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Spencer Stuart Reviews

Updated February 10, 2018
166 reviews

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4.0
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Spencer Stuart CEO Kevin M. Connelly
Kevin M. Connelly
60 Ratings

166 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • The (lack of) work-life balance is a constant challenge at the associate /senior associate level (in 15 reviews)

  • Additionally, Spencer Stuart has an old-school (think 1950s), hierarchical view of its executive assistant (EA) role (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great firm and getting even better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant/Partner in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Consultant/Partner in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Spencer Stuart full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Collaborative team committed to making a difference in people's lives and helping clients to recruit the best to their organization. Great values and an ethical approach both internally and externally. If you wish to work with the best, this is a great place for you.

    Cons

    High performance standards by colleagues and sophisticated and demanding clients combine to create a fast paced and pretty challenging work environment.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing and put the Firm's strategy in place quickly. When you succeed the Firm will be even better.


  2. "Top tier firm, work-life balance is an issue"

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

    I have been working at Spencer Stuart full-time

    Pros

    Spencer Stuart is a great firm. Its people set it apart in the industry, especially compared to its publicly-traded competitors. Most Spencer Stuart colleagues are intelligent, collaborative, and down-to-earth. Sharp elbows and abrasive personalities generally don't work well. The firm promotes building strong relationships, which is incredibly rewarding on a professional and personal level, and I count many colleagues to be close personal friends. It's a nice culture almost to a fault, as there can be some aversion to having difficult conversations.

    Cons

    The (lack of) work-life balance is a constant challenge at the associate /senior associate level. 60-80+ hour weeks are typical, and burnout is a major issue that has not been addressed in any capacity. Whenever leaders talk about work-life balance, it's in the context of mobility, meaning that you can take your computer home to work more, or can sometimes work from other offices when traveling. This does nothing to address the broader work-life balance issues that are endemic across the firm and have gotten worse over the last few years. I would confidently bet that if an employee engagement survey were conducted today, the results would be significantly worse than the survey conducted several years ago.

    Additionally, Spencer Stuart has an old-school (think 1950s), hierarchical view of its executive assistant (EA) role. There is no career path for EAs, so many good EAs have left over the years (almost all negative Glassdoor reviews of Spencer Stuart relate to this topic in some capacity). The firm does a good job at development at the associate and consultant levels (analyst development has come a long way but its clearly not a major firm priority), but EAs just don't fit into this equation, and its an issue.

    Advice to Management

    The firm needs to put together a task force to look at work-life balance (at least in North America), because the status quo isn't working and the client-related work-products are suffering.

    Additionally, the firm needs to seriously think about the EA role and think about creating a broader project management role that great EAs can grow into. The firm should have a methodology for promoting truly exceptional EAs into the associate role.

  3. "Overall Great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Spencer Stuart full-time

    Pros

    Nice people. High quality. Good benefits.

    Cons

    A bit slow/old school at times. Some legacy ways of operating since it's an old private partnership.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Internship Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The company has highly specialized teams, with a results-oriented attitude. Everyone is highly intelligent and works hard to achieve top results. You'll be surrounded by a very diverse network of individuals at the firm, and they have a collaborative open-door policy. Overall, a great firm.

    Cons

    The company is not great at retaining/ attracting young employees, especially interns. Their interviews are long and drawn-out, and they don't offer clear guidelines for their hiring expectations and protocols. For a company that specializes in hiring, they're not stellar at hiring/ promoting from within.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent about hiring needs up front.


  5. "Structured to a fault. Don't challenge the status quo. What innovation?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Spencer Stuart full-time

    Pros

    Benefits are great, culture is good if you're able to fit into the preppy traditional crowd. One on one time with consultants and great industry exposure if you have none. Great exit opportunities. If you need something very, very structured and don't foresee yourself creating original content or having full ownership over your projects, this job is perfect!

    Cons

    The job feels transient, there's limited mobility within each practice, and there is absolutely no challenging the status quo. The work feels administrative and unsubstantial.

    Advice to Management

    Create a better "route to the top" for your analysts.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Losing Focus"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Spencer Stuart full-time

    Pros

    Caring, lovely group when they are focused on the right priorities.

    Cons

    Leadership losing its way. Is there the internal leadership talent to weather the strategic changes? Culture eroding with lack of mentorship.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Culture is going down the drain"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Spencer Stuart full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Pays well and has good benefits. Free drink and snacks, they used to have happy hours on Thursdays , but they stopped that recently.

    Cons

    Benefits are changing, not covering everything liked they used to, denying meds unless you've tried others (are they my doctors? ), etc. Management shared a new plan recently that has zero benefits to the EA role, just that they are going to be doubling the number of people we work for and they want our support? Only if you pay me more! Nobody is happy. It used to be the best place to work, everybody loved to go to work, now nobody likes to be there.

    Advice to Management

    Think about how all of your changes are really going to affect the staff, andf understand the consultants are still going to expect everything they did before. Its going to be a mess.

  8. "Great firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great work life balance and team environment

    Cons

    Might not be suitable for people who don't feel confident doing coldcalls


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Executive Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant
    Current Employee - Executive Assistant
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Spencer Stuart full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great working environment; interesting projects and client/candidate base; still seen as a leader in the industry (for now).

    Cons

    Lack of career mobility - for what they do for a living their in-house recruiting; development and succession planning is god awful. Its a dying industry and they are too stuck to tradition; don't have the insight to make the appropriate changes to survive. They sunk way to much $$ in bad tech and are now severely behind.

    Advice to Management

    Embrace change and quickly; elevate your technology; stop rewarding bad behavior purely because the employee is profitable; take some risks.


  10. "Lots to learn and grow from, but unless you absolutely love the executive search day-to-day, you won't want to stay"

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

    I worked at Spencer Stuart full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    When you can forge close relationships with your consultants, and have them advocate for you, it can be great.
    Great health benefits.

    Cons

    No work/life balance. Hierarchical, "old boy" culture.


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