Kimley-Horn and Associates

www.kimley-horn.com
Employer Engaged

Kimley-Horn and Associates Reviews

Updated February 8, 2015
Updated February 8, 2015
176 Reviews
4.7
176 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Kimley-Horn and Associates President John C. Atz
John C. Atz
134 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • They have a great profit sharing and benefits program that rewards employees for their contributions (in 21 reviews)

  • You are surrounded by motivated and talented people, and the one-profit center culture really minimizes internal competitive inclination (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • There was no work/life balance and it was not uncommon to work 60-80 hours some weeks (in 24 reviews)

  • The engineering field in general is a stressful profession and expectations are high (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 8 people found this helpful  

    Workaholic Atmosphere

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

    I worked at Kimley-Horn and Associates full-time

    Pros

    1. There are many very nice, engaging, and intelligent people who work there.
    2. The work can be challenging and allow you to learn new things.
    3. There are interesting projects to work on.

    Cons

    1. Please look at the "Rating Trends" for this company. There was a huge spike in their rating, this was obviously due to management having employees write bogus good reviews to boost their percentage.
    2. Time off whether it is a holiday or vacation just means that you will have to work extra hours when you get back to make up for the work you missed. Another option is to take work with you on "vacation". Everyone talks about how when they take vacations they always take work with them.
    3. During a normal work week expect to work between 50-60 hours. While their normal work week minimum is 45 hours it is very rare that anyone works that little. Oh, and these hours of course do not include lunches, or 15 minute breaks because almost everyone works through lunch and never take breaks. If you wanted to take a lunch break there is no designated break area where you can go so the layout of the office facilitates this workaholic attitude.
    4. UT (basically your billable hours) is extremely important. So much so that people will not be willing to help you unless what they are working on is billable.
    5. This is not a place for people who want to have a family or a life outside of the office.
    6. There is no training for new staff. Everyone is too busy working to take time to train you on anything.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I have heard management talk about wanting younger staff to not copy their workaholic lifestyle. However, this is what you model and it has been clearly shown that the only way to get ahead is to put in the same crazy hours. Senior staff with children often have a stay at home parent, rarely get to see their children, or are forced to work on a "reduced schedule" (which still means working 40+ hours a week to keep up with demand). Please stop modeling this cycle or you will have a lot of good staff burnout or dread going to work everyday.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    The Firm that Loves Workaholics and Very High Profit Margins.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Kimley-Horn and Associates full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Join if you have the following qualities:
    1. Extremely low learning curves (training will apply to your "extra efforts" time sheet NOT your Utilization time sheet which is basically what you will live by in this company) (Utilization = How many hours of your time sheet can be billed, you should expect to be at a 98% pretty much all the time)
    2. Entrepreneur spirit and consistent income from ongoing projects (the moment income stops rolling in, the downward spiral will begin)
    3. Are a serious workaholic meaning having a tough time achieving a work/life balance.

    All I can say is that analysts are usually very nice people and pay/benefits are great. Can't say the same from upper management.

    Cons

    1. Time off means having to make up those hours at some point to achieve the required UT goal.
    2. Clock out time is not at 5:30 pm, most of the time is way beyond that.
    3. Make sure that if you are entry level, ask for an extensive training program.
    4. You are not just an engineer, you are expected to be highly billable, very sociable to be put in front of the client, extremely efficient in your tasks, work comes before anything mentality. If you do not possess all these skills, be prepared to have a hard time.
    5. Bottom line is that your sole purpose in that company is to become a Practice Builder (Basically a Project Manager of your practice within the company).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A place where people can flourish....................................hmmmmm doubtful.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    PR program to make company look better

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

    I worked at Kimley-Horn and Associates full-time

    Pros

    Kimley Horn has recently gone through a company name change and is trying to change its image. Kimley Horn is good at making themselves look good, even in the face of the many negative to very negative comments here at glassdoor and on other web sites. Notice in particular the recent flood of glowing comments that have mysteriously all be sent to glassdoor in just the last few days. KH knows that many unsuspecting potential employees rely on glassdoor as a source for real information about a company. My friends still at KH have suggested that there is a quite internal program for employees, especially senior employees, to send in good comments to glassdoor to take advantage of glassdoor's excellent reputation for information. Read and decide for yourself.

    Cons

    Dishonesty and charging clients for work that was never done. Efforts and pressure to enlist professional employees to engage in similar practices as a condition of continued employment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They know.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Kimley-Horn and Associates Response

    Jun 26, 2014Team Member

    Kimley-Horn has not changed its name in nearly 50 years in business. We recently updated our logo to more accurately reflect the way our clients see us. This was the result of a 2013 study, where ... More

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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not productive

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

    I worked at Kimley-Horn and Associates full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Good money co-workers are very friendly.

    Cons

    Less than satisfying with little appreciation for doing your personal best on each job. Management not available.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Live to work... Or you're out!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Civil Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Civil Engineer in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Kimley-Horn and Associates full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Profit sharing and bonuses, and that's it.

    Cons

    Base pay is substandard with the promise that if you work hard you "may" receive a bonus to make up for it at the end of the year. Employees grind through a MINIMUM of 46 hours per week (many times 50+ hrs) with the thought of the gold at the end of the rainbow. As I've experienced over my 10 years with the company, after the higher-ups take their share there many times is little left for those who actually do the work.

    Like I said, it is a KHA WRITTEN POLICY that you must work a MINIMUM of 46 hrs per week! Believe it!

    I fit into the KHA mold and excelled, until I got married and had a child. Once I cut my hours back from 55-60 to 46 the system no longer worked for me. This is a VERY common problem here for employees with young families.

    Health insurance is terrible. It was one of the first things that went down hill in the recession. I don't go to the doctor anymore because it's too expensive. Another example of management not willing to put their profits where they're needed the most.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Profitability can be a very good thing, but not at the expense of a vast majority of your employees' happiness. You will be losing a large number of your best employees this year and next due to the fact that upper management is not willing to make a compromise.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    E.I.T.

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

    I have been working at Kimley-Horn and Associates (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    You can market as much as you want.

    Cons

    Silo organization. Regional Teams are an absolute joke. 90% of them add no real value.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire the regional team

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not the place for everyone

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Professional
    Former Employee - Senior Professional

    I worked at Kimley-Horn and Associates

    Pros

    KHA is a good place to work for just the right type of person and KHA touts itself as a place to make lots of money and this is true.

    Cons

    The organization is enormously top heavy with only about 7 workers for each 1 management/overhead position. The top dogs make up various titles for themselves and travel around to the various offices generating no revenue- while stopping the work of those that do- for one pep talk or another or subtly threatening employees who aren't singing the company tune quite loud enough. I decided that it would be better to leave than cheat clients and do business the way one has to to succed there. It's sad for the younger staff but until they figure it out or get summarily layed off so a non-producing partner can keep his job, they plod along- most not knowing how it really is because they came to KHA right out of college. Padding bills and overcharging clients is, in fact, a fundamental business strategy at KHA: that's how they make such outrageous profits which thay pass out to the shareholders who own the company. The good old boys- and I do mean boys since women (and minorities) are almost completely absent from any sort of leadership role- take care of themselves first, they what ever is left triclkes down to the surfs. The cult environment is beat into the staff's heads like a Chinese water torture. Those who aren't ready, willing, and able to sacrifice family, hobbies, and their world outside of KHA and to work 50 to 60 hours a week will not last very long- either they get dumped, burned out, or give up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is nothig to say- they already know what the situation is but it works for them so nothing will change. Eventually they will get sued, the structure will collapse, or they will be bought out.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    UT & Politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst
    Former Employee - Analyst

    I worked at Kimley-Horn and Associates

    Pros

    You will gain a lot of experience in CAD while an E.I.T.

    Cons

    From 2008-2011 they kept senior PM's who did not bring in work, and worked E.I.T.'s into the ground. The E.I.T.'s did not learn how to be a successful engineer, just really good CAD techs. If you are not part of the popular crowd watch out. They claim a desire for good work/life balance but anyone who has worked there can tell you that is a joke. They have a self image of near perfection in engineering and not one other firm can touch their knowledge and success. News flash, you are pretentious and smug with dwindling skills in your junior/mid level ranks. I actually heard a PM explaining the rational method to a new grad. Enjoy future mediocrity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep chugging along in blind vanity sitting high in a white tower. I can't wait to see the fall.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you have any respect for yourself don't work here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer
    Current Employee - Engineer

    I have been working at Kimley-Horn and Associates

    Pros

    Hardworking people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for a goal.

    Cons

    Hardworking people who are treated like sweatshop workers. This company is nothing like they say they are. All about the numbers and don not care about their employees. Numbers prove it all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Become more involved with what is going one in your sweat shop.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    This place is a cult.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - CAD Drafter in Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - CAD Drafter in Charlotte, NC

    I worked at Kimley-Horn and Associates

    Pros

    When I started, KHA still had a good reputation in the industry for the quality of work. Sadly that was on its way out as I left. There was still a good mix or project types and great national clients. The benefits package (excluding pay) were average for the industry.

    Cons

    Hard work and conscience will get you used and abused, brown-nosing will get you promoted. I was in high demand from project managers for my knowledge, ability and work ethic and received great bonuses from them (spot and annual bonuses). When review time came around though, the folks who drank, partied and played poker with the higher ups got the promotions and perks while those of us who worked hard but didn't socialize at work were railroaded. The pay itself was low by industry standards. If not for my performance based bonuses, my pay would have been totally unacceptable. KHA learned to hire kids straight out of school b/c those of us with experience didn't buy the lies we were fed. We were routinely told how good we had it there b/c most other firms did not provide benefits or that the lower pay rates were b/c KHA didn't layoff like other firms do in hard times (bet they quit telling that one in the last few years). The office I was in grew so rapidly that we were hiring employees for whom we didn't have work. The existing employees were asked to "shift" to other offices so new employees could stay busy. Newhires fresh from school were often assigned projects with little or no supervision or direction. This was one of the main reasons the company's reputation dropped so quickly. The local management's role was often mostly damage control b/c they failed to provide good leadership. As stated in other reviews, UT is king at KHA. Although production level employees cannot go out and gain work, we were the ones to pay the price by being held to a UT goal despite there not being enough work available to meet the goal. One manager there told me when I expressed concerns about the staff growing and the workload not growing that it was not my job to worry about such things as people far smarter than I were running things and knew what they were doing. He must not have been one of them as he was relieved of duty and shown the door. A good 2/3 of the staff has since been let go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I hear that many of the bad management level staff are still there. They are totally disconnected from their production staff and even the product that goes out the door. They ran the company's reputation both with clients and in the engineering field into the ground. They may well be past the point of no return. Advice to those seeking employment here would be RUN the other way. The office politics, poor compensation and heavy workloads (no doubt even worse with all the layoffs) make a job with KHA undesirable even in this tough job market.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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