Partner Engineering and Science Reviews | Glassdoor

Partner Engineering and Science Reviews

Updated March 23, 2017
70 reviews

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3.5
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Partner Engineering and Science President Joseph Derhake, PE
Joseph Derhake, PE
48 Ratings

70 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Company is growing very fast, so no risk of major layoffs for now (in 7 reviews)

  • Opportunity to work from home occasionally (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Lack of formal hierarchy in the company makes it confusing to know who is in charge; company is growing fast without altering their methodology (in 4 reviews)

  • Pay and benefits aren't the best (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (3)

    "Partner is Home"

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

    I have been working at Partner Engineering and Science full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Management is solid, as evidenced by how fast the company has grown in less than 10 years. I have the utmost confidence in management at Partner, their success speaks for itself. Also, I have seen salespeople, upper management, and even the CEO jump in to cover projects during busy times, they are not above jumping into the trenches to support their staff.

    Employees are treated with respect and as professionals...not micro-managed, which people here love. As long as you get your job done well and there are no performance issues, management typically trusts you enough to not look over your shoulder and often lets employees work from home when needed. People love that flexibility and trust.

    Partner recognizes and rewards those who do a great job and/or go above and beyond. I felt a little underappreciated early on at Partner, but kept that sentiment to myself, so that was on me. When I finally mentioned some of my concerns after a few years here, management was very receptive and took immediate steps to alleviate my concerns. I was also a high performing employee, so maybe the experience would have been different if I was struggling or middle of the road. I think maybe some of the people that bash Partner on here never voiced their frustrations or were not a good fit from the beginning.

    Field staff generally get to say yes or no to projects, it is rare that anyone is forced to take a project. This was not the case at my prior firm and I think it goes a long way with morale, as I hated being forced to do a project that did not fit my schedule or I just did not want to do.

    Partner is growing so fast and has so many different practices to contribute to that the idea of being laid off never crosses my mind. Job security is nice!

    Partner's salaries and raises are very competitive...I have worked for other firms in the same industry and they are not as generous with bonuses and raises as Partner. Those who bash Partner's salaries on here might not have been the top performers...my experience is that our top performers stay here for a long time, are well compensated, and are happy to be here.

    Joe Derhake is a top-notch CEO and entrepreneur, as evidenced by Partner's incredible growth over the past decade with him at the helm. He is one of the smartest people I have ever met, understands the commercial real estate industry and almost every aspect of what his firm does at a very high/technical level (ESA/PCA/Seismic/Remediation/Construction/Geotech, etc.), yet has a great sense of humor and is incredibly approachable/personable. it amazes me that he knows just about everyone in the company by name and at least a little bit about them. Even in an anonymous setting, I have nothing but good things to say about Joe and Partner's upper management in general.

    Cons

    The typical cons of the commercial real estate due diligence industry: workload fluctuations, demanding clients/due dates, challenging projects (can also be a good thing), often thankless.

    Partner has a ton of offices across the country and while upper management tries to keep the culture consistent, one's experience at Partner can vary widely based on their local office culture and supervisor. I have visited and worked at a few different offices and while morale is generally good, the morale/culture can vary quite a bit from place to place, but I think that is the case with most national companies.

    Partner has been growing quickly and a big part of that growth means that the company is often very busy. While there are protocols in place to get through busy times, it still can require long hours and a lot of hard work during these times, which is stressful. Management recognizes how tough it can get during the really busy times and is generally good at offering support and sometimes even spot bonuses to show their appreciation during these times.

    Partner has invested a lot of time and money into beefing up their training programs in recent years and they are far better at training/mentoring than my previous due diligence firm; however, I don't think formal training helps all that much and honestly think the best way to learn is to get out and start working on projects.

    Some positions require a lot of travel...this can either be a pro or a con, depending on the person.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work, continue to be open to new ideas and change.


  2. "Growth Has Created Opportunity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Torrance, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in Torrance, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Partner Engineering and Science full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Partner keeps growing and getting into new things. The is creating a lot of opportunity for professional growth.

    Cons

    Growth comes with a lot of challenges.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Don't Bother"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Support Specialist in Santa Anita, CA
    Former Employee - Technical Support Specialist in Santa Anita, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Partner Engineering and Science full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - The work place atmosphere is fairly relaxed and open. Most of the people you will be working closely with are under the same pressures you are and will be happy to share their tips and tricks.
    - Dress code is pretty lax also. As long as you don't look like you just rolled out of bed, you may wear whatever you want.
    - There is no time clock you have to punch. Just show up at a consistent time every day, do your work and go home. Just remember to track your hours for the time sheet software.

    Cons

    - The management does NOT care about you. Your only function is to do what they tell you without complaint.
    - The workload is intense. Expect to work upwards of 9 to 10 hours a day, especially at the beginning and no one will raise an eyebrow.
    - There is no real training. Most of the people they hire are expected to know their business and so the expectation is "here is your desk, get to work." You may get about three days total with a higher up to show you some of the ropes. After that, you are on your own.
    - The entire focus of the company is "We want your business!" with no regard to how it gets accomplished. Keep this in mind. You will get all the blame if something goes wrong while management takes all the praise when something works out well.
    - You will NOT be paid what you are worth, especially if you already have the experience they want. At the end of each twelve months, you will be given a pittance of a raise that barely keeps pace with cost of living while management gets lavish trips and vacations.
    - Inquiring about how much you are getting paid relative to everyone else in your department is actively discouraged and frowned upon by management. This is illegal. Know your rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
    - Expect to pay a big chunk of your wages toward the benefit package, especially the health insurance.
    - Management will come down on you if you express "too much" negativity. Partner only wants happy people working there.
    - Turnover is high. Between long hours, thankless labor and low pay, Partner replaces its staff about every 9-12 months.
    - None of this will be apparent at the interview. They want your skills and are willing to obfuscate their designs to get you. Expect an hour to hour and a half grilling on your work history, what you did and explanations on process. It was this reviewer's suspicion they are looking for ways to improve their performance output without paying for it,.

    Advice to Management

    pay your people what they are worth, especially if they come to you with many years of experience.
    If someone comes to you with a problem, there is something wrong. It is not a nuisance to be swept away.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Positive Overall"

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

    I have been working at Partner Engineering and Science full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Having worked with several firms, I have received the best compensation and overall support from Partner. My coworkers are great people and I don't dread heading into the office.

    Partner does a huge volume of work, and has the process down to a science. It seems like everyone here knows their role and responsibilities.

    Cons

    In my experience, the environmental consulting industry is inherently fast-paced and time-demanding. I have never held a normal 9 to 5 work schedule in the all years I've worked in this industry. Clients sometimes have unrealistic expectations about how long it takes to produce reports, and you can end up bending over backward to meet demands (at the expense of your own sanity).


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Writing phase I ESAs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Scientist in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Project Scientist in Baltimore, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Partner Engineering and Science full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Employee morale is important, ability to telecommute, casual dress in office, does not micromanage, good benefits, expenses paid, growing company, annual reviews

    Cons

    Salary is low compared to national averages, sometimes quantity is favored more than quality, ability to expense meals should be evaluated further

    Advice to Management

    Look at national averages for salary based on position


  6. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Eatontown, NJ
    Current Employee - Director in Eatontown, NJ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Partner Engineering and Science full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    This is a company that is rapidly growing in a market that hasn't seen much growth lately. The senior execs are very employee focused and want to instill a quality of life and balance between work and home.

    Cons

    There is a bit of a lack of company structure. And while this can be a negative, it also provides an opportunity for all employees to rise in the company and make an impact as the door is always open to all for suggestions.


  7. "Project Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Project Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Partner Engineering and Science full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work from home, travel, make my own schedule, no micromanaging, many office locations, other benefits.

    Cons

    Stagnation, lack of development, lack of opportunities for growth, poor health care benefits to payment ratio.

    Advice to Management

    Develop professionals.

  8. Helpful (7)

    "Project Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Eatontown, NJ
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Eatontown, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Partner Engineering and Science full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Young and enthusiastic work force. Flexible working hours used as a lure to get people in. This is then made impossible by management who put pressure on to turn out more and more work.

    Cons

    Terrible office atmosphere. Employees constantly being scrutinized and monitored by supervisors. Emails issued to any employee whose work production drops. Quantity Over quality every time. Employees are worked to the point that they quit or burn out. Every thing is being cut bavk, at least for field workers, while management get big bonuses and perks. Pay is very poor, 25% less than the national average on the latest studies.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to be renewed. The exceptionally high turn over of staff should be a clue that something is wrong.


  9. "Printing Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Printing Department Manager in Torrance, CA
    Current Employee - Printing Department Manager in Torrance, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Partner Engineering and Science full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I can wrap all the pros up in one word..... FAMILY! I am 35 years old and this is the first job I have had where it feels like FAMILY. I wake up everyday looking forward to coming into work. I was told at a young age that you spend more time with your co-workers then you do your own family, all my jobs prior to partner never felt like a family environment and I think that is a big part of a work place, especially when you are spending more time with them then your own family. Partner has definitely made the work place feel like home.

    Cons

    with every job there are always cons, FORTUNATELY for me, here at partner.... I don't have any cons. I have been at Partner for 5 years going on 6 and I can honestly say this has been the BEST 5+ years working in an environment like we have at Partner.

    Advice to Management

    only advice i have for management.... keep being AWESOME! Thank you for everything you guys do for us here at Partner, people have NO CLUE how lucky we are!


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Teaming disconnection"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Construction Services Coordinator in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Construction Services Coordinator in Malvern, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Partner Engineering and Science full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Some fun people who would love to do more but are stretched already because the 80/20 workers.
    They do a lot of nice things for the employees and the community.

    Cons

    Disconnected from teams...everyone on their own team never interacting with others. Sitting and waiting for emails to bring work to you. No real good interaction between management and the teams....especially when you have east and west coast teams. The folks in the West coast did not have the opportunity with management being there to support their needs for growth. There are some good team members out there that could benefit from some advice of what else there is for them to grow into with Partner. The disconnect is as wide as the coast lines!

    Advice to Management

    Find the time to work with those individuals you don't see every day - you might be surprised how folks would improve performance if you just invest a little of your time with these people. You shouldn't just send one manager out there and take their word, you should also make some time and work with them....Also fix the network problem! OMG VPNs to do all those documents, you can't move fast with the current set up, you can't use more than one program at a time...and if you have to load a 5MB file, you are waiting for 30 minutes or more....and you want to make more money well you got to give people the tools that will allow them to move faster.


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