Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Reviews

Updated April 14, 2015
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Gary Gilliland
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Pros
  • Management strives to ensure employees have a good work life balance (in 12 reviews)

  • The benefits are great and the pay is on par with for-profits (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Sometimes difficult to move around (in 4 reviews)

  • Turnover here is below average therefore career advancement is limited (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

18 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Great organization, bad politics

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

    I worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    They do great work and have a lot of terrific people working there

    Cons

    It is very political and the management in some areas are not good.

    Advice to Management

    Give people a chance based on their qualifications, not on how long they have worked there


  2. Helpful (4)

    Staff Scientist

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

    I have been working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    work-life balance is good; nice staff

    Cons

    low pay; management is mess


  3. Helpful (3)

    Not the best place to work, but also not the worst

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Amazing research and medical care for cancer patients. Benefits are pretty good. Lots of opportunities to move around within the organization. Onsite restaurants (even if they are not great and very expensive, they work in a rush)

    Cons

    Managers, training and doctors that run the entire place. I was so excited to start working here. Now I would take the next job that will come along. Manager have been here forever are not very helpful and the training is laughable. A majority of the doctors are great, but then most are overworked and exhausted so they snap at the lower level people. Higher ups could careless. Each division is its one monopoly, tons of cliques within them. If you want to survive here get in with the popular group. Lastly while overall the work life balance is ok, and they says don't come in if you are sick. That's a lie. What the policy should really say is "Don't come in if you are sick, unless you have grant/work to do, then we don't care come in cause we are more important than your health".

    Advice to Management

    Better training for admins and management.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    clique dependent

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

    I worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

    Pros

    Smart people at the scientist level, benefits good except, surprisingly, when employee gets cancer, by-the-book as far as leave, people offering to donate vacation time told no, back-to-work ASAP whether ready or not.

    Cons

    cliques galore! some consider co-workers their "family" and constant social gatherings, outside work, if you don't "join" and prefer off time with real family/friends, can become out and treated differently. Non-scientist supervisors/managers have no special training, or even BA degrees, tend to over-compensate as leaders. As it is with human nature, likeability and personality matter most. Lots of nepotism, friends & family both.

    Advice to Management

    don't know how they would/could change such ingrown liabilities, or even know where they are and how to begin. Management is mostly concerned with bringing in money, fund raising, grant applying, etc. This can become a large part of job.


  6. Helpful (4)

    Time to turn things in the administrative division upside down Gary!

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

    I have been working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great mission. Effective research and lifesaving treatments. Wonderful location. Benefits are above average for a nonprofit. Training through HR is fair. Very chill, good work-life balance.

    Cons

    If you are a hard worker, a go-getter that wants to make change - look elsewhere for employment. Complacency and deference to those that have been with Fred Hutch for decades trumps new, effective ideas. Those that have been in their positions the longest - but might have no real education, work experience or management training - oversee those that are much more qualified. Once these 'managers' realize they are incompetent compared to their direct reports, they try to push them down or even fire them.

    Advice to Management

    Hire a consulting firm to come in and review the various major departments. The auditors have to interview all employees within departments to evaluate satisfaction in a way that is confidential so that people aren't fearing for their jobs. The consultants should also looks at what each person DOES. Is their position still necessary - or has the person simply been there forever? Don't be afraid to clean house based on the feedback received. Change NEEDS to happen. Just because it has been done one way forever - doesn't mean there isn't a better way...


  7. Helpful (3)

    Bloated Ineffective Administration and Good Ole Boys Club

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Department Administration Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Department Administration Specialist in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You don't actually have to work while your at work-very little oversight.
    Supportive environment for balding men.
    Everybody is a 'Director'.
    Great life-work balance.

    Cons

    There is no supervisor or manager development or 360 review process: ineffective supervisors have no reason to better themselves or their team. The HR department, while nice, has no power to influence this issue when there are behavioral issues. Administrative pay increases are cost of living.

    Advice to Management

    Begin a 360 review process for management, supervisors and employees. Run the center as a company would not an extension of a university dorm.


  8. Helpful (6)

    FHCRC DOES NOT TREAT LONGTERM EMPLOYEES WELL

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Administrative Manager in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    In the beginning they allowed for personal growth, training and more. After 24 years the leadership allowed management to do things that were ethically wrong

    Cons

    Directors hired with no management experience

    Advice to Management

    Screen more carefully who they put in charge of departments


  9. Helpful (2)

    Transition hurts and is necessary

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Fundraising in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Fundraising in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center part-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great scientific teams who have high standards, positive attitudes, and integrity. Working for the best goals with the best scientists.

    Cons

    Business development team is comprised of difficult personalities, managing by shame and blame, and untrustworthy executives.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house at the top of business development and fundraising and start over. Cultivate a positive, trustworthy environment for all involved. Use the scientific teams as your role model then build upon that.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Find a good PI to work for or look else where

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

    I have been working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The benefits are great and if you have a good PI they will try and take care of you as much as possible. This place will give you all the tools you need to move onto a better paying job and give you a good resume.

    Cons

    The problem here is that there is a HUGE and I mean HUGE disconnect between faculty/senior management and the "workers". They do not care about how little they pay technicians and they give the lowest pay raise they can give. If you plan on making research a career do not try and make one here as a research technician especially in the HVTN it's pointless. They give lame reasons for not paying people properly and also they like to make Research Tech I's do comp time instead of paying them overtime, which I may add is illegal and they are required by law to pay tech I's overtime. They can however do comp time as long as the tech uses it in that same week, rarely happens. Last reason is that their budgets are always too tight, but they can give themselves nice fat pay raises or higher people who are not qualified.

    Advice to Management

    If you do not want to manage people and do not want to compensate your employees with current market values be up front when hiring that you do not plan on promoting and can only pay them the minimal pay increases that are required.


  11. Helpful (4)

    Great for scientists and lab workers. Disappointing for all other.

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

    I have been working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Every review has valid points and you'll notice a pattern that folks who work directly with science give good review in general and all others are dissatisfied. So if you are a scientist or a lab support person, do whatever you can to work at this prestigious institution. Admin, IT, marketing, etc.? Better look else where. I write this as a person with over 5 years of experience working in a non-scientific role.

    PROS:
    1) Prestige of working for a world class research institution.
    2) New-ish buildings and wonderful location.
    3) Generous retirement benefit.

    Cons

    1) Low pay.
    2) Palace intrigue.
    3) Inconsistent IT resource and support.
    4) Funding challenges (which means job security).
    5) Lack of advancement.



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