Mercer

www.mercer.com

Mercer Reviews

Updated January 27, 2015
Updated January 27, 2015
722 Reviews
3.1
722 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Mercer President & CEO Julio A. Portalatin
Julio A. Portalatin
209 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work/life balance and the best benefits ever, as well as an awesome incentive program (in 64 reviews)

  • I have the ability to work from home when I want which is very nice (in 20 reviews)


Cons
  • Not enough staff creates stressful environment and NO work/life balance (in 50 reviews)

  • Could benefit from a Senior Management overhaul and restructure (in 34 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    It is a great company! I've worked in mercer for 8 years and every year my job gets more and more interesting!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Mercer full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Diverse workforce, flexible work arrangements, global presence and multiple career opportunities

    Cons

    Compensation and benefits are not very competitive, we need better middle-management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Salaries need to be competitive against the market.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good culture, great people, poor leadership

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

    I have been working at Mercer full-time

    Pros

    Work on interesting projects for marquee clients; global mobility; great people; career opportunities

    Cons

    Punitive, out of touch executive leadership focused exclusively on bottom line; chronically understaffed and overworked; lack resources to get work done. No recognition

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize that it is impossible to grow without enough people to do the work. Throw out punitive performance management and focus on retention and attraction of the best people.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Many good people, frequently changing priorities

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

    I worked at Mercer

    Pros

    Mercer is a huge company, with several different business units and offices in many different cities. I can speak only for the Talent business, which was where I worked. Mercer is owned by Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC). I was with a group that previously had been with another MMC consulting company. MMC moved us to Mercer to strengthen Mercer's capabilities in our area of expertise. My time with Mercer (about two years) does not reflect my much longer time with the group I was in.

    Our new colleagues welcomed us with open arms. They were very friendly and helpful and didn't silo information from us. I can't say enough good things about the people I met there. Those who found their niches at Mercer often retired after 20, 25, or even 30 years, which is rare in this day and age.

    With the exception of what I put in the Cons section (which applies only to top management), the culture was among the best I've ever experienced. People treated one another with respect, and they went out of their ways to help one another. Siloing information and having an attitude of "It's not my job" didn't get you far. I was never micromanaged.

    Work/life balance (for non-consultants), health insurance, and other benefits were very good.

    Overall, I recommend Mercer as a place to work, as long as you are aware of and okay with the Cons.

    Cons

    Most of the Mercer business units were doing well financially. Unfortunately, my group was part of one of the few businesses that weren't doing well. This led to frequent reorganizations and reductions in force. New initiatives weren't given a chance to succeed. If a new initiative didn't prove successful within a couple of quarters, someone else would be put in charge of the function, and that someone would come up with a new initiative.

    Mercer Talent stresses to clients the value of finding and retaining good people, and that training new employees is expensive. The group I was with, having come from another MMC company, never quite fit with Mercer's processes and organizational structure, and we were eliminated in 2014. There were other open positions within Mercer for which some of us were qualified, but those positions were put on hold at the time of the downsizing. There was a feeling among many of our colleagues in areas that weren't downsized that management could have and should have found other opportunities for many of those who lost their jobs, especially loyal employees who had been with the group for many years and had valuable skills and knowledge.

    In some (not all) job categories, pay was low, and opportunities for advancement were limited or nonexistent. In general, people in the earlier stages of their careers stayed long enough to get some experience and then moved on to other companies. Those who were further along in their careers and who thought they were fairly paid stayed for many years. I was among the satisfied employees and would have been happy to stay indefinitely, as long as my areas of responsibility continued to grow and change.

    The level of bureaucracy could be annoying for those of us who had come from smaller companies. "Once size fits all" policies, while efficient, often serve only a portion of employees effectively. All of this goes hand in hand with a huge company, though

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be better about practicing what you preach. Frequent reorganizations and reductions in force might help the bottom line and make it seem like you're doing something proactive in the short term, but they're not viable long-term solutions, they hurt morale among those who remain, and they're counter to what you tell clients.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    good experiece, culture lacking

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

    I have been working at Mercer full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    exposure to many clients, work varies by client to keep it interesting, work with subject matter experts in their field, smart people, benefits are competitive, flexible schedule (that's a pro and a con)

    Cons

    long hours, hard to disconnect, work load can be extreme (too heavy and too light), goals can be aggressive (billable hours and sales goals), compensation, culture is not work hard/play hard -- just work hard

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Good Experience but Stressful

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

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

    Pros

    Good benefits and pay
    Highly motivated, intelligent colleagues who are fun to work with
    Great client contact

    Cons

    Been through many rounds of layoffs so work is overwhelming to those remaining
    Company expects long hours and clients expect immediate response (regardless of time of day) so you never really feel like you are away from work
    Most consultants work during their vacation

  7.  

    Unrealistic expectations, no work/life balance, no training or coaching

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

    I have been working at Mercer full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Generous vacation and sick days package.
    Name brand on your resume.

    Cons

    You are thrown to swim or sink. Everybody is so busy that nobody will take the time to train you. You have to figure out what you are doing on your own and quickly.
    Hard work is taken for granted, but one mistake is a huge deal and you will be scolded over and over again regarding it.
    No work/life balance. You are expected to work 12-14 hours and to work on weekends.
    My supervisor is very good at what she does, but she is not a good leader or mentor. And I have noticed that same issue in other departments.
    Unrealistic expectations. Last minute work thrown at you with the request to be completed immediately regardless of what time in the day or night the work is given to you. I've worked through the night multiple times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve work/life balance. Mandatory training for leaders and supervisors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Low pay, work long hours

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

    I have been working at Mercer

    Pros

    You can work from home.

    Cons

    Work to much. Not appreciated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great employees, wonderful clients

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Mercer

    Pros

    Bright, committed, hard-working employees who bring forth great energy and ideas for their clients. Requires long hours, but the work can be energizing.

    Cons

    The hours, the incessant push for margin improvement, changes in leadership and culture that is less than inspiring, and struggles on the innovation front.

  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not what was expected

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

    I have been working at Mercer

    Pros

    Ability to work from home
    Benefits and pay
    Comfortable work space
    Ability to transfer to a different department

    Cons

    Lack of training and development
    Lack of clear expectations
    Experience depends on your supervisor
    Competitive and clique environment

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Toxic environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Consultant in New York, NY

    I worked at Mercer full-time

    Pros

    The only pro I can think of: I learned quite a bit while I was at Mercer, largely because they throw you in the deep end and never really let up -- ever.

    Cons

    The culture of my practice area was completely toxic. The senior leaders of the group pushed consultants constantly, showed virtually no support or appreciation, and criticized consultants' work relentlessly. It can drive a certain type to achieve and surpass -- but then comes burnout. Comp isn't great either, considerably lower than at a direct competitor firm, so there's no real reward. The group I worked in has seen huge, cyclical turnover for years, which should tell you something. I'm baffled...doesn't anyone crunch the bottom-line numbers of recruitment & hiring costs against revenue? (Not to mention the hidden costs of losing experience and IC, and forever having to train/ramp-up new hires.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I could suggest boosting comp or looking critically at senior leaders who have been constants in historically troubled practice areas, but I think the problem at Mercer is much larger, one that'll need a wholesale overhaul of culture, goals and business philosophy.

    Doesn't Recommend

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