Agilent Technologies Reviews | Glassdoor

Agilent Technologies Reviews

Updated May 2, 2017
232 reviews

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3.0
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Agilent Technologies President/CEO Mike McMullen
Mike McMullen
30 Ratings

232 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • They talk a lot about work life balance but don't really seem to understand that you can't work 60 (in 21 reviews)

  • Low Visibility to Upper Management when employed at production facilities (in 23 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good, competent people held back by too much management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Clara, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good people to work with, almost everyone is friendly and competent. We have some amazing technologies and excellent products. When we focus on a product and a market, it can be a lot of fun.

    Work-life balance is fairly good, probably better than at most companies.

    Cons

    Agilent is bureaucratic and management heavy with a complex reporting structure. The result is often first level managers creating PowerPoint presentations for second level managers to present to third level managers, leaving no time to actually get the job done. Agilent is slowly improving its organization -- we are less bureaucratic now than we were a few years ago, but we still have a ways to go.

    Layoffs and downsizing are a constant threat, but that is probably the same in any big company today.

    Advice to Management

    Pay less attention to procedures and processes and more attention to the underlying technologies and markets.


  2. "Advice to managers: "management skill and leadship are two different kinds of talent""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Pre-Sales AE in Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Pre-Sales AE in Detroit, MI
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Relative flat structure with professionals work "with" managers, not "for" managers

    Cons

    There are jobs for people managers and jobs for technical experts and jobs for sales, if I have talents in all these areas, there is no position can satisfy me.

    Advice to Management

    You have paid smart people a lot, why not listen to them more?


  3. "Good products, slow moving company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Development Manager in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Business Development Manager in Santa Clara, CA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Supportive working environment
    Good work life balance
    Integrity is valued

    Cons

    Lack of career advancement opportunities
    Political in the higher ranks

    Advice to Management

    Maximize shareholder value


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "A good place for benefits, a bad place for ranking."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Colorado Springs, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Agilent has a good work-life balance. Flexible working time is a major plus. Agilent allows each employee to pursue their individual interest; lateral moves are accommodated with little reistance. Benifits at Agilent are great. Agilent offers a hefty bonus every six months based on company profits. Agilent allows paid time for community volunteering each month. Agilent also offers a 4% match on 401k contributions instead of the standard 3%. As a plus for young employees, agilent has an unlimited source of senior engineers to work with and learn from.

    Cons

    Agilent's ranking system is vastly outdated. Managers force fit a bell curve of performace each year dispite how the individual employees perform. Politics are strong in the ranking process which force managers to rank the senior engineers over the newer ones, even though a lot of senior engineers have gotten comfortable and are no longer contributing at a high level. In general Agilent has too many managers. When layoffs come around engineers are laid-off and the managment expands. Most of Agilents workforce is composed of "senior" engineers that are near retirement, the mix of new employees is not there. This doesn't allow vertical advancement because these postions are already taken and the forced bell curve doesn't allow any additional positions.

    Advice to Management

    Senior managment is way out of touch with "the worker bees." Middle managment needs to be able to understand the problems each project team is having. This message needs to be correctly translated up the chain. The message gets lost and distorted among all the non-technical managers.
    Managment really does have this "you should be happy to work here" attitude. While all of us are happy to have a job right now, this is an annoying perspective, probably more so to the new employees who never knew "the hp way." We are constantly getting talks about how we are above-standard employees and managment expects above-standard performance, but we are treated as standard to sub-standard employees. Pay and benefits are not what they used to be, our salaries are below even some of our major competitors. Just because you tell us ithis is a great place doesn't mean we believe you. You run a company of engineers, not buiness majors. We are higly educated and we see through that. Our benefits are good, but even they are dwindling away year by year.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Good until it lasted"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Spokane, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Spokane, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    flexible work hours, working on cutting edge technologies, working with some of the smartest people in the world, Working experience with people in china and uk

    Cons

    no career growth, no job stability, jobs moving away oversees, more focus on cost cutting measures than looking for innovative growth ideas and executing it.

    Advice to Management

    just having good strategy is not good enough, execution is also very important to suceed. People are the most important asset of any company. Its hard to let go people in bad economy and hire back people when economy turns good and expect same level of productivity and turning out products. There would be definitely an efficiency hit


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to get your feet wet but not quite a place for career advancement."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer in Santa Rosa, CA
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer in Santa Rosa, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Abundance of experience engineers to learn from. Especially being a new college graduate, I found that most senior EE's were willing to mentor and guide new engineers like myself. Great place to dive in hardware and see how state of the art test equipment is designed.

    Cons

    Too many lifers and deadwood. Some engineers have been with Agilent many years and delivering sub par work knowingly their seniority grants them a free pass. Manager's mentality is that these deadwood engineers are only a few years out from retirement, so in the interest of not hurting anyone's feelings, just let them cruise away. Problem is that these engineers hold up ranking spots that could be actually given to less senior engineers who actually perform well. May not be able to work on projects that you would like because someone is already there and has been doing it for the past 20 yrs.

    The salary/bonus/etc is lacking behind other high tech companies. Agilent makes up for it through its flexible work/life balance. Employees are friendly to one another and always willing to lend a hand. Some engineers complain about the low pay but they stay with Agilent because of the type of projects and job responsibilities that is hard to find else where.

    Advice to Management

    Start taking care of the younger employees like the way you treat older employees. Listen to our feedback in the 1-1 and actually follow through on them. Senior management asks for commitment on finishing projects, but should expect that to be a two way street.


  8. "Ho Hum- little or no excitement here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in Santa Clara, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in Santa Clara, CA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Work life balance. Good benefits package (still have a pension plan!)

    Cons

    You are a newbie until you have at least 10 years of service vested! The products and services are arcane and it takes a long while for anyone to learn the ropes. There is a strong "not invented here" kind of mentality among folks and a hanging on to the good old days.

    Do not join if you want to live life at a fast pace. Things move slowly here- sometimes paint dries faster.

    Advice to Management

    Take the company private. The products and services are good (#1 or #2 in markets- good tech staff), yet stock does not move. Company is a good cash machine, need to signal that to the market by paying dividends- that is when the stock will move.

    The company is a very good/great PE play. Spits good cash, not too many cometitors, good entrenched tech base.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Start taking care of the younger employees here or lose them for higher pay in bay area in a few years"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Santa Rosa, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Santa Rosa, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work/life balance, reasonable boss, many experienced folks here that a newly graduate can learn from. People are friendly and it does seem like there's not much politics involved, at least at the engineering level. Generally speaking, great working atmosphere.

    Cons

    Much below average pay compared to bay area standard, the company makes up for it by providing work/life balance and relatively flexible schedule.

    Advice to Management

    Seriously, start taking care of the younger engineers. Recognize they are the future of this company as there are too many lifers whom are under-achievers here. Don't low ball on the raises, promote those young stars and take their feedback seriously. Retain them otherwise all that's going to happen in a few years is to see them leave their jobs for higher pay in bay area once they get their experiences.

    The sad truth is that those lifers will be here no matter what (that's why I call them lifers), even if they are discontented with their jobs only because they have families here and bought homes already in this remote little town with no similar job opportunity within 30-mile radius. They'd rather whine about their jobs than simply pack up and go. The senior management subconsciously acknowledges this and seems to exploit this by down-sizing the employee benefit package (salary and health plan) all in the names of "reacting to this turbulent economy” knowing the employees would have no other place to go anyway.

    This mentality works for those lifers who simply want a stable employment and a monthly paycheck (and I believe they’d rather put up with these changes than being laid off and have no where else to go). But note that this management philosophy FAILS DISASTROUSLY when applied to the young engineers that work here that are single and are highly mobile. The company just needs to come to its sense and RECOGNIZE this fact and do whatever it takes to retain your top young talents, even if it means creating some kind of "hidden" double standard policy.

    After all, ask yourself who’s doing your next spectrum/network analyzer, running your fabs, your software programming 10 years from now?

    Managers out there if you are reading this, please wise up and really contemplate on the following:

    ALL it take to lose a young engineer with great potentials and values (whom the company has also invested time training) is a quick phone call from a company in the bay area with a promise of +10% raise, relocation assistance, and matched benefits (besides the pay here isn’t stellar at all by any means). So there you go, you’ve just LOST your next superstar, he/she's gone in two weeks.


  10. "Great co-workers, great site... not so great senior management."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer in Santa Rosa, CA
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer in Santa Rosa, CA
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The people you work with, period! Extremely good, talented and for the most part hardworking bunch of folks. The Santa Rosa site is also one of the nicest work environments I have ever worked in. Work life balance is great and immediate managers are usually very flexible to your work schedule.

    Cons

    Senior management. You can count on your manager and probably your 2nd level manager to back you up, support you, communicate and show good leadership. Above this level it starts to get lost. From what i can tell its management by spreadsheet up there. Numbers matter the most. You have to fit a certain business model and if you dont fit, then expect to be cut, starved of resources and see your friends laid off. Same can be said for the forced ranking system they use every year to review your work results. Progression is very hard because what manager wants to up your rank when they will have to down rank someone else.

    Advice to Management

    Just.... stop.... everything...


  11. "A good place to work.....years ago."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The wealth of knowledge among the senior engineers. Pretty relaxed and there is always plenty of things to learn. I never once felt that the senior engineers were holding back information from me. I could always go to someone who would take the time to guide me.

    Cons

    Little opportunity to advance. Some how deadwood manages to find themselves in high position. Management is sometimes loaded down with incompetent people making decisions for competent engineers. Too many "yes" men at the top of the company.

    The pay is below average when compared to other companies in the area. The bonus program is consistently changing to minimize payouts to its employees.

    Advice to Management

    Take out the garbage more often, let this be a company that current employees think would somewhat still resemble what HP was.


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