GDS Associates Reviews | Glassdoor

GDS Associates Reviews

Updated April 13, 2017
13 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.8
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Richard Spellman
8 Ratings

13 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Engineer"

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

    I have been working at GDS Associates full-time

    Pros

    Great learning environment. Very interesting work in an exciting field

    Cons

    Can be slower as a lower level employee


  2. "Lack of Transparency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Marietta, GA
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Marietta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at GDS Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Salary is about the only thing there. Raises are provided to keep you but money isn't everything.

    Cons

    The culture is a joke and a big game. The company lacks willingness to evolve.

    Advice to Management

    Reading the other comments has inspired me to write one of my own. It appears that there is a common theme at the company, lack of transparency. In reading HR’s response to one of the comments. Let’s be honest with ourselves, there has not nor has there ever been formal mentoring. The structure is as follows: a new employee is hired and weeks later someone approaches them and claims to be their mentor. There is nothing formalized about this process that leads to any substantive relationship building.

    Telecommuting only applies to certain employees in specific departments. While everyone has access to this capability, some respond more favorably to the idea of certain people using the GDS remote desktop feature than others. This is also related to specific departments and the preference of the department head.

    Adding more vacation time is relative to the number of years associated with the employee. This significantly benefits more tenured employees while it doesn’t provide the younger generation incentive to stay when there are other companies that offer one month plus (or unlimited vacation time). The focus should always be the production but with GDS, their focus seems also be on micromanagement.

    Regarding the final response, reaching out to your manager, managing partner or even HR can lead to your demise. For example, GDS only has two HR employees. In theory, you should be able to speak with either in confidence and hope your concerns are met and change could potentially begin. However, due to the structure of the firm, if you confide in one, your concerns will spread like wildfire around the office and if you tell the other, she can only do so much without the other knowing as her power/influence runs through her superior.

    You're rewarded not by your work but how you fit into the GDS culture.

    Overall there is a lot of growth that needs to take place in the firm. I’ve been here for several years and the only way the company has tried to retain people is offering higher wages. If you want real change that isn’t shallow, change the culture. You spend more time at work than with your own family, so shouldn't you enjoy your work environment?

    Rather than have meetings about how to respond to Glassdoor comments (or deliberating ways to remove comments), embrace this unfiltered feedback (and others) in stride. There's a theme here.


  3. Helpful (9)

    "Still in the Stone Age"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Marietta, GA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Marietta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at GDS Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Money and that's about it.

    Cons

    Elitist. Poor Direction. Too Old.

    Advice to Management

    Get under new leadership. Too much turnover in a primary department. The firm is losing a lot of business under Spellman's direction. Change organizational structure from a 20+ man approval process and leave major choices to the board. Find a way to keep young people and people of color at the firm. Actually care about diversity by putting men and women of color in positions of influence (we know that will never happen). Actually care about the development of your employees. When you hire someone especially a young person, remember to give them direction. Too many times, I have been asked by people not in my department for work. If someone is managing a group, or one person, make sure they have managed before. Keep in mind, not everyone is an engineer. Leave the engineering work to the engineers. For those that I know who aren't engineers, there shouldn't be a need for them to work on clerical tasks, ie. PowerPoint creation/formatting, proposal formatting, RFP searching, or any other non-engineering tasks. Have work for them that actually applies. Why are non-engineers formatting and organizing work that I should be doing (work that I am actually familiar with)? People only go to lunch and learns for the food, consider changing the structure/topics discussed. At a certain point, ask yourselves, why are so many people leaving one department? Why are we losing so much business in one department? Is it the leader of that department (I'd say there is a strong chance - either that or the way business is done) ? Be mindful of favoritism - especially regarding men and women. Find a way to evolve and keep young people. Find ways to get them involved in the company. Give the young people here a chance to implement some of their ideas and watch them flourish. Empower them to grow. Just because a company of Baby Boomers doesn't know something, doesn't mean it can't happen. The firm will die out sooner rather than later if you continue to implement the same archaic way of conducting and networking GDS. Allow the creatives to be creative. We have a lot of people here with great ideas and they hesitate to bring them up because 95% of the firm lacks creativity. Actually have training for new hires. Cutting holes in the walls is not a good idea. Everyone is aware that it's not to make the office more "modern" you don't like the fact that people can close their doors and you would like to know what they are doing at all times. Allow people to have an actual hour of lunch. If a person is eating at their desk - give them time to eat their food. We don't have to drop everything on our time because YOU were late. Granted I am aware of times where a person needs to work through lunch but it's not everyday.

    GDS Associates Response

    Apr 12, 2017 – Human Resources

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and sorry you are not having a great experience. Related to your feedback, we’ve recently implemented positive initiatives in the last year to hire and ... More


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Lack of Accountability"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Marietta, GA
    Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in Marietta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at GDS Associates full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Salary. Salary. Salary. Salary. Salary.

    Cons

    No desire to evolve at all.

    Advice to Management

    I have seen many people come and go during my time at the firm. We've won business and we've lost business but when the result is unfavorable, I've noticed a continuation of the blame game. It becomes a ripple effect. Principals come down on the Project Managers and Project Managers come down on Associates or Administrative Employees. The leaders of the firm are quick to claim success yet when we hit a road block, fingers are pointed. There is little to no ownership when mistakes are made. Part of surviving at GDS is learning how to play the game and being able to work under a microscope. Treat people equally and fairly. Take ownership of your mistakes and grow. For such a change to occur, it starts with the President on down. Don't just talk, take action.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "consultant engineering"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering Consultant/Analyst in Alpharetta, GA
    Former Employee - Engineering Consultant/Analyst in Alpharetta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at GDS Associates (More than a year)

    Pros

    Small company with lots of room to get experience. The culture is great and people are always willing to help you out if needed

    Cons

    work becomes extremely repetitive. There are times when there was nothing for me to do, so I would just sit there and do nothing.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe have some type of training for new employees and interns. It will be easier to being working and understanding how the company works


  7. "Would recommend"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Engineer in Marietta, GA
    Current Employee - Associate Engineer in Marietta, GA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at GDS Associates (More than a year)

    Pros

    Wonderful work environment, great management

    Cons

    Low salary compared to similar positions at other companies


  8. "Great company with great people."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Consultant in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at GDS Associates full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Expertise in an industry with constant change and challenge i.e. business prospects are always good.

    Cons

    Up or out. If you are a self-starter, this is a good place. It's on the job training - some get it some don't.

    Advice to Management

    cultivate younger employers.


  9. "Great work, high quality people."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Energy Engineer in Marietta, GA
    Current Employee - Energy Engineer in Marietta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at GDS Associates full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Company is continuing its growth.

    Good work environment.

    Cutting edge consulting company.

    Very diverse.

    Cons

    I can not thing of anything bad to say about this company.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "A stable company, but limited growth potential for most"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Marietta, GA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Marietta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    The company gives 10% of base compensation to employees at the end of the year for their 401k. This isn't funds matching or performance-based. It's always announced as being based on base salary only, but frequently includes bonuses as well.

    GDS pays its consultants bonuses even if they don't have any equity in the firm. Company provides two years of full salary as a life insurance benefit.

    Cons

    The drive to maintain high billable percentages frequently causes employees to use very little of their vacation time.

    Salaries tend to be depressed compared to similar positions at other companies. While bonuses can more than make up for this, they don't always. Bonuses are less tightly correlated to performance and financial health than one would expect.


  11. "Great working environment, great team"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    great management team - very supportive, thoughtful, forward thinking and considerate

    Cons

    salary range/compensation is a little lower than average for similar positions.



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