Hensel Phelps Reviews | Glassdoor

Hensel Phelps Reviews

Updated March 20, 2017
11 reviews

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1.0
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Hensel Phelps President & CEO Jeff Wenaas
Jeff Wenaas
5 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Employee owned, organized, Safety is not just talk, good support from upper management (in 21 reviews)

  • Great Benefits specially for salary employees (in 17 reviews)

Cons
  • Long hours but normal for our industry (in 63 reviews)

  • Work life balance could be better (in 23 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (8)

    "Project Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Denver, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hensel Phelps full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great company if you want to minimize the amount of time spent with your family. HP will help you get rid of those costly hobbies, you won't have time except to work! Good culture if you're from the Midwest, white, and male; if you're not forget about promotions past Area Supt.

    Cons

    The profit sharing(S-Units) is a well thought out ponzi scheme. They basically lower your pay and then put the money into S-units that you'll slowly get back after being vested in over 5 years. My current employer pays me what I made in S-units on my paycheck (and more). What makes the scheme ingenious is how they sell the younger employees on this like it's the gold standard. By the time you realize it's a scam, you're in too deep to go elsewhere, because they'll keep stringing you a long with new S-Units that you won't leave until you're vested in and it's taken you ten years to get there, so you feel like you've invested too much time and effort. This form of modern slavery entitles them to treat you however they feel, i.e. Move across the country on short notice, work 90 miles from home, support a crappy staff, work on a project that is hemorrhaging money, etc.

    Advice to Management

    I worked 10 years for the company and my last year was denied my profit sharing, even though I worked 51 of the 52 weeks of the year. When I confronted the VP, he stated he could pay me, but chose not to out of spite of me quitting. Way to treat a 10 year employee that has sacrificed so much. Try putting your employees first for a change!


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Old School..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Field Engineer Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Field Engineer Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Numerous responsibilities lead to varied exposure

    Cons

    12 hour days, competitiveness kills teamwork, short staffed site, upper management led with an iron fist.

  3. Helpful (9)

    "Long Hours no recognition"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Field Engineer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Field Engineer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Hensel Phelps full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you are new to the construction industry with this company you will have the opportunity to learn hands on.

    Cons

    you are expected to work 70 hours a week, 12 hour days minimum if you leave after a 10 hr day you are said to that you leave early. Promotions are based on tenure.

    Advice to Management

    help the employees have a better quality of life and not over work them. That way they can perform better.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Not a place for progressive construction managers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Field Engineer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Field Engineer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Relaxed work environment. Good people, especially the craft. Young engineers learn a lot from their field experience. Very good overall training program - employees have access to a plethora of industry courses year-round through a very well designed and implemented company education portal.

    Cons

    The hours are ridiculousness. Kiss your personal and family life goodbye. Communication at HP is horrible. Though this is the construction industry, often HP gives less than a week notice when its time to uproot and move to a new job. Communication between lower and upper-level management isn't great either. Its difficult to get an honest assessment of your progress or deficiencies. HP has a terrible record of retaining and promoting minorities and women.

    Advice to Management

    Get with the times. I suggest offering more trainings on communication and managerial skills.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "HP review"

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

    I worked at Hensel Phelps full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The health insurance is free. That would be it.

    Cons

    As you have read the hours are long, they will move you at a moments notice, are the pay is poor. I keep reading reviews saying that their hours are the industry standard. IT IS NOT! The grass is really greener on the other side! Currently, I work 7:30-4 Monday through Friday and NO WEEKENDS! That's right, NO WEEKENDS! I make more money than what I did at HP and my bonus was much higher than any I received! The extra added bonus, I do not have to move! It's great! There are so many upper level employees quitting because they realize that there is more out there. The golden carrot is no longer helping with retaining employees because it's not worth it. They will work you to death and when your lose to 20+ years, they will force you out. I've been so much happier and rested since I quit. Best decision I've ever made!

    Advice to Management

    Stop with the quality of life plans. You know that job sites don't implement them, so there's no point talking about it. And stop promoting people based upon tenure. There are a lot of upper management that do not deserve the positions they are in.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Just another large company"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hensel Phelps full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    If you can stay ahead of the curve by getting a good offer, a good signing bonus, get into the S unit program and get lots of them, then it might work out OK. The insurance is great and you do not pay for it. Profit sharing (401K) is the best in the industry or maybe any industry by a bit. This all directly offsets with the lower salaries and raises, so it is really just a personal choice of getting your money now or having it deferred for a later time. You can see some amazing construction projects, as the company builds some great ones. I rated Hensel Phelps low because it is my personal opinion overall, but objectively it is an OK place, my time there was good and reasonably profitable, just read the Cons and know what you are getting into.

    Cons

    You are a number just like any other large company. You put in your work and you get paid. You just need to constantly review and look out for yourself to make sure you are getting what you need out of the relationship. You have to remember it is just business and not get emotionally involved or passionate about your work. They will certainly take advantage of you putting in extra any chance they get. It is all about politics at the end of the day, so realize that on day one and you will be much better off. The workload per person is great. There are a lot of good processes and procedures in place, but the majority of the work is in the form of spreadsheets and checklists that are unnecessary. Intelligent people find themselves bored pretty quickly with the endless mundane tasks that have to be performed so the company really struggles to keep them around. A lot of the middle and upper management is just average, so I think the really bright people get frustrated with that as well. In my time there I saw all the best people leave and all the mediocre ones with great political skills move ahead. It is just what you need to realize you are in for with a large company. Hensel Phelps prides itself on being a great builder and general contractor, but really it is just about the same as many others at the end of the day. They stand out in a couple of areas (see the Pros) but not nearly as many as they will tell you they do. There are a lot of systems and processes that are very outdated and adoption of new ideas is very slow and difficult, so if you want to have an impact and see your ideas make a difference, you will be disappointed. They struggle to keep up with current technology in many facets of the company, although they definitely sell it differently on the outside. Always just a few steps behind the real construction company innovators. In my time the numbers worked out well for me, but I have been seeing greatly increasing numbers of people for whom the salaries, promotions, s-units, are not commensurate with their contribution. They are currently adding people at an alarming rate and are not able to train them very well or spend the time with them so they can develop to their potential. I don't know how that will work out, but I saw them do it before 10 years ago and it did not end well.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. Its profitable and always has been, and thats what matters. Stop with all the Quality of Life talk its just a facade. Once everyone is working with a good quality of life and decent hours, there will be no profit left. Just be honest about the working relationship, its not a family, just business.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Carpenter"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hensel Phelps full-time

    Pros

    Good profit sharing benefits and health insurance

    Cons

    No work life balance no value for craft on non prevailing wage jobs craft are paid very poorly because it is non union

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Hensel Phelps Review"

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

    I have been working at Hensel Phelps full-time

    Pros

    The health benefits are pretty decent. Hard to beat.

    Cons

    There is a reason why HP's rating has increased on Glassdoor over the past several months. It is not because upper management has addressed the issues at hand. It's due to upper management (VP,OP,GS,PM,PS) encouraging the staff during meetings, to increase HP's overall score due to a low rating that they have been receiving. These numbers are skewed and it's not appropriate to encourage your staff to deliberately give positive reviews to increase your overall score.

    Advice to Management

    Please address issues that were brought up during the survey that we took several years ago


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Field engineer"

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

    Pros

    HP is a strong company when it comes to government jobs, they can't compete in the private sector because other companies eat them alive.

    Cons

    horrible company to work for, first when they hire you they tell you that they will gonna to send you to a specific city and at the send they send you to the middle of nowhere ( my experience). Second, the people that work in HP are not normal, if you are not like one of them, they don't consider you part of them. Also, be ready to work as a labor person because when they do not feel to pay people to do certain things, they tell the new hires to fix things that the subs didn't do or missed before they leave. The reason of why they do that is because some of the superintendents move up from being a carpenter to be a superintendent and they think because they did it you have to do it. They don't realize that you went to college and got a degree ( my case civil engineering) I haven't seen a company like that. Also, forget your life while you work here. The pay is not good at all, people think because they make 50k a year working 60-70 hrs is good, if you work that amount of hours you are making 14 or 15 per hour, and I don't think that's good money. I quit HP after 6 months because I got a better job, better pay and better people to work with. I hope this helps to anyone who is considering joining HP

    Advice to Management

    Make sure go get the right people running the projects. Is very important to train you PS how to act and how to treat their employees


  10. "????"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Hensel Phelps full-time

    Pros

    Many big projects & chance to travel to new places

    Cons

    They require formal commitments when employed then if you act on the agreement as required, they will crucify you and monetarily bribe you to leave. Fraternity mentality with many inexperienced employees that are very confrontational within. Upper management will not communicate on a professional manner but share confidential information with other employees inviting litigation and hardship.

    Advice to Management

    Be careful with your secrets, learn professionalism & confidentiality.


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