International Flavors & Fragrances

www.iff.com

International Flavors & Fragrances Reviews

Updated January 27, 2015
Updated January 27, 2015
62 Reviews
3.5
62 Reviews
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Andreas Fibig
1 Rating

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance - despite what insiders say about this being tough, it is really not that bad compared to other industries (in 4 reviews)

  • Competitive pay good benefits to employees (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior Management are not trustworthy, dishonest, insecure and terrible leaders (in 10 reviews)

  • Rampant nepotism, prefer family members of employees to highly quailfied outsiders (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

14 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Back to the 1970's!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at International Flavors & Fragrances full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The US employees are extremely nice, benefits are good

    Cons

    Their practices and procedures are antiquated. No accountability, proper people are not placed in management positions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You can make so much more money if you did a corporate audit to reduce redundancies and institute best practices.

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

    Change after change after change - but still less productivity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at International Flavors & Fragrances full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are alot of good people that work here.

    Cons

    Operational employees are treated like liabilities not assets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    LISTEN TO YOUR EMPLOYEES, TELLING PEOPLE IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT THEN GO SOMEWHERE ELSE IS NOT GOING TO HELP ANYONE!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Material Handler/Rcvg/Replenisher in Hazlet, NJ
    Former Employee - Material Handler/Rcvg/Replenisher in Hazlet, NJ

    I worked at International Flavors & Fragrances full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very clean. Great co workers. Decent pay. In house gym. Good benefits. State of the art facility.

    Cons

    Wrong people get managerial positions. Wrong changes to job made by people who don't know about it. Supervisors use fear and intimidation to get their employees in line. Voices aren't heard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Kids straight from college get supervisor and manager roles who have no business getting them. IFF has mottos that "People are critical to IFF's future"- that could not be further from the truth. You can do one million things right but that one tiny mess up will get you fired. You are nothing at Hazlet IFF unless you know who to buddy up with.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Model T in A Ferrari Industry

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Production Lead in South Brunswick Terrace, NJ
    Current Employee - Production Lead in South Brunswick Terrace, NJ

    I have been working at International Flavors & Fragrances full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Large, commodity driven, good health benefits. Doesn't take much to keep your job.We are always hiring.

    Cons

    Employees are second rate numbers. Our moral is that of coal mines and the old steel mills. Punching in daily is half of the job. No shortage of procedures and documents, no concerns, most serve to fill binders and are ignored or unrealistic. With few exceptions most management serve as window mannequins.We would be much better off as a union with an organized labor movement. Most of the good managers were bored and are long gone. The good ones last 2-3 years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Suggesting advice to management would be equivalent to teaching Einstein rudimentary math.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    No where to go! Nothing to learn! Completely controlled by Wall Street.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technical Perfumer in Hazlet, NJ
    Current Employee - Technical Perfumer in Hazlet, NJ

    I have been working at International Flavors & Fragrances full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Dependent upon manager, but are flexible w people with children who don't fit typical work schedule.

    Cons

    No leadership - from top down. Zero opportunity to grow, i.e., development. Rampant nepotism, prefer family members of employees to highly quailfied outsiders. R&D does not do research - it's all about metrics - how many analyses did I do, don't value the work contributions, just look at it as another data point. R&D is essently a service organization for the rest of the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start listening to people below senior research fellow level - we are the folks who know what's working or not working. Stop counting; look at the work we do for the value it brings. Take a look and see what our peers are paying people and give us a decent (cost of liviing) increase - hell the stock is nearly $100/share!! Provide opportunities for development, either internal or external. I know of no chemists who have attended an ACS meeting in the last 5 years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Senior research investigator

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Research Investigator in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Research Investigator in New York, NY

    I have been working at International Flavors & Fragrances full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    flexible schedule, some work very interesting (only because I love the subject), some very smart, committed people, doing great work inspite of management.

    Cons

    no future, regardless of your accomplishments. everything is boiled down to a "metric" or number. How many X did you you do, not what did you do and what value came from it. Management has 2 or 3 favorites because they keep their mouth shut - comply don't think!! No critical thinking here. Again, very little advancement. I've seen outstanding workers, very productive committed people, at the same level for 30 years. Forget about any career development - althought it's spouted by senior executives, there are no chances to learn or further develop your craft. Everything I've learned here is beacuse I did it myself without going through managment. And did it on my own time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please listen to the people below director levels. We know what is and is not working. Please be honest and look at the development opportunities for everyone, not just the select few. Spend some money to upgrade equipment (ours is > 14 years old) that is on it's last leg.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Not a 21st century company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Investigator in Union Beach, NJ
    Current Employee - Research Investigator in Union Beach, NJ

    I have been working at International Flavors & Fragrances

    Pros

    Interesting industry
    Good 401K match
    Global, many interesting people to interface with.
    Where else can a chemist have a product on the market in 3 yrs?

    Cons

    No formal career path
    inconsistent salaries
    Senior managment loves ROI and misses the point of innovation.
    Little support for implementation of novel chemical technologies: still replying on 1950's chemistry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be a chemical company that makes fragrances, not a fragrance house that makes chemicals. Take the time to listen to your in house experts instead of consultants.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Very frustrating filled with road-blocks - no succession planning - no support of career development - many silos

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Research Investigator in Union Beach, NJ
    Current Employee - Senior Research Investigator in Union Beach, NJ

    I have been working at International Flavors & Fragrances

    Pros

    There are a select few managers who are really creative and outstanding to work with

    Cons

    No personal development process (actually supported by management) - Little actual "research" being carried out

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    #1 to #3 in 10 years....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Union Beach, NJ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Union Beach, NJ

    I worked at International Flavors & Fragrances

    Pros

    - excellent work-life balance
    - friendly environment
    - above average 401K plan
    - decent communication betw. departments
    - culture has a tendency to be family oriented vs. intellectually "top notch"
    - the comments echoed from various employees are consistent. Just look at the comments on this website.

    Cons

    - miserly tuition reimbursement plan.. ~ 1 class/semester.
    - fluctuating bonus plan which has only paid out 1/2 the time. Only 2 of those times has it been at target stated levels or above.
    - stagnant market share which has resulted in #1 to #3 in 10 years (with #4 coming very close)
    - 3 CEOs in 9 years with a divisional restructuring with each tenure. All of which has not improved IFFs market share or rankings against its competitors.
    - sales growth in 10 years has only markedly increased in-line with inflation while the other 3 top competitors out of 4 has had substantial sales growth increases..leading to greater market share. The difference in #3 and #4 now is only 1.8%
    - There have been a few excellent directors and VPs I have worked with thru the years, and they never make it to the divisional VP or executive board level. There is a tendency for IFF to hire for these levels from the outside.
    - no transparency in grade levels or pay scale within those grade levels.
    - no well defined plan for employee development for promotional targets. It's highly political in this regard and more bureaucracy than meritocracy.
    - upper level management (divisional VPs, executive boards) have a tendency to be out of touch with whats happening at department levels or lower. There is a feeling of a "boys club" at the higher levels, and this clique-type aloof mentality shows in the promotion choices and lower level frustrations...(why offer suggestions to a VP if you feel like it's going to be ignored)
    - culture has a tendency to be family oriented vs. intellectually "top notch"
    - higher attrition rate than the industry average

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There will always be attrition at the lower levels as these levels are easier to come by, still feasible for career changes for those inclined, and provides for opportunity for younger people to still figure out what they want to do with their lives.
    It's the attrition you see at the higher levels (middle management or non-divisional VPs) which is a cause for concern..My experience has shown that higher levels leave when they find barriers to change in the company impossible to surpass. And a constantly changing CEO may also be a sign of that.
    My advice to management is to read the comments on this website. It's highly consistent with the observations. Some drastic changes have to happen if IFF wants to regain it's pre-eminence. Apparently nothing in 10 years has done that, which would indicate a wake up call. Perhaps IFF has to reach the precipice before drastic changes occur. And until then, expect the unwanted attrition at higher levels because good talent will always be wanted elsewhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Very Poor Lines of Communication

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Finance in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Finance in New York, NY

    I worked at International Flavors & Fragrances

    Pros

    interesting industry
    challenging work
    learning enviornment: must have the ability to educate yourself on issues; they do NOT show a new employee the ropes

    Cons

    senior management treats staff disrespectfully
    leadership has very poor interpersonal/communication skills
    lack of team spirit; everyone is out for themselves

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on improving the treatment of the staff; new management does not seem to care or is oblivious on how to manage/lead people

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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