Towers Perrin Reviews | Glassdoor

Towers Perrin Reviews

Updated January 24, 2017
74 reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Towers Perrin has good people, but needs to free them to become more entrepreneurial."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Towers Perrin gives people clear line of sight between their individual goals and those of the organization. Towers Perrin does a good job of recruiting and hiring talented people. Towers Perrin also has some good intellectual capital.

    Cons

    Towers Perrin's senior management operate in a very parochial style. They don't give transparent information to even their senior consultants and they make major decisions without properly checking with the people that these decisions will most affect.

    Towers Perrin places great emphasis on compliance and timekeeping, and its consultants end up spending far more time than necessary on administrative tasks that keep them from their clients. People working here spend time feeding the system much more than the system supports them in their work.

    The reason for the emphasis on administrative tasks is because the top management feels that it "needs" to roll up financial information on a weekly basis because it doesn't trust its people to run their offices at the ground level as entrepreneurs would. Instead, all the information is funnelled to the top, where all major decisions trickle down in a highly filtered manner.

    Because justifications for major decisions appear so watered down, the firm feels to employees as if it has no strategy or underlying decision principles, which in turn causes major alignment issues.

    Advice to Management

    Cut out the administrative load and free your people to focus on the market and their clients' needs. State a true strategy based on the firm's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, not just a pithy statement about what we do. Focus people's actions on broad strategic goals, then get out of peoples' way and let them accomplish their goals. Develop an organization that facilitates people getting their work done rather than burdening your people to feed top management's needs. If the organization let people operate more as entrepreneurs and less as minions, then you would free a lot of productive energy for people to succeed.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "All Corporate Drones Wanted for this Feel Bad, Pay Good Sweatshop"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Executive Compensation and Rewards Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Executive Compensation and Rewards Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Towers Perrin is a well-known consulting firm with an excellent reputation in the HR consulting field. Entry level consultants are paid extremely well with significant overtime opportunities due to their initial status as a non-exempt salaried employee. Employees are able to expense virtually any type of travel expense.

    Cons

    While Towers Perrin commits a lot of their resources to college recruiting, entry level consultants receive limited formal training and guidance during their first year. Numerous entry level Associates have either quit or been laid off in the past year due to the current business climate and dissatisfaction with working at this firm. The people who work at Towers Perrin treat each other based on formal rank within the firm and thus are very condescending to new consultants. Consultants from different lines of business rarely interact and frequently avoid verbal contact with each other (i.e. halls, elevators, bathroom). Utilization of consultants is haphazard due to poor internal communication and a lack of team meetings. Client interface is non-existent during the first year and I feel I was misled about this trend during the interviewing process. The work is extremely boring and purely relates to "number crunching" and Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. Critical thinking is rarely utilized as the firm relies heavily on past templates and standardized analyses. Utilizing vacation time is frowned upon as my boss initially told me that most people forfeit their vacation time and another consultant mentioned that there is no work-life balance at this company. Sadly, one of my co-workers is planning to work through a good portion of her maternity leave due to her fear of losing her job and the reaction from our teammates. Community service and activism is very low at Towers Perrin. After having positive work experiences in other corporate settings, I am extremely disgruntled with my present employment relationship at Towers Perrin and do not recommend joining this firm.

    Advice to Management

    Senior management must make and effort to reinvigorate the firm's culture as it is extremely sterile and rigid. They also should make an effort to develop more effective communicators at the middle managerial level who actually provide feedback to co-workers. Lastly, hiring more pleasant and kind people would go a long way in improving the firm.


  3. "Good for traditional HR lines of business and those joining from college/MBA or other consulting firms."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in New York, NY
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Well-known, reputable firm within its field. Well-established practice in traditional HR fields - executive compensation, health and welfare, retirement. Great support for mid-level consultants to balance work and life - especially at the age when people start to get married and have kids.

    Cons

    The firm is great for people hired from traditional routes - college, MBA - as well as lateral transfers from other consulting firms. Lateral hires from non-consulting backgrounds will have tough time navigating the bureacracies and the established networks - especially in this economy. Its non-traditional line of business faces difficulties during economic downturns as they are luxuries of clients' HR departments.

    Advice to Management

    Staffing on assignments needs to be improved so that associates and consultants are better balanced.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Keep at it"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Actuarial Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Actuarial Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good for self-starters, fast paced, lots of growth opportunities - bite off as much as you can chew. Rewarded for your performance. Highly respected company - considered a leader in the field. Work environment may differ based on who is in your department. Looks great on the resume.

    Cons

    Schedule is largely out of your hands - based on client needs. Work-life balance may be tough. It is more difficult to take actuarial exams in consulting than in an insurance company. Work is very seasonal, for health and welfare department , busy season is in the summer.

    Advice to Management

    Be open and honest


  6. Helpful (1)

    "A lot of good opportunities if you work hard."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There are some great consultants who are very interested in getting training opportunities to anyone who is interested in learning. There is a strong sense of the importance of quality products and good client service. It is a respectful workplace environment. There are excellent resources for difficult technical topics. They are committed to training and success for actuarial exam takers.

    Cons

    Some (but not all) people seemed to be way overworked. It can be very difficult to balance work and life in a consulting firm, it will likely be the case at any consulting firm and not just Towers Perrin. Would be nice if there was less time required for non-client admin tasks.

    Advice to Management

    Overall a good place to work if you want to be in consulting.


  7. "Smart people, good opportunities, culture needs work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Consultant in Philadelphia, PA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Career opportunities and exposure to smart, creative people

    Cons

    Sometimes a harsh culture where meeting client demands are viewed as more important than the well-being of employees

    Advice to Management

    Local management personnel should receive training in managining and mentoring employees; coaching should be provided to senior managers on a regular, on-going basis. Team work and respect for everyone should be part of the company's mission/value statement. People who are not respectful to others - and there are some at Towers that are very disrespectful to their colleagues - should clearly receive the message that their behavior will not be tolerated. This is clearly not the case today.


  8. "A good place to work if you were an AP student and actually liked it. A bad place to work if you're a free spirit."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Associate in Philadelphia, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The pay at towers perrin is significant. The presitige is pretty good too. There are some lifers at towers who make a boat load of money, but it seems the most prevalent model is to get in, get the experience and get out.

    If you're a very inteligent person who likes to pound out serious hours, this is the place for you. If not, it is probably good experience (for the resume and for learning).

    Thought it was initially a struggle, I have found it possible, yet not easy, to have a balanced life.

    If you're a quantative type, you would probably be very content here.

    Cons

    There is a culture of long work hours. It is possible to buck this trend, but its not an easy course.

    I have found the major challenge to be that the work is fairly dry. At past employers, I found my coworkers to be interesting and varied people, yet at towers perrin you seem to get mostly dry, "intelligent" and disciplined types. Though this could be perceived as good, I found it difficult that there was little creative discussion and that it was not a "fun and friendly" place to work.

    Additionally, a lot of the more senior people can come of as pompous to new associates.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on work balance for employees, otherwise you will lose them to more interesting careers or clients. Otherwise, all that remain are the people who are risk-adverse, and that limits creativity.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "A very good and challenging place to work. If you can make it here - you can make it anywhere."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - Manager in Saint Louis, MO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I believe Towers Perrin has done a better job than most competitors of anticipating the marketplace, planning new ventures, and dedicating teams to move the firm in that direction. They seem truly committed to breaking out of being “a” leader in the industry to being “the” leader, offering truly innovative solutions. I’ve found it to be a place that allows you to pursue new ideas and see which ones work and which don’t. Collaboration between groups seems very strong. While I haven’t worked within other firms, over the past few years we’ve attracted Sr. leaders from other organizations in the U.S. who were discontent with their firms’ direction, showing they have more faith in our leadership, which is nice to see.

    Cons

    We seem to be tougher on ourselves than the competition. The firm is filled with successful, smart, Type-A personalities which have high expectations for themselves. This also translates to their expectations of those around them and leadership, etc. So, I think we can be our toughest critics sometimes.

    There is a certain amount of reporting, tracking, systems in place, etc. that are necessary to run a larger, complex business. But, I’m not sure this is any different than other organizations of a similar size.

    Many (not all) of the roles expect a lot of different attributes to be found in one person. (E.g. the ability to interface with clients, have strong technical depth, manage people/processes, do internal things, etc.) It’s nice to be able to develop several skills at once, but some roles can be challenging.

    Advice to Management

    The main thing that I think senior management could do better is simply act quicker on their plans. They seem to be going the right direction, but are very deliberate in their decision-making (which is good) but sometimes you wonder if you couldn’t do things faster. For instance, one thing they seem committed to doing is much more integration between services that traditionally have had little to do with one another. Everyone agrees that needs to be done and steps are being taken, but the quicker-the better.

    My sense is this message is getting to them and I expect bolder/faster moves in 2009.


  10. "Decent place to work, but easy to get stuck in a rutt."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Associate in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - IT Associate in Philadelphia, PA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It's not cut-throat Corporate. The people are very nice, and you will have a life outside work.

    Cons

    Although you will have a life outside work, there's a reason for it. It's not very challenging at Towers, and it's can be cush job.

    Advice to Management

    Try to take more chances. Find out more about what generation Y wants in a job.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "A human capital consulting firm that needs a quite a bit of its own medicine."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The intellectual capital and the type of work the consultants deliver are compelling. Also, it's always a pleasant surprise to come across a practice leader or senior consultant who not only is at the top of their field but also incredibly professional and respectful.

    Cons

    Lack of vision and career development opportunities more so in certain functions than others, witnessed poor behavior on part of senior pracitioners or blatant lack of respect for anyone who is not a consultant and little sense of company or office culture.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate and respect the people who have taken you to this point and look outside your traditional focal points to accept change and new ideas from seemingly unlikely sources.


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