What it does: A furniture company that designs and manufactures adaptable workspaces including furniture systems, architectural products, movable walls, textiles, storage, seating, wood case goods, and ergonomic and technology tools for workspaces, health care, and education.
Best known for: Haworth is one of the world’s largest office furniture manufacturers, tailoring spaces according to business needs since 1948. This family-owned business is present in more than 120 countries through an international network of 650 dealers. Haworth is known for its iconic Tulip Chair (made by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders), and for collaborating with leading designers including Patricia Urquiola, A.G. Fronzoni, Andreas Struppler, and Albert Holz.
Staff stats: 7,000 employees including 4,000 in the United States.
The good bits: Competitive base salary with numerous fringe benefits and a family-like work atmosphere (insiders often describe the workplace as having a small-company feel despite its global scale).
The not-so-good bits: Insiders complained about a micromanaging leadership style, high-turnover rate and difficult job advancement (especially in Holland, Michigan HQ), little work-life balance for some roles.
Gerrard W. Haworth, a high school shop teacher at Holland High School, was the brainchild behind Haworth. In 1948, Haworth started a woodworking business in Holland, Michigan. In the early 1980s, office seating was added to the brand's product offerings which eventually evolved into developing complete workplace stations. Haworth began aggressive expansion in North America, Asia, and Europe in the late 1980s.
The next two decades were met with industry firsts and accolades -- from developing the first mobile office system to creating panel-to-panel cabling systems. The company was awarded several accolades for its design and business practices in areas including leadership, member job satisfaction, environmental sustainability, and community service.
Today, Haworth is one of the three largest office furniture manufacturers in the world. Its portfolio of brands includes Cassina, Bluescape, Janus et Cie, Poltrona Frau, Haworth Health Environments, and Tuohy.
Haworth aims to fill a variety of positions in professional and technical, sales and marketing, and manufacturing and operations.
The recruitment process varies from role to role, but graduates may expect to begin with online application submission. Promising applicants will be invited for an initial phone or in-person interview with an HR representative followed by an interview with leadership. This is then succeeded by a drug screen, physical, and background check. Accepted applicants will be notified with a job offer and start date.
Haworth offers a competitive base salary. Product engineers may expect to get paid $60,979 annually, designers $58,908 annually, software developers $70,314 annually, and machine operators $17 hourly. Fringe benefits may include health insurance, paid vacation leave, 401k plan, and flexible working hours, among others.
Haworth's business philosophy is rooted in three 'Family Values': Diversity, Purpose, and Relationship. As a multinational company that manufactures products sourced around the globe, Haworth seeks to promote diversity, honoring people and materials of different regions as well as respecting the differences in its employees' expressions of race, ethnicity, orientation, and religion.
Haworth refers to its employees as 'members', where each person plays a distinct role in meeting the needs of customers. The company believes that its members should feel invested in what they do, with goals to support their wellness and career aspirations. To develop strong relationships, the company consistently looks for ways to keep each employee connected and invested in the larger community.
Haworth's corporate responsibility is expressed through sustainability, engaging members in sustainable practices, using and initiating processes that improve the environment, and utilizing resources in ways that create sustainable and adaptable workspaces for customers. These activities aim to further the company's commitment to supporting the global environment, communities, and economy.
Haworth's Value Stream guides its actions for sustainability. It designs with people and environment in mind, engages with supplier partners to ensure responsible sourcing, maintains ISO certifications and Zero Waste to Landfill status, earns top certifications while promoting healthy spaces, and provides lifecycle assessments and product certifications while educating its customers on landfill alternatives.
There's definitely prestige in working for one of the world's largest furniture manufacturers, which makes Haworth a striking addition to any graduate's credentials. Job offers come with attractive salaries and numerous fringe benefits, but not without tradeoffs: difficulties in job advancement and work-life balance. Despite the company's cons, the close-knit work atmosphere may encourage graduates to stay.