Spencer Ogden

  www.spencer-ogden.com
  www.spencer-ogden.com

Spencer Ogden Reviews in London, England

Updated November 14, 2014
Updated November 14, 2014
47 Reviews
3.3
47 Reviews
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Spencer Ogden Chief Executive Officer David Spencer-Percival
David Spencer-Percival
27 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good experience working in a fast paced office

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Recruiter in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Recruiter in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Spencer Ogden full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very fast paced environment - really good experience for those who want to work in buzzy office where decisions are made quickly.

    Promotion - I was promoted in my first year at SO (this included a decent salary increase too). Although my role didn't change a huge amount, it gave me the boost I was needing and by the time I left I was being given the opportunity to manage 2 other new grads.

    You can (if you put the groundwork in) earn a lot of money. Other good incentives including going to the Ibiza office and lunch club are cool and happen regularly.

    Training and 1-1 coaching is always available to those who want it, and I had some good training on leadership, negotiation etc, which I found useful.

    Cons

    Recruitment is an acquired taste, and it wasn't suited to me. If you're confident and good with people, then it can be an easy way to make some good money.

    Too much emphasis on just being on the phone. I thought I would have the opportunity to go to client meetings but this never happened!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't always refer back to our call stats...

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Spencer Ogden Response

    Oct 30, 2014Marketing Executive

    Thank you for your feedback - We're glad you enjoyed the Spencer Ogden culture and buzzy working environment!
    Giving our staff the opportunity to fast track their career is a key part of what we
    ... More

  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Rapidly sinking ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Spencer Ogden full-time

    Pros

    - It is possible to make decent money
    - Learnt a lot about the O&G Industry and developed sales skills
    - Colleagues in general were fun and a lot of good "banter"

    Cons

    Where to begin.........

    - The reputation of SO has dramatically nosedived in the last 2 years. When I joined you were given the time to learn about the energy industry and to gain an idea of what you were talking about before ringing potential clients. Now SO hires 20 graduates every other month and gets them to cold call clients with pretty much zero knowledge or experience of the industry. SO will also make new graduates send a large number of speculative CVs to managers. Often these CVs are completely irrelevant to the 50 managers they mass mail to. Naturally, this does not go down well with experienced managers in major O&G companies.

    SO have lost a huge number of major clients over the past year and a half and have been blacklisted from many major O&G companies due to non-stop cold calling, being sent hundreds of non-relevant CVs and also an inability to follow HR procedure. Employees are under so much pressure to hit targets, many will not look at notes on the system before calling/e-mailling a company. Even existing clients will be relentlessly cold called and sent spec CVs in a desperate attempt by under pressure graduates to reach the ridiculous targets they have been set. Unsurprisingly this causes problems with clients who only want CVs to be submitted through a portal or only have contact with one person at SO and causes them to use other agencies.

    SO management will put you under huge pressure to hit targets. Yes, targets are part of a sales job but SO take it to another level. People are constantly being fired and everyone works under the fear of getting the sack. You must do 2 hours on the phone per day or be publicly shamed via e-mail. The laughable thing is that most people at SO called loop numbers in Africa or Middle East that don't hang up to reach those times!

    You will be made to stand up at your desk and do new business development calls for a minimum of one hour per day. As SO reputation is so poor, business development becomes a very difficult task, especially when you are under pressure from management to charge clients high fees!

    As well as competing with other agencies, SO also has a number of EMEA offices (Glasgow, Aberdeen, Berlin, Cape Town) who are all trying to target the same clients. Rival offices rarely work together and this creates massive confusion and further limits opportunities to hit your targets and make money.

    When I left SO morale was extremely low. Probably something to do with intense pressure to hit targets, non stop micro-management, pressuring you into staying way later than the 6pm official finish time every day thus having little work/life balance, making you feel bad about taking a single day of holiday, making you feel bad if you were even a minute late and generally being treated like a naughty schoolboy at all times. Almost everyone I knew when working at SO hated working there and wanted to leave. Pretty much everyone with any experience has now actually left. Hundreds of people came and went during my time with SO. In an intake of 20 grads, there would usually be 2 remaining 6 months later. Literally.

    Overall, SO is a terribly run company. My advice to anyone thinking of joining is don't do it. Due to SO's now terrible reputation you chances of success will be slim and on top that you will be treated like a slave/child.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is a massive problem with how your company is run, not with the staff working there. You need to realise you are recruiting in 2014 not 1994. The same techniques used then are less relevant now. Scrap some of the pointless KPI's and concentrate on providing a quality service to the remaining clients and salvaging what you can from the current mess

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

    One dimensional, mass cold-calling approach to business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Spencer Ogden full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I was there for over a year and a half. Came out having made some good friends and a bit of money. As someone who isn't a natural salesman it actually taught me the basics of selling by being put straight in at that deep end so came out having learnt that I could survive relatively well in that environment. To get further though would require more of a natural talent as the managers and trainers all read from the same 2 or 3 verse hymn sheet.
    1) Make more calls
    2) Be positive
    3) Make money

    Cons

    You'll start on £18K for the first 3 months and even me who started billing relatively early didn't get paid enough to exist in London until 7 months in. There's a lot wrong with the sole of the place. I'm not bitter about any part of it as I made good money while I was there, fell away a bit and then left on my own terms. At no point was I asked to leave and have gone on to do very well in a different profession but I'd advise against joining the company as I was one of the lucky few. Most will be spat out without a second thought, not just grads either. Even since I left, a lot of people who were billing well and making good money have left. This is solely down to the managements approach and the company culture of demonising early finishes, holidays or not hitting call targets (this leads to 70-80% of employees having dead numbers to call which they can ring repeatedly or leave the phone off the hook in order to fabricate the call stats). The trainers will make you feel like you've made it if you join SO, and the managers will make it seem like there is no world outside of SO. Most days you'll be annoyed or frustrated about something, and at the end of the day you'll just be a cog in a machine that the CEO will be selling on in a few years. You're nothing more than a pebble on the road to someone else making a lot of money. Not you.

    If you're that good at selling over the phone, become a trader.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't have children.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Spencer Ogden Response

    Oct 30, 2014Marketing Executive

    Thank you for your review – your feedback is important to us and we are pleased that you feel your time at Spencer Ogden taught you the skills of selling and recruitment. Our training and ... More

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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Worst experience since leaving university

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Spencer Ogden full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    -Young culture that you won't find anywhere else (but that's because anyone with any sense leaves and pursues a better career or a more corporate environment!)

    Cons

    -Conveyor belt mentality
    -No loyalty to their staff - they fired one of their directors with no hesitation and someone many grads that "don't fit into the SO culture"
    -Drug culture is a huge feature of SO
    -You're made to feel lazy and a negative person if you leave on time or take holiday
    -Heavy emphasis on call times meaning that you end up calling loop numbers just so you don't get named and shamed by managers and directors
    -It's entirely based on luck and is a numbers game- I knew people that were consistently hitting their KPIs and still were unable to make deals
    -Bullying mentality by some of the managers
    -They over sell the dream to positive, happy grads and then put them into a glamorized call center that causes a negative impact on most aspects of peoples lives.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Float the company
    Stop promising grads and environment and opportunities that you cannot offer.

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

    Nearly killed me. Lies. Cowboys.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Recruitment Consultant in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Spencer Ogden full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Nice offices. Fit internal recruiter.

    Cons

    "you can resign now with a good reference, or stay and we'll fire you with no reference" -True.

    "we can't legally stop you from taking a holiday, but we strongly suggest you don't"- True

    "we'll pay you your commission if you leave now" - Lie.

    "we're not a KPI driven company" - Lie.

    "Do whatever you want, just make deals" - True

    "We value our staff" - Lie

    "you need to hit 2 hours minimum on the phone a day, but because you missed one of those targets last week you need to be hitting 4" - True

    "post good reviews and ratings online so we can win awards" - True

    Don't make the mistake I did and join SO, there are much better companies out there that do it properly. If you do join, look at all your colleagues in the graduate academy and watch them disappear one by one. Good luck.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Morals

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Avoid at all costs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Manager in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Spencer Ogden full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Office facilities are nice
    - Some good colleagues to work with
    - Incentive based trips for top achievers

    Cons

    The firm is essentially a high volume graduate call centre with a focus on sales-driven cold calling. There is an emphasis particularly on the amount of time spent on the phone rather than value added to candidates and clients. This is the primary emphasis of the management and any activity other than outbound sales calls such as client visits is not encouraged.

    As a result the firm doesn't allow more experienced individuals to use their judgement to act in the way that they consider most professional, instead working more like a "boiler room" operation at times than a consultancy. The publicised emphasis on emulating the "Wolf of Wall Street" which was picked up in a few national newspapers doesn't do anything towards dispelling the vision that this is a firm interested in making a fast buck at the expense of their clients, rather than wanting to be viewed as a professional organisation who are in for the long term. As a result their reputation is in sharp decline within the industry and they have lost a number of clients who have black-listed the firm from their supplier lists.

    The company also has an issue with a heavy drugs culture, which is generally ignored by senior management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The firm is in sharp decline and the emphasis on short-term sales is deeply impacting your long term relationships. Success in consultancy is not about making a quick buck and then never working with that firm again. It is about a long-term relationship where you add real value and are seen as a trusted partner. There is no emphasis on this and therefore this is why so many senior staff have left.

    With experienced consultants who have a proven track record give them some autonomy in how they work and manage their own results. There are more important factors than a myopic focus on volume of outbound sales calls.

    Finally institute random drug tests for your employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Spencer Ogden Response

    Oct 30, 2014Marketing Executive

    Thank you for taking the time to review your experience of working for us. As you know, recruitment is predominantly a phone based job, and much of the day to day client and candidate interactions ... More

  8. 6 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Consultant in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Spencer Ogden full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    No 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 ManagementAdvice

    Float 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Fantastic Experience out of University

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Talent Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Talent Consultant in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Spencer Ogden full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Spencer 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.

    Cons

    Without 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 ManagementAdvice

    The 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great Company, Great Opportunity!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Spencer Ogden full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Thank 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    The Truth about SO

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Spencer Ogden full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    As 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.

    Cons

    There 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 ManagementAdvice

    From what I have heard you have started to change already well keep going down that path

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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