At Kahler Slater, Inc., 90 percent of employees say their workplace is great.



This review is based on 81 employee surveys, with a 90% confidence level and a margin of error of ± 4.59. It was published on Jul 13, 2017. 3212 Visitors

What Employees Say

Management is honest and ethical in its business practices.
I'm proud to tell others I work here.
People celebrate special events around here.
People here are willing to give extra to get the job done.
Management hires people who fit in well here.

What They Do

We asked Kahler Slater, Inc. to explain what they do. Here is what they had to say.

As architects, interior designers and environmental brand designers, we collaborate with clients to dream big and maximize the opportunity of place.  From four offices, we enrich life and achieve powerful results through the places we design. 

About this Company

Website: Industry: Architecture & Design
US Headquarters: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53203 US Sites: 3
Major Locations: Madison, Wisconsin; Richmond, Virginia US Employees: 108
US Revenues: $22.7 million Employees Worldwide: 108
Corporate Structure: Private Founded: 1908

Kahler Slater, Inc. has been awarded:

Best Small Workplaces 2015 (ranked 15)

Best Small Workplaces 2014 (ranked 13)

Best Small Workplaces 2013 (ranked 17)


Perks and Programs

We asked Kahler Slater, Inc. to share a few programs they feel really capture what's unique about their workplace. Here is what they had to say.

  • Designing Great Projects: "We exist to enrich life through artful design" is our firm's Purpose. That means for each and every project, regardless of market or project type, we work collectively to push creativity and exceed client expectations. The result is great projects. Check out and decide for yourself the degree to which we are succeeding. We are immensely proud of our work, and hope you'll discover why.
  • Engaged in our Communities: One of our core values is “Community.” We prioritize our efforts by "adopting" a non-profit partner(s) for a two-year commitment. We then focus our firm-wide philanthropic and volunteer efforts on the chosen partner(s).  In 2013-14 we partnered with Habitat for Humanity, and in 2015-16 we partnered with organizations dedicated to fighting hunger in our respective communities: Hunger Task Force (Milwaukee), Community Action Coalition Food Bank (Madison) and Willing Hearts (Singapore). For 2017-18 we have turned our focus to clean water; partnering with Milwaukee Riverkeeper and the Clean Lakes Alliance (Madison). This focused approach results in a greater benefit to the agency(ies) which we’re supporting, and it instills deeper and more lasting personal relationships between our staff and those agencies.
  • Shared Ownership: Our open criteria for leadership and ownership make it possible for any staff member to realize becoming an owner (shareholder) in Kahler Slater.  Currently, one-third of our staff are owners, at various levels (between 0.3% and 15% of stock).  Although there is an expense to becoming a shareholder, we have always offered to help finance the purchase. In the end, the stock has consistently appreciated in value since it was instituted in 1992.  In this way, we are helping to build the long-term personal net worth of our staff.
  • Trust-Driven Flexibility: This may be the hallmark of our culture. We ask all staff to do three things: 1 - Get your work done well and on time; 2 - Take care of your clients; 3 - Collaborate effectively with your teammates. If you can succeed under those terms, you have almost limitless freedom to set your schedule in achieving those ends.
  • Vision / DNA: Central to our firm Vision is our DNA, the very fiber of our being since 1908, which is comprised of our Core Values and our Purpose. Our Core Values shape how we each agree to work with one another, our clients, our partners and any others in all of our work. Our values are: Trusting Relationships; Respectful Collaboration; Passion; Creativity; Integrity; Openness; Community. Our Purpose then builds off of our Core Values, revealing the essence of what drives us; that is, our soul: "We exist to enrich life through artful design."
  • KS Experience: Employees, clients, and friends of the firm enjoy Wisconsin's beautiful summers cruising Lake Michigan and Milwaukee's rivers on 'Experience,' a pontoon boat we dock next to our downtown office. 'Experience' also may serve as a “floating conference room."  Over one dozen staff have earned the rank of "Captain," a personal experience in its own right…“join Kahler Slater and become a river boat pilot!”  We also share 'Experience' with our community by donating architectural river cruises for fundraisers.  Leveraging our donations of boat, fuel, crew, food and beverages in 2015, eight non-profits collectively secured over $6,000 in donations!
  • @4 Gatherings: What's an @4? Whatever we want it to be! As long as it takes place at 4pm (in any time zone) and we serve libations and snacks, we can count on staff dropping what they are doing and joining in. Reasons we've recently gathered @4 include: Celebrating Friday the 13th with a firm-wide happy hour; Sharing / celebrating our recent work in Singapore; as a lead-in to the popular "Newaukee Night Market" events, while promoting a client's project; Socializing with new team members; Celebrating the retirement of two long-term partners; Holding a "Creativity Fire Drill"; Celebrating our namesakes' birthdays! [Note: Notice the frequency of the word "Celebrating?"]


50% Match of employee’s 401(k)/403b contribution up to 6% of salary74% Company-paid health coverage for employees
74% Company-paid health coverage for dependents 60% Company-paid health coverage for part-timers
30 hours Weekly hours required for part-timers to receive health insurance
Annual Airing of Grievances


19 days Paid time off after one year of full-time employment 13 days Paid time off after one year of part-time employment
5 days Paid sick days after one year of full-time employment 5 days Paid sick days after one year of part-time employment
19 Days Paid time off as of first day of full-time employment 13 days Paid time off as of first day of part-time employment


  • Flexible schedule (99% use it)
  • Telecommute option (6% use it)
  • Compressed work weeks (1% use it)
  • Onsite Amenities (- Free coffee, tea, water, hot chocolate - availability of shipping services - dry cleaning service - travel company assistance - wellness programs - discounted parking - free snacks - access to our pontoon boat; including the opportunity to be trained as a captain which allows you to take out the boat for personal use - discounted personal Verizon phone program - the opportunity to be on a corporate phone plan, or receive up to an $80/month phone stipend - sponsored WorkPlace banking programs - annual firm retreat - PD funding - a parking stipend of $35/mo)


60 days Job-protected maternity leave (including FMLA/STD) 17 days Fully-paid maternity leave (does not include personal vacation or paid time off)*
60 days Average length of maternity leave new mothers take60 days Job-protected paternity leave (including FMLA)
60 days Job-protected parental leave for adoptive parents (including FMLA)*
*Employees are not required to use all their personal paid time off before taking parental leave.


  • Lactation room(s)
  • Paid sick leave to care for a child or relative


  • Mental health care
  • Alternative treatments (such as acupuncture, homeopathy, or chiropractic)
  • Fertility treatments

Community and Environmental Impact

$110,353 Philanthropic donations in last year


  • Director of Human Resources is responsible for the success of formal recruiting and retention diversity goals
  • Written policy prohibits discrimination based on (at a minimum) age, disability, race/ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender and sexual orientation
  • Non-birth parents in same-sex relationships can take parental leave

Leadership Diversity


Workforce Diversity

Clean Lakes Alliance Team


Winter Party Photo Bomb

How to Get Hired

We asked Kahler Slater, Inc. for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.

What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?

A collaborative nature; Openness to exploration of new ideas (generated with / by others); Willingness to pitch in at a moment’s notice to help others to succeed; Sensibility to see that the whole is greater than their individual contributions; Ability to communicate complex ideas with clarity; Passion for craft, balanced with an appreciation for efficiency; Desire to seek the right solution (rather than the expedient one).

What can prospective employees do to get your attention?

Be yourself…be authentic!; Be persistent, and respectful; Share tangible experiences relevant to our posting(s); Present your best work; Treat us like you would a client (at least, that’s what we’re assuming you’re doing); Be curious and ask intentional questions that are relevant to advancing the discussion; Present a stellar portfolio!; Be informed about us and our work; Observe basic professional courtesies.

Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?

Ours are apprenticed professions: architecture, interior design and environmental branding. We are always seeking depth in the ranks of our “sages;” those people who are able to effectively lead others: Project Managers; Sr. Project Architects; Sr. Designers; Team Leaders; Market Leaders. In this way, our investments to bring in new talent will also help drive the growth of our existing talent. In this particular year we are also seeking strong technicians; whether an architect, interior designer or environmental brand designer. These are the people who love working on a team and putting projects together, as a Designer, a Project Architect or a pre-licensed professional.

What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?

Please see the Careers section of our website,, for the current list of open positions in our firm.

hiring Outlook

12 Forecasted positions to fill in coming year 5% Job Growth
28 Average applicants per opening 594 Total job applicants
8% New hires by employee referrals 5% Openings filled by current employees
3 Recent graduates hired 9% Voluntary turnover for full-time employees
17% Voluntary turnover for part-time employees
* All figures refer to 12-month period prior to reporting, unless otherwise noted.

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