Reed Elsevier Group Reviews

Updated January 26, 2015
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3.1
61 Reviews
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Reed Elsevier Group CEO and Director; CEO, Reed Elsevier PLC, Reed Elsevier NV, Elsevier Division Erik Engstrom
Erik Engstrom
36 Ratings

61 Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    Solution Development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Solution Development in Amsterdam (Netherlands)
    Current Employee - Solution Development in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group

    Pros

    Good prospects - good markets and nice environment. Good work-life balance and great people to work with. Compensation is very good, above market average.

    Cons

    Too many re-organisations and every year there is a squeeze on spending hiring etc to make the numbers, Very short term thinking.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure you get the long term career progression right. You are loosing too many really good people along the way.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful

    Use you up and dump you - was much better years ago

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

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Large, multi-national media company that successfully transitioned from print to digital. Lots of diversity and interesting locations, projects and really great, dedicated people.

    Cons

    Executive management can be stifling and are often misguided by expensive consultants. Loyalty, passion and dedication are quickly forgotten when senior management changes. The really sharp senior executives who get recruited and hired are smart enough to leave within a few weeks leaving behind backward-thinking mediocrity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Former CEO Sir Crispin Davis was dedicated but best known for his 10 years of continual cost cutting. His successor Erik Engstrom has continued that legacy with a spend-to-save mentality that drove the share price up but at great cost to the workforce - resulting in layoffs and eroded customer retention. Recommend focusing on employee value and contribution vs. rank and titles. The firm values and invests in leadership but not the required expertise to a large degree.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Positive, but Management neglects talent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Procurement Analyst in Dayton, OH
    Current Employee - Senior Procurement Analyst in Dayton, OH

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good atmosphere to work
    Easy going and relaxed workplace
    Good benefits

    Cons

    Relationships are made a priority over work performed
    Changes are very slow

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't let your star talent go away

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5. Exciting place to work

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

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group

    Pros

    Great business challenges
    Great growth opportunities
    Great colleagues

    Cons

    Bit academic, slow moving company

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    Good career prospects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Finance Department in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Finance Department in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    - Global exposure
    - Diversity of work
    - Training opportunities
    - Great people
    - long-term career

    Cons

    - awful politics
    - terrible health insurance - just been cut back for next year
    - Continual re-organizations

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    One of the company's core values is "Valuing our people". You might think that you're doing a good job of this but you're not. It's the little things that matter...

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful

    Run away if you are thinking of working here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Miamisburg, OH
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Miamisburg, OH

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Can't think of any anymore

    Cons

    Lots of cons.. In IT we have a reorg at least twice per year. They are always laying people off.
    Benefits used to be good now I can't even afford my own prescriptions. I spend $500 a month on health insurance and can't afford anything for myself. I have to choose whether I'll pay for mine, my wife's or my daughter. Can't afford all 3.
    Haven't had a decent raise since 2000.
    They are constantly outsourcing to India, Singapore or Philippines.
    Many people don't even get raises. When you do get one, it's 1.5% or 2%.
    They brought in a VP for 3 years who had the task of firing as many people as possible.. He fired so many people that there weren't enough engineers around to do the work. Engineers called them the Mafia because they all had Italian names and were all from New York.
    NO direction from executive management. They don't have a clue..
    Engineers support thousands of servers and get zero in the way of gratitude.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You want those servers to keep running along? PAY YOUR ENGINEERS BETTER
    start listening to us.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. RE Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Technical Project Manager in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Associate Technical Project Manager in Houston, TX

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    nothing much to talk about

    Cons

    Compensation, job security,

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Great company to work for! It is very relaxed environment with very friendly people.

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

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Very friendly folks, flex time, convenient location. Great kitchen area to prepare and have lunch.

    Cons

    May have to stay overtime in the busy season. This may include around 4 months at the end of the year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Add more perks. Free snacks!!!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. A Dead end for it staff in the UK

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

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    "an excellent starting package with pension and medical.

    Cons

    The IT division RETS (reed Elsevier technology services) is almost all run from the US so the UK is treated like a poor offshoot, poor training if any causing a general de skilling of UK IT staff over time, no bonuses, a 3% cap on pay rises although 2% in more common, a promotion path that is totally unworkable leaving people undervalued.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    managerial change is the norm and I personally have had 7 managers in the last 5 years, everyone knows they will be sacrificed for the bottom line regardless as to there use to the company often leading to huge gaps that need to be filled quickly, this reactive approach is not dynamic but flawed as the upper management have no technical understanding yet force decisions that later often prove to be expensive and incorrect, don't work here in the UK if you want management to respect or listen to you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. Solid global corporation, but not brilliant at career development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technology in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Technology in Oxford, England (UK)

    I have been working at Reed Elsevier Group full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    I work in the Elsevier bit, in particular the Technology group, recently taken over by Dan Olley (2013). (Elsevier is the Science publishing group). The company used to be very bureaucratic, faceless, etc., a lot of tech talent got out-sourced. Olley looks like he's stopping this.

    And the openness has been changing in the last two or three years, it's a more friendly company than it used to be. The benefits are pretty good for the sector, and the salaries at the senior end of thing are relatively attractive when you're coming into the company. There are plenty of travel opportunities - mostly, in my case, to Amsterdam, Dayton (Ohio) and Philly. Internal communications used to be unspeakably bad, but is improving.

    Even if you think you know Elsevier to be a big company, the scale of it will amaze you. Ten years in, and I can still find myself in an office of 500 people without knowing a single person there, or even know what they do! Personally, I like this, but then I'm a loud-mouth.

    Despite what I'm going to say in the 'cons' section, I reckon I fit in quite well at Elsevier. It's not what I expected, but it suits for personal reasons (young family, blah blah blah). Probably best for self-motived extroverts.

    Cons

    The Oxford (Kidlington) office is a souless hole, especially compared with Amsterdam, which is (now that it's been revamped) a far more engaging environment. If you don't get an office in Oxford from the start, you won't get one. Compared with Amsterdam, where if you had an office (almost no-one does now), you wouldn't want one. The Mendeley office in London seems like a nice place. Philly and Dayton are ... well, meh.

    Ditto salaries - it will take YEARS to get any kind of promotion or rise unless you're on the management programme (and I don't think the Technology / IT group has a management / career development programme). The HR team talk a lot about recruiting talent, but very little about retaining it, or developing it (again, I can only speak to the technology group). I would recommend working here for a couple of years and then going elsewhere for career dev, and not uprooting yourself and the family for a long-term relationship.

    If you're ambitious in technology, it can be frustrating place to work. There seems to be a lot of people in the business side who have tech responsibilities and I don't know how that all ties together. Maybe it'll get sorted, but it's been like that for longer than I've been there and doesn't look like it's getting there. The story seems a familiar one from Dilbert: if you're outside the company you get taken more seriously... On the upside, once your projects get funded and supported, they get delivered and supported. This is a good thing, and I've been lucky in that all my projects have been successful - this isn't rewarded financially, but it feels really good. Some poor sods seem to get all the bad luck.

    The tech stack was more limited than it was - used to be MS throughout. Not so much anymore, although Oracle dominates the db side. The fulfilment systems are a hoot. Some of the ideas that come through are really exciting, which makes up for it (but you need to engage with the cool stuff, before some people get all negative about delivery), I find enthusiasm and engagement really helps deliver.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) Have some way of identifying your technology talent and developing their careers. The management programme seems to work well in the 'business' side, why not do something similar?

    2) Do something with the Oxford office. Almost anything. It's the second worst thing about the job, but it's close, it feels like a passive-aggressive library.

    3) The person who runs the Amsterdam office seems to know what they're talking about. As does Olley.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Reed Elsevier Group Photos

Reed Elsevier (Photo thanks to Flickr user shinichi, Some Rights Reserved)
Amsterdam headquarters of Reed Elsevier (Photo thanks to Goggle Images huhbakker, Some Rights Reserved)
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