Kimley-Horn Reviews | Glassdoor

Kimley-Horn Reviews

Updated October 16, 2017
283 reviews

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3.9
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Kimley-Horn President John C. Atz
John C. Atz
198 Ratings

283 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • 200% 401k Match plus annual profit sharing contributions to you 401k (in 33 reviews)

  • One profit center" model allows employees to collaborate across all offices with minimal friction (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • Virtually every "cons" section here mentions the poor work/life balance (in 59 reviews)

  • Kimley Horn expects extra effort (in 34 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "A great first job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Analyst in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    This was a great first job because I appreciate all of the things my new employer offers me. More than 7 paid holidays and actual vacation time!

    Cons

    They push extra effort when there is no work. They want you to 120% of a work week (48 hours minimum), which would not be an issue if there was actually stuff to do that was not administrative work. They nickel and dime there clients to the bone. They claim they charge more because they provide quality deliverables, but in reality they are more expensive because everyone in the office will charge a job for even thinking about it (even the regional business manager).

    If you want to take time off, you have to almost equal additional time. For example, if you want to take a week off (not billable), you have to work 37 extra hours to do so or your UT will suffer. This can be very hard to do when there is no work. Vacation, sick time and holidays are all non-billable hours that count against you and they set the goals very high (>94%).

    I would be careful when considering accepting a job here. They told me that they were loaded with awesome projects and they could not wait to get me in. Well, after a month of being there, they laid off 5 people. By the time I left, almost 30% of the company had been laid-off.

    Advice to Management

    I wish you the best of luck!


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Good company to start; Not a good company for a long haul"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    A lot of opportunity to learn "on the job". Young engineers are given more responsibilities. Great pay and great benefits. Engineers are exceptionally talented. 5 years of experience in Kimley = 7 years of experience elsewhere in the industry. This is because, they make you work really long hours.

    Cons

    Promotions after reaching P4 or P5 level are all politics. If you somehow manage to become a shareholder and want to leave the company, you will have to forfeit half of your stock ( I mean the stock you purchased to become a shareholder). This is true even if they let you go. I know of a senior manager who had to forfeit around $100K after he got fired form an office in South Florida. My recommendation is that if you want to slog for 3-4 years after college and gain good experience, make $$ and quit, this is a good place. If you are planning to stay for a long time, plan to commit your whole life. They will make it really painful for you to leave after you become a shareholder.

    Advice to Management

    We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them...Albert.Einstein.
    Please snap out of your current ideology and adopt a sustainable practice of valuing your employees. You lost about 50% (2800 to 1500) of your work force....highest percentage loss among your peers. Road ahead is long and arduous for you. learn from other successful companies and don't treat employees as commodities. You are not running a WalMart. You are running a consulting company.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "A culture of sacrifice."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior IS Professional in West Palm Beach, FL
    Former Employee - Senior IS Professional in West Palm Beach, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are some wonderful people to work with at this company. If you choose to, you can learn about business and project management even if you are focused on IT.

    Cons

    The company culture requires a great deal of personal sacrifice. I realized when I resigned that this one thing is more important than all the others. They want you to work at least 115% effort (45+) hours but many people have to work much more than that to gain recognition. This is not always a bad thing, but you need to make sure you are ready to make this type of commitment. From an IT perspective, there are a lot of companies better suited for a career in IT. I have many friends that left this company and felt ready to abandon IT careers completely. However, once they found new positions they had a renewed passion for their chosen profession. Sadly, it is the kind of environment that treats the IT like second-class citizens much of the time. Also, it is worth noting that they have seen a high degree of turnover in the last couple of years and more and more of it is voluntary as opposed to the layoffs seen in 2007-2009 but layoffs are still happening as of January 2011.

    Advice to Management

    Your employees should be your most valuable asset. Perhaps it's time for a little less hubris and a little more humility. It may be more beneficial to understand why good people are leaving than to assume they "aren't a good fit." That excuse has allowed you to become too insular and rigid. Creative, thinking, passionate people are less likely to remain in that type of environment and a company full of Yes Men is not going to be able to innovate and compete.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "This place is a cult."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - CAD Drafter in Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - CAD Drafter in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    When I started, KHA still had a good reputation in the industry for the quality of work. Sadly that was on its way out as I left. There was still a good mix or project types and great national clients. The benefits package (excluding pay) were average for the industry.

    Cons

    Hard work and conscience will get you used and abused, brown-nosing will get you promoted. I was in high demand from project managers for my knowledge, ability and work ethic and received great bonuses from them (spot and annual bonuses). When review time came around though, the folks who drank, partied and played poker with the higher ups got the promotions and perks while those of us who worked hard but didn't socialize at work were railroaded. The pay itself was low by industry standards. If not for my performance based bonuses, my pay would have been totally unacceptable. KHA learned to hire kids straight out of school b/c those of us with experience didn't buy the lies we were fed. We were routinely told how good we had it there b/c most other firms did not provide benefits or that the lower pay rates were b/c KHA didn't layoff like other firms do in hard times (bet they quit telling that one in the last few years). The office I was in grew so rapidly that we were hiring employees for whom we didn't have work. The existing employees were asked to "shift" to other offices so new employees could stay busy. Newhires fresh from school were often assigned projects with little or no supervision or direction. This was one of the main reasons the company's reputation dropped so quickly. The local management's role was often mostly damage control b/c they failed to provide good leadership. As stated in other reviews, UT is king at KHA. Although production level employees cannot go out and gain work, we were the ones to pay the price by being held to a UT goal despite there not being enough work available to meet the goal. One manager there told me when I expressed concerns about the staff growing and the workload not growing that it was not my job to worry about such things as people far smarter than I were running things and knew what they were doing. He must not have been one of them as he was relieved of duty and shown the door. A good 2/3 of the staff has since been let go.

    Advice to Management

    I hear that many of the bad management level staff are still there. They are totally disconnected from their production staff and even the product that goes out the door. They ran the company's reputation both with clients and in the engineering field into the ground. They may well be past the point of no return. Advice to those seeking employment here would be RUN the other way. The office politics, poor compensation and heavy workloads (no doubt even worse with all the layoffs) make a job with KHA undesirable even in this tough job market.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Live to work... Or you're out!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Civil Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Civil Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kimley-Horn full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Profit sharing and bonuses, and that's it.

    Cons

    Base pay is substandard with the promise that if you work hard you "may" receive a bonus to make up for it at the end of the year. Employees grind through a MINIMUM of 46 hours per week (many times 50+ hrs) with the thought of the gold at the end of the rainbow. As I've experienced over my 10 years with the company, after the higher-ups take their share there many times is little left for those who actually do the work.

    Like I said, it is a KHA WRITTEN POLICY that you must work a MINIMUM of 46 hrs per week! Believe it!

    I fit into the KHA mold and excelled, until I got married and had a child. Once I cut my hours back from 55-60 to 46 the system no longer worked for me. This is a VERY common problem here for employees with young families.

    Health insurance is terrible. It was one of the first things that went down hill in the recession. I don't go to the doctor anymore because it's too expensive. Another example of management not willing to put their profits where they're needed the most.

    Advice to Management

    Profitability can be a very good thing, but not at the expense of a vast majority of your employees' happiness. You will be losing a large number of your best employees this year and next due to the fact that upper management is not willing to make a compromise.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Not productive"

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

    Pros

    Good money co-workers are very friendly.

    Cons

    Less than satisfying with little appreciation for doing your personal best on each job. Management not available.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "PR program to make company look better"

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

    I worked at Kimley-Horn full-time

    Pros

    Kimley Horn has recently gone through a company name change and is trying to change its image. Kimley Horn is good at making themselves look good, even in the face of the many negative to very negative comments here at glassdoor and on other web sites. Notice in particular the recent flood of glowing comments that have mysteriously all be sent to glassdoor in just the last few days. KH knows that many unsuspecting potential employees rely on glassdoor as a source for real information about a company. My friends still at KH have suggested that there is a quite internal program for employees, especially senior employees, to send in good comments to glassdoor to take advantage of glassdoor's excellent reputation for information. Read and decide for yourself.

    Cons

    Dishonesty and charging clients for work that was never done. Efforts and pressure to enlist professional employees to engage in similar practices as a condition of continued employment.

    Advice to Management

    They know.

    Kimley-Horn Response

    Jun 26, 2014 – Team Member

    Kimley-Horn has not changed its name in nearly 50 years in business. We recently updated our logo to more accurately reflect the way our clients see us. This was the result of a 2013 study, where... More

  8. Helpful (8)

    "The Firm that Loves Workaholics and Very High Profit Margins."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kimley-Horn full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Join if you have the following qualities:
    1. Extremely low learning curves (training will apply to your "extra efforts" time sheet NOT your Utilization time sheet which is basically what you will live by in this company) (Utilization = How many hours of your time sheet can be billed, you should expect to be at a 98% pretty much all the time)
    2. Entrepreneur spirit and consistent income from ongoing projects (the moment income stops rolling in, the downward spiral will begin)
    3. Are a serious workaholic meaning having a tough time achieving a work/life balance.

    All I can say is that analysts are usually very nice people and pay/benefits are great. Can't say the same from upper management.

    Cons

    1. Time off means having to make up those hours at some point to achieve the required UT goal.
    2. Clock out time is not at 5:30 pm, most of the time is way beyond that.
    3. Make sure that if you are entry level, ask for an extensive training program.
    4. You are not just an engineer, you are expected to be highly billable, very sociable to be put in front of the client, extremely efficient in your tasks, work comes before anything mentality. If you do not possess all these skills, be prepared to have a hard time.
    5. Bottom line is that your sole purpose in that company is to become a Practice Builder (Basically a Project Manager of your practice within the company).

    Advice to Management

    A place where people can flourish....................................hmmmmm doubtful.

    Kimley-Horn Response

    Jul 7, 2015 – Team Member

    Thank you for taking the time to review Kimley-Horn on Glassdoor. Our employees are passionate, hard-working, and committed to exceeding client expectations. While this can mean working extra hours... More


  9. Helpful (18)

    "Workaholic Atmosphere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Kimley-Horn full-time

    Pros

    1. There are many very nice, engaging, and intelligent people who work there.
    2. The work can be challenging and allow you to learn new things.
    3. There are interesting projects to work on.

    Cons

    1. Please look at the "Rating Trends" for this company. There was a huge spike in their rating, this was obviously due to management having employees write bogus good reviews to boost their percentage.
    2. Time off whether it is a holiday or vacation just means that you will have to work extra hours when you get back to make up for the work you missed. Another option is to take work with you on "vacation". Everyone talks about how when they take vacations they always take work with them.
    3. During a normal work week expect to work between 50-60 hours. While their normal work week minimum is 45 hours it is very rare that anyone works that little. Oh, and these hours of course do not include lunches, or 15 minute breaks because almost everyone works through lunch and never take breaks. If you wanted to take a lunch break there is no designated break area where you can go so the layout of the office facilitates this workaholic attitude.
    4. UT (basically your billable hours) is extremely important. So much so that people will not be willing to help you unless what they are working on is billable.
    5. This is not a place for people who want to have a family or a life outside of the office.
    6. There is no training for new staff. Everyone is too busy working to take time to train you on anything.

    Advice to Management

    I have heard management talk about wanting younger staff to not copy their workaholic lifestyle. However, this is what you model and it has been clearly shown that the only way to get ahead is to put in the same crazy hours. Senior staff with children often have a stay at home parent, rarely get to see their children, or are forced to work on a "reduced schedule" (which still means working 40+ hours a week to keep up with demand). Please stop modeling this cycle or you will have a lot of good staff burnout or dread going to work everyday.

    Kimley-Horn Response

    Jul 7, 2015 – Team Member

    We are sorry that you did not find Kimley-Horn a good fit. We are thrilled that more than 95% of our employees in a recent satisfaction survey reported that our firm is a great place to work, but we... More


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Stay Away if you want a long term career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    You will make a lot of money, especially if you are just coming out of school. If you are an engineer, you will be treated like gold. Lots of training, lots of culture events just for you and they are going to make you feel that you are very special

    Cons

    You have a less than 15% chance of making a career in this company. They are cold and cruel and you are just a number on a spreadsheet to them. If you don't have any marketing skills then you have no chance of making it here. If your job is not your life or your number one priority over friends and family, then please do not work here. You are better off taking a lower paying job that gives you a better life balance and a better long term career,

    Advice to Management

    Treat all employees equally and with respect-You are very lacking in this area and your egos are getting in the way of you actually having a great company.


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