Agilent Technologies Reviews

Updated 24 April 2015
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3.6
613 Reviews
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Mike McMullen
1 Rating

Pros
  • This company has long been a shining star in "work/life balance" for its employees (in 117 reviews)

  • Good work environment when I worked there, by that I mean the physical environment (in 49 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is challenging constant stream of top priority projects keep people working OT non stop (in 13 reviews)

  • Upper management runs the business based on politics for shareholders, not customers or employees (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Something is missing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Melbourne
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Melbourne

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work/life balance. Employees are treated as adults. Pay and conditions are good. Communication about the state of the company as a whole was good.

    Cons

    Complacent and kind of dull. It didn't have a bad culture, more like no culture at all - maybe because there was a significant shortage of younger employees, and the older employees weren't interested.

    Advice to Management

    Put more focus on the internal life of the company.

  2. Electronics Eng

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Melbourne
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Melbourne

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    not bad accomodation, new building

    Cons

    lousy pay, lousy bunch of people

    Advice to Management

    Sack the management

  3. Great people, good opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Melbourne
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Melbourne

    I worked at Agilent Technologies

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great people. Learning opportunity is good. Work environment is informal and friendly. Peer feedback is well-valued.

    Cons

    Growth is not steady. Too much outsourcing and less job security.

    Advice to Management

    I think management should give a division/org more time after an investment. Also outsorucing too much may not be good for the long run.

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  5. Software Qa

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Very flexible working environment and management is good

    Cons

    Growth is slow and you need to update your skills yourself no training provided from company

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on employee training

  6. Helpful (5)

    A very well established company which is learning to be small.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lab Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Lab Manager in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Agilent Technologies

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice colleagues, very intelligent scientists, opportunities to travel and meet many interesting people. Very competitive products (well, what's left...) that are well positioned in the market. Probably the best marketing group in the industry with extremely capable and knowledgeable people. A great place to work if you want to gain experience from a big company and don't want to work in a bank or read Dilbert.

    Cons

    The company prides itself to have its roots in HP of the '50s. However this is not entirely true anymore. Agilent was spun off from HP in 1999 and then was split in two in 2014 with the electronics measurement business becoming a separate entity, Keysight. In the meanwhile Agilent closed or sold quite a few units, bought Varian in 2010 and closed or sold most of it and also bought Dako in 2013. Overall there were around 44,000 employees in 1999, Varian and Dako came in with around 5200 people and now there are around 9,000 left, with the majority of them being laid-off or becoming contractors in the way. There are quite a few leftovers from the big Agilent era, though. Each new starter is faced with an intimidating set or rules, processes and, most importantly, acronyms that he has to learn in order to barely survive. You can forget spoken everyday English, you will need to learn things like MU, MEIDAS, PFF, SU, AM, PS, IM, PO, SR, WLA, ACS, FSS, FSE, MRU, AE, TANGOE, CERTO, GIO, WPS, GIPO, FAMS etc, etc, etc, there is even an internal website with the meanings of all these which have nothing to do with what they sound like. There have been hardly any revolutionary, new products introduced by Agilent in this long period with most products being incremental, small upgrades to established products from the HP era or purchased from other companies. The company shows good results mostly because of the income it got from the selling of various units in the 00's. Rather demotivating environment if things turn slightly off plan. What you did in the past (last year) has no influence whatsoever, only what you do now is of relevance. If you are in sales then making 250% of your quota last year will not help you this year and if you only make 95% you will be out. Most of the former Agilent employees have been laid off rather than leaving at their own will. There are no careers at Agilent anymore, only jobs. In R&D projects are defined by the personal opinions of managers who are not necessarily scientists nor have an idea of the marketplace, most of the projects are canned when they are 85% complete. Global sales, service and support, finance, marketing, R&D and manufacturing are actually competing with each other and cross-charging each other at every opportunity. Having moved all support activities to Asia you are faced with the same attitude when your email is not working as when you call your bank or credit card. Bureaucracy has increased both because of the infinite processes that must be followed (up to 3 levels of approval for purchasing a $200 item) and because these are monitored by people in India. Things that take other companies 10 minutes to do take up to a week or more at Agilent. In all it is lawyers and accountant that make the decisions, not commercial people or scientists. Anything with more than 0% risk is rejected. In all Agilent still thinks and tries to function like a 50,000 employee company when instead they are only one fifth of what they used to be.

    Advice to Management

    Your employees are not just employee ID's and cost centres. They are very intelligent people with great ideas, your biggest asset, so treat them accordingly and listen to them.

    The people in sales are the ones who bring the money in, they are not the ones who always ask for more.

    The stock holders don't give money to the company, customers do.

    Prioritise the customers instead of the Agilent processes.

    Get rid of all the bullying middle-managers.

    Value the science degrees more than the MBAs.

    "Better beg for forgiveness than ask for permission" gets your job done but makes relationships bitter, stop promoting this tactic.

    There are many more efficient ways to increase your return on invested capital and your profits than reducing costs; if you only look for good results by reducing costs you will lose (as you have already).

    If you want to reduce costs you can start by scrapping the principle of the global suppliers and the single, overcharging-fee travel agency. Let people get the supplies and book the trips looking at the local markets where they can get much better deals. Limit the over-controlling procurement procedures to the places where they are really needed; if someone bribed somebody in China there is no reason to increase the burden for the people in Switzerland.

    Don't allow your senior executives to say nonsense things like "take your vacation before the end of the quarter to help us reduce our costs and achieve better results". (This was really said in an email!)

    The whole world is not 30 miles around Santa Clara.

    There is life after the end of the quarter.

    Either make the leadership survey real or don't do it at all, reporting false or manufactured results makes you look stupid to the eyes of your employees.

    Don't lie, neither to your employees nor to your customers.

    You cannot have progress if you do not risk.

    Nobody (not even financial analysts) can predict the future!

    Agilent does not know best, Agilent know very well. Whether Agilent know best is something that the others and time will tell, not you.

    The Global Infrastructure Organisation is there to support everybody else, they do not bring in money. So don't let them define policies that only serve them and not the people who actually get the job done.

    Having all the finance and support group in India helps with your costs for them but makes everyone lose so much time with them that the benefit is negated very quickly.

    The ones who survive are not the strongest ones, it is the ones who adopt more easily. Allow flexibility in your processes, there is no such thing as one size fits all worldwide.

    Historically and in every sector or discipline it was stability that brought progress. So stop advocating that "the only constant is change" and look for stable, efficient structures.

    If a group does not perform as expected then first check the managers, not the lower people. Look at sports for how this is done.

    If everyone tells you that you are wrong this is because you are wrong!

  7. Helpful (1)

    Quality Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Agilent Technologies full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Culture is still strong and positive. Good leadership, but you need to go looking for it. Opportunities exist, but you have to earn them and sell yourself. Performance is rewarded, be willing to work hard for it.

    Cons

    Some really good managers, some really poor managers. With the spin off of Keysight, the new management team is cliquish (strong Chemical Analysis bias). Politics become more important.

    Advice to Management

    While pay for rewards is a great idea -- you need to listen to your top performers more than the management filtered messages. Too many people trying to look good for upper mgmt.

  8. Engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible timings, Great managers ,Good working environment

    Cons

    Nothing...I really cant think about any cons at the moment..

    Advice to Management

    Nothing

  9. Helpful (1)

    Arrogant company tap hat doesn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Manager
    Current Employee - Account Manager

    I have been working at Agilent Technologies full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    A lot of autonomy set your own 14 hour day

    Cons

    Very little help in resolving basic corporate infrastructure complexity

    Advice to Management

    Reduce the bloated middle management by half, put more feet on the street and go out and actually see what a customer looks like.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Account Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Sales Manager in Austin, TX (US)
    Former Employee - Account Sales Manager in Austin, TX (US)

    I worked at Agilent Technologies full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great Flexibility in controlling your own success or failure, a lot of autonomy. Management was mostly focused on bottom line numbers and as long as you produced life was good.

    Cons

    I felt like management didn't really add value, they were always interested in high level meetings but did nothing to get them. For the most part the success or failure at an account happens with first line management at an account not at the GM level.

    Advice to Management

    Stay out of the account managers way.

  11. Amazing company for interns

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Bioinformatics Intern
    Former Intern - Bioinformatics Intern

    I worked at Agilent Technologies as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Best projects, benefits, activities and learning opportunities for interns, opportunity to meet the CEO

    Cons

    Most of the people in the company have been associated with it for a long time. You won't be able to find young talent that often (esp. in R&D). Marketing and sales teams are full of college graduates.

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