SSOE Group Reviews | Glassdoor

SSOE Group Reviews

Updated August 8, 2017
55 reviews

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3.2
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Bob Howell
14 Ratings

55 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Stable Company with decent benefits (in 4 reviews)

  • SSOE offers a competitive benefits package and one of the best perks is the ability to buy/sell PTO (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Finding work/life balance can be a challenge (in 6 reviews)

  • If one is not a project manager then you are a nobody (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "Endless Opportunities"

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

    I have been working at SSOE Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great opportunities for career progression and professional growth—you can build your own path and find support in pursuing it. As a growing, global company, there are endless opportunities for advancement. You will have a chance to work for an impressive list of clients on exciting projects.

    Management cares about the opinions of employees and seeks regular feedback on ways to improve. There is a very collaborative culture in the office. Employees are willing to help each other and many cite the reason they stay with SSOE has to do with the people they work with. Personally, I have great relationships within my department and consider those individuals some of my closest friends.

    SSOE offers a competitive benefits package and one of the best perks is the ability to buy/sell PTO. There are annual health screenings, fruit delivered weekly to offices, a robust wellness program with challenges you can do individually or as a team, and a new platform for employee recognition.

    Cons

    No cons at this time.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to focus on clients, culture, collaboration, and employees. There is a lot of momentum around new initiatives and need to make sure the support continues from management to drive those forward successfully, while also taking the time to plan execution and the impact on other parts of the business.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Sr. Project Manager"

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

    I have been working at SSOE Group full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I've worked with SSOE for over 15 years now. Incredible variety of projects offering an opportunity to learn. Strong belief in structured approach to project management. Great culture that allows everyone to hold each other accountable, work through issues, and move forward as a team. Stable employment opportunities for a A/E consulting firm. Multiple divisions in diverse industries, allowing the divisions to "share" employees. If one division gets slow, those employees can often be utilized on projects for another division. They are not quick to layoff in response to downturns, but look for opportunities to put people to work. Despite its size, it's a company that shows loyalty to their individual employees, and offers opportunities and responsibility to those who desire.

    Cons

    As with any consulting firm, the balance between number of employees and the amount of work is never quite achieved. Either too much work and not enough employees, or too little work for the number of people on staff. It's impossible to hit that perfect balance.

  3. "Construction in High Tech industry isn't for everyone."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer II in Hillsboro, OR
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer II in Hillsboro, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SSOE Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good relationship with peers including client. Solid QA system. Company appears intent on following through with its "Continuous Improvement" initiative. Earnest attempts to address employee concerns.

    Cons

    High level of flexibility required to adapt to changing client conditions. Overtime, while not "required," is frequently necessary to meet project deadlines. Finding work/life balance can be a challenge.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Mechanical Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Hillsboro, OR
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Hillsboro, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SSOE Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You get experience gaining a variety of mechanical, HVAC and MEP skills.

    Cons

    Little work life balance, training, or chances for innovation.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "SSOE Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer II in Hillsboro, OR
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer II in Hillsboro, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SSOE Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    When the workload is high you at least make overtime.

    Cons

    The workload expectations can be over the top for months on end.

    Advice to Management

    Share more resources between department's.


  6. "Great talent that needs to be developed"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at SSOE Group full-time

    Pros

    Great People and Good Pay

    Cons

    I worked for SSOE for 6 weeks, and got zero training, and very little help assimilating into the culture.

    Took 4 days to get a workstation.

    Was advised I was overpaid, relative my peer, within two weeks with no training

    Asked for training plan and it was never provided or resourced

    I had extensive experience with hi-tech design and construction but the tools to manage scope, schedule and budget were extremely archane - everything was based on complex spreadsheets that only the creator could understand quickly. A simple menu driven database would have improved productivity and learning curve.
    This acquisition hasn't worked for SSOE. Very little focus on creating a common set of values across divisions. The culture was conditioned by fear of job loss, and as knowledge company people were reluctant to share knowledge. HR's only role seemed to be hiring and firing. HR needs to create an organizationlal development function to create one culture with strong emphasis on assimilating and training to avoid VERY high turnover. They don't seem to realize the cost to them and their employees. The overiding emotion that governs the work place is fear. The primary client in Hillsboro is very frustrated with lack of integrity. (Schedules were committed to knowing in advance they couldn't be acheived) . The client has seriously drifted off the streamlined process they once had too - exacerbating the issues further . Both parties need make and meet clearly defined expectations The "management/leadership did 70% of the work due to lack of a well articulated plan and lack of on-boarding. Clear metrics need to be created around true resource utilization, reviewed quarterly with the executives in Toledo, and improvement plans IMPLEMENTED.

    I got entangled in its poor administration of benefits. It took me 3 months and a considerable amount of money to unwind their issues for them. They did compensate me for my lost time and resources. It took the involvement of the CEO to get this straightened out.

    Advice to Management

    Recommendations are inbedded above. The firm has tremendous potential! Most of it can be realized by developing its people and refining its business processes and tools. It needs to get realistic with its clients on expectations. Both parties appear to be pushing on a rope; they need to get on the other end and pull the project delivery. Basic lean methodologies would enable this. A takt time approach should be created - projects get kicked off and set as work in process inventory for weeks longer than necessary resulting in a lot of rework and confusion. A day offsite meeting with the client is recommended to map out the project delivery methodology and get every one on the same page as to roles and responsibilities. The forming, storming, norming, performing team development process should be utilized.


  7. "Not it..."

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

    I have been working at SSOE Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Decent Benefits for a young single person, Always opportunity to work on different projects.

    Cons

    1. Management is awful. Project management is lacking in management skills. They hardly know the scope of their own projects and don't give clear direction. Your direct manager does not communicate with you unless you are located in the same office.

    2. Work is stressful and always comes back to hit you in the butt. Back to #1, some PMs are not well suited for the job and don't take responsibility or are not efficient and are reactive rather than pro-active. which leads to an entire stressful project.

    3. You can request PTO but don't expect it to actually happen.

    4. Lack of Resources. Again, #1, PMs do not reach out to the proper resources on staff to accurately get work complete.

    5. Little growth to develop if you do not want to be a PM or a PE. DO NOT WORK CONSULTING IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE A PE.

    Advice to Management

    Step up, follow procedure, and actually know your duties instead of delegating 100% of it off onto your team. That's not how a manager works.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Turn and Burn Company"

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

    I worked at SSOE Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I did not find a single pro. Hostile environment, horrible, ineffective management, and no job security because the lazy kiss ups run the office. If you prefer taking orders from 20 something females, this is the place for you.

    Cons

    Unfair, unequal workplace practices, no life/work balance. Turnover is way to common. Excellent employees are forced to deal with a hostile work environment, making everyday stressful.

    Advice to Management

    All employees are equal, not just women. You have a woman in Portland whom has malicious towards men and anyone who threatens her job security. Fraud is illegal.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "SSOE = Send Some Other Engineer"

    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 SSOE Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    1. If you live in a rust belt city, and desperately need a job, this is your ticket.

    Cons

    1. Flavor of the Day Management Style- I have never seen a company go thru so many misguided management changes and restructure efforts - there were 5 restructures in 6 years, probably still happening annually. This is not innovation, this is saying that SSOE is grasping and clueless and has still not figured it out after so many years in business.

    2. Masters of Mediocrity - The growth of the company has mainly been by acquiring other firms, not due to any innovation/improvement or growing the client base themselves - that would be hard work. Some of these firms WERE the best in their class when SSOE bought them, like CRS Engineering, and Evergreen Engineering, but as is too often the case, these companies were destroyed after SSOE acquired them. It is the same old tired US business story - the "acquiring " company management all drink the kool-aid, pat each other on the back, give the "GM nod" and believe they are business wizards and MUST be doing something right because they have grown the company so fast. The "acquired" company management are deemed inferior, so the SSOE puts one of their own on the ground at the acquired company to "help" with the transition, but never leave. In the process, they remake formerly successful, well run, innovative, smaller/leaner companies into mediocre ones, now part of a larger one with slicker marketing materials, catchy slogans and zero real creativity or innovation under the SSOE flag. The US corporate landscape is littered with these wrecks.

     3. Outdated Thinking- SSOE is still caught up in the 1950's groupthink that centralization of everything - corporate services and even management is the efficient, smart way to go. SSOE would get rid of the corporate services and local managers in remote offices and re-assign the workers in these remote offices to managers in the central office. The "amazing" result was detachment of workers from their managers ( some had never met their direct report in person), zero loyalty either way and a transactional, impersonal, robotic style of management by e-mail and spreadsheet. Imagine being given your annual review by a manager that has never bothered to meet you in person - it happens at SSOE! The corporate services people, sitting comfortably drinking coffee in their silo in Toledo, far back behind the front line of business, naturally developed an "us vs them" mentality, where the goal was to give you the least they could but charge the remote offices the most they could - like a whole 'nother side business within a business. Holy Toledo! This great if you are in the main office in Toledo but catastrophic if in one of the remote offices.

    4. Benefits - Compared to their peers, SSOE's benefit package is just not competitive. Their medical plan is absolutely horrible. Again, in keeping with the centralized approach and providing less. A co-worker had a claim take 9+ months to pay and had to fight to get it paid.

    5. Pay - All of the people I know who left SSOE made significantly more money immediately, including me, upon leaving.

    6. Mobility - The options for upward mobility are limited unless you are from Toledo. The old boy network is alive and well at SSOE. I saw the most talented people quit one after the other because they could not see any future at SSOE.

    Advice to Management

    You are stuck in old thinking, wake up. Need some new senior management, you are not that good. Stop trying to remake the companies you acquire, you end up destroying them. You have been lucky, not good - you can't put lipstick on this pig forever.

    SSOE Group Response

    Jun 6, 2017 – Sr Vice President

    Speaking for the management team at SSOE, I’m sorry to hear you had a negative experience at SSOE. Clearly your experience fell short of our goal to be the company of choice for employees. We look... More


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Good Company"

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

    I worked at SSOE Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Stable Company with decent benefits.

    Cons

    Work is not always stable. Like any service industry, workforce will expand and contract based on need.


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