Hanover Research Reviews | Glassdoor

Hanover Research Reviews

Updated February 19, 2017
104 reviews

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104 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 8 reviews)

  • Professional Development is non-existent (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (8)

    "Good People, Collaborative Environment, Flexible Schedule"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hanover Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I have been with Hanover for over 4 years, and have been very happy almost the whole time. The tight project schedules can be a challenge, but if you are skilled at prioritizing work and thinking quickly, you will be able to adjust. I have been promoted twice, and I have seen substantive increases in my salary.

    I am a woman working in a typically male-dominated department, and I can honestly say I have never experienced any sort of sexism or felt like my performance or achievements were going unnoticed. All of my colleagues are very friendly, and we are all willing to help each other out, even when we are busy. It is a truly collaborative environment, and I have never felt I was in competition with my colleagues. Projects are assigned based on ability and availability.

    As a parent, the flexible schedule is extremely important to me. I am able to make it to appointments etc. while still completing my work by starting work early or ending a bit late if necessary. I feel I have a very comfortable work/life balance, and all of my managers are understanding and accommodating.

    Over my 4 years, I have seen many improvements to the way projects are assigned, managed, and rated. I am excited about all of the new initiatives we are launching, and I look forward to even more improvements in the future!

    Cons

    While the deadlines are tight, my experience has been that managers are very willing to work with you if they know you have a good work ethic, and that you truly were doing your best to complete on time. I only have experience in one practice area (Education), so I cannot speak about managers company-wide. In fact, the only real negative experience I had with one manager was when I worked on a project for another practice area, and after speaking to others who also worked with that manager, I learned that person was not representative of the rest of the staff in that practice area.

    Hanover Research Response

    May 11, 2016 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. I am glad to read that you are enjoying your time and have found the environment to be flexible and positive. Please keep sharing feedback and recommendations with your ... More


  2. Helpful (17)

    "Run far far away from here!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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


  3. Helpful (6)

    "Business Development Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Coworkers
    -Good commission and incentives
    -Fast promotion timeline
    -Good amount of PTO
    -Community Service Events
    -Associate Outings and Happy Hours

    Cons

    -Role can be a grind at times
    -Success can be dictated by the territory you're placed in

    Advice to Management

    Keep lines of communication open!

    Hanover Research Response

    Jul 29, 2016 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. We strive to make our entry level roles as engaging as possible with plenty of opportunities to learn. I am glad to read that you enjoyed your time here.


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  5. Helpful (8)

    "Enjoy working here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Ballston, VA
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Ballston, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -The work is quite varied, which means two things: a) access to a lot of experience, such as different industries, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and platforms. b) plenty of opportunities to feel like you're working with something new and avoid feeling bored.
    -The people you work with are often smart and entertaining.
    -In my experience, the managers really do care about their entry level employees, such as their professional development and work-life balance.

    Cons

    -The varied work means that deadlines can sometimes feel arbitrary or overly strict.
    -Everyone can be so focused on their own work that individual employees might learn a better way to do something and it will take a while to get the word out. However, there are clear steps to correct this.

    Hanover Research Response

    May 11, 2016 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. I am glad you are enjoying your time at Hanover.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "A Rewarding Meritocracy"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Development Director in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Development Director in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    DC/VA is an amazing, vibrant environment for young professionals. Compensation was higher than I expected, and the intellectual firepower in every department was impressive. I was given flexibility from my sales role to explore and develop new markets. Not a lot of hand holding or micromanagement, but plenty of support from senior management when needed.

    Cons

    For sales people, this is a competitive environment with some really hard-working, experienced peers. Bumping into each other from time to time over strategy and tactics is a given, and if you're not accustomed to making data-driven arguments and suggestions, you'll flounder.

    Advice to Management

    I appreciated the opportunities to connect with other departments outside of my own. Learning about their work helped me understand how best to tailor our services to our prospective clients. More of those types of interactions are always great.

    Hanover Research Response

    Jul 29, 2016 – CHRO

    Thank you so much for your feedback. I agree that our people are smart and driven regardless of department. Your recommendation about more cross-departmental collaboration is helpful and we have just ... More


  7. Helpful (11)

    "Learned a lot"

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

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

    Pros

    Hanover was my first job out of college. I graduated from a good school with a degree in International Relations and had a tough time finding a job in my field so I was very grateful when I got an offer from Hanover for a RA job. The recruiter was upfront about the salary when I interviewed and the offer was at that exact salary. I did negotiate a little bit higher but knew I would be making an entry level salary just out of school with no work experience. It paid less than some of the consulting companies I had interviewed with (didn't get any offers there) but more than the one think tank job I was offered. It took me a while to get used to the pace of the work. My first few months were rough and I struggled to find my feet but got a lot of support from my PM and the L&D staff. Once I got used to the workflow and learned how to make better use of my time, projects became less daunting and I felt like I was thriving. There were so many opportunities to learn things outside of my job - I went to lunch and learns and brownbags and attended a lot of training sessions for research methodologies I had no experience in so I felt like my year and a half really prepared me for graduate school and some of the more advanced statistical courses I am taking. I got promoted once with a pay bump (not big but it was nice to see hard work rewarded) and got a lot of feedback that helped me improve my writing skills.

    Cons

    The pace is tough. It can get exhausting at times. Some projects are boring but they don't last more than a week or two at the most. While most people are nice, there is a small group of 'mean girls' that huddle together at lunch, happy hours and other social events griping and complaining about everything. They make it clear that if you don't want to join in their commiserating that you are not welcome in their social group. I did my best to avoid them but their nastiness was contagious at times. I was happy when they started to leave the company. I know some people were worried about attrition but I was relieved to see them go even if it meant more work for me until new hires joined the company. While I learned a lot, I knew I didn't want a career in market research or education so even if I didn't go to graduate school, I would have moved on from Hanover at my 2 year mark.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to staff who have positive ideas for improvements and stop listening to the complainers. It does sometimes feel like it is hard to be heard over the noise of the whining so sometimes good ideas are not shared.


  8. Helpful (6)

    "Great place to learn and grow in a professional capacity"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Helpful and thorough training period
    -Generous and flexible PTO
    -Friendly and supportive atmosphere
    -Supportive management and team who are approachable and available
    -Company parties and happy hours

    Cons

    -Depending on the project you are working on, hours may be long and stressful, but this comes with the territory of working in research
    -Much faster pace than initially expected but my manager worked with me to deal with the added stress

    Advice to Management

    Keep more of an open line of communication with all employees, not just managers. Coffee Chats are helpful but make them less formal so employees are more comfortable voicing their concerns.

    Hanover Research Response

    May 11, 2016 – CHRO

    Thank you for your feedback. I am glad to read that you are enjoying your time at Hanover. We do strive to keep lines of communication open and will consider a less formal approach to the coffee ... More


  9. Helpful (13)

    "Hanover is a perfectly fine place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Content Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Content Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hanover Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    So I'm currently in my fourth year of working for Hanover (in research) and have been following Glassdoor reviews for a while ... I've grown so annoyed with the inaccuracies in these reviews that I feel compelled to post a defense of Hanover. It's not a perfect company but it's way way better than the negative reviews suggest. (Also I can only speak to the research side of things, as I haven't spent time in sales.)

    The only legitimate complaints are:

    (1) salaries are a bit low
    (2) there can occasionally be tight deadlines on projects, which can lead to lower quality
    (3) projects within certain company divisions can be repetitive
    (4) the executive team is a bit disconnected, too focused on sales, etc.

    On (1), yes, starting salaries are a bit low, but promotions are plentiful; I make 25% more than when I started, and this is staying within the research track. CDs often have a pay jump of 30%-50% upon promotion, and CD salaries in general (especially in MIC) are very competitive for the DC area. Plus the benefits at Hanover are legitimately impressive; health insurance and 401k are good (though not great), and the PTO is amazing. You start with 18 days of PTO per year and it goes up a day each year, along with 12 paid holidays ... at this point I have 34 workdays off per year, which is seriously at like European levels.

    (2) The idea that product quality is extremely low is simply absurd. Many of the project types (especially those assigned to new researchers) are very straightforward; a client wants a program demand so we grab the data from IPEDS, and boom, there you go; the client is happy, product quality is literally perfect as long as the Hanover employee was able to correctly use a database. But generally speaking, yes, there's a fair amount of secondary research (using Google is basically required for this). The whole point of Hanover's business model is that it's a relatively low-cost option for custom research, an alternative to the Advisory Board Company or an internal hire; so of course the clients aren't expecting 100-page best practices reports that answer every question perfectly. Yes, not every report is going to be infinitely high quality, but the clients are very well aware, as this is literally Hanover's business model; target middle-market clients and offer them a low-cost custom research option (we're now targeting some higher-end clients, but this was basically the model until recent months). Also, from a researcher perspective, I mean, cry me a river; you have to finish projects on somewhat tight deadlines, sometimes. Welcome to reality. If it's taking you 70 hours a week to finish your entry-level research projects (as one of the reviewers claimed) then honestly I'm worried about your future at any job; the projects they give to new employees are not difficult for any intelligent adult. I don't mean to be insulting, but seriously, it's not rocket science. It makes me wonder if maybe some of the 24-year-olds writing these negative reviews just aren't cut out to do research for a living? Or were shocked to find that actual employment is more difficult than their senior year of college? Maybe!

    On (3): projects are repetitive when you first start at Hanover because management is trying to help you out by assigning easy, similar projects. After a year or two, you're either a CD or doing varied interesting work (I do different projects all the time). But I guess starting new researchers with simple, repetitive work because they're still learning the ropes makes Hanover the worst company ever.

    On (4), sure, there was perhaps a slightly excessive sales focus a while; the company is now (quite rightly) focusing on product quality and developing deeper client relationships, so, there you go.

    Judging from some of these reviews, you would think that Hanover only hires naive 22-year-olds; however, this is not the case. The quant team has plenty of experts in statistical analysis; the consultants on the grants team (average age = 40) have expertise and have written successful grant proposals for billions of dollars combined. I wonder if the people writing these negative reviews just didn't stay at Hanover long enough to work with senior researchers? The average employee has worked at Hanover for 2-3 years, which is pretty normal for a company with a relatively younger workforce (i.e., people in their 20s who switch jobs constantly) based in Washington D.C. (i.e., the home of transient graduate students). Most of the people that I know who have quit Hanover were either going back to get their Ph.D or found another job. Hanover also has more promotions and more opportunities for advancement than any place I've ever worked at or even heard of. Performance reviews and firing/promotion decisions are absurdly transparent; I've never received so much detailed feedback about why I was or was not given a promotion or a raise.

    In short, Hanover is a perfectly fine place to work, and is easily my favorite workplace out of the 4-5 jobs I've had in the DC area.

    Cons

    [See above for more details]


  10. Helpful (29)

    "Nightmare on Wilson Blvd."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  11. Helpful (32)

    "Not Where You Want to Be"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    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.



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