Korn Ferry Reviews | Glassdoor

Korn Ferry Reviews

Updated December 13, 2017
382 reviews

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2.7
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Korn Ferry CEO and Director Gary D. Burnison
Gary D. Burnison
197 Ratings

382 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Good work life balance for support staff (in 14 reviews)

  • Very client focused and truly flexible workplace (can work from home often without issues) (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • work-life balance very poor in general (in 16 reviews)

  • Extremely long hours with hard work / life balance (in 18 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "IT Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Korn Ferry full-time

    Pros

    Great Place to work and great opportunities

    Cons

    work-life balance very poor in general


  2. Helpful (2)

    "The Land of Broken Toys"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Partner in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Client Partner in Denver, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Korn Ferry full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    * Smart, talented consultants
    * World class I.P.
    * Great offices and office locations around the world
    * A brand you want on your resume
    * Smart M&A strategy

    Cons

    * OPERATIONS - remember the 'Land of Broken Toys' in "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer"? Although the M&A strategy is great for investors, the acquisition pieces - specifically, the people and processes - never fit together. This company has so many tools, but it's so difficult to make things (R&D, sales, delivery) work smoothly.

    * CULTURE - remember Lord of the Flies? Its kind of like that minus the conch. There is a zero-sum game mentality across all lines of business. It's intensely tribal by business unit, office and even floor. Some offices are worse or better than others. Are you female? You should ask another current or former female employee about her opinion of the culture. Or, look at other reviews on this web site.

    * LEADERSHIP - Top down, distant leadership style from corporate. In Search, many old men act afraid they will be (finally) retired, so they take a hands-off approach to managing their offices and bad behaviors. In Advisory, it's a revolving door of "leadership." They have no P&L responsibilities and it was only this year that they organized by industry like Search. Finance, not the business unit leaders, run the show.

    * COMPENSATION - Until this year, the firm would not give annual raises, and bonus pools for all businesses have shrunk because of acquisitions. Support staff has been hit particularly hard. Advisory is a drag on revenue and that impacts annual bonuses in all business units.

    * THE COBBLER WEARS NO SHOES - You'll see this comment a lot. They need to use their own services to find, select and develop their own employees and leaders. The company has surprisingly few millennials except for FutureStep, the smallest part of the business. GenXers have been leaving Advisory and Search in droves. I hope FutureStep employees are being groomed for Search when they are more seasoned.

    Advice to Management

    A smart business strategy as reflected by the stock performance. Troubling leadership and execution issues as reflected in others' comments and the turnover rate. A company built for the long-term will fix these issues. A company built-to-sell will kick the can on its challenges.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great pay for stressful work/life"

    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 Korn Ferry full-time

    Pros

    Telecommuting, pay, PTO, challenging work, mostly pleasant people to work with, teams have very high work ethic

    Cons

    Little room for advancement if you are not a non-sales team member. All tasks are highest priority, heavy workload, stressful work with little to no recognition, constant change in leadership, new committees sprout up all the time to solve all our problems but lack follow-thru and die till the next committee is born, extremely inefficient use of technology/processes, moved US jobs overseas.

    Advice to Management

    Acknowledge the little guys/gals who build the bridge, not just those who sell it before it is even conceived.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "You will work 60+ hours a week in NY and with slim option for bonus until year 2 - even then it is subjective"

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

    I have been working at Korn Ferry full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great learning ground. If you can make it here, you will make it anywhere. NY office is grueling. Hay has many great options for teaming with search

    Cons

    Pay is unpredictable outside of salary and raises are rare. Bonus is completely subjective and depends on the generosity of your partner. The goals for increased pay are unrealistic. Research support is hit or miss.

    Advice to Management

    Partners in NY office are not in enough to see how much work they put on Associate especially with demanding client reports


  5. Helpful (19)

    "Laughable leadership, terrible culture, total “boy’s club” (Chicago office)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Korn Ferry full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Korn Ferry has good name recognition and a nice global footprint, but that is about it. I’m supposed to write at least 20 words in this section, but I honestly couldn’t think of any more pros.

    Cons

    They’re so concerned about billings that the service to clients and candidates is dependent on the overworked junior staff. Candidates are consistently “recycled” search after search and as a candidate, if you can’t do anything for KF, they won’t do anything for you. KF is notorious for never closing the loop with candidates and treating them like second class citizens.

    Internally, Korn Ferry does not invest in their own talent. Gone are the days of Korn Ferry being some amazing training ground. You have to go out and get offers at other firms to get them to think about giving you a raise.

    Advice to Management

    Gary Burnison often spoke about being better about celebrating our wins. I don’t think he meant by rewarding only the male members of the team with expensed dinners at GT Prime and having the “Boys Dinner” event on Outlook calendars for all to see and cringe over. You also have a leader overseeing the younger/future talent of KF actively encouraging them to go out and interview with competing firms to further their careers at KF. With nonexistent structure around promotions and bonuses/raises, a toxic culture has taken over, to say the least.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Associate Recruiter"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Recruiter in Farmers Branch, TX
    Former Employee - Associate Recruiter in Farmers Branch, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Korn Ferry full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits, location, 1 year experience and then run!!

    Cons

    you are offered a pretty good PTO and sick-time-off but what good is it if you can never use. Where should I start. I will say this, I am no disgruntled employee, but have worked at this place long enough to know its underlying mission. K/F has one of the most racist and bias management operating structure and it is all a mental game. They hire people of color as an appearance but there is no real contribution. discreet mental slavery at its best. This has to be one of the worse experience I have ever had in my entire life. Now the company has potential, but the employees and staff ultimately makes up the corporate portion being the most essential part. Unfortunately, they select a bunch of small minded employees to make up management and adolescence to manage a team and Human Resource. management of whom lacks social skills and morality in diversity if you know what i'm implying. These are facts folks. If you are are not in the click, and visually look and obviously speak different, you are an automatic outcast. most of the staff that make up a team do not have one friend in their circle who is of another race. They find it challenging in trying to relate, socialize and acknowledge people who do not look like them and that is an asinine behavior of management. You have been warned. If you want to work for a company that devalues pure talent, instead, idolizes opportunists and promotes political rubbish, apply here.

    Advice to Management

    Management should be thoroughly screened prior to qualifying into a leadership or management of any team. We should not have small nor one sided mindsets orchestrating a team. Equality and true morals has no core meaning at this company.


  7. Helpful (11)

    "Never ending nightmare"

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

    I have been working at Korn Ferry full-time

    Pros

    The pay if you’re willing to sacrifice your dignity. Glassdoor makes me write more and I honestly cannot think of a single thing.

    Cons

    Where do I even begin? If you’re not a senior partner at this company, you are automatically a slave to the senior partners at the company. Considering they have been a successful (money and reputation wise) company there is no desire to change their toxic and hostile work environment. Typical old school culture where everyone at the bottom is expected to grovel at higher ups feet, be subject to verbal and emotional abuse and be blamed for every single thing that goes wrong that is beyond your scope of control or responsibility. I never thought I’d come across Partners at such a highly esteemed company that were so immature and nasty but then again they operate totally unchecked. If you are in the beginning of your career - absolutely no training, assistance or development and be prepared to get ripped to shreds in your early days at the company (and continue to be, unless you are the ultimate brown noser)

    Advice to Management

    Have some actual HR instead of having Partners run company like a mafia.

  8. Helpful (16)

    "M&A pains, no direction, company is in flux. BLIND LEADING THE BLIND!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Korn Ferry full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -People are generally nice and greet you in the mornings
    - Good brand
    -Work life/balance generally okay but depends on your team and line of work
    -Culture building initiative is very interesting
    -A lot of well educated and intelligent people
    -Everyone is generally approachable and will drop anything to assist

    Cons

    -Benefits are subpar except for family leave
    -Pay is subpar; very below industry standards for especially for admin staff. ask for a raise and you will get laughed at.
    -Bonuses are ridiculously small and discretionary
    -Siloed teams
    -Management is subpar: feels like blind leading the blind. corporate is very shady with movements.
    - Admin staff are peasants compared to partners - Everyone is overworked. Some admins have to support at least 5 people
    -Some people get to unfairly work from home whenever, for whatever, but others are strictly forbidden from doing so.
    -Company is complete disarray.

    Advice to Management

    -Please stop trumping lateral movements for employees who perform well.
    -Be more transparent when it comes to company direction.
    -Continue to foster inclusiveness among different teams and across lines of business with the KF culture committees but stop pretending like this is a one stop solution to all the issues at hand.
    -Stop hiring only partners and fee earners if you are during a controlled growth phase or "hiring freeze" for all supporting staff. How will partners perform with no help. It is obvious that there is a frantic need to increase revenue after large merger but at the cost of what? Overworking all support staff without offering any incentives to retain them? In fact taking away benefits like accrued vacation time that will only roll over up to 4 weeks now, without it paying out?


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Not as good since the merger with KF"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Korn Ferry full-time

    Pros

    Really smart people and good brand image

    Cons

    Not very good IP
    No clear strategy on what industries to focus on and what areas to specialize in


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Place works you to death partners do not make any calls searches that are going poorly are completely your fault."

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

    Pros

    Prestige and the exit opportunities are plenty. People outside the firm know who the real work horses are and they are calling heavily into the firm. Lots of departures recently so lots of opportunities to poach people.

    Cons

    a lot ... no real time off even if you have it partners you work for will not approve it. Backwards system of indentured servitude operating model.

    Advice to Management

    Foster mentor ship


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