Handel Architects Reviews | Glassdoor

Handel Architects Reviews

Updated October 26, 2016
22 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

4.0
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Gary Edward Handel
12 Ratings

22 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Always willing to give you more."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Handel Architects (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Can get a ton of experience early on if you are willing to take it on. Can see projects through construction and really understand how a building get puts together in every phase.

    Cons

    The benefits could be better.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great place"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends

    I have been working at Handel Architects full-time

    Pros

    Great people, great projects. Have good mid size firm feel while being in the heart of SAN Francisco. Have learned a lot here

    Cons

    Could have more social events


  3. Helpful (4)

    "Intermediate Architect"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ridgefield, NJ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ridgefield, NJ
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Handel Architects full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to learn and pursue license while working. Good for architects interested in High-rise building or Residential building or both. I have worked in this office for 4.5 years. Great time, experience and people.

    Cons

    Working load and time depends on project & project manager. There are not many people working after office hour (after 6pm) but there ARE some people ALWAYS working late.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Two tiers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Handel Architects full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Handel is a great place to work, you just need to be realistic about which some things. I've found that there is a two tier system. Some people are strict nine to five types, and they they are career draftsmen. Other people end up working 60 or 70 hour weeks, being active in the firm's culture of continuing education and community service, and generally working their butts off. These people are offered the chance to do some really interesting and hands-on design work. If you're in the second group, you get to work directly with the partners, who are actually quite good at working with (rather than dictating to) designers of all experience levels.

    Cons

    If you want a nine to five job, don't expect large raises or bonuses. If you want to further your career, expect not to have a life outside of work. And like all jobs, you only get what you negotiate for, and your negotiating power is determined by how good you are and how hard you work.

    Advice to Management

    Reward long hours more generously with comp and vacation days. When employees get tired out or start to burnout, it doesnt benefit anyone, and becomes a situation where you're trying to get water design out of a dry well.
    Adequate recuperation time would let employees replenish their energy and thus do better quality work. You have lots of smart, hardworking employees. Trust them to push themselves to excellence.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Benefits package"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Have a talented hard working team.

    Cons

    Benefits package not that great. Only cover half of the health insurance premium.


  7. "Experience may vary"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Architect in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Associate Architect in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Handel Architects full-time

    Pros

    Opportunity to work on different phases from concept to construction administration. Good experience in the office, lots of people to learn from. age range is mostly young, but also have a group of talented senior architects.

    Cons

    Some partners / project managers are difficult to work with, may work long hours, 10 vacation days, no OT. Office is perpetually sick, sick days aren't taken that often.

    Advice to Management

    Work on communication between partners, project managers, and staff. PTO, work-life balance is needed.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to learn"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Junior Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Junior Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Handel Architects (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Can get a lot of experience early on if you ask for it.

    Cons

    They could be more transparent with how the firm runs as well they could be better when it comes to standards used in the office.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Potentially a great place to work; also potentially terrible"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Handel Architects full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of freedom to grow and develop if you're lucky to have a good manager. There are a few managers that will give you opportunities to learn and empower you to raise your status. The office can give generous bonuses during successful years. They also try (but usually fail) to create a positive and lax work environment. The happy hour on Fridays creates an appearance of camaraderie, but really it's surface deep. Most people have too much work to actually attend.

    Cons

    Many of the managers (senior associates) are TERRIBLE. These are folks who merely stuck around long enough to get a promotion, but really lack communication skills and management skills. Quite a few are temperamental and fail to give clear direction. The office's practice of promoting loyal employees or talented designers should be a good thing, but because there have been so many senior associates with poor management skills, the most talented staff end up leaving before reaching senior associate status. This creates a revolving door environment that the partners probably like to tell themselves filters out the lazy/poorly equipped staff but more realistically filters out the most ambitious and hungry designers leaving just the timid and ambivalent staff to remain. Also HR could offer more solutions to these issues but remains typically silent//powerless.

    Advice to Management

    Look to promote staff that are responsible and have good relationships with their fellow team members. Too many senior associates are terrible at communicating and generally unpleasant to work with. This has been the clearest reason why talented designers have been leaving. Also the happy hours are a waste of time and resources. A better use would be to have all-hands meetings where various design teams present their work to allow the office as a whole to connect with other projects. Opening up projects to critical feedback from other teams would enrich the design process immensely. Also loosen up on the vacation days. Run some experiments to see what happens when you give staff more time off. Two weeks initially then three weeks after ten years does not sound appealing to anyone.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "A place that offers real opportunities"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Handel Architects full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Overall it was a great experience on every level. Very friendly and hard working people across the board. Experienced teams that will help you grow among them and will also allow a lot of initiative. Lots of opportunities are provided along with plenty of responsibilities. Excellent support and on hand collaboration on every phase of the projects from SD to CA.

    Cons

    As with most architectural offices the long hours. Not too frequent though.


  11. Helpful (4)

    ""One man show without standard. Like a fish market....""

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Architect
    Former Employee - Architect
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Handel Architects full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flashy work. Upper management is skilled and competitive. Well known architectural projects.

    Cons

    Minimal investment on staff, staff resources or the firm in general. Short term approach to problems. This also affects their architectural work. But since their clients are speculative real estate developers, it does not matter. Top and upper management is skilled and competitive. Mid level is not skilled (when the firm does not invest on you, what can you do?). Unprofessional with clients. Presentation to clients are often misleading (biased evaluation etc).

    Advice to Management

    Please look at the firm as an institution not a shop. You are an architect not a Mafia Don. Work with ethics and honor.



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