Gerson Lehrman Group Reviews | Glassdoor

Gerson Lehrman Group Reviews

Updated September 22, 2017
358 reviews

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3.0
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Gerson Lehrman Group President and CEO Alexander Saint-Amand
Alexander Saint-Amand
187 Ratings

358 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Flexibility and work/life balance (in 32 reviews)

  • Very smart people - always working on very interesting things (in 22 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance can be limited (in 23 reviews)

  • Senior management delegate tasks with no visibility about their day to day role (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Senior Research Associate"

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

    I have been working at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time

    Pros

    If you have a good team, opportunity for direct account management, and quick promotions. A company actively working for transparency and improvement.

    Cons

    Experience, work life balance, and opportunity for advancement highly variable depending on team


  2. "Pretty good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time

    Pros

    Decent pay, smart employees, solid travel

    Cons

    Chaotic management strategy, company identity issues

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Explore all other options first"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Research Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Currently employed with a company which treats me like an equal, with management that communicates business objectives and goals accurately, and is truly interested in my professional and personal development. While I never felt that I had much of this at GLG, I did manage to get to a job where I do now...so thanks GLG!

    Cons

    GLG is an "OK" place for anyone who just graduated college, doesn't have other relevant job opportunities in their field, needs a basic income and job experience. It will prepare you to better communicate over the phone and bs your next job interview.

    GLG's major issues:
    1) Inexperienced and at often times juvenile middle managers who condescend those in lower ranks and delegate all their work (there are a few good ones in there, just few and far between!)
    2) Bureaucratic, unambitious, and uninspiring leadership
    3) Compensation that doesn't motivate (i.e. no true commission in Research and an annual bonus with no specific performance numbers tied to it) *note a new bonus process was rolled out early 2017 that effectively set goals to pay out employees even less than the discretionary bonus previously used*
    4) Little to no top down communication as new changes are made and rolled out causes constant confusion
    5) "Process Standardization" that has you cold calling as a "Research" professional far more than anyone outside of a Sales role ever should (did I mention you aren't compensated well for this?). Also note that this includes managers reading your client facing emails and grading you on a GPA (and you thought that was all over after school...)
    6) Long hours and expectations to behave similarly to the professional services world you work for (BCG, McKinsey, etc.) without the same compensation or reputation to get employed on afterwards
    7) Clients that view you as a commodity, NOT partner
    8) Toxic political culture on certain teams

    Advice to Management

    Considering much was shared/expressed and ignored during my employment I'll keep this short. They know and have heard our feedback, they don't care. Don't be fooled by promises that things will be improved.


  4. Helpful (28)

    "Really poor culture, and it gets worse and worse..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Manager in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time

    Pros

    Pretty office that keeps getting bigger. Barista bar for half of the day. Free lunch sometimes. Free snacks sometimes.

    Cons

    In my opinion, GLG has a really bad culture, and it gets worse with each class of new hires. GLG loves to advertise that they hire "the smartest talent from top tier universities". The problem with that is it completely kills any chance of diversity in every sense of the word. Every year, a new group of 70+ fresh grads start at GLG and most of them come from the same 2 or 3 schools. They all already know each other. With such saturation, there is hardly a chance to experience something/someone new because you already know everyone. Different backgrounds? Maybe in regards to majors, but majors won't apply to anything you do at GLG.

    The other negative reviews cover every other issue I had while working there, but other things I wish I knew beforehand:
    - you will be working 10+ hours every day
    - when you take time off, your coworkers will still want you to be on-call
    - everyone around you will glorify being busy, boast about how obsessive they are with clients, and force themselves to work from home while they're sick as dogs
    - no matter what, the clients run the world
    - whenever you talk to someone face-to-face, they will stop paying attention to you if they get an email or even think they are getting an email

    People just forgot how to treat others with decency and respect.

    Advice to Management

    Probably not worth trying to provide any advice because I don't truly believe they would take any of it. The only things that changed in the time I worked there were the office space and the faces of people who worked there.


  5. Helpful (21)

    "Consider Other Options"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great people, nice office, good pay especially in Austin. If you are interested in a career in sales, business development or account management, the Associate position can be a decent starting place, otherwise look for something else that might offer more transferable skills when you leave.

    Cons

    The comments on culture in other reviews are pretty accurate. Intense metric-based micromanagement (how many phone calls did you make, how many emails did you send, etc) makes that even worse.

    The challenge of this job comes from the stress and pace, not intellectual challenge.

    Advice to Management

    Are micromanagement and miserable employees the only way to increase productivity? Could there be other avenues to increase output (e.g. commissions, intrinsic motivation like meeting clients, or hiring a different type of person)?


  6. Helpful (17)

    "Good as a last resort if you're smart, went to a good school, but can't get into a real bank or consulting firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Associate
    Current Employee - Senior Research Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Enormous turnover means they teach you all there really is to get out of the role in the first 6 months. Nobody really stays for more than 2-3 years. They'll pay you super well if you're willing to stick around for >4 years, but at the opportunity cost of all of your actual professional and career development during that time.

    Cons

    The pay is barely enough to live on in most of the geographies, other than Texas, where it's plenty. They pretend like they put a lot of resources into learning and development for employees but it's all talk and no follow up. The benefits are average at best. Middle management is mediocre (just the people who weren't good enough to find a better job after 2-3 years) most of the time and upper management pretends to be accessible, but unless you're in NYC they aren't and only pretend to be transparent. They management pretends to be meritocratic in its focus on defined goals, but the goals are often unreasonable. Your experience will largely be a function of your team and your accounts rather than your own performance or capabilities. Even when they acknowledge that some accounts are more or less difficult to service than others they're unyielding on the promotion requirements and performance bonuses which horribly hypocritical.

    I started out of the NYC HQ and, on day one, was issued a crappy, used Lenovo with no rubber feet left and a broken keyboard. That's how little respect they show to new junior employees. The rest of the experience has been basically more of the same in every other department.

    Advice to Management

    The company has REALLY gone downhill as it's expanded over the last ~5 years. Stop pretending to be a startup and pretending to be lean. You're an enterprise - implement the IT, HR, and professional development programs of a full blown enterprise.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great way for young professionals to gain experience in fast paced environment.

    Cons

    Poor management and company culture. Expectations of long working hours for low pay.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great for Newly Graduated"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    I have been working at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time

    Pros

    Good learning environment and professional skill building.

    Cons

    Lots of focus on metrics.

    Advice to Management

    try to maintain a small company feel


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Junior Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time

    Pros

    Met some interesting people, austin is a cool city

    Cons

    Misled about job duties and goals, practically stalked executives on LinkedIn all day in hopes of them wanting to consult, and our client thinking that that candidate was worthy. Don't work here.

    Advice to Management

    Stop misleading people in the interviews. Management is trash. A bunch of 25 year olds being promoted due to the their tenure instead of compentency.


  10. Helpful (11)

    "Incompetent Middle Management on Research Operations"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Gerson Lehrman Group full-time

    Pros

    Good coffee and office location

    Cons

    There’s plenty of accurate feedback on what Research is like on Glassdoor (see the most “Helpful” rated comments), but if for some reason you do decide to take a job at GLG, do NOT join Research Operations.

    I have experienced more than one role at GLG, and can confidently say that being on Research Operations is the least optimal choice. Don’t get me wrong, GLG as a whole lies to you about your job/day-to-day and completely bait and switches bright-eyed bushy-tailed grads into taking “research roles”, but no role is worse than being an associate on ROps, especially Project Support or Member Solutions. They are incredibly high-volume, transactional, basic admin/customer service jobs, and not a thing more. In fact, management measures your professional worth by the number of emails you send and how many calls you take and schedule in a day.

    The turnover on those teams is rampant and for good reason. Like many other reviews accurately claim, GLG is full of awful management, and that includes on Research Operations. Middle management is completely unapproachable when issues arise, are wildly passive-aggressive, and are clique-y, micro-managers who can never accept or take responsibility for their faults.

    In general, be apprehensive of anyone who has never been in management outside of GLG.

    Advice to Management

    Giving company wide manager trainings with bad managers leading the trainings is just silly.


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