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Many happy returns: Former employees find their way back to Hanson

Life often takes people in different directions, but sometimes they end up back where they were before — especially if the place they started is the best fit in the long run.

This statement has rung true for several Hanson employees who departed for different opportunities and later returned. Brian Maldonado, an electrical designer who works in Hanson’s Orlando, Florida, regional office, left Hanson for nine months to explore different market types and grow in experience at a different firm.

“The No. 1 reason I wanted to return to Hanson was the team that I worked with,” Brian said. “Having the opportunity to work with another team made me realize how good my team at Hanson was — not just in comradeship, but in support. At Hanson, I know my team is, and always will be, there to support me in any way they can. They will be there in the good times and tough times. That type of support was just not there at the firm I switched to.

“When I reached out to Hanson about returning,” Brian added, “not only did they want me back, but they made sure to address any concerns I had when I left, and they wanted me to be happy with my new position. What other company goes out of their way for a single employee to make sure they are happy? Companies like that are rare. And I didn’t feel like searching for another rare gem when I already knew one.”

Back for the long haul

Dan Whalen, P.E., a senior vice president and Hanson’s power market principal, joined Hanson in 1988 as a geotechnical engineer who worked for six years at the Springfield, Illinois, headquarters and four more helping set up and working in Hanson’s office in Kansas City, Missouri. After 10 years with the company, Dan and his wife decided to return to their hometown of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, to be near their grandparents. He accepted a job with a firm with headquarters in Bloomington.

“After less than two years away from Hanson, I missed the type of work — specifically, large, interesting projects, the people, the management style and the employee-owned status of Hanson,” Dan said. “That was 24 years ago.

“One of the best parts of working at Hanson is the people,” Dan added. “Employees collaborate with the common goal of successful projects — everyone is an owner and has a personal stake in the company’s performance. There is a spirit of looking out for one another.”

‘Firm foundation’

A strong emphasis on quality assurance and project management drew Vice President and Chief Project Management Officer Mike Flatt, P.E., S.E., LEED AP®, PMP, back to Hanson after he relocated for a little more than a year so his wife and young children could be closer to extended family. Mike started with Hanson as a college intern, and the chance to participate in a wide variety of projects led him to accept a full-time position upon graduation.

Mike was happy to return to Hanson after working for an interim employer whose interdepartmental resource management and project governance structure were not as strong, and he appreciates that Hanson has the staffing to lead large projects while maintaining the personal feel of a smaller organization.

“If I were recommending Hanson to someone,” Mike said, “I’d tell them about the diverse array of projects with good people, as well as the firm foundation in quality and project governance and the many opportunities to grow in their chosen career path.”

Growth and flexibility

Based on surveys submitted by employees, Hanson has placed in the Top 10 on the annual Best Places to Work in Illinois and Best Companies to Work for in Florida rankings since 2018. Flexibility, professional development, mentorship, innovation, teamwork and work-life balance are among the terms employees have listed to illustrate Hanson’s culture.

Brian encouraged anyone with interest in a Hanson job opening to apply without hesitation.

“Hanson has an amazing company culture, and you will work with a team that will always be there to support and uplift you,” he said. “You will be challenged technically, but you will only grow and have some fun while you are at it. When the stressful times come, which they always do in our industry, you won't be alone.”       

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