Mission: We're an employee-owned engineering, architecture, environmental and planning company committed to Building a Better World for All of Us®.
I have been working at Short Elliott Hendrickson full-time (More than a year)
-SEH is 100% employee-owned, meaning all that comes with the company's success is put back into the company and invested in not only current employees but future employees. SEH is growing rapidly, and current employees are given first opportunity at advancement. While not necessarily true for all professionals today, feeling like your company is looking out for your best interests -- personally and professionally -- is very important. I feel that way with SEH. Employees' voices feel "heard" which is refreshing and encouraging.
-In today's very "corporate" business world, SEH breaks the norm. SEH is innovative in a lot of ways, especially in the engineering services provided to clients. However, the way the company operates has an old school feel. What I mean by this is, while there are reporting measures and such to ensure productivity, employees are trusted to do their jobs. You are treated as an adult, which may sound silly but I think can be understood by a lot of people in the professional world. Productivity is demanded and things move very quickly as work is deadline-driven, but there isn't that "perform NOW or we will fire you immediately"/sink or swim feeling that is rampant throughout many companies. When hired by SEH, you are trusted to do your job, and this trust continues so long as you remain accountable. If you struggle, they seek to help you get better, grow, mature. Training opportunities are offered throughout the year. Employees aren't micromanaged. You're hired because you're good at your job, you're pace is trusted, and you're trusted to do your job to the highest level. If you need to improve, you're encouraged in actionable ways.
-SEH's mission is "Building a Better World for All of Us." It may sound cliche, but this is authenticated in the solutions the company provides to clients/municipalities -- which it had better be authentic because it's also one of SEH's major selling points to clients -- green, sustainability, enduring, cost-efficient, etc. Many companies have similar visions or mission statements, but with SEH you feel like the work you're doing is really contributing to building a better world. This is also represented internally. There are countless initiatives companywide and at individual offices that give employees the chance to build a better world, volunteer, make a difference. The bottom line is so often the one and only thing that matters; it's nice to see and experience a company that prides itself on giving back to the communities it serves as well as the environment.
-Excellent flexibility, whether that's working remotely, taking PTO on short notice, needing to be there for family members, etc. The company is very family friendly and they go out of their way to show this.
-The health benefits are the best I've ever seen, and mostly paid for BY the company. Many companies have resorted to only offering high-deductible health plans with HSAs and the like. SEH gives you the option to choose, as well as significant amounts of money toward comprehensive coverage. As someone born with a chronic illness (asthma) that requires regular checks ups, care and prescriptions, I can't even begin to describe the amount of money I've saved because of the health insurance plan.
-Yearly, formal reviews with structured raise/advancement potential. You know where you stand at all times, and the company is fully transparent about that.
-Employee stock ownership plan (e.g., you can own stock in the company!) and matching 401K.
-Company is growing and expanding. There are offices throughout the Midwest including St. Paul, Madison, Milwaukee, Denver, La Crosse, Appleton, Chippewa Falls, Minnetonka, etc. If you need or want to move, transferring is often encouraged if at all possible.
-Turnover is exceptionally low! SEH employs something like 800 people. Many employees have been here 10 years, 20 years, some even 30-40 years. SEH is a destination company. If you are hired and want it to be your last job/your job "home," it can be and the company tries very hard to give everyone this opportunity.
-Your superiors don't talk down to you or at you, they talk to you. They listen. They have your back. Obviously performance matters and you won't last if you can't do your job, but at SEH you're all on the same team working toward the same goals, and you're put in a position by your immediate supervisors, teammates and the higher ups to succeed.
-I can understand how a review like this might come across as spouting off for the company, mostly because I previously worked at a company that urged employees to write about how great culture and the like were. With SEH though, there just really is no need to pander or to promote because the company practices what it preaches, at every level.
-Some of the smaller offices feel isolated and secluded from the bigger offices. These smaller offices tend to lack the resources of other, bigger offices as well.
-Communication is a big part of the company, and many people try very hard to make sure communication is open, clear, transparent. But SEH is a big company with about 30 offices. So employees are spread throughout several states. When you're working with teams located in other states and offices, it can be challenging to remain engaged and to feel fully informed if you're not someone who puts in the effort to keep the communication loop open and constant.
-Personally, I love the "old school" feel that SEH brings compared to other very corporate feeling businesses. For younger employees, I can understand how you might not be able to adapt to this kind of environment. If you're new to the working world and kind of a "job hopper" then SEH probably isn't for you.
Advice to Management
SEH is a hidden gem, at least if you're looking to sites like Glassdoor to find out more information about company culture, employee engagement and pay. I think SEH does a fantastic job promoting the company, the employees and the culture across Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. But I'm still amazed how few people know of SEH or don't realize until they're employed there just how great the company really is. I would continue to promote the company as a destination for the very best talent, because it is -- SEH is one of the few companies I've either worked at or worked with where I can honestly say everything the company preaches about building a better world, employee-ownership, culture and the like is 100% true.
The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at Short Elliott Hendrickson.
First interview was with department lead.
Second interview was meeting the rest of the team, which was very helpful.
Third interview was with the regional leader, which was extremely uncomfortable for reasons explained later.
Fourth time to the office was to complete the industrial psychology assessment.
Shall I go on? Ah, yes. You also take 3 hours of online assessments and hold a 1-hour call with the industrial psychologist. In a nutshell, the company has an extensive and slow interview process.
It is unfortunate that potential candidates meet with the non-engineer regional leader who vehemently touts that he "will" be the next CEO and then continues to only describe himself and his accomplishments. He showed no interest in the interview process other than the interest he took in himself. Narcissistic bosses are not uncommon but usually are capable of not exhibiting narcissistic traits during the interview. Not this one. I heard he does this often in many other interviews as well so it was a relief to find out that I wasn't the only soul that endured the self-proclaimed rant.
And to respond to the next section of interview questions. For the third interview, no questions were asked - it was simply a soliloquy by the regional leader, where you're the mirror on the bathroom wall.
The 1-hour phone call with the industrial psychologist included numerous repeated questions so be prepared as consistency is part of what the industrial psychologist was observing.
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