Sinclair Knight Merz Reviews | Glassdoor

Sinclair Knight Merz Reviews

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3.3
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Sinclair Knight Merz Managing Director & CEO Santo Rizzuto
Santo Rizzuto
17 Ratings

45 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Road Designeer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Sydney (Australia)
    Former Employee - Senior Mechanical Engineer in Sydney (Australia)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sinclair Knight Merz (More than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent team and culture, there is always things to do

    Cons

    Working crazy hours and not getting rewarded for it

    Advice to Management

    If you want to retain staff, you should have a better bonus system


  2. "Nice offices, but a bit narrowly focused and boring at times"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Melbourne (Australia)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Melbourne (Australia)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Friendly people, flexible working conditions, and opportunities for career development and progression are plentiful. It was a good place to learn and start out my career after graduating.

    Cons

    It's very much an engineering firm - run by enginners, for engineers. My background is in another discipline, and I didn't feel that there were many advancement paths for non-engineers.

    Advice to Management

    You market yourself as a technical consultancy, but your roots as solely engineers are limiting the variety and breadth needed to stay competitive in a providing professional advice that is, for example, environmental or economic.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "great experience working with one of Australia's leading consulting firm"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - BDM in Manila, Manila (Philippines)
    Former Employee - BDM in Manila, Manila (Philippines)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    firm is well known in the consulting industry and provide its employees good benefits

    Cons

    very little support from head office if one is dependent for technical support in carrying out tasks; works well if employee is based in its headquarter office but proves to be difficult for employees based in other country offices


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  5. "poor equality standards"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Electrical Designer in Bunbury (Australia)
    Former Employee - Electrical Designer in Bunbury (Australia)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Sinclair Knight Merz full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    free fruit - some great people to work with

    Cons

    I worked in the Bumbry office I tried to integrate in to the SKM culture but as I found out it is for only the select few.
    they rave and rant about opportunity's but fail to deliver.
    technology and the use of modern software is like working with neanderthals no idea what so ever.
    I was sad to learn that from such a great company it is now being run by Jocks and there only interest is that they reach there KPI's innovation and engineering have taken a back shelf.

    Advice to Management

    learn to use the talent form the employees you hire and encourage out of the box thinking not suppress it just because its the way it has always been done.

    very disappointed


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Poor senior management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Sydney (Australia)
    Current Employee - Engineer in Sydney (Australia)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Sinclair Knight Merz full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    A good place to work if you can say "yes" to boss always. The management comprises yes-men, not many women in the workforce despite big talks.

    I work in Sydney and a run down brothel would be run better than the Sydney office. Merger with Jacobs would kill the company. If you are thinking of joining, just forget it. If you are a client, good luck to you because what you would get is third-rated deliveries. You may need to keep your solicitor handy if you engage SKM or Jacobs.

    Cons

    Senior management is far removed from the workers and reality.

    Advice to Management

    Get real


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Accepted here as a female graduate engineer, being treated as an admin person"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Engineer in Sydney (Australia)
    Current Employee - Graduate Engineer in Sydney (Australia)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Sinclair Knight Merz full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - a place where you can be lazy, do nothing and still getting paid, plus you can surf the net all the time without anybody know you exist.
    - free fruit in the morning

    Cons

    - I've been at SKM / Jacobs as a graduate engineer for almost 2 years, still haven't developed any significant skills related to my profession. I am still treated as a newbie who knows nothing and have been given tons of admin work. Thanks to my manager who always sees me that way for some reasons. I've been involved in several projects doing bits and pieces but nothing technical. I was involved in those projects as a helper. Instead of using my brain solving technical problems, I have to scan, print and bind tons of documents and reports. Not just once, but all the time.
    - Every time I finished my work, I have the options of sitting down in front of my computer doing nothing (surf the net etc) until I get bored OR I ask for more work from my manager and get me to help someone for administrative related for one of the senior guys.
    - I keep asking for some relevant work (e.g. field work, report writing etc) and he kept giving me fake promises. I'm really wasting my time here but then again I've got time to write all these stuff I don't like on glassdoor sharing my experiences as a female graduate engineer at SKM / Jacobs.
    - At the same time, they expect me to complete my CPEng within 4 years (during the graduate program). Should I write my experience as an admin person to get certified? Sure that looks promising for my future career.
    - Favouritsm is a big thing at SKM / Jacobs. Don't get fooled by those who say equal opportunities for everybody (female or male). Being a female and plus a graduate are tough especially if you are the only female graduate in your team.
    - There's another grad in my team. Lets say his name is 'A'. One day I overheard one of the senior engineers saying to my manager "I just want to work with 'A' or someone similar to 'A'". I guess he was being honest of his preference but the worst part was that my manager had no problem with what he said. Favouritsm or sexism? I have no idea what to call this.

    Advice to Management

    - Read the cons above and listen. Do not defend yourselves if you know you are wrong. If you don't think you are wrong then there's no point of you reading my comments.
    - Anonymous surveys are required to check who are happy and unhappy, then solved the problems
    - Don't only think about chargeable / billable hours, think about your employees' career development, share some thoughts and listen to them. I've had two Performance Dialogues submitted and reviewed so far and both of them were useless. Promises were made but got lost along the way.
    - Treat everybody equally no matter what their genders and roles (including graduates) are.
    - Be friendly to everybody. What I meant by everybody is not just your colleagues on the same level as you, but everybody including the graduates. Don't be friendly when you only need something to be done.
    - If you want the grads to do a better job than what you expect, guide the graduates so they know what you are expecting. Do not wait until they failed to perform such task so you can bully them.


  8. "End of an era and moving on to a new beginning"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Melbourne (Australia)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Melbourne (Australia)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sinclair Knight Merz full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A values based company that allowed its employees to get on with the job. A shareholding structure that retained senior talent and rewarded those that put in the effort. A strong client focus. Good life balance available. Good office accommodation.

    Cons

    While the values are strong the values are not always lived by senior management as strongly as they should be. Transition of ownership to Jacobs is challenging the business and many of the pros are being removed without the benefits of ownership by jacobs yet being obvious. Teams are now more than 20 - 30 people. Support functions such as HR have been decimated.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure there is support for and investment in people in the new entity.


  9. "Excellent culture and people, good grad development, however workload inconsistent"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sinclair Knight Merz full-time

    Pros

    Company truly is people focused, employees treated well.
    People are nice and great to work with
    Lots of seniors who are top of their trade
    First look programme for students is very generous with scholarship
    Grads get a fair amount of responsibility early on, after the settling in phase.

    Cons

    Hourglass shaped hierarchy, lots of grey haired seniors and lots of junior grads, not enough intermediates (~10 experience). Intermediates seem to not have much room for career development because so many of the seniors are staying on.

    Recently bought by big American company so lots of the perks of the company (people focused) may be lost as it focuses more on revenue.

    Biggest gripe is the inconsistent work pipeline. Not winning enough jobs, especially in the infrastructure space. Hence people are not always kept fully utilised. This has caused a lot of intermediates and experienced grads to leave the company.

    Advice to Management

    Aim to retain intermediates as top priority
    Don't lose a job on price, reduce margins, sales team must be more aggressive in finding jobs, not just waiting for them to show up.
    Overcrowded admin, management staff that may be cut down so to decrease overheads and increase room for hiring more people who do the "work".


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great teams, good opportunities, may change with merger"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Brisbane (Australia)
    Former Employee - Senior Engineer in Brisbane (Australia)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sinclair Knight Merz full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    1. Work with some of the best and brightest people in their fields.
    2. Work on diverse, interesting, big projects with a team drawn from across the company.
    3. Learn from your Community of Practice (with practice leader and regular virtual meetings).
    4. Take advantage of the mentoring program to be a mentee or mentor.
    5. Enjoy the fruits of SKM's business strategy in focussing on valued "relationship clients."
    6. Be formally acknowledged for your capabilities as you become rated/certified in technical competence (in an in-house skills/discipline matrix) and known across the company for your skills.

    Some or all of this might change as SKM recently merged with Jacobs, a much larger company (name changed to Jacobs SKM).

    Cons

    1. Some managers may not be so great at actual people management, as they are most likely good at being engineers/scientists and project managers, which is not the same skill set.
    2. While useful, the custom systems used in-house for project management can be cumbersome and time-consuming.
    3. Depsite the extensive use of afore-mentioned systems, undocumented knowledge still tends to lurk in the heads and hands of old-timers.
    4. The current economic climate has led to a round of lay-offs (though not as soon or as severe as in similar companies).

    Advice to Management

    Some other reviewers put it best: watch out for the rigid, bureaucratic culture that is developing. The internal QA/PM/other systems are well developed but beware that the tools don't become the master. Last, there are a lot of client facing roles and it's not clear whether the company is spending the right proportion of its budget on client management -- perhaps this should be examined by an impartial outsider.


  11. "Great people, open and collaborative"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Sinclair Knight Merz full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    You'll work in a very collaborative environment, it's the people here that makes the business what it is. Open, friendly Environment with great investment in its people, particularly around training and development. It's a flexible and relaxed environment where you manage your own time to achieve your goals. Your encouraged to come up with your own ideas to add further value to the business.

    Cons

    The recent intent to explore potential Mergers/Sale has been a huge distraction to the business where some focus has been lost along the way. The wheels have been moving but much more slowly. A huge distraction to the staff within the business.

    Advice to Management

    Now the sale has been announced please move quickly and decisively, creating clarity around structures and future roles.



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