Agilent Technologies Reviews | Glassdoor

Agilent Technologies Reviews

Updated June 19, 2017
375 reviews

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4.0
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Agilent Technologies President/CEO Mike McMullen
Mike McMullen
60 Ratings

375 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. "Great products, Great people."

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

    Pros

    The legacy of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard is alive and well within Agilent Technologies (which spun off from HP in 2000). Our products are best in class across the life sciences and electronics industries from DNA microarrays to network analyzers. In general, employees demonstrate a high level of innovation and focus on building quality products. The working environment is comfortable if you don't mind the cubicles. Compensation and benefits are generous. I would highly recommend Agilent Technologies as a place to work if you can manage to land a job offer and you're interested in the test and measurement industry.

    Cons

    Since the telecom bust in 2001, Agilent has been focused on keeping the company lean and profitable. As a result of this, hiring in the U.S. has been very limited even though we are growing headcount rapidly in Asia. The prospects of low growth within the U.S. has diminished morale somewhat and raised concerns about an aging domestic workforce.

    One of the less exciting aspects of working for a large company is that there are quite a few legacy products that are still in support mode and require some degree of attention even though most everyone would probably prefer to be working on new technology.

    Advice to Management

    Never get into a situation where more rounds of layoffs are an outcome. Going through the process once was too painful to watch coworkers who were excellent, dedicated employees be be asked to leave. Although everyone understood that the financial situation was dire, the ill-effects take a long time to fade away.


  2. "Good people, strong team players, but questionable leadership decisions."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Edison, NJ
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Edison, NJ
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The open door policy and flexibility in regards to work/life balance.

    Cons

    Slow growth and limited opportunities for advancement from the administrative side of the business

    Advice to Management

    The telecommunications side of the house has not been as successful as other divisions. It seems to be illogical to expect continued growth without introducing new products and without fixing glitches in those that currently exist.

  3. "Excellent Company for Good People"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Singers Glen, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Singers Glen, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    If you are looking for Work & Life Balance, this is the one

    Cons

    the company's salary may not be very competitive, especially given the battle for talented people in labor market

    Advice to Management

    should be more aggressive to pursure growth and play hardball


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great place for growth"

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

    Pros

    Agilent has a rich history and that history makes me proud to be an employee. This is a very diverse company and you see many different people from different walks of life here. They have an "Open Door" policy that allows employees to interact with anyone in the company at anytime without the fear of being rejected. It's quite friendly. Agilent is trying to push itself into new markets and its recent restructuring has done it quite good.

    Cons

    Sometimes, management can be very disconnected with the individual employees. There are instances of managers that are not even in the same location as their employees, making communication hard.

    Advice to Management

    Senior managers are not the most accessible people. It is understandable at a big company like Agilent. If they allowed all its employees (close to 20K) to be completely accessible to them, it would be a nightmare for them to get things done.


  5. "Good work/life balance but stagnant career advancement."

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

    Pros

    Agilent has pretty good work/life balance. Flexible working time is also good. Generally, people working in the same group is nice and very helpful. Generous bonus plan every six months is appreciated. Company-wide involvement in the community work is also good. Site-wide picnic and group-wide lunch is also fun. Respect to employees can be seen at all level of management.

    Cons

    Decision from management can sometimes be slow. Now they are improving this issue. Career advancement within a group is hard to see. Advancement to architecture level will take a long time as in most big company, I guess. They don't let employees automatically transfer to another group.

    Advice to Management

    Career path should be specified.


  6. "Good company, great technology, The real HP and a surviving HP culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Andover, MA
    Former Employee - Director in Andover, MA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay, Great benefits, a very positive working environment and surrounding by highly motivated and committed employees. The company management were always concerned about the morale of the employees, developing great products and were focused on ensuring a work / life balance while still focusing on achieving financial objectives.

    Cons

    Fewer opportunities to advance because there is little turnover in the management positions. Sometimes the company is too internally focused and not focused on servicing the customer.

    Advice to Management

    Shuffle the senior management deck and provide a greater career path opportunity for high performing managers to develop skills and learn new functional areas.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Things were going great until just now"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - R&D Research Associate Advanced in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - R&D Research Associate Advanced in San Diego, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good culture and people, friendly atmosphere, constant flux, challenging projects. Right now anybody is lucky to have a job.

    Cons

    Too Much Managment. I have 4 bosses each with a different agenda. Upward mobility is a murky prospect. Merit increases were frozen for FY08. Restrictions on purchasing make it difficult just to get ordinary things accomplished let alone the real project tasks. Salaries are all over the place and don't seam to correlate with experience or job performance.

    Advice to Management

    Stop Micro-managing, find better ways to reward people, stop making the workers bear the brunt of financial cut backs.
    Cuts and approval process gymnastics are making it impossible to make new products in a timely manner or at all.
    Stop hiring more managers and start hiring more talent.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great stable company to work for, not meant for drivers."

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

    Pros

    A ton of great people, knowledge, and resources. Newer talent has a virtually unlimited access to senior resources. As with most big companies, there are multiple roles you can play.

    Cons

    Pay for new hires is now where near what other bay area companies are paying. Career advancement is limited for younger talent.

    Advice to Management

    Either hire experienced hires that you do not need to train or make an attempt to retain the younger talent you are grooming. Otherwise, you will spend 2-3 years training your new hires only to have them leave for more competitive pay - salary wise.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Some big-company junk, but overall, great work/life balance and in a respectful work environment. Definitely recommend."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - R&D Software Engineer
    Current Employee - R&D Software Engineer
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Definitely work life balance. They've been incredibly supportive of parental leave, allowing me to work part time, taking time when my mom was sick. There is definitely an attitude that employees are people and grownups and responsible, and we are treated as such.

    The benefits are good, though not as good as they used to be (the current health plan is only slightly better than nothing, although at least it's cheap).

    This is also a place where you are likely to be surrounded by bright, competent, interesting and interested folks with diverse interests.

    I've found managers to be very supportive of my desires around furthering my education in my field and/or learning more about adjacent fields.

    Cons

    This is definitely not the place for someone hoping for a quick rise to the top. They do promote from within (which I don't always think is good -- fabulous engineers don't always make great managers), but you can expect to hang out at Career Level for a long time before you get an opportunity like that.

    As I mentioned, the health plan is definitely the lowlight of the benefits package. If you've got a family, plan on several thousand dollars a year of out of pocket expenses. The 401(k) match is good, but not stellar.

    Working for a big company has its down sides. IT support, HR and benefits administration are all handled by outside contractors (we're all familiar with those call centers that give their hirees minimal training and a script to work off of, and do not seem to see english fluency as a basic job requirement). Long-time employees are usually aware of a local resource or two, but until you're "in the know", it can be hard to navigate life's basic administrative tasks.

    It takes a long time to become a productive member of the team at this company. There's a lot of in-house innovation, which is great, but it does mean that most people come in to the job without much knowledge or skill specific to their work. (The up side of this that R&D Engineers have the most job security of anybody in the company -- it's incredibly expensive to train replacements.)

    All the Re-Organizing and Re-Prioritizing can be really tiresome. That's any big company, though.

    Advice to Management

    No advice -- that's why they make the big bucks!


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Agilent: Good for highly experienced workers, not as good for the young and ambitious."

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

    Pros

    Agilent provides an excellent benefits package including health, dental and vision insurance, a 401(k) plan with matching, semi-annual bonuses, supports employees taking time off, and genuinely seems to care about keeping employees educated and aware of the latest business decisions and technological advances.

    If you are an experienced worker who wants a predictable job that pays well and has good benefits including a 401(k) for retirement, and you don't want to move up the chain of responsibility, this would be a good company to work for.

    Cons

    Being that Agilent is such a large company, it is often difficult to see how my personal contributions help the company as a whole.

    Agilent recently laid off around 15% of their total workforce and the layoff process was prolonged and really brought down employee morale. We were informed a month before the layoffs that some people would be losing their jobs, and then week by week, we were fed little bits of information. This made it very difficult to concentrate on work and it generated a lot of rumors.

    Another problem with a company this large is that there are a lot of "lifers" here - people who have worked here for 20 years and will be here until they retire. This makes it difficult for a young person, such as myself, to move up and get more responsibility. I believe this makes Agilent a good company for college interns and highly experienced workers, and a bad company for recent college graduates and other people who want to grow in their career and move up the management chain.

    Advice to Management

    You do a good job of explaining the reasons behind your decisions in your emails to employees. Please continue to do this.

    Regarding layoffs, don't give employees so much time to wonder if they will be losing their jobs. It really hurt productivity for the last month and caused a lot of rumors.


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