opposed to voicing their personal opinion on individuals. It felt like being back in high school and it's generally a very unpleasant environment to work inl! It also meant there was a constant atmosphere within the teams.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart reviewing team leadership and holding team leaders accountable for their team's performance (as well as their attitudes) instead of getting rid of more junior members of the team just because on paper they may seem easier to replace. Retention rate is terrible (8 people left our team over the last 5 months and that's just one of many in the London office!).

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Please never work here

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsThe training is good and if you're good then you can make good money. However the pros don't go any further than that...

    ConsEndless, the pay is really bad, much below market rates. The commission is average. The atmosphere is awful, you are treated like a child, the senior management are really terrible. Total lack on transparency and decisions are just announced out of the blue without any consultation. The very top have been there for years and totally forgotten how to consult and take on any advice..

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou are all terrible at your jobs - you should resign
    Especially the very top - totally incompetent

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Sinking Ship

    Recruitment Consultant (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsGiven the state of the business at the moment, I'm really struggling to think of any...
    I guess I've made some good friends

    ConsImmature, uninspiring leaders
    Terrible work/life balance
    Unethical behavior is rife (encouraged by managers who have a 'make money at all costs' attitude)
    Low salaries and poor bonus/commission structures
    Management by fear
    One size fits all approach to recruitment
    Sterile offices
    Zero benefits
    It's obvious that we're not doing well compared to other recruitment companies, and the atmosphere is unpleasant at best with people sneaking out all the time to interview elsewhere or to make/receive calls from their recruitment consultants - it's really not a very nice place to be at the moment

    Advice to Senior ManagementNone - they never listen and I'm just not interested anymore

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    An out of control Sixth Form, with too much money and cocaine.

    Consultant (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    Pros- The social side of this company are a highlight
    - Employees are all of a similar age

    Cons- Constant threat of being sacked
    - 12 hour days are a minimum
    - Heavily criticised for taking sick days
    - Poor pay
    - School playground behaviour on the office floor

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe place is a zoo.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Hydrogen Group plc Digital Consultant responded to this review

    May 8, 2014

    Many thanks for taking the time to review your time at Hydrogen. We are always interested in the views of both our existing employees and those that have chosen to leave Hydrogen. We like to offer an ... More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Disappointing and unsupported

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsBrand
    Colleagues
    Office is nice
    Great location
    Good clients
    Very relaxed work environment

    I'm honestly struggling to meet the 20 word minimum for the pros side of things

    ConsCommission structure
    Basic salary
    Salary is less than minimum wage and doesn't even pay my living costs even after a year here
    They fired half my team
    All the top billers left
    Stranded in a slow market with little guidance
    Company feels like it is dying or will restructure to a much smaller size

    Advice to Senior ManagementTry and understand what the employees need and support that. Power points with baseless targets help no one.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Steadily going downhill

    Recruitment Consultant (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsColleagues, Good brand, Location, Training

    ConsLow pay
    Work-life balance/flexibility
    Commission structure
    Promotion structure uninspiring
    No individual treatment
    Ask for help and don't get it

    Advice to Senior ManagementInstead of losing consultants to competitors, retain them by showing them their value in the business. A one size fits all approach does not work with regards to promotions etc, good billers are not necessarily good leaders and if you were more supportive you could unlock much more potential with the staff you have rather than letting them go elsewhere and then spending time and money on recruiting again

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Was a good company back in the day........

    Senior Consultant (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    Pros- Track records in their core markets
    - Good database
    - Global company
    - Supports charities

    Cons- NO work-life balance
    - Low salaries; much lower than most
    - NO benefits at all
    - Management by fear
    - 'One size fits all' metrics
    - Immature Team Leaders (A good recruiter isn't necessarily a good leader by definition)
    - Sterile offices with a Clean Desk policy (you have to pack your desk every single day)
    - Cheesy training (but their Workshops are good)

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt had a good environment back in the day but the atmosphere deteriorated over time. It was a competent team of recruiters and that's why I joined them.

    I felt overwhelmed to make a move out of the company due to some poor decisions the management team made. One was about the commission structure which was poorly handled. They changed it and told us about it 20 days after they implemented it. If anything, it should have been announced 3 months BEFORE the implementation. Then we had a massive exodus of Perm Consultants- no surprises there. They changed it back eventually, but the point is that if that has changed the way it did, ANYTHING else could change overnight in that company.

    My main advice to the management is to start looking after the staff and stop lying to yourselves with your "Best companies to work for" accolades. It means nothing and can be easily fabricated/manipulated.

    Another advice I wanted to give is for Mr Smeaton as he's been applying a lot of pressure on teams and consultants to make money at all costs and we can't even take your full 1hr lunch break sometimes. All that stress and fear so he can boast about his helicopter and mansion.. Not cool!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Hydrogen Group plc Digital Consultant responded to this review

    Jun 11, 2014

    I am sorry to hear that your experience at Hydrogen has not ended on an optimistic note. We offer exit interviews at the time of leaving to ensure we capture any ways we can improve working life at ... More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Former employee

    Senior (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsI worked for Hydrogen for a number of years and for a while it used to be a great company with strong values and a winning mentality, built on building strong relationships and delivering a great service and truely being able to source candidates that other rec always trying to be different from the competition. They hired great people, the training was fantastic and it was a place you could be proud to work for.

    ConsOvertime Hydrogen has lost its way and it's hard to see what makes the different and what separates them from the competition.
     - Training used to be delivered by experience and successful experts - it's now managed and delivered by failed recruiters that weren't very good at the job they now train others to do.
     - The senior leadership team are mostly from big high street recruitment firms and how the company operate reflects this.
     - The commission and bonus structure is poor relative to other companies
     - The message from above is only ever about marketing out cv's - gone are the days of being consultative and relationship driven, now it's mostly just a transactional processes and quick fee's
     - Work life balance is appalling relative to other companies
     - There's no loyalty, they've just fired 2 of the most long standing Directors - one of which had been with the company for 13/14 years
     - Consultant performance is declining year after year. Average performance is now an accepted norm which is not very inspiring and people aren't earning very much for the long hours they do

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't say you want to be different and then hire/promote high street recruiters into leadership roles who then get everyone to work in exactly the same way as the competition...

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Hydrogen Group plc Digital Consultant responded to this review

    Jun 11, 2014

    Thank you for taking the time to review Hydrogen. I am sorry to hear your experience at Hydrogen has not ended on an a positive note for you. Unfortunately we can not address any individual concerns ... More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    There are better agencies out there... Don't get fooled into joining them.

    Recruitment Consultant (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    Pros- Good location in the City
    - Good training
    - OK work environment

    Cons- Extra long work hours, longer than in other agencies, i.e. 8:15am to 6:30pm. They force you to come in early, even though it is not stated in your contract of employment and you cannot argue with this!

    - Weak commission scheme, way below market average, meaning you will get less money for the same amount of work anywhere else.

    - They say that they offer plenty of benefits, but in reality they only real benefit is a 15% discounted gym membership.

    - Awful CRM system that they invested a lot of money into, but in reality it is completely worthless, badly configured and makes your work much harder, allowing your competition to overtake you in sourcing for candidates.

    - CLEAR DESK policy (!), which means that every single day you have to completely clear your desk and leave it empty and every morning set everything back up again. The office is plain and has no personality.

    - The work environment, even though social is very immature. The average age of consultants at Hydrogen is 20-22 years of age, straight from Uni. This kind of environment might not be for everyone.

    - In regards to the type of people who work here... If you are an avid fan of TOWIE and fake tans, you will most likely fit in well in this office, otherwise stay clear.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhat I wrote in my pros and cons section should point out areas of improvement, right?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Hydrogen Group plc Digital Consultant responded to this review

    May 8, 2014

    Many thanks for taking the time to review your time at Hydrogen.
    We are always interested in the views of both our existing employees and those that have chosen to leave Hydrogen. We like to offer
    ... More

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