Mission: We connect the businesses and people who build a better world.
I worked at Hanley Wood (More than 3 years)
If you're considering working at Hanley Wood and looking at these reviews to learn more, just keep in mind that the company has 3 groups: media, marketing, and Metrostudy. Some of these reviews don't reflect my experience at all, while others were remarkably similar, positively and negatively. I worked on the editorial side of the Media group, so what I write might not be indicative of the other groups (sales, accounting, or even the other groups, Metrostudy and Marketing). Anyway:
Overall, I had a good experience working at Hanley Wood. It was my first full-time job out of school, and it's great work for folks who are just getting started in media and looking for a place to get their feet wet. The media field changes all the time, and HW is not immune to that, but: if you're flexible in attitude, willing to try and learn new things, and amenable to a typical degree of workplace politics, you'll find it's a pretty easy place to work, and you'll have a surprising amount of say in what you do and learn.
The workplace culture is pretty casual. A few people here have mentioned the Frank Days, which are nice, but they're really just the cherry on top. I had a lot of freedom and trust in my ability to get work done on my own time. (Which was pretty much always manageable, minus the occasional massive project every few months.) The seasonal parties are fun, and there are lots of small, free perks (ballpark tickets, free food, etc) every month. And the pay, benefits, and advancement opportunities are great.
With rare exceptions, I found most people there were a pleasure to work with, and very willing to try new things. A lot of the editorial side comes from print and is still bound to it, so if you keep up with (and care about) digital media and analytics and how content strategy is changing, you'll earn a lot of kudos from your coworkers, even at the executive level. I felt free to provide constructive criticism on decisions small and large. I might not have gotten the answer I wanted, but nobody ever scolded me for speaking candidly.
Finally, I found that HW encouraged me to try things that weren't in my job description, as long as I didn't let them interfere with my current responsibilities. Whenever I found something I wanted to learn and found a way to align it with an HW project (new or existing), those skills made their way into my job, and made working there a lot more fun.
Media's biggest issue, in my eyes, is the lack of professional development. HR does a good job handling welcome perks and process (welcome lunches and get-togethers), and the technical training is fine. But managers in the Media group are wildly inconsistent about getting junior-level and intern staffers energized and up to speed. Some interns I talked with felt unfulfilled by their responsibilities and confused about Hanley Wood's goals and mission. The company could do much more to describe, in plain language, what makes HW special, and how their work fits into it. More side projects would also go a long way: much of HW's subject matter is highly technical and doesn't easily engage new writers. Letting younger staffers take risks, or even participate on internal projects, would help greatly.
Beyond new hires, HW could do much more to keep all staffers engaged with the company's mission and the many shifting trends in media. This improved somewhat while I was there, but even towards the end of my tenure, the training sessions were infrequent, jargon-laden, and sometimes downright tone-deaf. Again, technical training isn't the problem: it's the tricker-to-teach ideas, skill set changes, and cultural and industry shifts where HW can fall short.
Advice to Management
Within Media it basically boils down to one thing: Pay more attention to professional development, and not just technical training. Direct managers to make development an explicit part of their job. Engage your new and long-time employees with sessions that are tailored to them and their work. Ask them about what confuses them, and answer in plain language. And most importantly, see if there's anything they'd like to share. A ton of smart people work there, and would love the opportunity to share more about what they know, and how they can apply it to HW.
HW has a good thing going, and I greatly enjoyed my time there. They just need to find more thoughtful ways to engage staffers — especially younger ones — once they get in the door.
I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Hanley Wood in December 2016.
Consisted entirely of a 45 minute coding challenge, namely making a responsive site using html and bootstrap based on a few mockups. Should be fairly manageable if one knows bootstrap.
Overall, an average experience. Communication with the interviewer was terse, but not unfriendly (solely focused on the challenge). I wasn't chosen to move forward due to lack of industry experience.
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