Find Your Home at Kimley-Horn

Making a change in the course of your career is a big decision—not to be undertaken lightly. So if you make a change, you want to be sure it’s the right one. As you consider your options, consider ten signs that you might be ready for a change—and six promises that you can count on at Kimley-Horn.

Ten Signs You’re Ready for Change

Your current company is growing larger every day—but your opportunities don’t seem to be growing along with it. Kimley-Horn grows as our people grow. We are dedicated to staff development at every level, because it’s part of our core value of high expectations. We expect a lot from our people, and we help them grow. That commitment helps us fulfill our core purpose: To provide an environment for our people to flourish.

Currently with a large firm? At Kimley-Horn, your colleagues are your allies. Our nationally recognized experts are generous with their knowledge and eager to assist. And because we operate as one profit center, there are no bureaucratic or internal impediments to collaboration.

Are you limited by the resources of your small firm? With multiple disciplines under our umbrella, you can almost always find an answer for your client without having to venture outside. We make collaboration easy, so it’s easy for you to exceed your clients’ needs as their trusted advisor.

Ambitious business plans drive the daily activities of our staff. These plans are developed by our practice builders and other leaders, with broad-based input from the rest of the firm. So you’ll know where you are going at Kimley-Horn, because you helped set the direction. And you’ll draw confidence from knowing that everyone’s best thinking has gone into each plan.

Our staff are among the most diligent and dedicated you could find anywhere. We’re committed to creative solutions, to quality plans and documents, and to making each other and our clients look terrific. In an environment like this, it’s just fun to work.

We believe that a practice builder is an expert in developing client relationships and serving clients. Kimley-Horn makes it easy for practice builders to maximize their time with clients and the project team; your best contribution to the firm’s success, after all, is to do what you do best.

At Kimley-Horn, setting goals and exceeding them is a way of life, and we reward the people who do. Staff performance is the basis of our firm’s success. . . and we believe it should also be the basis of our staff’s rewards.

As you keep a close eye on your retirement funds, do you like what you see? In 2016, we contributed 18% of salary and bonus to our employees’ retirement accounts. These contributions have been a priority for decades. Trust us, you’ll enjoy watching those numbers add up.

Do you really know what’s next for your firm? Merger to impress Wall Street? Cost cuts to finance an owner’s personal investments? Our staff is safe from the whims of outsiders. Kimley-Horn has been proudly private for 50 years, and we’re confident we’ll stay that way, thanks to our commitment to financial health and well-planned ownership transitions. That means we call the shots, and our profits can be directed where they should be—to reward the people who contributed to them.

Some firms call themselves employee-owned, but their ownership is so closely held, it’s hard to ever get near it. About 15% of Kimley-Horn employees are owners. And we protect our future passionately, with an ownership transition plan that spreads ownership broadly (so the retirement of one or two people doesn’t turn everything upside down). New owners are selected twice a year from among outstanding members of the firm. You could be one of them.

Kimley-Horn has never settled down—or settled for status quo. We’re always looking for opportunities in new locations, new markets, new practices. That’s why we value the insights we gain from new practice builders and involve them in our long-term planning. We believe our best days are ahead of us, especially when we’re strengthened by fresh ideas from sharp minds looking to conquer new challenges.  

Six Promises from Kimley-Horn

As a practice builder, you’ll be empowered to make far-reaching business decisions about the direction your practice will take. And the results of those decisions can carry the firm in a whole new direction. Major initiatives like entry to new markets go through significant review, naturally, but initiatives by practice builders have led us into very exciting and successful new areas of work. We rely on practice builders to help us change ahead of the market—something we like to call “inspired adaptation.”

We are performance-based and results-oriented. Established goals are critical to us, because we believe you have to know where you’re going in order to get there. So we identify specific annual goals for job starts, fees, multiplier, time utilization, and expenses (everything we need to sustain ambitious growth). We intend not just to meet those goals, but to exceed them. Our high expectations are reflected in our placement among the top firms in our industry in all performance areas.

There are no lone rangers at Kimley-Horn. When you need extra help with your project here, team members will be ready to step up and step in—and you’ll have the opportunity to do the same. We emphasize teamwork as the best way to ultimately achieve both individual and collective success. When we celebrate, we celebrate our accomplishments as a firm; after all, it’s only through the efforts, ideas, and initiative of every employee that we’re able to meet today’s challenges and capitalize on tomorrow’s opportunities.

Employee ownership has been central to our success from the beginning. First, we’re 100% owned by our practicing professionals—always have been. That’s important, because it means we won’t be yanked off course by the demands of Wall Street. Second, our ownership is distributed among a large number of people—no individual owns more than 5% of the company—and many more are on the path to become owners. At Kimley-Horn, the power to make important business decisions for the firm is shared by a large group of employees working toward shared goals.

How soon can you become an owner? There is no formal timeline, but there is a clear path to ownership with defined steps. It’s worth noting that our associates and owners comprise the brightest, hardest working, best performing, and most loyal professionals of the firm. Your attitude, entrepreneurial spirit, and track record of exemplary client service each play a large part in determining when your invitation to become a shareholder arrives. 

Kimley-Horn has always been profitable. And we believe in sharing the firm’s financial success with those responsible—our employees. We have a long history of annual bonuses. And our retirement contributions are generous: In fact, you’ll find our combination of a 2-for-1 401(k) match and profit-sharing contributions to your retirement account to be among the best in the industry.

Our generous retirement package is just one element of our robust benefits package. We offer a flexible healthcare plan with low monthly premiums and a healthcare savings account that allows you to save pre-tax dollars for current medical expenses or bank money for healthcare in retirement. You’ll also enjoy vision and dental coverage, disability insurance, life insurance, and more. When you look closely, you’ll see why Kimley-Horn has appeared on multiple “Best Places to Work” lists over the years—this is a firm where every employee can prosper.