Hydrogen Group plc

  www.hydrogengroup.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Hydrogen Group plc Reviews

Updated Jul 23, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.4 29 reviews

33% Approve of the CEO

Hydrogen Group plc CEO Tim Smeaton

Tim Smeaton

(18 ratings)

30% of employees recommend this company to a friend
29 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Hydrogen has huge potential

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsHydrogen has the right foundations in place to be really successful now that we have undergone a period of change and transition. We had some great characters here but it was too much of a fun place to be and had only a handful of really successful and driven consultants and leaders. We, in recent months appear to have grown up and fingers crossed will see more high earners and leaders develop in the future. I am excited to see how we look this time next year.

    ConsPeople have to genuinely want it and expectations need to be exceeded not just met so it concerns me that some people being lazy will delay this change happening quick enough to keep the good people interested.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet out more and be inspirational.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Do not join and if you are in H2 leave for better options!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsSome of the people are ok

    ConsLow % model, stack them high and sell them cheap model, which means very low earnings for consultants coupled with very long hours. Several examples of woman sleeping there way to the top. Very much a blame culture. Most of the people who work there are either completely untrustworthy or a green at the gills grad. They claim to be what they are not, specialist, expert and thriving.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Steadily going downhill

    Recruitment Consultant (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsColleagues, Good brand, Location, Training

    ConsLow pay
    Work-life balance/flexibility
    Commission structure
    Promotion structure uninspiring
    No individual treatment
    Ask for help and don't get it

    Advice to Senior ManagementInstead of losing consultants to competitors, retain them by showing them their value in the business. A one size fits all approach does not work with regards to promotions etc, good billers are not necessarily good leaders and if you were more supportive you could unlock much more potential with the staff you have rather than letting them go elsewhere and then spending time and money on recruiting again

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Disappointing and unsupported

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsBrand
    Colleagues
    Office is nice
    Great location
    Good clients
    Very relaxed work environment

    I'm honestly struggling to meet the 20 word minimum for the pros side of things

    ConsCommission structure
    Basic salary
    Salary is less than minimum wage and doesn't even pay my living costs even after a year here
    They fired half my team
    All the top billers left
    Stranded in a slow market with little guidance
    Company feels like it is dying or will restructure to a much smaller size

    Advice to Senior ManagementTry and understand what the employees need and support that. Power points with baseless targets help no one.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Hydrogen is still a great place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    Pros- Fantastic people, a vibrant high performing culture with some excellent leaders in certain Practices.
    - Unrivalled commission scheme where high performers are frequently earning + £30k per quarter
    - Fantastic training and support for new starters
    - Hard working consultants who are driven to succeed and progress
    - Ambitious strategy and clear direction of where the company is going

    ConsHydrogen has recently undergone a restructure which has probably caused a bit of uncertainty. However, It’s been the right decision for the business and should have a positive impact in the medium term. Every organisation goes through something like this very couple of years.

    Advice to Senior ManagementApproach promotions consistently and fairly and continue to reward high performance. In the past I feel we've been too tolerant of mediocre performance.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Politically driven work environment with incompetent senior management...

    Anonymous (Former Employee)

    ProsOpportunities to move into other departments, good training, newly modernised office, charity work, nice people (though dwindling in numbers), lovely and motivating CEO though he needs to brush up on his internal comms skills (he declared his admiration for Margerat Thatcher at a company meeting once).

    ConsPolitical environment, unethical decision making, unprofessional staff, senior management have little variety in their experience (and it shows), senior management are more concerned with their egos and not other people's careers, consultants are followers of the lad bible, rude MDs, sociopathic Ops leaders.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEat some humble pie. The competition is eating you alive and the solution starts with great leaders. Billing insane amounts of money does not make a good leader. Experience, emotional intelligence and refined talent does.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Good at first but the company has completely changed and is a poor example of a business and treats employees badly

    Consultant/Senior Consultant (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsGood training and very good Learning and Development team. Good clients - however these clients are starting to see the negatives to doing business with Hydrogen and are choosing other recruitment companies as their preferred partner. I am hearing a lot of negative feedback from key clients, some now refusing to ever work with Hydrogen again because of their approach.

    ConsThe company cannot stick to a vision and do not manage people or create and implement strategies well. The company is very divisional, with each practice area working independently to one another (for example Finance, Law or Oil & Gas). The company has grown too quickly and made many mistakes in terms of structuring and developing teams. They also seem to be confused as to which markets they are entering, with no clear direction or focus. This is poor from a client and candidate perspective (not to mention employee) because Hydrogen are claiming to be experts in things areas they no nothing about. Hydrogen used to be a lovely place, great culture, good consultants and managers, but the turnover is so high that this has completely changed and none of the great people want to stick around for long. This is because of the poor management, poor opinions from industry, poor career progression and also very low salaries compared to market average. The problem seems to be that Hydrogen management are trying to create a 'quick fix' to a financial problem that has been worsening for some time due to running the business badly and growing too quickly in an unsuccessful way. This quick fix is all about money and Hydrogen are forgetting that clients will be around for much longer, they all talk, and the bigger picture is not being considered. All this company look for is where is the next deal? & why are you not working with a particular account? They then bulldoze in without thinking of the client or the candidate - just trying to make quick money, a very unintelligent approach and a poor service to the client. It is not a pleasant place to work and it is somewhere I am very ashamed to be a part of.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you want a quick fix to sell the business- then fair enough. However, if you want a business that is successful in the longer term then you really must re-address everything that is being done, and make better informed, more careful business choices. Don't take my word for it, I urge you to ask clients and candidates what their impression is and I am confident my above comments will be echoed.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Really good experience thus far

    Consultant (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsUpon finishing university, I had no idea what I wanted to do. In an ideal world, I would have entered academia. However, the anaemic pay and poor working conditions (even at many top universities) were enough to put me off this route. Unlike most of my university friends who chose banking, consultancy, the Big 4 and law conversions, I really had no interest in pursuing these options either. I found them generic (and still do).

    So, it was by complete chance that I applied to Hydrogen. As luck would have it, I couldn't have picked a better place to start my career. Instead of dull and menial tasks, I felt like I was given responsibility from the very beginning. In fact, every month at Hydrogen thus far has been a great learning curve. I work with some great colleagues. They're supportive, witty and, most importantly, work hard.

    I'm constantly given new targets and regularly receive feedback from my management team. As a result, I know exactly where I am in terms of my progression and what I should be doing in order to improve. I've learned that time-management is key to everything and to keep pushing even when you feel you're getting nowhere. Compared to my friends in larger corporates, I know that I've learned a lot more and have actually enjoyed the content of my work.

    Will I stay at Hydrogen forever? Who knows, but I do think the company has a great culture and an ambitious vision of what it wants to be. So, to conclude, I'm happy with my time here.

    ConsThere needs to be more emphasis on people using the Hub. Too often candidates are added and left completely or partially unskilled (having said that, the Hub training is pretty comprehensive and organised).

    More company-wide competitions to encourage a sales culture should take place.

    If people have to hit certain KPIs, for example, then this should be more standardised i.e. everyone HAS to make 40 calls per day irrespective of your practice.

    I find the cultures between various desks and practices vary quite a lot. Some desks and practices are great. Some have really good team leaders and a mature atmosphere. Others, however, do not.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't forget that the growth of APAC is also due to the economic growth of many emerging markets. It's no surprise that we're experiencing a boom there due to the disparity in talent between home-grown recruitment firms, with far less experience and capital, compared to foreign recruitment firms, like ourselves.

    Get your act together when it comes to taking new consultants onboard. The gap between one consultant and the next is, at times, ridiculous. Be as picky with the sourcing of our consultants as we are with the sourcing of our candidates. Much more discrepancy is needed when trying to find consultants who actually have a decent work-ethic and who can quickly understand what their candidates do.

    Get rid of certain team leaders. Far too many loud-mouthed consultants seem to have been promoted to positions of authority purely because they've billed respectably for a few quarters. Fortunately, my team leader is more mature, has a lot of experience and commands respect because he's actually good at managing people. However, this does not seem to be a company-wide phenomenon.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Was a good company back in the day........

    Senior Consultant (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    Pros- Track records in their core markets
    - Good database
    - Global company
    - Supports charities

    Cons- NO work-life balance
    - Low salaries; much lower than most
    - NO benefits at all
    - Management by fear
    - 'One size fits all' metrics
    - Immature Team Leaders (A good recruiter isn't necessarily a good leader by definition)
    - Sterile offices with a Clean Desk policy (you have to pack your desk every single day)
    - Cheesy training (but their Workshops are good)

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt had a good environment back in the day but the atmosphere deteriorated over time. It was a competent team of recruiters and that's why I joined them.

    I felt overwhelmed to make a move out of the company due to some poor decisions the management team made. One was about the commission structure which was poorly handled. They changed it and told us about it 20 days after they implemented it. If anything, it should have been announced 3 months BEFORE the implementation. Then we had a massive exodus of Perm Consultants- no surprises there. They changed it back eventually, but the point is that if that has changed the way it did, ANYTHING else could change overnight in that company.

    My main advice to the management is to start looking after the staff and stop lying to yourselves with your "Best companies to work for" accolades. It means nothing and can be easily fabricated/manipulated.

    Another advice I wanted to give is for Mr Smeaton as he's been applying a lot of pressure on teams and consultants to make money at all costs and we can't even take your full 1hr lunch break sometimes. All that stress and fear so he can boast about his helicopter and mansion.. Not cool!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    Hydrogen Group plc Digital Consultant responded to this review

    Jun 11, 2014

    I am sorry to hear that your experience at Hydrogen has not ended on an optimistic note. We offer exit interviews at the time of leaving to ensure we capture any ways we can improve working life at ... More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Churn & burn seems to be management's motto

    Recruitment Consultant (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsGood location, global company, great l&d and ops teams - that's about as far as the pros go.

    ConsI joined Hydrogen after graduating. The sell is that it's a quick fire way for graduates to earn a fair bit of money with uncapped commission, work in a dynamic, vibrant environment where you work hard play hard with clear opportunities for progression. Unfortunately, not one bit of this sell is true. There is no work/life balance - standard hours are 8.30am - 6.30pm on paper but realistically that's 8am post 7pm most days of the week. Some practices also impose compulsory longer hours if you aren't reaching your targets. Salaries are very poor compared to competitors as is commission structure. Leadership appears to be quite poor across the practices. Within my practice area I felt there was a real lack of professionalism from team leaders who were quick to offer their opinions on more junior members of the practice. There's very little loyalty in the business but at the very least you should expect that your team leader values the work you are doing and the contribution you are making to their pay package every month (team leaders all get a percentage of their consultants' commission...) opposed to voicing their personal opinion on individuals. It felt like being back in high school and it's generally a very unpleasant environment to work inl! It also meant there was a constant atmosphere within the teams.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart reviewing team leadership and holding team leaders accountable for their team's performance (as well as their attitudes) instead of getting rid of more junior members of the team just because on paper they may seem easier to replace. Retention rate is terrible (8 people left our team over the last 5 months and that's just one of many in the London office!).

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

Worked for Hydrogen Group plc? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.