North Highland

www.northhighland.com
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Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Local office model consulting firm

    Former Employee - Principal in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Principal in Dallas, TX

    I worked at North Highland full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Strong talent to work with. Compensation model rewards high utilization directly. Searches for opportunities to keep consultants on local engagements.

    Cons

    North highland is facing stiff competition in many of its markets by smaller firms emulating its business model with lower overhead and the ability to undercut North Highland on price.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look for more acquisition opportunities

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 10 people found this helpful  

    Great in some cities...not so great in others.

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

    I have been working at North Highland full-time

    Pros

    - Local model of client delivery equates to minimal-to-no travel (great for people with families)
    - Depending on the office, there are opportunities to work on some really interesting engagements (though most are project management and delivery-focused)
    - Generally, you are surrounded by nice, hard-working people

    Cons

    - Base salaries are below market with no annual raises. The variable component of salaries (i.e., bonuses) do level the field but are available only to those who can maintain a certain level of utilization...which isn't a bad practice per se. However, if you are stuck on the bench for an extended period of time you will not receive a quarterly bonus...which for a lot of people is very significant, particularly for people who live in more expensive locations.
    - Performance Management process can be immature depending on the office and location. Annual reviews are generally dictated by the viewpoints of a few individuals (i.e., account managers), with very little emphasis on generating a true 360 degree review through unbiased input from multiple sources. The process for getting promoted is neither consistent, logical, or transparent. It is not based on a meritocracy.
    - Availability of new /different client can also be hit or miss depending on the office. There is a tendency for leadership to fit an existing resource into a sold position even if that person's interests may not align with the work. Once again, it's the nature of our business but from my experience this practice can be especially bad here at North Highland. If you do want to travel and work in other locations, you may get push back from your VP as that revenue would not be recognized to your local office.
    - In a misguided attempt to chase what our competitors are doing, we've let our traditional, well-proven recruiting process degenerate into a poor system that let's in individuals that do not embody the North Highland culture. The results of that situations are very much tangible - some of our best and brightest have left the firm in the past few years because at the end of the day no one wants to work with an a-hole.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We really need to get back to basics and evaluate what kind of firm we've become over the years in the quest to build market share. Are we hiring individuals (especially at the leadership level) who truly represent our culture? Our competitors are copying our local model and running their businesses better than ours..mostly from doing the one thing we've strayed away from - listening to our employees and working out the tough problems with them.

    Don't turn a deaf ear to those who are unhappy...as a consulting firm your only assets are your people. Unless we can retain the most talented by keeping them happy it is unlikely we will lead our industry, let alone hit our market share goals.

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

    Experience will vary by market! New office is poor experience.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at North Highland

    Pros

    Overall the people are good. On paper comp is low, but bonuses are strong with some being quarterly.

    Cons

    Just a staff aug firm chasing leads. Branch has nothing to offer clients other than a body. No real practice IP.

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  5. 10 people found this helpful  

    Top Executives Leaving - Not Satisfied with Leadership and new direction.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at North Highland

    Pros

    Locally focus although travel is now required in certain markets.

    Cons

    Offers low compensation and promote variable bonus that more than likely you will NOT receive. Strategy is to not pay bonuses by giving poor or bad performance reviews to justify non payment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consulting is about people. Treat your people fairly and we all win.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 12 people found this helpful  

    This is a firm is serious distress

    • 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 North Highland full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very decent, ethical, family-minded and team-oriented people still represent a large population of NH employees. North Highland is a great place if you're not going to become an executive at a major firm and you're sick of constant travel. But beware that you'll trade intellectual development, interesting work and good compensation for the privilege.

    Cons

    Truly poor leadership at the top. CEO is a very bright individual but has a fatal blind spot - he takes no one's council but his own and surrounds himself with lesser individuals that do not (nor could not) challenge his thinking. The company is adrift as a result and is facing major headwinds in the market. Coupled with horrendous compensation (ignore the ESOP, totally worthless) the challenges they currently face are daunting. Consultants who tend to be thinkers, not just doers, need not apply. There is absolutely zero commitment to developing unique perspectives, IP or even basic delivery methods. Focus is clearly on individuals playing roles at clients with the skills they came to NH with. Staff augmentation is really what North Highland does, and does well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Either focus on down-market staff augmentation work completely or build some real unique IP to move upstream. Replace the entire top leadership, preferably with execs that have experience outside of Atlanta or Charlotte. Lastly, figure out how to compensate high performers properly, or accept being relegated to "get 'er done" staff augmentation forever.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    A company in transition, in all the wrong ways

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

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

    Pros

    There isn't a better company out there with work/life balance. The people here are fantastic, and we're truly focused on maintaining clients for life. Great CEO.

    Cons

    No annual pay raises, deceptive communications from leadership (for example, I joined the company, and three months later, one of my biggest bonuses was eliminated from my comp. When I was interviewing, the prospect of earned hour bonus being cut was not mentioned. This resulted in a near 15% pay cut immediately after joining).

    The turnover is out of control. For tenured employees who are fully vested in the ESOP, they seem to be locks here, but for more junior staff who have been at the company in the 2-3 year range, the drop rate is substantial, company-wide.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Changes are coming in the company. Just be honest with those who are applying, and those who are already in the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Strong, Conservative Company Poised for Growth

    • 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

    Innovative service offerings, strong culture

    Cons

    Variable comp model is challenging for some but works for high performers very well

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to think strategically and look for more opportunities for growth and expansion

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    North Highland is a great place to work

    • 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

    Down to earth atmosphere
    Low travel
    Great opportunities to do consulting at Fortune 500 companies
    Entrepreneurial environment

    Cons

    Low base pay
    Complicated compensation model-bonuses only paid out quarterly or semi-annually
    Career objectives and expectations are vague
    A lot of staff aug consulting roles

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand the local consulting environment better
    Be more progressive and quick to make changes to stay ahead of the competiton

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 11 people found this helpful  

    A Company in Transition

    • 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

    For the most part, everyone at North Highland is very nice. Very very nice. So nice that they don't want to fire people who are incompetent. They are trying to change and up their game from within but leadership gives so many non-negotiable constraints on the solutions that it seems nothing will change.

    Cons

    Benefits are sub-standard
    Compensation is not tenable
    There is no professional performance management process or metrics - it is run like a staff aug company and causes a lot of frustration
    Concept of 'grow your own' talent is not taking hold, leading to limited career paths for those who want to move ahead quickly

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please dispense with the owner rhetoric - if I was an owner of my own business, I would actually make meaningful decisions. None of us make meaningful decisions, we just deal with the impact of your decisions and the squandered opportunities for real change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 16 people found this helpful  

    Going downhill at an alarming rate

    • 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 (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The company is still filled with good people with some very good leaders. North Highland has always been a professional group of individuals that strive to do right by their clients.

    There is still some ability to lead people, grow yourself, and grow the company but those opportunities are shrinking and their impact is minimal.

    Cons

    There is no cohesive strategy from the top level and it is left to everyone else in the company to try and move things forward. The company is bereft with problems and it appears that senior leadership has fallen asleep at the wheel... either that or watching most of their employees leave is part of the strategy. The company will never regain it's glory with the current senior executive structure.

    The compensation is a disaster and has been for years. The idea of an ESOP program providing benefits for anyone hired within the past 8 years to offset the lower compensation is a flat out lie. Compensation does not increase and there is an expectation that greater comp comes only to those who sell more. Delivery is a commodity, selling is all that matters and it is only a matter of time before clients realize that they are nothing but pocketbooks to the company.

    The culture, which used to be the company's largest asset, has been reduced to an environment of negativity and despair which is flooding into people's actual work. Any disagreement with the direction of the company could (and has) resulted in termination. The work/life balance has tilted into mass amounts of work for almost no gain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    North Highland has meant so much to so many for decades. It was the place where many people grew into consummate professionals that were able to do the work they enjoyed for the right people. Senior management, you wonder why the ship has sunk but the answer is right in front of you. It is you. You have ripped the company into shreds looking to become the next Deloitte or Accenture. All that has been accomplished is a phenomenal amount of wreckage that lies solely at your feet. For the good of all those working there currently and all those that have previously worked at North Highland please leave. You've already done enough irreparable damage.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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