Hill+Knowlton Strategies Reviews in New York City, NY | Glassdoor

Hill+Knowlton Strategies New York City Reviews

Updated October 16, 2017
30 reviews

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New York City, NY Area

2.7
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Hill+Knowlton Strategies Global Chairman and CEO Jack Martin
Jack Martin
10 Ratings

30 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • H&K hosts some of the smartest, most brilliant minds I have ever met (in 28 reviews)

  • Opportunities to work on a wide variety of jobs (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • You'll have limited work life balance and will bear the weight of responsibilities beyond your account role / experience (in 18 reviews)

  • H&K as a result has suffered in retaining and winning business (in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Senior Vice President"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    Pros

    Good culture; good people. Strong global network

    Cons

    Some offices are stronger than others. E.g., some are struggling with how to differentiate in a highlighly competitive and changing marketplace


  2. "Obviously Going Through A Transition"

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

    I worked at Hill+Knowlton Strategies full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    + The agency is going through a transition, which could be good and could hopefully bring the agency into the modern era
    + Since they never backfill roles, you will work on accounts and projects way above your pay.
    + Sometimes there are good opportunities and the possible potential to travel, but far and few in between.
    + The benefits and vacation are the only reason to come and stay until you find something better.
    + The new Cheers! Employee recognition platform is great, until you realize that after you spent 60+ hrs working one week and get 'rewarded' with points that have a 1/10 cash value .

    Cons

    - The agency is going through a transition, too bad the transition has been botched and the new US CEO has rubbed people the wrong way or hijacked clients and projects.
    - Overworked, underpaid
    - Most likely will not get a promotion no matter how hard you work, unless you + come back with an offer, and maybe they will match your salary.
    - You will not get a cost-of-living raise every year, unless you're a senior leader.
    - Hasn't won very many high-profile clients or projects recently, and senior leaders have said aloud on pitch day that they're not prepared...
    - Retention isn't that great, you either stay for years 10+ or less than 3.
    - Work/life balance is all work and no life.
    - Most of the clients are boring B2B or crappy CPG clients.
    - Office morale is abysmal. No one wants to be there and its obvious.
    - Global CEO Jack Martin is very stuck in the old-days and unwilling to come to the future.

    Advice to Management

    - Senior leadership really needs to step up and focus on bringing the agency into the 21st Century (or at least 20th Century...).
    - It is clear they are going through a transition.
    - Focus on and listen to your employees, they are in the trenches actually doing the work and not "speculating" on current trends or showing up occasionally.

  3. "Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY

    Pros

    Everyone was great about getting you involved in as much as possible. Management also worked to make sure you were able to try anything you expressed interest in.

    Cons

    There were occasional lulls in work where it could be a little boring.


  4. "Account Executive role"

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

    I worked at Hill+Knowlton Strategies full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It was a lovely place with lovely people and I loved my team. Digital folks were really smart and innovative. Would recommend.

    Cons

    Low salaries across the board. Not a lot of creative freedom at the lower levels, so the turnover rate at the bottom was kind of high.


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Not consistent; too much turmoil"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hill+Knowlton Strategies full-time

    Pros

    I enjoyed my coworkers and the general office atmosphere. I had some great opportunities to do big things simply because there was not enough senior execs to take on--so it was really cool for more junior level to run big accounts, manage daily comms with client, run events, etc. Great experience.

    Very smart junior employees to count on. Interns get real world experience.

    Mike Coates has good intentions and I appreciated those, but offering a few great perks doesn't override not paying your people enough and not having enough creative, engaging work for people to work on. Junior employees live paycheck to paycheck and AAEs make more than AE and AS because they get paid overtime. People had second jobs to support themselves and that was sad. It played a toll on great workers and people (and affected their work).

    Cons

    Salary was very low and bonuses were promised but never fulfilled. I wasted years waiting for something that was never going to come. I felt taken advantage of.
    Too much turnover. No consistency at the top. We were told no raises for 2015 but we knew certain people actually received them, so there seemed to be no consistency for who they wanted to keep and who they didn't care about. Very junior employees were doubly-promoted to make them happy for the time being, but that doesn't solve the problem. It's only a temporary solution. There are too many 24 year olds and then SVPs. No one in between. Clients are frustrated with lack of expertise.

    Not a lot of excitement. Losing too many accounts but not gaining ones to replace. Lack of energy and positivity. There were people that wanted to stay and make the transition with the agency, but were let go of or left on their own simply because of money. It was hard to suddenly have new managers and teams too. Confusing for clients as well.

    Not impressed by New York top management specifically. Not personable or interested in getting to know people 1:1 and that hurt morale. However, it's in the process of changing.

    Advice to Management

    Stay consistent and transparent. There are people worth investing in and it's a shame to see them go. Money talks. At least ensure that people are paid average industry salaries. It will make them feel valued. Invest more in your people vs. outside activities and perks.

    Keep energy and enthusiasm. This was a great place. I am sad to rank so low but my experience was disheartening.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Hoping they can turn it around"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Account Executive in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Account Executive in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hill+Knowlton Strategies full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Very friendly and talented people, some of the best people I ever worked with
    - Great lineage of the firm provides opportunity to work on exciting clients
    - Significant opportunities to branch into other practice ares
    - Huge alumni network and strong lineage make it a good place to have on your resume
    - Really talented people are working there

    Cons

    - Almost comical lack of corporate direction for the firm
    - Company seems to be in a never ending downward spiral
    - Revolving door among global and US leadership
    - Very high employee turnover
    - Too much emphasis on financials
    - Offices compete with each other for shares of client budget, which makes everything harder
    - Very political

    Advice to Management

    Provide better compensation for your staff and stop freezing raises and promotions.


  7. "Influx/Hot mess"

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

    I worked at Hill+Knowlton Strategies full-time

    Pros

    Great network of clients
    Global network of offices

    Cons

    There have been a lot of changes in senior management and political turf wars breaking out within the disparate US offices & divisions.

  8. "Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY

    Pros

    Large agency with lots of opportunity to work on some pretty big name accounts. Great collaboration environment - especially across offices.

    Cons

    Can be very silhouetted at times. Owned by WPP, so there is very little flexibility with management at the agency when it comes to raises and promotions, which is always a drag.

    Advice to Management

    Keep more of an open dialogue with employees. Encourage more cross collaboration work across practices. Doing so will create a more motivating work environment.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Run, don't walk"

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

    Pros

    The people were the only redeeming quality of this failing dinosaur. The clients are fair to nonexistent and the level of creative thought is abysmal. Inside Outside program is amazing and unmatched anywhere. You will never get more PTO or more time off for maternity, though.

    Cons

    You will never be promoted. Correction, you may get promoted but you will never get a raise. If you currently work there, leave. If you are thinking of working there, run away.

    Advice to Management

    Worry more about your staff. Not just keeping the good people but holding your higher level staff ACCOUNTABLE for their teams, their work, their clients, their billing. There is a reason HK is hemorrhaging money and it's not bc you gave an AAE a long overdue raise


  10. "Challenge = Opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - SAS in New York, NY
    Former Employee - SAS in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Committed to hiring people who understand and have meaningful experience in "the real world," rather than just knowing how to do PR. Working to bring employee/workplace programs & benefits in line with current best practices. Top leadership is very accessible and encourages/welcomes feedback and input from all levels.

    Cons

    Lack of consistent leadership and clear vision in recent years. High turnover in both employees and clients. Salaries are below those of similar size agencies, and promotions and raises are difficult to achieve due largely to revenue issues. Low morale.

    Advice to Management

    Follow through with the strategies and plans announced last year. Support employee growth. Keep listening to your people.


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