McMaster-Carr Reviews

Updated October 24, 2014
Updated October 24, 2014
272 Reviews
2.6
272 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Jay Delaney
145 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good pay and benefits (basically the Golden Handcuffs) (in 43 reviews)

  • Compensation is amazing--very conducive to work-life balance (in 30 reviews)


Cons
  • Management trainees hardly do more work, and the higher salary is not justifiable (in 22 reviews)

  • Absolutely no room for advancement (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great Benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Elmhurst, IL
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Elmhurst, IL

    I have been working at McMaster-Carr full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Insurance, Compensation, Cash Profit Sharing, Deferred Profit Sharing, Education

    Cons

    Strong patriarchal corporate culture. Remote location.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Former employee

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at McMaster-Carr full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good working environment, pay, benefits, perks

    Cons

    Managers are straight out of college with no life experience, but all of the answers. They are puppets on a string and the strings are pulled by unethical, greedy, dishonest puppet masters. If you want quick money and do not care if you are used and abused, go for it. Do not expect to stay long or to climb the ladder. They do not care what you think.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    learn to listen to the employees that are making things happen, promote from within, find some morals, character and ethics.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Paid Slavery!

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

    I have been working at McMaster-Carr full-time

    Pros

    AWESOME pay and benefits, especially for the simple work.

    Cons

    You will EARN every penny. The jobs are very physical and tedious (boring!) and management treats you like a machine, not a person.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's not all about the money. You will retain your employees if you show respect and offer more diversified roles.

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  5. 10 people found this helpful  

    The money and benefits are terrific. But they're golden handcuffs.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Agent in Aurora, OH
    Former Employee - Agent in Aurora, OH

    I worked at McMaster-Carr full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The money and benefits. You will never come across such benefits and money anywhere else. And if this review comes across cold, I'm still very, very grateful that this company was so generous and was willing to hire me. The work isn't exciting, and an employer can easily tell you to stomach the job or get out. McMaster-Carr, however, tries to make work as painless as possible. For the most part. And, yes, the holiday parties and outings are out of this world. Get a designated driver ready, or stay at a hotel.

    Cons

    McMaster-Carr prides itself in hiring smart people. Come to think of it, the company aggressively searches services like Monster to find candidates who know nothing about industrial supplies, but are smart. There's a good reason for such a strategy. While there is some problem solving involved, be it with a customer over a phone, or trying to solve an issue with a purchase order, smart people are probably hired to deal with an outdated system. McMaster-Carr uses a system from the 1970s that is plagued with command prompts. While the system is somewhat reliable, it takes a lot of training to know every command and every screen. Worse, the system occasionally--at times frequently--crashes, which causes headaches and panic for everyone in the office. Such a system is frustrating, especially if you're on the phone with an angry customer, and it takes you five steps to get you to the needed screen to check an order, invoice, etc.

    Also, while the company strives to improve constantly, no one has improved in areas where it matters the most. In all fairness, the website and catalog are, overall, great, but the catalog needs to be read at an advanced level. With so many supplies, McMaster-Carr has to group certain items under one part number, and the customer has to specify a "missing specification," be it a pressure range, bore size, etc. Customers fail to specify, so instead of figuring out ways to improve the catalog or website, to make the process easier for the customers, the company decided to create an entire department of people hassling customers for more information. When you reach a customer for the 1,575th time asking for the pressure range of a pressure gauge, the work feels meaningless. But because there are people willing to contact customers for such trivial information, no improvements have been made on the website or catalog.

    Next, management, management, and management. Contrary to what others may say, I came across some very hardworking supervisors--many of whom I found terrific, and I even grew to appreciate the ones rough around the edges. At the same time, you will not have the same supervisor for more than three months. At one point, I received an email from a new supervisor a year or so older than me, telling me everything I did wrong with a note. My first thought was, "And who are you?"

    If you're hired as a generalist, and not a supervisor, you will probably never get promoted, and instead, you'll have at least 100 supervisors, if you work there for 30 years.

     To the company's credit, the culture in the office is partially based around respect and understanding. You will never get yelled at, and if a crisis arises, management is terrific at accommodating your schedule and needs. But the company thrives off of negative feedback, or "errors." Employees need such feedback to improve, but sometimes you wonder if the only thing you receive is negative feedback. At times, I sincerely did not know how I was doing, because the feedback I received was largely negative.

    Look, as in-depth as these cons may be, I still have a lot of respect for McMaster-Carr, and I don't want to come across ungrateful. But after leaving that company, I mostly just miss the money and benefits, which is somewhat telling. If you need money, or a steady job, I wouldn't discourage you from taking a job with this company. Again, there is some great stuff going on, and there are very good people who work there. But others nailed it on the head: The company offers benefits, which are really golden handcuffs.

    Also, be warned that if you work there, work hard, and then decide to quit, the company does not give out personal references. Only neutral references (they'll just tell a potential employer when you started, and when you left).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would have gladly traded all of my benefits, and college tuition reimbursement, to have felt more valued or part of a team. I felt like my own island, in front of my own computer. Considering changing the culture, so there is more collaboration among peers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    .............

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

    I have been working at McMaster-Carr full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    it is good so far

    Cons

    it is good so far

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    ........................

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good Money, but makes you feel like a non-factor in the business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Operations Specialist in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Business Operations Specialist in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at McMaster-Carr full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great pay and benefits fir your entire family. Profit sharing, medical benefits, tuition payment, first time home owner help, etc.

    Cons

    Always looking over your shoulder because they are constantly firing people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    survive working at mcmaster-carr

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

    I worked at McMaster-Carr full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    pay is good and benefits. if you are very very lucky you will get a good supervisor who will be your boss for more then 3 months. Also if you are lucky you will get one that keeps you informed if you are doing a good job or if you need to change something to do better.

    Cons

    a lot of unhappy miserable people to work with and they are just waiting to start trouble . You have to watch your back at all times. It is best to not be social at all . Just work your 8 and leave. I experienced a lot of bad treatment from some of the other employees . I was cussed at had to listen to nasty talk from a trainer in packing . I ignored it and never reported this. I was afraid the company would not want to here me complain. Some supervisors will treat people like kids and talk down to them even when they are younger then you or same age. This was do to poor training they had never been a boss of any kind before we are like guinea pigs . Employee cannot complain never a good idea if you want to keep your job . The sad thing is when the older woman are pushed out for the new young one by not getting raises anymore or just getting 10 cents a year. they just wanted to retire with insurance. They had no college degree so they were pushed out very sad i watched them cry at work as this was happening. The first I ever saw of age descrimination..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    treat people like they are your family not step children you dislike.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    It's a job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Generalist - PCC in Robbinsville, NJ
    Current Employee - Generalist - PCC in Robbinsville, NJ

    I have been working at McMaster-Carr full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Benefits...and you'll meet awesome people.

    Cons

    Um...I could say alot about this. I guess the worst part is that you feel stuck when your a "generalist". Very few get to become a supervisor. The only other advancement is to move to another department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None..not sure that they would take it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great benefits, easy work...unless you like to complain and wish you were somewhere else

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

    I worked at McMaster-Carr full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The benefits are awesome, the pay is sometimes double what you would find at a similar facility. Expectations are clearly defined, and bonuses are crazy high!

    Cons

    There is little to no advancement opportunity, and of course, work on the line is boring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire managers with real world experience and promote from within.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Unobtainable company expectations.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Inventory Accuracy Specialist in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Inventory Accuracy Specialist in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at McMaster-Carr full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    For what we do, the pay and benefits are amazing. They rival military grade benefits. I often found myself saying, "I'm doing what for what?"

    Cons

    Revolving management and supervisors. In the short time I have been here, (1.5yrs) I have had 4 different supervisors and 3 different managers. This is just one of the major problems, however the most pressing is the expectation of the company on the individual employee. For my position, I had to maintain a less than .01% error rate. Errors are defined as any time a Bin Receiver sends to stock incorrect materials, send customer incorrect materials, sends incorrect quantities to stock or customer, or incorrectly identifies attributes of material. There are many other ways for one to receive an error, these are just the most common. Once an employee starts to receive a few errors, management looks at this as a "trend" in one's behavioral pattern. Once a trend has been established, it is reason enough to terminate the employment of the individual.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove the "better than thou" mentality. Very very few supervisors/managers could do this. My last direct supervisor was able to do this and obviously tried to relate and have a professional relationship with all of his employees he oversaw.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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