Hanover Research Reviews | Glassdoor

Hanover Research Reviews

Updated September 5, 2017
25 reviews

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Hanover Research CEO Wes Givens
Wes Givens
15 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Over the years, the firm has become more attuned to the need for work/life balance as a foundation for sustainable productivity (in 14 reviews)

  • Company parties and happy hours (in 17 reviews)

Cons
  • The leadership has little to NO ethical compass (in 7 reviews)

  • Professional development is lacking and even if there is some (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (6)

    "AVOID AT ALL COSTS"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Development Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Business Development Associate in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Absolutely none, they make you believe you will be a valuable asset to their "business development" team but all you do is cold call. During my time there they got rid of any sort of professional development because it was taking away from "phone time". They do not value any sort of innovation to the current business development system, and question you when you approach a prospect using your own technique. Horrible and toxic working environment.

    Cons

    Too many to list. This place is a scam.

    Advice to Management

    you should make your education qualifications for business development associates high school degrees. It is a dishonor to a college degree to call this a graduate level position.

    Hanover Research Response

    Sep 15, 2017 – Chief Growth Officer

    Thank you for your feedback. It was disappointing to read that you found no value in your time at Hanover. The Business Development Associate role is an entry level sales role with the main purpose... More


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Toxic Organization"

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

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Ok compensation at first but not worth it once you see how awful the company/job is.

    Cons

    I worked in the New York office and I have never in my life been exposed to such a toxic environment. The managing director was inappropriate and spoke poorly about various employees and the company itself on multiple occasions. I noticed the response a company representative gave to a prior review addressing the same issues, responding that employees underwent appropriate work behavior training and "no complaints have been made since"...do not be fooled... the only reason there haven't been recent complaints is because all the women in the office have quit in the past 6 months!

    A good amount of the company's leadership is inexperienced, as they have spent most of their career at the company in business development, rather than in their current field. (Ex. most of the HR team has no HR background prior to Hanover so that probably explains why the inappropriate work behavior in the New York office continued for so long).

    Advice to Management

    Get new management.

    Hanover Research Response

    Sep 15, 2017 – Chief Growth Officer

    Our New York office has definitely experienced some challenges as a new office in a new city and we’ve had to adapt our approach across the last 6 months to address those issues. There is no silver... More

  3. Helpful (7)

    "DO NOT WORK HERE"

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

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Cool loft office space in Soho

    Cons

    They will change your comp plan multiple times during the year with no reasoning, they will not pay your commissions on time, ever, if at all. Management lies on a daily basis and spies on employees with secret video cameras. HR is incompetent, and should not be in their roles.

    Advice to Management

    For how smart and professional most of the Research team is, you need to fix the way the team interacts, how you pay sales professionals, and be honest with your word, not a good look to past and incoming employees.

    Hanover Research Response

    Jul 27, 2017 – CHRO

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I am sorry to read that you left Hanover with a bad taste in your mouth. Our compensation plans do change depending on how viable a territory is as our goal is... More


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Just no."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time

    Pros

    The coworkers are nice people.

    Cons

    There are many cons. I'll touch on a few.
    I'll say first, as a BDA, you are a cold caller. To me, this was made clear from the get-go (although that wasn't the case for everyone; some people weren't specifically told they would be cold calling). Because of the nature of your job, it can be a bit defeating to say the least. You'll spend your day making around 200 calls, often speaking with people who have zero interest in hearing what you have to say. People will yell at you, hang up on you, tell you what a horrible person you are, etc. I suppose that this isn't exactly shocking news, since it is cold calling, but it can definitely take a toll on you after a while. If you worked at an actual enjoyable company, I can imagine that this would be less of an issue; but that's not the case here.
    Another pitfall of the job is that your success is not a reflection of your effort. I noticed that others have commented on this on Glassdoor, and it's an important aspect to point out. Your success (or lack there of) is often out of your hands. Some associates will get placed into very accepting territories where people want to take meetings and are likely to answer their phones. Alternatively, other associates will be placed into territories where people simply do not answer their phones and are very unlikely to take meetings. You, as a BDA, have no say over which territory you're in. You could be in an "easier" one and make 6 meetings in a day, or be in a "tougher" one and make 4 in a week. Also, management will refuse to recognize this discrepancy (although it's crystal clear to everyone else).
    The culture in the New York office is also quite toxic. Management is awful. I can't tell you how many uncomfortable things I've heard while there (racist, sexist, and just plain rude remarks and behavior). Not to mention the culture of staying very late. It was common for associates to be at the office until 8 or 9 at night. There was almost a stigma of leaving the office before 6 in the evening. And of course, staying late does not guarantee success (see above about territories).
    Simply put, the environment in the NY office is toxic. I'm not the only one who thinks so, as within a few short months they lost nearly half of their employees. We were all sick of being in those soul-crushing surroundings with backwards and questionable methodologies.
    If you are considering accepting a job at Hanover, I would strongly recommend rethinking your decision.

    Hanover Research Response

    Jul 23, 2017 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry to read that you walked away from your time at Hanover with a negative perception of the company and our New York office. Firstly, being in a cold calling role... More


  5. Helpful (8)

    "WORST"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    none none none none none none none

    Cons

    horrible, management's lazy, people are stupid. company mission and goals are horrible stay aware

    Advice to Management

    quit

    Hanover Research Response

    Apr 14, 2017 – CHRO

    I am sorry to read that you did not have a positive experience at Hanover Research. I would strongly disagree with your categorization of our staff as lazy or stupid. Hanover's employees are... More


  6. Helpful (29)

    "Look Elsewhere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Researcher
    Former Employee - Researcher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -As a researcher, you will learn how to work with ridiculously short timelines and insane expectations.
    -You will be forced to learn how to manage up and appease as many people as possible in managerial roles.
    -Your fellow researchers are incredibly smart and are some of the best people you will ever meet. Your co-workers will regularly talk you back from the edge and will keep you motivated.

    Cons

    - Hanover aggressively looks for researchers with masters degrees or higher, giving the impression that the research requires advanced analytical and critical thinking skills. This impression is completely false. Researchers spend the vast majority of their time doing monotonous busy-work "research" with unsophisticated methodologies and in some cases, shoddy methodology. If you are looking to do "real" education or market research that involves tools other than Excel, Word, and Google, look elsewhere.

    -Researchers are undervalued, overworked, and not respected. You will be asked to complete one project after another without actually thinking about the work you are doing - quantity is valued over quality. Suggestions for process improvements, new methods, etc. are regularly shot down because trying something new will interfere with the timelines and most people in management positions don't have the methodological research knowledge to even implement effective changes. You will be pushed to continue churning out the same low-brow research.You will be expected to fall in line and keep your mouth shut. Any "constructive criticism" or feedback you provide will come back to haunt you. If you want a job where you are a valued member of a team and your knowledge, skills, and suggestions are appreciated, look elsewhere.

    -The performance review process is completely opaque and you will be at the mercy of managers who can refuse to promote you on a whim. If you want transparency in how your career can grow in the company, look elsewhere.

    -Management has little to no interest in investing in researchers professional skills. Professional Development is non-existent. (please ignore the CHRO's responses about PD to other reviews- these responses are blatantly false). If you want to learn and grow professionally in your position, look elsewhere.

    - Finally, a word of caution about the reviews on this site: current employees are explicitly asked on a regular basis to post "honest" reviews (read: POSITIVE reviews) on Glassdoor in order to help Hanover's rating. Also, do not get the impression that the negative feedback is a result of a disgruntled, FIRED employee- Hanover rarely fires people because they can't afford to lose the talent. These negative reviews are from people who were bamboozled into joining the company or just needed a job - they left because the environment at Hanover is SO incredibly toxic. Again, look elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating your researchers like children. Researchers have the skills and knowledge to provide high-quality products if you will only let them. Stop sacrificing quality research and quality employees just for the sake of "short timelines".

    Hanover Research Response

    Aug 30, 2016 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. There seems to be a discrepancy between your expectations for the role and the service Hanover provides to our clients. We do not provide academic research studies. Our... More


  7. Helpful (17)

    "Run far far away from here!"

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

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Middle management has some serious talent. There are great people who are being clobbered by the executive team!

    Cons

    The leadership has little to NO ethical compass. With their only motivating factor being revenue, sales and account management have frequently been caught by clients in dishonest conversations. Senior leadership often pressures management to a breaking point, hence why there is such extreme turn over. HR is known to turn their backs on their own employees and report false information to senior leaders, causing extreme stress and unhappiness among many employees. Absolutely abysmal company culture.

    Advice to Management

    Please take a class on ethics and moral leadership. Your HR policies are not just outdated but embarrassingly against your own employees. It's shocking the company has been able to retain the few employees that have continued to suffer through the culture developed there.

    Hanover Research Response

    Jul 6, 2016 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. I wish that you had provided more specifics about which policies you feel are outdated. Policies are regularly reviewed and updated based on employee feedback, changes in... More

  8. Helpful (33)

    "Nightmare on Wilson Blvd."

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

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Absolutely none. I'll echo previous reviews by saying that, although your coworkers are kind and smart, there are an infinite number of worthy workplaces in DC where this will also be true. I watched the Hanover experience crush the spirits of resilient, intelligent people during my tenure, and I posit that the only potential plus from working there is that it will teach you precisely what you don't want in a workplace. It's a great and terrible tale to tell in interviews.

    Cons

    Again, to affirm negative reviews that have already been posted -- Hanover tends to hire eager new graduates who want to prove their worth by working hard, and managers drive them into the ground by pushing them to turn around low-quality, laughably low-value products in 2-5 days, depending on the research department. If you're looking for a first job that will substantively build your research skills, look elsewhere -- you'll mostly use Google here. If you're looking for a first job that will substantively build your client-facing skills, look elsewhere as well -- researchers almost never sit in on client calls, and God forbid they ever receive direct instruction or feedback from clients, either. I guess the silver lining there is that researchers don't have to be on the receiving end when clients realize the kind of drivel (literally tarted-up Google search results) they've been sold at a premium.

    Hanover is, in many ways, a study in top-down failed management. You'll see in other reviews that Hanover employs a grading scale on each report, where you are evaluated on a number of criterion on a scale from 1-4. These scores are awarded in a shockingly arbitrary fashion, and receiving them on each project feels like being babysat by the world's least enthusiastic babysitter (in my department, researchers often wouldn't receive any feedback on daily project updates until right before the product was due, defeating the whole purpose).

    A message to those working at Hanover and looking to get out: You should, and you can. I know that working at this company is both boring and intellectually discouraging, but you got this job because you're a good writer with a strong work ethic, and those are skills that every employer needs. Don't continue sharing your talents with a company whose model and product is a highkey abomination, and who undervalues its employees so dramatically and consistently.

    A message to those considering a position at Hanover: sure, do as the CHRO has suggested on this page and talk with managers to weigh your options. But ask them hard-hitting questions, and be warned that the nature of the work described throughout the interview process bears very little resemblance to what you do on a day to day basis. And quite frankly, take the reviews on this page to heart. Folks wouldn't be taking the time to write many-paragraph long criticisms for a company that isn't deeply flawed. I guarantee you, you can do better than this place.

    Hanover Research Response

    May 11, 2016 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry to read that you did not enjoy your time at Hanover. It is impossible for every position to be a perfect fit for everyone.


  9. Helpful (32)

    "Not Where You Want to Be"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Researcher
    Former Employee - Researcher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time

    Pros

    None – I promise. A lot of people have posted that the people are great, which is absolutely true. But guess what? DC is chock full of workplaces with nice, smart people. Let me put it another way. Hanover is a place where your coworkers will offer you support and encouragement when you start crying at your desk, but maybe you should just find a job where people don’t cry at their desks.

    Cons

    Hanover’s been in my rearview mirror for a while now, but when someone sent me the CHRO’s response to the last Glassdoor post (and after I read the subsequent “review” about “mean girls,” authored by someone who represents the “ideal Hanover hire” but doesn’t fit the description of anyone who actually worked there), I had to jump in.

    Hanover Research is a real-life experiment in how hard you can push your employees and drive down product quality while still turning a profit. If you work there, you will feel bad all the time. You’ll feel physically worn down from being overworked. You’ll feel guilty for contributing to low-quality reports that clients (many times school districts, colleges, and nonprofits) overpay for. You’ll feel like a professional failure for not living up to the expectations—often arbitrary and conflicting, sometimes adverse to quality and accuracy—set by the various managers you’ll interact with (and believe me, you’ll know when they’re unhappy because you get graded for every project you submit). You’ll wring your hands worrying about potential copyright violations and plagiarism as a result of management’s unwillingness to offer copyright training or pay for anti-plagiarism software (despite editors requesting this support for years).

    The idea that Hanover listens to feedback and is open to change but just can’t make change happen quickly…is a misrepresentation at the height of irony. You’re talking about a place where researchers get five days to complete reports that will “pass” for six weeks of work (i.e., the timeframe quoted to clients). And you’re telling us that you can’t do anything quickly?! Listen. When this place actually wants something to change, it happens basically overnight and leaves your head spinning when you finally hear about it through an official announcement or, more likely, through the gossip vine. And if you don’t believe me because I’m just a former employee who doesn’t have enough perspective, flip back to the Glassdoor reviews from several years ago and gasp with shock when you see people complaining about identical issues. I spent years at Hanover (my bad, I know – I swear I really thought I could help fix the place), but the only changes I ever saw were to cut benefits, reduce resources, and hire lower-quality managers.

    About the sexism: yes, it is real. The CHRO’s last response confirms it: 49% of the promotions went to women last cycle, but what she doesn’t say is that the vast majority of employees are women, so that 49% in no way suggests an equal promotion rate. The Hanover Organization of Women is a complete joke – it’s never done anything to change the policies that affect women at Hanover (instead, they have a weekly newsletter and meet every now and then to discuss Lean In or whatever “women need to try harder” book is popular at the time). I could accept the theory that women are underpaid and under-promoted at Hanover because we tend to be worse self-advocates, except that women at Hanover are regularly told at performance reviews that they’re too assertive or mean or insufficiently nurturing (something I’ve never heard them add to a man’s performance review). This is the kind of stuff that women have to put up with in a lot of workplaces but that would be easy fixes for a company that markets itself as pro-woman.

    On that note: the performance review process is notoriously unfair, so much so that Hanover typically sees a spike in resignations about 6-8 weeks after the performance review cycle ends. I know that raises and promotions are a touchy subject in a lot of places, so I will share a few details and let you judge for yourself whether Hanover is a place where you could feel secure:
    1. Performance reviews occur every six months, ostensibly so that people can receive more frequent feedback. However, the performance review cycle does not conclude until 3-4 months into the next cycle. So, for the cycle that ended Dec 31, managers began writing and discussing reviews in February, reviews were given in March, and the cycle ended in April when promotions were announced. This means that if you were passed up for a promotion, you now only have about 2 months to make the necessary changes to earn a promotion during the next cycle.
    2. Although HR swears that off-cycle promotions and raises never occur, they occur all the time. You will regularly hear about co-workers who get stealth-promoted off-cycle and who are rewarded with raises for threatening to quit.
    3. During your performance review, managers who are just as likely as not to be your age and less experienced in research will rate you on a range of criteria that include the unknowable (e.g., your intellectual curiosity), the poorly defined (e.g., your ability to produce work that requires “minimal” editing), factors completely out of your control (e.g., how well you perform editing and project leading tasks, which you cannot request and which you may never be assigned for reasons that have nothing to do with your ability), and qualities included in the performance review criteria to punish dissent (e.g., whether you have a positive attitude).
    4. Performance reviews include an opaque process known as “consensus meetings,” in which your personal manager presents his/her case regarding your performance (measured on a 1-5 scale). In theory, this practice would allow all the managers you work with to come to agreement. In reality, the consensus meetings remove the only thing that traditionally helped out the little guy: the manager’s sense of obligation and/or guilt. Because of the consensus meeting format, managers can go back to their direct report and say, “sorry, the room was against you,” rather than owning up to their own inability or unwillingness to be a good advocate (or their honest opinion that you’re not cutting it).

    This isn’t to say that the middle managers (content directors/managing content directors) are bad people or inconsiderate, but they’re busy hoping for their own ill-defined promotions and dealing with clients who are unsurprisingly dissatisfied with the one-day, incorrect quant project that they had to wait several weeks for. Think of them as the husband who gets berated by his boss all day at work and then comes home and snaps at his wife. Definitely not blameless, but also not unsympathetic.

    Where are the real promotion opportunities at Hanover? In HR! Everyone on HR’s Learning & Development team has been promoted to manager or senior manager, making the department Hanover’s very own Lake Wobegon. If you’re thinking this has to do with their crackerjack performance, you would be mistaken. Not only do they provide almost no useful PD opportunities, but the team (currently and historically) has consisted almost entirely of failed researchers who could never earn a promotion while they were actually doing the job that they’re now well paid to teach other people to do. I know that sounds harsh, but consider that they are uniquely positioned as former researchers with an influence in HR but have made seemingly no effort as advocates for their former peers.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management knows exactly what they’re doing, and anyone who thinks that they’re uninformed, trying as hard as they can, open to feedback, or doing their best is sorely mistaken (although if they spent half the effort on retention that they do trolling on Glassdoor, we may be in business). So, my advice is for everyone else.

    Whether you’re a content director or a researcher, your job sucks because no one wants to give you the resources you need to be able to do your job well. More than anything, I hope that you will reach a point where you just stop. Let the execs know that you’re not going to continue to do the work you’re doing at the pace you’re doing it—all while being told that everything that ever goes wrong is your fault. Since leaving Hanover, my life has improved in ways that I never even thought possible, and I haven’t spoken to a single former Hanoverian who wasn’t ten times happier in his or her new role. I promise there is something better out there for each of you: places where you will be treated not only with basic human decency but also with professionalism. You deserve to leave.

    Hanover Research Response

    May 2, 2016 – CHRO

    I'm sorry to read that you found no value in your time at Hanover Research.


  10. Helpful (13)

    "Weigh the pros and cons"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Development Associate in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Business Development Associate in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Coworkers are young and friendly. This makes getting through the day easier, but is common at nearly every business in the DC area. Not something to make anyone stay.

    PTO is great for entry-level employees, and management often gives surprise days off. Helps to prevent burnout, I suppose.

    Cons

    Hanover as a whole is mismanaged in that nearly every top manager has been nowhere else but Hanover. Best practices are nowhere to be found because most employees don't have an idea of how things are done at other businesses. This leads to most managers being inflexible.

    For this specific role, do not join the development team unless you are sure that you want to be in sales. If this is the case, you can learn a lot and advance quickly. Most people, however, join Hanover just out of college because they need a job and have heard that Hanover is a "fun, young" place.

    The role is repetitive at best and mind-numbing and soul-crushing at worst. There are some fantastic directors and support for the team who want to see everyone succeed and do well. I imagine it is hard for them to see the place that used to be an invigorating and exciting environment turn into an incredibly depressing place to go every morning.

    Goals and strategies don't seem to have changed despite evidence that potential new clients are not biting like they used to. Managers seem baffled as to why the same strategies they used 8 years ago aren't working. Employees essentially "work harder/longer, not smarter", but this does seem to be changing with the help of the development support team.

    Since leaving Hanover, my life has improved in every aspect - obviously job satisfaction, but also general stress and mental health. Working towards often unrealistic goals and constantly cold-calling is incredibly stressful if you don't feel as if you're furthering your career, which most people on the team don't.

    Advice to Management

    For the sales team, only hire those who want to be in sales as a long-term career. You will need less employees to do the same work faster, and are satisfied with cold calling and email-writing.

    Hire managers from outside of Hanover who have experience in other firms.

    Eliminate cubicles. Countless studies have proven how terrible they are for mental and physical health. No other company I ever interviewed with had such an outdated and depressing office layout.

    Hanover Research Response

    May 11, 2016 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry to read that you did not enjoy your time at Hanover. We are upfront during the interview process that the Development Associate role is a cold calling position... More


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