Spencer Ogden

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Spencer Ogden Reviews in London, England

Updated Jul 8, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 16 reviews

71% Approve of the CEO

Spencer Ogden Chief Executive Officer David Spencer-Percival

David Spencer-Percival

(14 ratings)

63% of employees recommend this company to a friend
16 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Positive first year at SO

    Recruitment Consultant (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsIt's a very progressive company. Lots of opportunity to get promoted quickly if you are good and are genuinely dedicated to the company. The pay reflects this too!
    General day to day is great - fun office with good people, lots of weekly incentives such as drinks in the office on a Friday, fancy dress competitions where you can win cash, nice office with 2 big kitchens and rooftop terrace where you can eat lunch and smoke.
    Ibiza office - incredible opportunity! I will be heading to the Ibiza office later this summer. (This is a reachable taget, 25 people have qualified this year so far and will go out over the next few months).

    ConsIt's really hard to feel positive when you're not doing very well because there is a big competitive culture in the business. If you haven't done well one month - you and everyone else knows it!
    Power Hour / minimum expected daily time on the phone can sometimes get tedious - especially when you have other work that is more important that day.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRespect those that have built their desk and allow a little more flecibility when it comes to hitting call times each day.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Please please whatever you do before starting, ring a Rec to rec and ask them about SOs reputation...

    Consultant (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsCool offices
    Some really nice people
    Learnt a new industry
    Two weeks training at start
    Buzzy atmosphere

    ConsNo work life balance, most people work 7.30 to 7.30 and demonized for taking any time off
    Employees forced to write good reviews
    Unethical cowboy recruiting, tricking clients and candidates into doing what you want
    Bad reputation so clients won't work with you
    Completely cold desk, hours and hours and hours and hours of cold calling
    Obvious bullying and favoritism, HR cosy up to the men and culture of silence; racism and sexism rampant
    Drug culture, v like wolf of Wall Street
    About 5 people carry a company of 400, the other 395 are making, if anything, five grand or so a year over their basic
    Unrealistic targets and massive pressure to hit them
    Hundreds of new grads to a small handful of people that have been with the company more than six months; no support structure
    Staff turnover is massive, they hire 15-20 people/month and keep maybe 2 or 3.

    When you interview the internal recruitment team will tell you it's natural that people who weren't good enough come back and write negative reviews, like it's some personal vendetta, and they will barefaced lie about stats and deny things which are written here. Please be sensible and read all the reviews because there a number of coming themes! Also, please talk to a rec to rec who is objective and can tell you the truth about the company.

    Bear in mind the internal recruitment team have been trained to make you feel like they're your best friend and like they're being 110% honest with you and they really care about what you want from a role. This is their job and they earn commission on you starting. They do not have an interest in you personally, they have an interest in hitting their own targets for hires so they don't get fired themselves.

    You will be pushed to come to SO quickly if they decide they want you and asked to cancel all other interviews. Don't!! Try and look at as many other opportunities as possible because this is exactly what they want to avoid. Bluntly, SO looks very good on the surface and it has an impressive factor when as a new grad you first walk in, but it treats people like cattle and there are much better, much more ethical, better paying, companies who value their staff and treat you as an individual.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFloat the company already; we all know that's what the ultimate aim is and that's where the cattle mentality comes from.

    Stop tricking new grads into joining with lies and false promises and encouraging them not to look at anything else; present an honest account of the company and let people choose. I think people are so angry and disillusioned above all because you sold them a dream.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Fantastic Experience out of University

    Talent Consultant (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsSpencer Ogden has enabled me to push myself further than I ever thought possible at my age. I only graduated from university last summer and came on board immediately as a fresh graduate with no recruitment experience, but I did do a telesales role throughout university so I knew what to expect in this new role. Since then I've consistently billed over £25,000 per month but that’s not without remembering how challenging it was in my first 3-4 months in the business. Coming up to a year later almost this July, I am so glad that I stuck it out and persevered with it. Pros of Spencer Ogden are the incentives and opportunity to earn more than my friends who are working for the big corporates and the great career development options.

    ConsWithout a doubt, the opportunity to earn high commission will bring its challenging moments. I found my KPIs sometimes difficult to meet and other times surpassed even my own expectations. You win some you lose some but you have to be resilient enough to pick yourself back up and keep a positive mind set. The job can sometimes be exhausting and I work long hours, but that’s no different to what I expected when I first applied. Spencer Ogden is very sociable which is excellent. I’m always out after work at lavish bars and restaurants which I love doing.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe training is brilliant and I took a lot from the first two weeks on the academy. However, I’m always looking to improve so I would like more development plans in place on top of what I already have.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Great Company, Great Opportunity!

    Senior Consultant (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsI don’t see what all the fuss is about when it comes to the demands of the role. When I left university I worked for a small recruitment company for around 5 months before I joined Spencer Ogden. We didn’t have any presence in the market so I found it incredibly difficult to persuade clients that I could be trusted to fill their role. Now I’ve joined Spencer Ogden I realise what a difference it makes and don’t even have to worry because the brand sells itself making my role easier and allows me to get on with recruiting. The other major difference is the level of autonomy and potential to earn here. I was resourcing at my last company and for 3 months on my probation period and did a couple of months doing 360. I could see how resourcing would be helpful to understand my market and generate leads but in the long run I wanted to take full control over my earnings and Spencer Ogden gave me the opportunity to do 360 from day one after the two week training academy. I was also frustrated at goalposts moving constantly so if I was on track to do a deal, my targets would change and it would be it wasn’t worth as much. At Spencer Ogden there is one billings and career structure in place that applies to everyone so you know where you stand. It’s very black and white and based on a ‘rolling’ billing which means there is no time frame in which you should achieve it or if you achieve your targets quicker than 12 months you can move up the ladder. It’s a very meritocratic environment which allows you to surround yourself with like-minded people.

    ConsThe cons that come along with Spencer Ogden are the same for most recruitment companies on the market at the moment, and for as long as recruitment has existed. My flat mate is currently working as an area manager on a graduate scheme in his second year there and when he was offered a significantly higher basic salary than me, at the time I felt quite inferior and disappointed because my starting salary was much lower. We both work long hours and only see each other on the weekends really but I’ve now eclipsed in him earnings only 18 months in to job and I get far more incentives than he does. The long hours are part and parcel of any role that rewards you this handsomely. You do have to put hobbies and sometimes relationships on the back foot in your early days because the role is demanding but it’s worth it. The other thing I would say is the uncertainty that comes along with a sales based role is at times challenging but that’s where perseverance comes in to play and I’m glad I kept going.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThank you for dedicating so much of your time to me in my first three months it’s helped this process considerably. Now I’m a senior consultant I’m looking up to you guys for support and excited about my future at Spencer Ogden and moving to a new international office in the next 12 months.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    The Truth about SO

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsAs a former top biller at Spencer-Ogden after joining as a graduate, I have experienced the trenches as well as the upper echelons and I can say that really enjoyed my first job out of university.

    Environment:

    You are provided with an office that you would associate with the likes of Google. This is universal to any regional office and is something that does make a huge difference.

    The People:

    Those that you work with, you generally get along with really well and this applies to Senior Management, in other reviews they have seen fault with Senior Management, however they do not seem to be taking into account that in most successful global companies, you don't get on with your boss. However the senior management do try and get on with most of the sales staff.

    Career Progression:

    The career progression on offer is clear and you are in control of how quickly you progress, how much work you put in is how much you get out.

    Incentives:

    I have been on two trips to Ibiza, a first class tower suite trip to Las Vegas. Anyone else's work send them on these?

    Work/Life Balance

    You work hard, you play hard. Never had to stay past 1930 or get in before 0745. If you think that is tough go join Goldman or somewhere like that.

    Future Career Prospects:

    Spencer-Ogden is renowned for being a highly successful market leading Energy recruiter and as such their consultants reflect this. A good reflection of this is the amount of approaches I received directly and through rec to rec's both whilst I was employed and after.

    ConsThere are some things which they need to improve on as there would be with any heavily expanding corporation. They are things that they are working on and should hopefully get right over the next year or so.

    Career Progression:

    As well as being a pro, the problem is that the onus is on the consultant to ask for the promotion as opposed to the company promoting someone and recognising their achievements. This is something that is easy to resolve and they should be able to get this right.

    Graduate Heavy Recruitment:

    Due to their rapid growth they are heavily recruiting graduates, this is great in one sense, however it does put a lot of pressure on the individuals (Team Leaders) who are managing them to maintain their billings and manage numerous grads. They need to bring in Managers to take some of this burden away.

    KPI Driven:

    There is too much of an emphasis on the KPI's of experienced people, I understand that they are necessary in the beginning to build your business, however once your business is up and running there should be far less emphasis on them.

    All things that are easily sorted!

    Advice to Senior ManagementFrom what I have heard you have started to change already well keep going down that path

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Unrivaled Earning Potential, Amazing Culture And So Many Opportunities To Grow!

    Senior Recruitment Consultant (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsI've been working here for just over 18 months, I joined the business shortly after graduating and knew nothing about recruitment. All I knew was that I was good at selling, I was entrepreneurial and I was extremely dedicated. I did some research about the industry because there were several job adverts online I was quite suspicious why more people were not doing it. After some thorough research, something just clicked. I had been spending my time applying for major corps and hearing nothing back when I realised that recruitment would give me the meritocratic environment I was looking for and so I applied. The interview process was professional and fun at the same time - Spencer Ogden assessment days are unlike any of the others I went on which either felt like I was interviewing for the military or rather dull. Spencer Ogden’s assessment reflects their culture and I knew straight away that I couldn’t pass up on this opportunity.

    Since working here I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time. I don’t know anyone else from my friendship group that has been given my level or responsibility and variety in their role. I have less time than them to go to the gym in the evenings, but I’m self-motivated so I still fit it in. When others complain about long working hours it’s usually because they’re expecting an overnight fortune to happen which isn’t the case. Recruitment requires perseverance and a few late nights, and it is hard work. I personally don’t know anyone in this company who doesn’t put 100% in to everything that they do, and that’s why we’re the best paid recruitment consultants. If you fancy doing HR recruitment from 9-5 in a small start-up business that promises you lots of support and an easy life, then you’re probably not going to fit in to Spencer Ogden.

    Having read other reviews the one thing I have to disagree with the most is the comment on the environment not being meritocratic. I would be extremely surprised if this person goes on to find anything close. The business model is not built on a pyramid scheme, if this person knew what a pyramid scheme was then they would know it doesn’t even have slight comparisons. We employ those who have potential to do deals and lead others by example. We’ve built the world’s fastest growing recruitment company organically. This must tell you something.

    Picking up potentially profitable business leads for their own gain? Unlike many other companies out there, we don’t employ resourcers. We employ 360 consultants so any lead you do pick up, is yours. For those of you that don’t know the difference, if you’re good at resourcing (finding CVs for a senior consultant to make deals) then they will want to keep you in that position for as long as possible. I have never seen someone in Spencer Ogden do CV searching longer than 3-4 weeks whilst they find their feet. We don’t employ people that only have the capacity to resource, we employ dynamic driven individuals that would soon speak up and refuse to do 360 anyway.

    If we didn’t comply with national law, then how would we have grown this business from 9 employees to 335 in the mere space of three years whilst winning nationally approved awards that have been voted for by the employees and an outside governing body?
    Someone claims they saw over 100 people sacked in an office of 80 seats. If ever there was an example of sheer exaggeration this is it. We were not ‘forced’ to dress up in light of the Wolf of Wolf Street, to be very honest we look well-turned out every day so this was no different.

    A bit more about pay, I started on £18,000 with a rise to £20,000 after I passed my three month probation period. We now offer £20,000 to start. There is a reason we don’t buckle under the pressure of other competitors and offer our trainees £22,000 or in some case £25,000 to start. The most important thing to look at when deciding which company to accept is their commission structure versus their average deal value, do not be lured in by their starting salary. The bottom line is commission. Our average deal value is £25,000 compared to most others which are below £10,000. And you receive 15%, 20% and then 25% + of billings. This commission structure is unrivalled.

    Take this from me, I have friends that work for much smaller recruitment companies specialising in IT in Finance located in the city. Not only does IT and Finance depend heavily on the economy, it’s also had its day. We’re no longer in the dot.com boom and clients are much savvier now. Energy is not only a lucrative sector, it’s also growing rapidly. It’s a value commodity that operates in high end markets. Apart from the money I also do this because it makes much more interesting chat around the dinner table.

    I’ve just turned 24 and I am on target for Ibiza in May, on target to Las Vegas at the end of the year and I’ve just returned from an all-expenses paid lunch club last Friday. I’d love to spend all day on Glassdoor but I’ve got deals to ring up – over and out!

    ConsI have to admit the environment we work in isn't easy but I'm no more stressed out that my other friends that are in recruitment or on one of the big schemes like Aldi or Barlcays.

    There is quite a bit of pressure to get the deals in, but we work as a team and there is a lot of opportunity to speak out about this to your mentor or team leader and they will help you out as much as possible

    I didn't realise at first how much I would be on the phones for compared to client facing, but our KPIs are not as rigid as some others that I have heard out there

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    The Market Leading Energy Recruitment Company!!

    Senior Recruitment Consultant (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsHigh earning environment - many 20somethings are earning £100kplus
    Great incentives - office in Ibiza and free holidays for top performers, monthly parties
    Very funky company - astro turf floors, trading floor environment, blue-tooth headsets

    ConsIt's hard work, but no worse than working for a Bank or a Law firm
    Expectations are high, but that's one of the many reasons they are so good.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI joined Spencer Ogden as a Graduate in 2011 and worked in the London office for 2 years until I went travelling in summer 2013.

    In a nutshell this is a fantastic company to work for. They have a phenomenal brand and the training is second-to-none. I was put through a rigorous training programme, which definitely wasn't easy but I knew I was onto something good because friends from Uni were joining other Recruitment companies and had little or even no training at all.

    Once I became a recruiter I was given a specialist market to focus on and although it was VERY hard work getting some client relationships in place, this soon happened and the job became a lot easier. You must stick with it and persevere otherwise it will not happen for you and will feel like a lot of work for minimal return.

    The business does push you, but only because they want you to be successful and they want to be the global number one (their main competitor is 20 times bigger than them so they have A LOT of work to do!).

    I earnt in excess of £50k in my 2nd year and this eclipsed all my friends that left Uni the same year. I have recently left to go travelling, but my job has been left open and they even offered me the opportunity to do part-time work in their international offices to help fund my travelling. I will be returning to Spencer Ogden next year and I can't wait.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Great support for Graduates just coming out of Uni!

    Consultant (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    Pros- Very thorough interview process, the internal recruitment team really explain to you what the job is, and what you are getting yourself in to.

    - When you first join, you join with 10 other Graduates in the same situation as you - this then becomes your support network, and you can help each other through your first few months of the job - which is hard work!

    - The training that you receive is brilliant - the internal training team are very experienced and know how to adapt their training to each graduate.

    - After the training you also receive 'follow up training'. This is in your first 3 months - the trainers will check in on you once a week, do refresher courses with you, and when you are closing your first deal they will coach you through that.

    - You are set very clear targets that you have to hit. There are no grey areas here at Spencer Ogden, as long as you hit your targets you are rewarded. If you don't hit your targets then the trainers get even more heavily involved and get you up to the level you need to be at.

    I have been at Spencer Ogden for 3 months now and have just done my first deal. The process was made a lot easier by the trainers, who took time out to coach me on the close, and also the support I received from my Team Leader.

    Cons- The training is very intense and internal competition is heavily promoted, so if you are not a fan of healthy competition then this can be seen as a negative!

    - When you are doing well you feel on top of the world, but if you are having a rubbish day you can feel as though you have hit rock bottom. You have to be the type of person that can handle the lows, even if the person next to you is doing well!

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep supporting the Graduates that are joining, and keep developing your training methods.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Times Top One Hundred Company (2 years running)- Voted for by the staff!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsFast growing company which means opportunities for those who have what it takes. You have the opportunity here to make a real impact. Yes its really hard work and it wont be for everyone (sales and recruitment is a tough gig, even for those with previous experience). We also make mistakes, of course we do. Over 10% of the company are share holders in a company that enjoyed a turnover of over 50 million globally last year.

    ConsDont be fooled by the plush offices- this is hard work and those who are not prepared to knuckle down are easily exposed- its easy to see who is doing well and who isnt. Sales has a naturally high turnover so yes you need a thick skin, but you will be supported. We have a dedicted training team- Some people are just not right for sales and our model risks that (at our cost and gain)

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep developing and listening to feedback

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Booming company, Booming market... $$$

    Consultant (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    Pros- Global company: prove yourself in your first 1-2 years, take your pick of offices round the world.
    - Commission structure: dont expect to earn it right away (first 9 months), but your pay can go from basic to silly in a matter of months.
    - Vibe: I have read a lot of other reviews on this site, focusing here on the negatives... firstly I have never seen any bullying whatsoever. If you come to work in a Spencer Ogden office, it is going to be energetic, loud, competitive and a good laugh.
    - Following on from the above, the office lay outs (which everyone talks about) but are pretty tidy. Bikes, baseball bats, punchbags, footballs, astro turf etc etc Cant imagine it being worse than being in a white-walled office.
    - Career progression: Again referring to the negative reviews about attrition rates, yes it is true that not all starters are here by the 3,6,9 month mark. But in my year+ I have never seen anyone unfairly sacked. It is made clear on entry, this is a meritocracy... do well get rewarded (highly), do poorly.. people dont want to stay. But what this means is if you do well, work hard and listen the opportunities are endless! You get additional responsibility, leadership/management experience, chance to attend global business meetings, go to Vegas/Ibiza, go on team meals/lunch club etc etc
    - All this chat about long hours? Pshht, its your own business, if you can get it running in short hours no one has a problem.

    Cons- We run out of milk sometimes.
    - Lotta dudes.
    - Tax on commission... nightmare.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore lunch clubs?

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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