Charles River Laboratories

  www.criver.com
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Charles River Laboratories Reviews

Updated July 28, 2014
Updated July 28, 2014
91 Reviews

2.7
91 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Charles River Laboratories Chairman, President, Director and CEO James C. Foster
James C. Foster
55 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good benefits- medical/dental, 401k (in 6 reviews)

  • Great work-life balance, ability to grow within the company if you don't mind moving to other locations based on job availability (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Meetings were fraught with bad-mouthing corporate and shooting sarcasm at upper management (in 7 reviews)

  • Lack of communication between upper management and lower employees (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

28 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Get in, get reimbursed education, transfer internally a lot to build skills/knowledge, then go to Pharma/Biotech company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    A good place to learn some of the basics of nonclinical testing. A good place to start building career network if you are just out of college.

    Cons

    If you stick with one position or one group for a long time, your knowledge will quickly plateau. Career development is very limited. If you want to progress in your career, you need to actively transfer within the company yourself (or leave).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In my experience, fear-based management tactics were used. This is not a sustainable model. Also, if you want employees to stick around for a long time, open up sites in rural areas.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Focused on Business. Not so much on it's employees and departments

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supervisor  in  Wilmington, MA
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Wilmington, MA

    Pros

    Work Schedule- very relaxed
    co-workers- are great.Many great employees have come, gone and remain with the company. More leave than stay
    Benefits- average and has consistently increased in costs every year

    Cons

    too many senior management rolls and not enough workers.
    low pay compared to local companies
    inconsistent in yearly evaluations and promotions.
    management worries about every other department except it's own

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Reno Site - Laid back culture but heavy workloads

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Auditor II  in  Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Auditor II in Reno, NV

    Pros

    It is nice working in a professional environment that still maintains a casual, laid-back culture. Employees are dedicated to the mission of the company, which is aiding and accelerating drug development through preclinical research. I enjoy having a great deal of autonomy in my position... NEVER micromanaged.

    Cons

    Workloads within some departments were overwhelming at times. In general, salaries are not commensurate with other CROs and certainly not with large pharm/biotech companies. CRL- Nevada benefits from being the only gig in town for those with a biology/life sciences background. A lot of employees stay because the area is rich in quality outdoor activity, not to mention lower cost of living than the West Coast science hubs. That said, CRL seems to even be falling behind on salaries compared to other companies in the small Reno market.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Suggest periodic research/adjustment to ensure that salaries ranges are current and competitive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    One Company who is still figuring things out

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Technician III  in  Morrisville, NC
    Former Employee - Research Technician III in Morrisville, NC

    Pros

    Great work-life balance, ability to grow within the company if you don't mind moving to other locations based on job availability.

    Cons

    The leaders in the company have little experience and could take a step back and listen and appreciate the technical staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a step back to evaluate your technical staff. Get rid of the dead weight and show appreciation to those employees who bend over backwards.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Laboratory Staff

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The people are great. Motivated to do an excellent job

    Cons

    Managers need better management training. Zero room for advancement unless you are a 'yes' man

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just because someone has a Masters or PhD does NOT make them a good manager

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not a bad environment, but management needs to step up

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Auditor
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Auditor

    Pros

    Good work/life balance, friendly co-workers, good chance to learn about the science if you talk to the right people

    Cons

    Few opportunities for advancement, support for outside training is virtually nil, difficult to get the resources you need to do your job as the company is very tight-fisted with money.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure your managers can actually give direction. Some regularly have to poll their employees or ask their own manager before they can provide an answer to questions. Also, be sure you're aware of how it looks to the lower-levels when you withhold bonuses and/or promotions and have layoffs but are still touting how you've acquired or are in talks to acquire a new company. Morale is crashing.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Great if you have an in

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Good benefits. Growing company.mot usually overloaded by work though things can get a bit tight. Some flexibility with schedule.

    Cons

    Only move up with the right connections. Don't manage money well. Things change on a whim. Lots of cuts with no regard for your experience and years of service.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Member of a Shrinking Industry

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great Benefits. As many other emplorers cut employee benefits, Charels River continued to provide yearly bonuses and 401k contributions to even the lowest paid employees. The health benefits are excellent and they provide very good vacation benefits.

    Cons

    Going through work force reduction due to dynamic changes in the industry. They used to have a very family oriented feel to their corporate culture but have recently lost that as they moved towards a more "strictly" corporate culture. As with any corporation, workforce reduction improves the bottom line when an industry suffers from a shrinking industry. You defintely get the feeling you're just a number now but that is just the nature of business today.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen Better and react to the employee surveys.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not a place you will likely stay for too long

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Corporate Response Team
    Former Employee - Corporate Response Team

    Pros

    -Hire students right out of college and give them the opportunity to see many sites and get a feel for what area they may prefer to settle in.
    -Many of the coworkers were nice and willing to help one another (depending on the site you were at)
    -Flexible with giving time off when needed
    -Good place to build experience

    Cons

    Where should I start...
    -Lack of communication between upper management with employees
    -Not much opportunity for advancement
    -High turnover rates
    -Very physically demanding
    -Some supervisors seem to just overlook when employees do things wrong instead correcting them and showing the proper way to do things.
    -Some supervisors seem to care more about themselves and their lives then their own employees.
    -Employees are not really encouraged to go above and beyond what is required because they never seem to be rewarded with even a simple thank you.
    -Management never seems to take the ideas of the employees even though the employees are the ones on the floor actually performing the given tasks

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Break out of the office and actually meet some of the employees. See what they are doing for the company and consider ideas they may have.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fine

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Strong company not going anywhere anytime soon.

    Cons

    Upper management does not communicate clearly

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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