Kimley-Horn Reviews | Glassdoor

Kimley-Horn Reviews

Updated December 6, 2018
325 reviews

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4.0
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Kimley-Horn CEO Steve Lefton
Steve Lefton
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "The bonus and profit sharing are exceptionally good" (in 38 reviews)

  • "they have great benefits for employees" (in 29 reviews)

Cons
  • "I'd like to see any successful consultant that has perfect work/life balance" (in 64 reviews)

  • "This extra effort is embedded into the system which tracks your productivity and contributions to the firm" (in 38 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Senior Vice President"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Vice President in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Senior Vice President in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kimley-Horn full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Kimley-Horn provides a great workplace environment. From the structured training to the VP of Fun events, we all feel prepared and appreciated for the work we do.

    Cons

    We do work hard so be prepared to contribute.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to input from employees and thank you for the many ways you solicit feedback.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Civil Engineering Analyst in Frisco, TX
    Current Employee - Civil Engineering Analyst in Frisco, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kimley-Horn full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I enjoy almost every day working at Kimley-Horn. Benefits are honestly unbelievable. As a recent college hire, I can tell my supervisor & team care about my learning and I am given additional responsibility when I ask for it. It is apparent Kimley-Horn treats young E.I.T.'s well and grooms them to be extraordinary Project Managers one day. I plan on spending a career here.

    Cons

    Company of overachievers - however, I view this as a pro because I am pushed to work harder and learn more.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up.

  3. "Current Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Kimley-Horn full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people here are awesome!

    Cons

    Be prepared to work hard.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to employees.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "A great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Saint Paul, MN
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Saint Paul, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kimley-Horn full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great opportunities and offered the ability to seek and make your own success. Company really cares about employees and offers superb pay and benefits.
    Energizing environment filled with highly enthusiastic and talented employees.

    Cons

    The company is financial successes come at the expense of business metrics being highly focused on. At times this feels like a negative, but the financial rewards that result from it make it worthwhile.


  5. "A nightmare every day"

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

    I have been working at Kimley-Horn full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Decent compensation and benefits, but that's about it.

    Cons

    Where do I start? If you're willing to work like a dog and in an unethical and abusive environment, this is the place for you! Forget about your personal and social life; dive right into the blatant racism and sexism. Honestly, if you are even considering working at KHA - run for the hills. It's an absolute nightmare to come to work every day.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Long hours but worth it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Kimley-Horn full-time

    Pros

    The people are wonderful here! Everyone really loves and enjoys the job and it is a positive environment on the whole. People are very helpful and collaborative, and everyone wants everyone to succeed. There is no competition within the office or within the firm which makes for a supportive and successful work place. You are always well compensated for your time, with great salary and benefits like bonuses, 401k plans with profit sharing, etc.

    Cons

    The hours can be long, especially depending on your work style. Some folks like to stay late on weekdays and then unplug every weekend and other people work shorter weekdays and partial weekends, so it’s really dependent on the employee’s lifestyle.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Would Not Recommend"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    If looking to move through the ranks and become an owner, this is the place.

    Cons

    Immediate coworkers and management are very hard to get along with. Since there is the rank system, many tend to think they are better than everyone else and will not give you the time or day to talk to them or ask questions.

  8. Helpful (10)

    "The company for you if you have no wife, no kids, no dogs, no social life . . ."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager
    Former Employee - Project Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kimley-Horn full-time

    Pros

    There is much to be said about the culture: it is well-established and well-documented, and forms the basis for how the company operates. There is never any confusion about how the company is led or what guides the decision-making process; it is the culture, and leadership is cultivated from within. Former CEO John Atz started as an analyst.

    Benefits, in most cases, are second-to-none. With the exception of the clunky HSA-Compatible High Deductive Health Plans, for which KHA provides most of the deductible, most benefits are on-par or well-above average for the industry. The 401k match is incomparable: Every year I was at KHA, it was 18% of salary PLUS bonus, with a mere 4% contribution from the employee. As a standard rule, the match is 4% by employee, 8% by KHA. Bonuses are extremely high depending your level of contribution. Cell phones and commuting expenses are often covered depending on location.

    Ownership in the company (actually, the holding company of which KHA is a wholly owned subsidiary) is a potential for extreme wealth-building, should you be invited.

    There is no shortage of training opportunities, with entry level "YPs" receiving two years of training in their chosen discipline (land development, traffic, aviation, etc.)

    Cons

    There are downsides to the culture as well. Kimley-Horn is an "extra effort" firm; that is, the expectation (though not a hard-and-fast rule) is that you work a minimum of 46 hours a week (115% of a normal week). That's because your utilization rate (or UT) when you start as an analyst is usually 96%. That's on the Production (or P-Ladder) side. Marketing is generally lower, but UT is a requirement for everyone who works for the company.

    Speaking of acronyms, Kimley-Horn has a language all of its own: UT, MUT, Multiplier, Job Starts, Go/No-Go, Pre-Sell, G2, OPA, IBP, Business Plan, Milestones, Castaheads, Lead Tracker, YPs, Go-Bys, TPTO, Shifting, PMs, Practice Builders, Debentures, path to ownership. There is a KHulture all to itself. The indoctrination is swift, and it is difficult to be a true part of the company unless you drink the KHool Aid. Employees brought in at the mid-level or as practice builders have a difficult time adjusting to the KHulture, and turnover is high.

    As a PM, there is extreme pressure to have "job starts" (i.e. bring in work), and competition is high as a result. As bonuses (of which there are two levels, Outstanding Performance Award and Incentive Bonus Program) are tied directly to performance (and AR in the case of IBP), there is often infighting over who will PM a marketing effort. PMs often become disconnected from actual work as they are chasing the next proposal.

    As an Analyst (P0-P3), your OPA is tied to your UT. Miss your UT, your bonus drops. YPs desperate for UT will be found shifting to regions where there is work, relocating for extended periods of time away from family, friends, and healthy living. And forget about passing the PE exam if you're on that track; you will receive no break on UT, time off to study (PTO counts against UT), or internal preparation to pass the exams. The pass rate is my office was probably 15% on the first try.

    There is always much discussion about the "total compensation package" when you join the company, i.e. salary + bonus + 401k + benefits. That's because salaries are kept on the median to low end of the industry, with a potential for higher bonuses and the 401k making up the difference. If you're okay with a lower salary and the potential for a nice gift in December (or 4 times a year on IBP), this is the place for you. You could potentially retire early, if you make it that long.

    The California region is severely broken. It has developed a fractured, bastardized version of the national culture that no longer reflects the ideas of Raleigh. One, extended trip to a training session (either FOC, FOP, or Consultant Training), where multiple regions are represented, will expose the inefficiencies, hubris, and lack of connection to production employees by the regional team. Certain SVPs, around since the infancy of the region, have been allowed to borderline and outright abuse their YPs and Mid-Levels in the name of jobs starts and ownership levels.

    Lastly, the "path to ownership". First, you must become an associate (which also has some perks). Then you are invited to become a debenture-holder (make sure you're consistent on your job starts and, while it could be quick, the time-frame to become a debenture-holder is indefinite). Then you must write a check to purchase your first debentures (low-yield CDs, in effect, which you "loan" to the company). Then you build debentures from IBP (you must be in IBP to be a debenture-holder) until you have enough debentures to show your "appetite" to own shares. Then, you wait. And wait. And wait, until your debentures are used to purchase shares, if you are invited.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more guidance to employees brought in at the mid-level: Analysts get a lot of attention, as do Practice Builders, while Mid-levels are left holding the bag. Relax the UT (especially with week-long training events. See it for what it is: an investment in your employee), or relax the multiplier: you can't compete in California anymore at a 4.0+, especially when KHA has few differentiators any more. Do not be afraid to get rid of SVPs who create hostile work environments; it will be more costly in the long run, I guarantee it. Raise base salaries: Millennials don't care about retirement yet, and it's difficult to attract entry and mid-levels to the company when all they care about are the paychecks twice a month.

    Kimley-Horn Response

    Oct 3, 2018 – Team Member

    One of the things we say often at Kimley-Horn is that consulting is not for everyone. It is a demanding field, and like many professional fields, is not for those who are looking for a 9-5 job... More


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Not for everyone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Jacksonville, FL
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Jacksonville, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kimley-Horn full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Overall compensation including salary bonus and profit sharing are second to none. If your priority is money, this is your place. The professionalism of most staff is above industry average. There are great people at this firm. I made lifelong friends in my time there.

    Cons

    Kimley-Horn is not for everyone. All consultants work many many hours, but Kimley-Horn does it better than anyone else. They have some of the highest utilization rates in the industry. 120+% total effort weekly is encouraged. Kimley-Horn is an engineering firm. If you are not an engineer or like winning your own work, you likely won’t last. There is no appreciation for niche or support practices. Period. The ridiculous compensation, especially of senior staff, does not lead to mentoring or development of junior staff. No one is going to sacrifice the least for you when there’s so much money on the line.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to maintain the small company feel, refrain from managing everything from spreadsheets. They tell one side of the story. Stop trying so hard to diversify your personnel. If your workplace is true to its core purpose and values, this shouldn’t be an issue.

    Kimley-Horn Response

    Oct 3, 2018 – Team Member

    Thank you for your review. We're glad you made great friends here. It's true that Kimley-Horn is not for everyone - but for those who are dedicated to the success of their clients and their... More


  10. "marketing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Marketing in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kimley-Horn full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    perfect fit if you're looking for a fulfilling career, as opposed to a job, and a great place to grow your business skills

    Cons

    not a great place for people that need to have a "boss", or want to be a "boss"

    Advice to Management

    Call more of the internal training programs and frequent brown-bags, "business training" or "leadership training"