Challenger, Gray & Christmas Reviews | Glassdoor

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Reviews

Updated December 13, 2016
34 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.2
Star Star Star Star Star
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John A. Challenger
22 Ratings

34 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Operations"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Operations in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Challenger, Gray & Christmas full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Forward-thinking company that cares about its employees, customers and clients. The work we do to assist people really helps motivate me and others. There is a lot of flexibility in our jobs.

    Cons

    I cannot think of anything. Perhaps have more team meetings.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work in motivating employees.


  2. "Job Search Coach"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Job Search Coach in Olympia Fields, IL
    Former Employee - Job Search Coach in Olympia Fields, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Challenger, Gray & Christmas (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Able to telecommute while being able to contact supervisor when needed.

    Cons

    Low wages, long workweek, little or no opportunity to become regular employee

    Advice to Management

    Hire regular employees and offer benefits


  3. "Does Good Work; Good Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Management is very available to all levels
    The company feels like a family; very supportive culture
    Diverse hiring
    Women in leadership positions
    Work is beneficial, strong mission to help others

    Cons

    The compensation and benefits structure could be better.
    No regular performance evaluations.

    Advice to Management

    Regular performance reviews would be helpful.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Job Coach"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Job Coach in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Job Coach in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Challenger, Gray & Christmas full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Supportive atmosphere, everyone tries to help you, not stabbing you in the back. Great group of co-workers and managers. The work is great and rewarding.

    Cons

    Technology and technology infrastructure is so bad....and the salary is even worse. Stuck in the 70's. No benefits, which for those without spouse benefits make it almost impossible.. 35% of my salary goes to personal health insurance.

    Advice to Management

    Request better pay and health insurance for your team. The company succeeds because of their experience and hard work.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Over-worked, disrespectfully under-paid"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Phase II Job Coach in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Phase II Job Coach in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Challenger, Gray & Christmas full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Helping people get back on their feet, after they have had the rug pulled from underneath them is deeply fulfilling work.

    Cons

    <p>The positions are "temporary full-time," which allows Challenger Gray to avoid paying benefits and dismiss staff at will. Phase II coaches are given a caseload of 40 clients and asked to be available to them at all times, which often results in more than a 40-hour work week. The soft phones and cheap laptops offer their own distinct challenges and further impact the work. </p><p>Coaches must keep track of a tremendous amount of details, and few things make the work flow efficient. For example, coaches receive emails reminding them that a client's resume edits have not been received. Instead of clicking "reply" to update the status of that client's resume, the coach has to go online to the antiquated, cumbersome and counterintuitive customer management system to check that client's records, find out which writer is handling his or her resume, and respond to that individual, rather than to the address that sent the email. It's an inefficient time-suck.</p><p> The trainers are great; the training material, not so much. Trainees are expected to consume a stack of manuals and remember all of the details on hundreds of pages. <p>But perhaps the most disappointing aspect is that Challenger Gray hires seasoned professionals whose life and work experiences bring tremendous value to each coaching client, yet they pay retail wages with no benefits. (I read here that CGC pays its writers $11 an hour. Who does that?) It is utterly disrespectful and reflects poorly on a company that proclaims such a noble mission and positions itself as a caring support provider and reliable resource in the job market data space.</p>

    Advice to Management

    The irony of expecting undervalued employees to perform so well that the clients "love" them is lost on no one. How are you making employees "love" you when you're signaling to them that they are of very little value to you? Would clients feel loved if they knew that Challenger Gray had dispatched an $18.75/hour wage earner to coach them through one of the toughest times of their lives?


  7. "Continues to Improve"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Job Search Coach in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Job Search Coach in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Challenger, Gray & Christmas full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    I love the work that we do. We help people and the program really works. The job is almost completely autonomous. I am trusted to meet with my clients and give them the help they need without interference from head office. Although the annual salary is on the low side, we also have yearly bonuses (up to 3 months salary), travel bonuses for every week we travel more than 3 days and there is a newly implemented bonus for excellent survey responses. I feel my direct managers really care about me and look out for me. When I have a special scheduling request, it is almost always accommodated as long as I give sufficient notice.

    Cons

    No benefits - this is sadly needed. The travel agency we use could use improving. They often make errors on my itinerary necessitating in me having to double and triple check each time.

    Advice to Management

    Please provide benefits. All else is great in the past few years.


  8. Helpful (5)

    "Outdated, Inept, Nepotistic"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Challenger, Gray & Christmas full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Helping people secure gainful employment. Casual atmosphere, dress code. Very flexible hours.

    Cons

    The place is stuck in the 1960's way of doing things. Incredibly patriarchal and old-fashioned in beliefs. There are so many logistical nightmares just in the writing and editing departments and no one in management seems to care. Same with coaching.

    Instead of updating the technology (MS word 2003 anyone is the most current), CEO and the rest of the execs pad their pockets. CEO is two-faced. He's the head of out placement, ostensibly trying to find better opportunities for people but doesn't offer his own employees benefits of any kind. Salary for entry-level is a joke, there's zero professional development opportunities, and no room for any type of advancement.

    Upper management is fueled by nepotism. Many of the high-level executives have given jobs to their sons or daughters.

    Advice to Management

    Enter this century: Institute internal process and procedure review and hold feedback sessions. Develop a unified company nomenclature. Competitive salaries? Benefits?


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Needs to improve communication and processes"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Stimulating and satisfying one-on-one support for people going through job transition. As a coach I have the opportunity to provide personal support and help people get over the hump when starting a job search.

    Cons

    Non-existent and inconsistent processes and out-dated data processing requires coaches to learn about internal processes and expectations through trial and error. Some managers micromanage, others are hands-off and some are both.
    Their belief in face-to-face discussion sometimes doesn't allow for clear processes and directives to simplify where possible and allow for ambiguities to be more quickly identified..

    Advice to Management

    Provide coaches with up-to-date laptops and remote phone support for computer issues.
    Recent management support of change has been great and a big improvement. It is a rewarding job where the infrastructure support would make it even better.


  10. "Rewarding Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Job Search Coach in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Job Search Coach in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Challenger, Gray & Christmas (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I have worked here full time for more than five years. The work is stimulating with immediate results - people who I have coached in their job search have more tools and better strategies and a shorter job search. It is gratifying to make a difference for others by doing this work.

    Cons

    Lots of travel - and with that, lots of travel delays. This translates to long days.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to build infrastructure that supports both employees and clients.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Decent to work for."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Challenger, Gray & Christmas part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    They fostered a team spirit attitude.

    Cons

    The challenge was that they weren't willing to pay local taxes outside of Iliinois.



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