North Highland

  www.northhighland.com
  www.northhighland.com

North Highland Reviews

Updated December 12, 2014
Updated December 12, 2014
183 Reviews
3.0
183 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
North Highland President and CEO Dan Reardon
Dan Reardon
140 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance is really good and no pressure to work long hours if not needed (in 43 reviews)

  • Great people with great skills striving to provide value to their clients (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • The work/life balance has tilted into mass amounts of work for almost no gain (in 9 reviews)

  • Low base salary, complex bonus structure, mediocre benefits (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Lots of flexibility; high level of responsibility

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

    I have been working at North Highland full-time

    Pros

    Work/life balance, culture, people, faster acceleration

    Cons

    internal operation systems, training improving,

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Heavy sales focus and very different culture from location to location

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Principal in Houston, TX

    I worked at North Highland full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Employee ownership mindset
    Strong offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, and across the east coast.
    Strong London office and a growing cutting edge marketing division (Sparks Grove)

    Cons

    Offices west of Atlanta are struggling with leadership, strategy, and growth.

    Slow growth for smaller offices in the West, Mid-West, and Southwest. The center of gravity is truly Atlanta and Charlotte where the culture and leadership is strong. Smaller offices struggle to capture the culture and values of the mother-ship.

    Very sales heavy in the smaller offices in order to try to gain critical mass. Less emphasis on strategy, people development, or delivery quality. Extremely reactionary in terms of chasing clients that happen to come our way instead of developing a methodical account penetration strategy.

    Lots of turnover of top talent and negative growth trajectory due to lack of strategy and vision of local market leaders.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide better support framework for local market leaders to develop a strategy and a vision for their local market. "Sell baby sell" is not a strategy.

    There is nothing in place to win the hearts and minds to retain top talent. You can stop losing talented Principals if you define a vision and have Regional Presidents spend more time with market leaders and offices at large to define the overall strategy and vision of the local market and have an open and honest discussion about some of the challenges ahead. Once everyone buys into the vision, we will have more collective success.

    The variable compensation model has been hurting retention and recruiting and the company is finally blowing up the current model to move away from the current highly variable model to a more traditional fixed model. However, they are not giving everyone much deserved raises to base pay (and do not pay for cost of living increases).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    Running scared and confused

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

    I have been working at North Highland full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Local model means no involuntary travel. The vacation time is pretty standard. They have several divisions (BI, staffing, creative) and so can sell blended services.

    Cons

    The compensation model is hard to understand. You will make less money than at competing firms, even if you max out your compensation. And a lo of it is not under your control.

    The company is under threat from both local competitors and the truly large consulting firms and is panicking.

    Experienced people who have contributed to the company and bought into its values are being laid off.

    The leadership at the local and national level does not have the experience or skills to grow the company or to respond to competitive and marketplace threats. As a result they are gutting the culture of the company in search of a solution, running (not walking) away from the things that made NH special. Those who are in the know are panicking and those who are not in the know can feel it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't be so focused on growth and where the next dollar will come from. Focus instead on building and retaining a culture that values experienced contributors and their professional potential over the next sale or hot trend.

    Consider recruiting a CEO who knows how to grow a services firm from a billion up. The CEO only knows NH and has surrounded himself with people who think like him and make him comfortable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Company I left not the one I joined

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

    I worked at North Highland full-time

    Pros

    People there are really nice, but the brilliant consultants are hard to come by. Some "long-timers" still looking out for the best interests of junior consultants and are concerned with development.

    Cons

    Comp lower than industry average. Leadership can't distinguish between "A" consultants and "C" consultants. Division strategy isn't clear and leads more to fighting between divisions than collaboration / cooperation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Constant course corrections are causing confusion with the junior levels - targets keep moving and makes it hard to focus on the appropriate priorities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Need to build infrastructure to support all of the ongoing changes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Withheld for Personal Reasons in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Withheld for Personal Reasons in Atlanta, GA

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

    Pros

    Culture was strong, although is waning

    Cons

    Constantly looking for different identities, i.e., branding

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pick something and stick with it.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 9 people found this helpful  

    Not the firm that I joined

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

    I worked at North Highland full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great formula in defining the talent that we should attract. ESOP is great for those that has survived the Plan B hurdles. Training is not up to par.

    Cons

    Infighting at the executive level, positioning to be the next CEO has created a cancerous culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Address the issues between Mike and Dave and fix the compensation model.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 14 people found this helpful  

    Where is this company going?

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

    I have been working at North Highland

    Pros

    The people are fantastic and get work done. The majority of folks are engaging and want to do what is best for the company.

    Cons

    This is where it breaks down:
    -Work/life balance no longer exists; to be successful requires more and more of your disposable time, at times not taking time off
    -Compensation - Has never changed; variations of a theme. Working more for the same amount. past cfo indicated it was intentional tension built into the model. May have worked before, not any more.
    Leadership - Just lack of...at the local and corporate level. Many people are just confused.

    The company has become a transactional player and leadership is treating it as such. Emphasis is only on utilization and billing. What made it a value prop before was the adherence of values. It feels like it no longer exists

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    At this stage of growth, it may be worthwhile to bring in leadership with experience in taking companies like ours over the hump and build a true consultancy. We should take our own advice.
    People feel lost, people are concerned; pay attention.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 8 people found this helpful  

    Unsure of the future

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

    I have been working at North Highland full-time

    Pros

    Exceptional team members. Efforts are being made to improve help desk support, staffing and reporting. Going in the right direction with new Business Management Division.

    Cons

    Great people are leaving at a rapid pace. Not sure of the company focus. Have lost sight of what makes North Highland special, which is the people. Benefits have increased in cost and decreased in coverage. Salary does not keep up with rising cost of the benefits each year and increased cost of living. Consulting work is becoming Staff Aug work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Truly listen to the people around you and make them feel like they are able to discuss things openly without fear of job loss. Conduct true exit interviews with employees that are leaving, find out why and don't dismiss their reply as being angry or just one person's opinion.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 11 people found this helpful  

    Unsure of the future

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

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

    Pros

    There had been a fair amount of flexibility regarding travel and being able to work from home - looks like that is changing.

    Cons

    Not sure what the current vision is, other than drive more revenue. Each year seems to be a new theme, but they aren't connected very well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring back the twice-a-year company meeting. share more of the financials from the large accounts like they used to do. Reexamine the compensation model - we were told a year ago that this was a priority. The messaging these days seems more muddled and top-down driven, versus promoting good ideas that emerge from the Local Offices.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Good culture, challenging times

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

    I worked at North Highland full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    So... trying to be as fair as possible...
    - Wonderful corporate culture and people. People here are great , lots of fun loving colleagues and overall a very laid back atmosphere. Not much corporate BS, more like a start up.
    - As many others said here, work life balance is very much valued.
    - Compensation is good. A lot of complains around compensation, but come on people, a junior level consultant can still easily make 6 figures, need to put things in perspective... especially with the # of hrs worked, not all that bad...
    - Down to the earth leadership. This is consistent from office to office, never felt hesitate to reach out to leadership.
    - Not only brand name clients, but many clients were also great to work for.

    Cons

    - Too much staff aug work, no consultants want to do staff aug work. If you get on one of those long term execution projects, it can feel like a dead end job...
    - The future is a bit unclear... still trying to figure out how to compete against larger firms
    - ESOP put too much attention on stock value (it only benefits those who's been here for a long time)
    - Lack of clear career path, and the review process could use some improvements
    - Lack of coordinated business development efforts, this could be a side effect of the local market model

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please show some true leadership. Make the hard decisions necessary. Stop selling this whole ESOP thing. Do the right thing for the firm, maybe ESOP need to drop before it can raise again.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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