Hydrogen Group plc

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Hydrogen Group plc Reviews in London, England

Updated August 8, 2014
Updated August 8, 2014
33 Reviews

2.5
33 Reviews
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Hydrogen Group plc CEO Tim Smeaton
Tim Smeaton
22 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Really worried about the future

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Recruitment Consultant  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)

    Pros

    If you're a recent grad keen on a party hard culture, H2 is great, 90% of the consultants are fresh out of university - the play-hard culture can be lots of fun.
    They tell a great story and can be very inspirational at times

    Cons

    I've been here for just over 2 years, but I am starting to get worried about what's going to happen in the next 2 years.
    We recently had a 'half year launch' and the presentations given by the senior leadership team were, in a word, awful. The slides were full of typo's and spelling mistakes, some of the directors didn't seem to know their material, some didn't seem to understand the figures, one lacked any conviction/belief in what they were saying. In places it was embarrassing to watch, but the reality is it's just another example of what I've seen happening to the business since I joined.
    We've just released another negative trading statement to the city, admitting that we aren't performing to expectation and it's just occurred to me that we haven't given the city any positive news since I joined - and the recruitment market is supposed to be booming right now!?!?
    A lot has changed since I started, which didn't use to bother me, however, we are changing too often and and too quickly and it's starting to feel like it's all reactive and short term and done to save money and protect our profits rather than because it's the right to do for the long term future of the business and it's for this reason I worry about what the future holds.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with your people, the spin you put into all the 'inspirational' talks, presentations and sales meetings is starting to wear thin - they might work on all the new hires who don't know any better, but for those of us who've been here a while, I'd like to hear the truth for a change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Hydrogen Group plc Response

    Jul 30, 2014Digital Consultant

    Many thanks for your response and for bringing to our attention your concerns. As a current employee of Hydrogen, we would urge you as a first step, to find an AD or senior manager whom you have a ... More

  2. 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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant/Senior Consultant  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Consultant/Senior Consultant in London, England (UK)

    Pros

    Good 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    If 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Hydrogen Group plc Response

    Jul 30, 2014Digital Consultant

    Many thanks for your response and for bringing to our attention these issues. As a current employee of Hydrogen, we would urge you as a first step, to raise these with your Line Manager. However, if ... More

  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Churn & burn seems to be management's motto

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    I 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 ManagementAdvice

    Start 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!).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Hydrogen Group plc Response

    Jul 30, 2014Digital Consultant

    Thank you for your review of Hydrogen.
    We are sorry to hear that your experience here has finished on a negative note. As a matter of course, anybody that leaves the business is offered an exit
    ... More

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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Please never work here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Endless, 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 ManagementAdvice

    You are all terrible at your jobs - you should resign
    Especially the very top - totally incompetent

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Hydrogen Group plc Response

    Jul 30, 2014Digital Consultant

    Thank you for your review of Hydrogen.
    We are sorry to hear that your experience here has finished on a negative note and your career, unlike others has been unable to flourish here. As a matter of
    ... More

  6. 2 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Consultant in 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 ManagementAdvice

    The place is a zoo.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Hydrogen Group plc Response

    May 8, 2014Digital Consultant

    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

  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Going... Going... Gone.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Consultant in London, England (UK)

    Pros

    Started off ok last year but novelty wore off very quickly.

    Great people to work with. If I didn't have this I'd have left 6 months ago. Very relaxed compared with other businesses.

    Thanks honestly about it.

    Cons

    Where do I start.

    Upper Management are seemingly all idiots.
    Culture has turned to crap.
    Salaries are diabolical (I earn less than minimum wage you would do better as a cleaner.)
    Comission is shocking, completely geared against new starters. You have to "pay" for the cost of your seat, so no commission on anything under £10,000. Likely % are about 5-10 after that which is low compared with others.
    CEO doesn't seem to really know what's happening on the ground.
    Vision is just a load of smoke
    Stuffing "values" down our throats.
    Little to no contact between disciplines.
    Other people always screwing up other people's clients, lost key business as a result.
    The list goes on....

    I would not advice starting here. You'd do much better trying to jump in at the deep end elsewhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Actually listen to what is happening. Sort out the crap commission structure & pay people a wage that is in line the market average.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Disappointing and unsupported

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    Pros

    Brand
    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

    Cons

    Commission 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 ManagementAdvice

    Try and understand what the employees need and support that. Power points with baseless targets help no one.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Hydrogen Group plc Response

    Jul 30, 2014Digital Consultant

    Many thanks for your response and for bringing to our attention your concerns. As a current employee of Hydrogen, we would urge you as a first step, to raise these with your Line Manager. However, if ... More

  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Steadily going downhill

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)

    Pros

    Colleagues, Good brand, Location, Training

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead 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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Hydrogen Group plc Response

    Jul 30, 2014Digital Consultant

    Thank you for your review of Hydrogen. As a matter of course, anybody that leaves the business is offered an exit interview so that we can continually learn and improve. If there was anything you ... More

  10. 4 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in 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 ManagementAdvice

    It 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!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Hydrogen Group plc Response

    Jun 11, 2014Digital Consultant

    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

  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Former employee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior in London, England (UK)

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    Overtime 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 ManagementAdvice

    Don'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...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Hydrogen Group plc Response

    Jun 11, 2014Digital Consultant

    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

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