Hanover Research Reviews | Glassdoor

Hanover Research Reviews

Updated April 20, 2017
17 reviews

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Hanover Research CEO Wes Givens
Wes Givens
6 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • In my experience, the managers really do care about their entry level employees, such as their professional development and work-life balance (in 11 reviews)

  • Company parties and happy hours (in 16 reviews)

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

  • Hanover will say they invest in your professional development and that there is upward mobility, this is true to "some" extent (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Few opportunities for mid-level researchers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Researcher in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Researcher in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -- Good entry-level job. You'll learn a lot, and the practice of giving you "grades" on every project will ease you into the world of professional work.
    -- Flexibility and remote work opportunitities for researchers.
    -- Not a micromanaging culture
    -- Very formalized downward feedback system
    -- People are generally friendly

    Cons

    -- Professional development is nonexistent at mid-levels. I learned a lot in my first year here, but after that the work became tedious and repetitive.
    -- Noncompetitive pay. This company spends more money on snacks and happy hours than the average researcher's salary. I got a 20% salary increase and significantly better benefits when I left for what was essentially a lateral move at a similar company, after having been told that my salary at Hanover was on the high end for my level.
    -- Work is non-collaborative and can be isolating.
    -- Expectations around research output can be unreasonable. You're expected to deliver a flawless analysis in 5 work days, often involving a company or even sector with which you've had no prior experience. You can uphold strict deadlines or expect perfection, but both is absurd.
    -- Credential inflation. You don't need an M.A. to be a researcher here, and you definitely don't need a Ph.D.
    -- Day to day feedback (i.e. project ratings) is largely separate from the performance review process. You can have great project feedback and get slammed with entirely unrelated criticisms in your performance review.

    Advice to Management

    If Hanover is really about "the people," make more of an effort to retain them. Pay them better and put more effort into professional development, especially for researchers at the CA and SRA levels. Beer and Sun Chips don't make up for below market salaries.


  2. "Development Associate Role"

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

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

    Pros

    Hanover does have some good qualities. It is a good place to start as a newcomer right out of college. The Development team is young, fun to be around, and a smart group of individuals. There's free coffee and snacks, sometimes bagels and free lunches dependent on quarterly performance. I learned a lot of good soft sales skills during my tenure at Hanover. My co-workers are why I stayed for as long as I did.

    Cons

    There's lot of cons about Hanover though. Hanover will say they invest in your professional development and that there is upward mobility, this is true to "some" extent. I say "some" extent because it is all based on quantitative results for this position. You can be the hardest worker, but if your numbers aren't there (which is out of your control due to many factors) to be frank they don't care about you. There's lot's of favoritism, and certain managers should not be in a managing position as they have no clue how to lead. During my time there lots of incentives were taken away from the sales team and most of the people on the sales team felt there was no real leadership. If you're not hitting goal for that week, or even that month they will ride you to death. I would often work 12hr days just to stay afloat. In my time at Hanover (less than a year) I saw over 8 associates leave and 4 directors. Beware of working for Hanover on the sales/biz dev team it is truly a revolving door.

    Advice to Management

    Hire new leadership for the sales/development team, people who actually are familiar with the role and can lead by example. Look at candidates deeper than just their numbers of that week, month, etc. Invest in longer training sessions with actual professional trainers instead of past associates who haven't worked the position in 2+ years. Watch for employees inflating their numbers. Change up the snacks! Be honest and transparent with associates. Don't keep everything a secret. Allow for upward mobility based not solely on metrics.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Hanover is subpar"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Development in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Business Development in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time

    Pros

    Great people to work with.

    Cons

    Only judged based off how many meetings you bring to your director. They don't look at you as an individual that can bring a lot more to the table other than convincing a prospect to say yes to a meeting. Something that is entirely out of your control.

    Hanover Research Response

    Mar 13, 2017 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. As with any sales role, performance is a quantitative measurement. We make it very clear throughout the Development Associate recruiting process that this role requires ... More


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Director"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Sales Director in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Sales Director in Washington, DC
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hanover Research (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Beautiful office environment and some perks

    Cons

    Very bad management and career path.

    Hanover Research Response

    Jan 16, 2017 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. Without more detail it is difficult to address your comments about management and career pathing. I can share that in 2016 all Hanover managers completed their first ... More


  6. Helpful (20)

    "Constructive Criticism"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Researcher in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Researcher in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Hanover Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    (1) Flexibility - researchers are able to work remotely, on occasion, which is good if you're traveling, sick, or if weather is bad.
    (2) Independent work - a plus if you like working independently. A negative if you need to socialize. But if you're on the research side, you should not need to or even have the time to socialize.
    (3) Free coffee, tea, snacks
    (4) The new professional development initiative where researchers accrue a day every six weeks to use on online courses or other prof development ideas.
    (5) PTO increases by a day each year you are employed. No rollover limits.
    (6) Opportunity to hone research and writing skills.

    Hanover is like the big shiny house on the top of the hill, but once you get closer, you see all the cracks and how dilapidated it is. Management likes to point to the bright shiny things it throws at us, like happy hours, its learning and development program, more happy hours, executive office hours, and the like, but all of that is covering up the cracks. High turnover, bad work life balance - unless you choose life and end up trading work quality and performance, known culture of bad sales practices and essentially lying to clients. All the company cares about is churning out projects as fast as it can. It doesn't matter who does it, as long as it gets done.

    Cons

    (1) Flexibility - researchers are fully able to complete our work remotely, all the time. Of course, there are some researchers who may not be able to do so, or may not want to. Give us the option of being able to work telework all the time, based on performance. The privilege can always be taken away if the researcher is underperforming while remote. The CHRO will likely make a comment about company morale, the fun activities and volunteer activities that researchers do together, but none of those are good arguments.

    (2) Timelines - they aren't lying to you when they say timelines are short. But when they tell clients that we spend about two weeks for a project, feel free to laugh. If researchers are given the full amount of time the company quotes to clients, then perhaps deliverables would be better. This dishonesty is disheartening and obviously dishonest. Especially when clients come back with less than positive reviews, and you are caught in the crosshairs. Another item with timelines - management likes to say we can extend deadlines, but projects are pushed back so many times, the pipeline is congested, and there is hardly ever room for extensions. Instead you have to settle with sending in a shoddy but complete report or an incomplete report partly because of management's bad planning. But all the blame is on you, because you get graded on your projects, and you can't grade your CDs.

    (3) Open floor plans - Stop kidding yourselves with open floor plans. We don't have time to share knowledge when we're so busy trying to meet impractical deadlines. The company is once again moving about half of its workforce to yet another location, and we all hear that HR is going forward with an open floor plan, even for directors. This is one of THE clearest indication that the company just plain does not care about the research side. HR has taken comments from people in Content, but it's known that HR isn't even considering our thoughts. A mere formality to show us that they care. But you know what? That's not caring. Or, maybe HR is also just trying to assuage all the reviewers here who complain about the cubicle setting and lack of socialization with coworkers. Well, open floor plans are even worse. IMO, the ones complaining are more likely to be the underperforming researchers who have time to socialize to the extent where they prefer open floor plans.

    (4) Transparency - None to speak of. The company used to have a different rewards program for researchers, then all of a sudden it changed to something else. We used to have quarterly updates, we have none anymore. We used to have a Hanover newsletter, we do not any more. No explanation. Everything just disappears. Or appears.

    (5) Planning - also none of this. If there was, the company would not have to have moved so many times in so few years.

    (6) Promotion and salary increases - the CHRO says that salary adjustments are given to those with good performance reviews. This is not true. Salary adjustments are selectively given to those with good performance reviews. Salary adjustments are thrown your way when you leave. Those who stay and perform well must argue for their own raises.

    (7) It would help if researchers could rate their CDs and MCDs, after each project or when performance reviews come around. The current system is terrible. in order to review superiors, we have to disclose our names. Hanover believes that researchers are so childish and irresponsible that we are unable to properly review superiors under the cloak of anonymity. Even under anonymity, I have heard stories from other coworkers about being questioned whether they had penned particular reviews on Glassdoor.

    Advice to Management

    (1) Think about what's most important - the work that researchers do, including quality, obviously, and speed of completion, or showing our faces in meetings that just seem to multiply. We have more and more meetings that are unnecessary. This means less and less time to work on our projects. I think management likes more meetings because it makes it seem like there's knowledge-sharing or professional development, but again mere formalities.

    (2) Proactively retain top employees. Otherwise the current unrest in the company will continue to bring about lots of turnover.

    (3) Instead of wasting time responding defensively to reviews and trying to weed out the review writers, take what you read in the advice sections and try to understand what they say. These reviews are not here to disparage the company. We all want the company to improve.

    (4) I mentioned this earlier, but all Hanover cares about is having bodies to churn out reports ASAP. It likes to say it cares about quality, and held an innovation day to gather ideas about how to improve quality, but only if those ideas result in shorter timeframes. Money, money money. But it should be quality, quality, quality. So, Hanover doesn't care about clients either? It cares only about itself. Itself, being management.


  7. Helpful (14)

    "As With Any Decision, Be Informed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hanover Research full-time

    Pros

    As mentioned in a lot of other posts, your coworkers are often the biggest plus of working at Hanover.

    For entry-level folks, you can gain some basic work experience and at least some degree of insight about the types of questions that businesses are interested in trying to answer from market research perspective.

    For those interested in one day being a company decision maker (at Hanover or elsewhere), you can learn a lot about what *not* to do as an influencer, which can be extremely valuable since real-world problem solving often eludes simple, direct answers and can be heavily determined by communication ability (e.g. by actually having conversations with people).

    Cons

    Unfortunately, the camaraderie that develops between you and your coworkers often comes from complaining about the work and the company itself.

    For the work, I would describe it as generally unfulfilling. You can expect in any job that there will be tasks that you enjoy doing and tasks that you do not enjoy doing, but in my experience the work at Hanover is tilted towards the latter category and especially so for entry-level employees.

    For the company, there is a surprising lack in transparency and excess of bureaucracy for a company of Hanover's size. The former makes it very difficult for most employees to have meaningful conversations about their future at Hanover (as well as the future of the company itself) and the latter makes it very difficult to affect any type of positive change. These two issues are confounding by the fact that quite a few upper echelon people at Hanover have little to no experience outside of Hanover and often little aptitude for managing employees.

    Advice to Management

    I think Hanover has a very unique product and hence has potential to be very successful, but one of the key drivers of Hanover's long-term performance will be how the company decides to define "success". Historically, I don't think it is a secret that Hanover has defined "success" as year-over-year growth, which seems like a reasonable high-level metric for an emerging company. However, at some point the impetus for building the business will likely shift from being driven by new interactions (i.e. by selling to people who have never heard of Hanover) to being driven by perception (i.e. by selling to people who are already familiar with Hanover). This perception is driven in a large part by the quality of work that researchers are able to produce, and in my time at Hanover there were few meaningful investments in Hanover's actual product outside of increasing overall headcount to help alleviate some of the work burden. To be competitive in the long term I think that Hanover needs to make some significant investments in its products, which starts with attracting, training, and retaining good employees who can create value for clients and for the company.

    As a litmus test, imagine that Hanover contracted itself. Would Hanover be satisfied with the product it received?

    Hanover Research Response

    Nov 2, 2015 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. I am surprised to read that you did not find the work fulfilling at all. Most employees, even if they have moved on from Hanover, comment on the variety of topics and ... More


  8. Helpful (15)

    "Factory model - Ok for Short-Term"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Research in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Hanover Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Hanover attracts some truly stellar, bright people who become great friends. The company is young and there is a lot of opportunity for growth and for employees to carve their own paths. Recent grads have a lot of autonomy over their work in Research and the potential to make a high salary within a few years in Sales.

    Cons

    The culture at Hanover is frustrating. Researchers are given 5 days to complete projects (usually long form reports) and are almost always scrambling for time. Salaries are low and there are no bonuses or overtime compensation for employees who work late in research, even though working late is often necessary to meet deadlines.

    The 5-day project cycle wouldn't be as difficult if researchers' daily activities were more varied; A typical work day for researchers involves working independently on the same project for most of the day and maybe attending one or two meetings. I found it difficult to complete the work within the time constraints in this setting, as it is difficult to focus on a single task for the entire work day. The research floor is literally like a library and researchers have to create opportunities for social interaction.

    The time pressure and independent work environment would be less problematic if Hanover paid researchers higher salaries. Research salaries are not competitive with other firms in the industry and barely cover the high cost of living in DC. As a result, I found myself frequently exhausted, working late to finish projects, and not making enough to cover basic living expenses. Needless to say, it was a highly stressful environment. Employees jokingly liken Hanover to a research factory, which is not an inaccurate description of the business model.

    Advice to Management

    I'd like to see Hanover make some real changes that prove they truly value their employees. Providing free snacks, a few vacation days, and having parties and happy hours are small perks, but do not truly address the sources of employees' frustration.

    Extending timelines to improve the quality of reports and compensating employees in proportion to the cost of projects or partnerships would be strides in the right direction.

    More flexibility in the business model is needed to make Hanover an enjoyable and viable long-term place to work. Hanover may benefit from adopting the model of a consulting firm to allow researchers more time, higher salaries, and ultimately better quality work. As it is now, Hanover is fine for a few years but researchers should go in with an exit plan.

    Hanover Research Response

    Jul 23, 2015 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry to hear that you are not enjoying the work you do at Hanover but am glad to hear that you enjoy your coworkers and see them as friends. Hiring nice, smart ... More


  9. Helpful (19)

    "Decent last resort"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Hanover Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    As a researcher, you're given a lot of autonomy with how you manage your time as long as deadlines are met on time.

    Cons

    Despite being given a lot of autonomy on project and time-management, deadlines are tight and researchers quite often work late, with little to show for their hard work. Many companies give performance bonuses to incentivize employees to perform well; Hanover has just only just started awarding quarterly "star awards" to a select FEW researchers who have to be nominated for it (considering the solitary nature of the research position, I find this to be irrational). This award seems like a stingy alternative to providing performance bonuses and boosting employee morale. Compared to DC standards, employees at Hanover are underpaid, which explains high turnover rates. I think Hanover has potential to be a place where employees love working, but the current business model and poor compensation does not provide employees with much incentive to stay at Hanover.

    Advice to Management

    It's clear that management is interested in boosting employee satisfaction, but ultimately, it comes down to showing us that we're valued, which is most tangibly realized through a competitive salary. The way that things are now, it seems like Hanover view its employees like they're disposable, which may be detrimental in the long run when it becomes harder to replace talented employees.

    Hanover Research Response

    Jun 19, 2015 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry to hear that you are not enjoying your time with Hanover. We are very upfront about our salary ranges during the interview process and are constantly ... More


  10. Helpful (30)

    "Do your research and know what you're getting into"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Content Analyst in Ballston, VA
    Current Employee - Content Analyst in Ballston, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Hanover Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The first thing I would like to suggest is that potential employees should do their research about Hanover – not just on Glassdoor – before applying or accepting an offer. Try to get in contact with current or former employees in your desired position and look up the company management team and mission to decide if Hanover is the kind of place you want to work. The anonymity that Glassdoor provides is great at making employees feel comfortable being honest, but it also allows the HR department to plant reviews and upvote favorable reviews. Some people are satisfied working at Hanover, but there are just as many who are unsatisfied, so make sure you know what you’re getting into.

    Hanover’s strengths are its people and the flexibility of conducting research from a laptop (I can’t speak to work on the development side of the company). The research team is friendly, smart, and eager to help when they can.

    Flexibility is also one solid characteristic of work at Hanover. In the case of unforeseen events, blizzards, etc., Hanover tends to let researchers work remotely. It saves you the trouble of burning vacation time to handle an unexpected situation. The office atmosphere is casual, and the company generally allows researchers a significant amount of autonomy regarding how they structure their day. Micromanagement has not been much of an issue in my experience.

    Cons

    The most glaring deficiency of Hanover as a company is its approach to management. Hanover has a heavy emphasis on merit-based advancement. Researchers who consistently exceed expectations earn promotions. It’s a great idea in theory, but Hanover tends to promote great researchers to management positions without any assessment of their managerial ability. The result is that research managers typically have little to no management experience and lack almost any of the basic skills required of effective managers. The qualities that make great researchers (attention to detail, ability to focus on one task for extended periods of time, research and writing ability, ability to work in solitude) have almost no overlap with the qualities that make great managers (interpersonal skills, empathy, long-term vision, ability to understand, motivate, and communicate with team members). In short, it’s likely that your manager will not have the experience or personality needed to be effective in that role. Do not expect to work for someone who will understand, respect, or truly lead you.

    Work at Hanover is also quite isolating. You receive a project once a week, are given a five-day timeline to complete it, and are expected to complete it without much interaction with other researchers. Managers tend to be unresponsive and unhelpful when asked for information or assistance. There’s no real infrastructure for researchers to share knowledge or expertise, either. Hanover is just not a collaborative place, and you’ll probably feel quite alone despite being in a room full of people. To be fair, Hanover seems to try to select people who are comfortable working in solitude. They administer personality tests and mention the isolating nature of the job in interviews. Just be aware that the solitude can be quite acute and depressing if you are more of a social person.

    The pressure of work at Hanover is high. Deadlines tend to be inflexible, managers are often inaccessible, and Hanover expects you to complete your project within the given time period regardless of the amount of time required to complete the project. This means you may regularly work 50+ hour weeks, especially when you are a new researcher. One perk is that you get free dinner if you work in the office past 7 PM.

    Hanover does not value its employees. It makes little secret of this, and there seems to be a tacit understanding of this among employees and company management. Plenty of people are comfortable coming into work, completing projects, earning a paycheck, and going home. But Hanover is by no means an employee-centered company. The company tends to be shady with major decisions that affect the lives of all its employees, providing little information to researchers and acting deceitfully in many cases. Company executives have repeatedly acknowledged being unwilling to invest in researchers or improve the research experience. Turnover is high and morale is low – ask to go to a happy hour with current employees and you will understand.

    This lack of respect for employees manifests itself in a pretty mediocre benefits package. The 401(k) takes years to vest, vacation time is limited and increases slowly, and there’s no bonus system for researchers. Basic health insurance is free, though.

    Advice to Management

    Improve the management system – it’s the main reason employees are unhappy and it’s inefficient. It damages company productivity and smothers morale. Vet the candidates that you choose to promote to management positions and don’t simply make it a reward for good research performance. Hire outside managers, and pay them for it, if you need to. It will pay off for the company in the long-term.

    Hanover Research Response

    Mar 27, 2014 – CHRO

    Thank you very much for your feedback. I am sorry to hear that your experience at Hanover has not been a positive one. Our clients and partners set very high expectations in terms of product quality ... More


  11. Helpful (7)

    "Great starter job for 20-somethings to gain basic administrative skills, not the place to house your career."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Sales Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Sales Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    (for Sales) Fun environment, great entry-level pay, very nice office space. Great benefits. Aggressive, goal-driven atmosphere.

    Cons

    Inexperienced, impulsive, and immature executive leadership team. Smart people, but they do not have concrete or proven management skills.
    Entry level associates make more than many directors or managers which creates a very lopsided compensation structure. Compensation is also directly correlated to your "luck of the draw" in terms of the director you are placed with.
    Uncertain what the function of "Strategy" is other than hypothesizing and whiteboard-drawing. If it's going to be an arm of the company, research and initial outreach to garner interest for new product development should definitely fall under this umbrella. Sales team should be busy selling, not hounding executives for informational interviews regarding products that may or may not be launched.

    Advice to Management

    Why would anyone in sales work hard to prove his or herself and move up at Hanover when a promotion is met with a substantial pay cut? I made more money as an entry-level sales associate than many of the mid-level sales directors or partner solutions representatives. Hanover is able to attract and hire talent, but is unable to retain it. Let managers manage. Senior-level executives should not expect to be involved with every single minutia, and if they are, what is the point in having managers if they must seek approval from leadership for every single action they take?

    Hanover Research Response

    Jan 2, 2014 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. We are proud of our rich benefits package and goal-driven environment so we are glad to hear that you enjoyed your time at Hanover Research. As a relatively young ... More



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