McMaster-Carr Reviews | Glassdoor

McMaster-Carr Reviews

Updated July 19, 2017
529 reviews

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529 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • No room for advancement, Expect to much from employees (in 16 reviews)

  • I entered management in 2013 and went through the Management Trainee recruiting process (in 33 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (10)

    "Stay away from this company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations in Aurora, OH
    Former Employee - Operations in Aurora, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at McMaster-Carr full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Used to be decent place to work.

    Cons

    Nothing good comes to mind anymore.

    Advice to Management

    Save everyone some grief and close the doors.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Supervisor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations Supervisor in New Brunswick, NJ
    Former Employee - Operations Supervisor in New Brunswick, NJ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at McMaster-Carr full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with, challenging, fast paced, clean and modern work areas, state of the art facilities, wonderful benefits package

    Cons

    Not enough positive feedback for employees, tendency to point out mistakes and what you're doing wrong. Emphasis always seemed to be on what you were doing wrong. Goals were high, sometimes unreasonable and most of the time emphasized speed vs accuracy.

    Advice to Management

    A mixture of positive feedback and ways to improve could really work wonders with morale and productivity. Promoting people with experience from within the ranks, instead of hiring young Ivy League kids with little human relations skills, would certainly boost morale and create a precedent for others to follow.

  3. Helpful (21)

    "The Dementor's Kiss is what MCM will you give"

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

    I worked at McMaster-Carr full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good paying job if you are coming right out of college.
    Good health insurance which you will need for all the therapy and high-blood pressure medication you will have to take because of the anxiety this job will give you.
    Good retirement benefits which you will never get to use because they'll fire you for no reason after a few years of working there if you are not scared off earlier.

    Cons

    Interview -
    The in-person interviews lasted about 2 hours. They extended an offer a week later and I started two weeks after that. Two red flags that I picked up were how they dodged my question of what programs I would be using (keep reading below). And the second red flag was when I asked if they have promotional opportunities and all they said was "oh yeah we MOVE people around so they get a different experience in the company", so basically no.

    Programs -
    Are you a tech savvy and like using simple keyboard shortcuts? You can forget about that since the program they use is IC1 and it was discontinued by IBM in the 70's or 80's (I'm not sure since there is NO information about it online). And it is not something you will be able to use anywhere else. Weird thing is that they seem to take some pride in this.
    Excel and Adobe are also used sometimes but you only need a limited knowledge of them to accomplish your tasks.

    Co-Workers -
    You can never really know who to trust. If you complain to any of your coworkers, there is a chance that they will let your manager know and throw you under the bus. So be careful. Any complaint about the company is highly demonised and could lead to you being fired.
    People don't greet each other in the mornings either, everyone is seemed afraid to even say hi, not something I have experienced anywhere else.

    Environment -
    Very strange environment, it feels tense but people still have forced smiles on their faces.
    I was asked to "smile more" while I was working even though I would basically be reading information off my screen and assembling data with no clients around. I'm not exactly watching cat videos on Youtube but they still wanted me to smile. They clearly didn't ask my male coworker who sat in front of me to do that...dude never smiled. It felt very sexist and who doesn't love that?

    Training -
    The process is very quick and they expect you to jump into your tasks with perfection soon after. The "helpful guides" I was given had so much missing information and was disorganised. If you don't pick things up quickly then you're at risk of losing your job.

    HR -
    I work in HR (now) and almost lost my head at the lack of professionalism. Any issues you may have with your supervisor or coworkers are directly blamed on you, they will never be addressed. Go to them at your own risk because in the end, they only really care about the image of the company.

    Promotional Opportunities -
    None. Like I said, they will move you around and not really promote you to management. You have to start in management if you ever want to be in management.

    Retirement -
    Don't expect to retire here either, people who have worked here for 10+ years get fired for no reason. There are only very few people that are retiring and they have been here for a very long time but no one who came after them seems to be able to get that opportunity.

    Feedback -
    Do you do a good job? You will never know since they will expect you to do a good job and that's that.
    Did you make a few mistakes especially during your first few weeks? Be prepared for some fun "meetings" where they analyse even the smallest mistakes you make and threaten your job. Just read the other reviews, this is a constant tactic they use and aren't afraid to deliver.
    Let's say something in the system failed and you handed in your assembled data, which happened to me once, they still blamed me for not "noticing" even though I double-checked the data and it took them an entire day to figure out that the information in the system was wrong (no fault of my own).
    And why did I not ask any questions? Just a few days before they told me that I should stop asking questions. But I should have asked THIS question...yeah...my bad...

    Day-To-Day -
    VERY mind-numbing work, if you are an intellectual and have a creative mind, it will die here. It's the same work day in and day out with no substance. A rerun of the beginning of Office Space is how I would describe it.
    This company is the personification of a Dementor - (dark creatures that consume human happiness, creating an ambience of coldness, darkness, misery and despair).
    It is not rewarding yet it is very stressful since perfection is expected. You will sit at your desk in fear of losing your job every day.

    After MCM -
    This is the worst part. Once you decide to add the things you did for MCM into your resume, you will realise that there isn't anything of value to use in other companies. I decided to leave after a few months when realising this and did not want to waste any more time. I suggest you do the same.

    MCM knows what they are doing, they want you to leave within a few years so they don't have to pay your retirement and give you any benefits. If you don't leave, they will fire you eventually even if you are perfect at your job.

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within the company.
    Update your programs - it's embarrassing.
    Stop treating employees like cattle - you will not be able to retain employees especially millennials.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great Benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Specialist in Elmhurst, IL
    Current Employee - Operations Specialist in Elmhurst, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, work space, and hours.

    Cons

    There is a high turnover in supervisors/managers.

    Advice to Management

    Promote workers who know the job to supervisors and managers.


  5. Helpful (15)

    "In a word - TOXIC"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Warehouse Associate in Aurora, OH
    Former Employee - Warehouse Associate in Aurora, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at McMaster-Carr full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Like all McMaster reviews state, the benefit package is off the chart. Has slowly dwindled down some, higher co-pays, fewer employee perks like Holiday party prizes, etc. You'll work with some great people, not for great people, but with great people. Good pay, and decent bonus

    Cons

    To 90% of McMaster-Carr employees, it's just a job that pays the bills. Most workers reach a point where they feel stuck because the money and benefits are good, but the work is mind-numbing. You are ALWAYS under the microscope there, and in fear of who's getting fired tomorrow. Hard work, loyalty, and dedication are meaningless qualities there, while making 2 errors in a calendar year, are portrayed as the end of the world, and you'll begin to tread cautiously there. It truly is the best and worst place to work every. It's a clean environment, but if you're in the warehouse, you will limp before you're 40 years old. The money is so good, that people stay there and live in misery, rather than take the steps to get out. If you work there, have a 5 and 10 year plan, and then take your huge retirement check, and then find a company who will actually appreciate your efforts. McMaster-Carr doesn't care about you or your family when it truly matters. I've seen them do some HORRIBLE things to their employees. It's sad, and they don't care.

    Advice to Management

    Money is truly the root of all evil here. Management takes the money and benefits, and somehow they're able to check their conscious and moral compass at the door when it comes to treating their employees. Smart manager trainees use the company for 4-5 years, let the company pay for their MBA, and then run!


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Just Don't."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Warehouse Distribution Specialist in Douglasville, GA
    Former Employee - Warehouse Distribution Specialist in Douglasville, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at McMaster-Carr full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people (staff) that they hire at McMaster-Carr is great. Great benefits and 100% tuition reimbursement up to a Masters degree. The pay is well above industry average. If you enjoy coming to work and getting paid well without ever getting promoted or furthering career goals then this is the place for you.

    Cons

    Where to begin....

    You will not receive credit for any positive work you perform and your errors or 'credits' will be highlighted to seem like the end of the world. The work is monotonous and is ergonomically terrible for your body. Your yearly review is based off of what your supervisors remember you have done and a few things they'll make up to fill space. In my time at McMaster-Carr, my reviews referred to the last month of work leading up to the review despite the projects and other things I had accomplished in the year. There was no mention of those things. You can perform the same work as a Management Trainee and get zero credit for it, if the MT provides your same results they will be seen as the next great hope for the company. Employees are treated like cattle or cogs in a machine, easily replaceable and largely unimportant. No transparency from upper management down to the staff. People get fired all time for seemingly no reasons. People get promoted with no qualifications. It's all about who likes you more. Raises are based on whether or not the upper management team likes you. It's all about perception and not actual production. You just have to look and seem busy and important. There is no reward or compensation for doing exceptional work.

    Additionally, get all thoughts of promotion out of your head. Some people get moved around through different departments, but again it depends on how much upper management likes you. You could end up in the same department doing the same job for 7+years.

    The work schedule is not fair across the operation. If you work in the office the hours are not as bad as if you work in one of the downstream departments. Some people come in at 6am and leave at 3pm. Others come in at almost 11am and leave at almost 8pm. You can and will get stuck on a terrible shift.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on your employees and not the perception of things. The operation isn't about what appears or looks best aesthetically. How does that help the employees walking 10+ miles a day, sometimes in steel toes on concrete. There are more important things than pleasing your superiors for a raise. Be good at your job. Try to establish parity among departments.


  7. Helpful (21)

    "I was NOT fired from MCM: An Honest Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Lake Forest, CA
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Lake Forest, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at McMaster-Carr full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    1. Compensation far exceeds expectations for what it appears they are asking you to do.

    2. Coworkers are intelligent, and will pretend to be nice to you during your first few months there.

    3. Health insurance is still great, but not the Cadillac plan MCM had before the Great Recession.

    4. 100% tuition reimbursement.

    Cons

    1. In all of the interviews they will obfuscate what the real job they're hiring you for entails. There's a reason they are being vague with you, and it's because they don't want you to get wind of how monotonous and mind-numbing the job actually is.

    2. MCM supposedly loves their customers. But then you are told by your supervisors that you cannot give the customer what s/he actually wants--especially if that thing is the coveted MCM Catalog. One customer actually started crying when I became the 30th employee in 10 years to tell him we wouldn't send him a catalog. Turns out, we had mistakenly sent him a few catalogs more than a decade ago, and he desperately wanted to find out how he could get back "on the list." He was desperate. I eventually mailed him my personal copy (anonymously), because I was so broken-hearted after hearing this grown man cry.

    3. Your coworkers are genuinely nice people, but they will throw you under the bus. Your job is only safe as long as you are valuable. And make no mistake: only a small percentage of MCM employees are ever truly valuable.

    4. There is no viable excuse for missing work (unless you're on maternity/paternity leave, disability, or some other protected type of leave). Your child/spouse is in the hospital for a few days? Your dog got run over by a car and now you're distraught? Too bad--better show up for work 20 minutes early, as usual.

    5. The company runs on a system of unethical, but not illegal, practices. Your bosses will lie to you, they will tell you to lie to coworkers and customers, and if you don't like it you're on the short list of people to be fired. Don't expect anyone to stand up for what is right and good, or come to your aid.

    6. Don't expect to be rewarded for what you're good at. MCM will stick you in whatever position they please (guess what--you're now working in the warehouse!), and if you aren't particularly good at it, they'll fire you. Forget that you can type 50 words per minute, and have fantastic leadership and sales experience, and would be a great fit for the sales department or the TCC.

    Advice to Management

    What advice can Luke Skywalker possibly give to Darth Vader? (Hint: It's not going to matter anyway. MCM only pays attention to this site in order to submit bogus reviews, not to learn anything from the plebes that work here.)

  8. Helpful (11)

    "More Toxic Than the Worst High School but without a Work Life Balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Warehouse Distribution Specialist in Aurora, OH
    Current Employee - Warehouse Distribution Specialist in Aurora, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at McMaster-Carr full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Salary for what you do/can tolerate, Yearly Bonus, Great retirement if you last that long, Company paid medical (but we have been told we will be taxed up to $18K if Obamacare is not repealed)

    Cons

    After just celebrating 6 years with the company, I have nothing to show for it on my resume but a large void. The work is not rewarding and unless you kiss butt or have a Masters degree from an ivy league school with no work experience, do not plan on getting a supervisory role. Coworkers are worse than high schoolers. Many peers say they go home an cry. People would throw you under the bus to make themselves look good despite hurting you. Supervisors have favorites and overlook wrongdoing by them. The place has no pride and is a pigsty. It is only about numbers and volume and not taking care of employees. The business model is that they don't have a business model. They think they are the best, but there are better options out there like Amazon, Grainger, etc. If you have kids, do not plan on attending many of their after school functions, because they will be over before you get home from work.

    Advice to Management

    Read this and do something. Evaluate your HR investigation process. Get rid of repeat offenders because they have been in HR for a reason. Rectify wrongs of the past. Move or get rid of most of the supervisors to get rid of complacency as well as minimizing nepotism and favoritism. Supervisors turn a blind eye to those they like. If they are doing this, management needs to open their eyes and ears and do something to fix it.


  9. "Review"

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

    Pros

    The company offers great benefits, flexible work hours, and the work culture is very family oriented.

    Cons

    The culture can seem a bit strange at times. Not a lot of appreciation distributed evenly among coworkers.

    Advice to Management

    To retain talent, work on not just discussing promoting diversity, but actually doing it.


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Puchasing"

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

    Pros

    The company offers a great compensation and also offers great benefits and bonus. The profit sharing plan is very good too. Good people to work with.

    Cons

    There is no growth or advancement for employees unless you are in the "chosen circle". Way too many politics here in order to advance.

    Advice to Management

    Try looking at your everyday rank and file employees who come to work everyday and complete their bachelors degree while working there but then are passed up for promotion. You have talent right in front of your eyes but too blind to see it.


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