The Nielsen Company

  www.nielsen.com
  www.nielsen.com
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The Nielsen Company Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
1,195 Reviews
3.4
1,195 Reviews
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The Nielsen Company Chief Executive Officer Mitch Barns
Mitch Barns
140 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • They have a great work life balance with work from home options available (in 81 reviews)

  • Work hours are very manageable, work from home possibilities are nice (in 65 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is challenging given the workload is often too much (in 100 reviews)

  • depending on your role, you could be working long hours in some stressful environments (in 67 reviews)

More Highlights

123 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Beware the cost-cutting model

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

    I worked at The Nielsen Company full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Many leadership programs are in place to grow talent like the Emerging Leaders program and leadership conferences. Some of the leaders were wonderful like Dave Calhoun and Mitch Barns- visionaries that really want to bring Nielsen into the next century. Very bright engineers and technology experts.

    Cons

    This is a company that is 100% reactive in nature. As technology changes, Nielsen is constantly trying to stay relevant to their markets. The diary side of the tv rating business is finally being retired but it took decades to get there. Nielsen's focus is always around saving money because they are expanding into emerging markets and to do so they have a huge upfront investment, bringing them into severe debt. In 2013, they had no growth in europe and emerging market growth was not where they projected it to be. Just know that if you're in this kind of model where every dime is spend on future investments, they will be finding ways to cut corners.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop saying you're investing in your people and culture and actually do it. A past leader at Nielsen, Mitchell Habib, always preached about his say-do ratio to his direct reports. Well, actually act how you preach. If you are going to invest in your people, don't have such stringent terms for meritocracy- managers play favorites, ratings are highly subjective, and bonuses are constantly being slashed because Nielsen isn't making enough to pay out all bonuses. Invest in culture because that is the only way you will be able to stop the crippling effects of poor middle management and attrition.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    De-Evolution from Art Nielsen ideals to bait-and-switch

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The Nielsen Company full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Holistic solutions. Great training ground. Vast career development options. Mgmt has done well aligning businesses under the Nielsen umbrella. Trusted name, great resume item.

    Cons

    Beneath the idyllic surface, short term gains undermine long-term company direction:

    Let's talk about where it is going to hit your pocketbook:
    - Vanishing merit and bonus compensation. Be very aware going in. Pay raises - IF given - may take affect up to 30 months from previous raise. Over time, it will take most employees years to realize a raise from their date of evaluation. Likewise, the bonus plan is engineered to lower potential earnings over time for the vast majority of employees. It's called meritocracy but it is giving a dog a good name.
      - 32k+ employees worldwide and I can buy single payer insurance for nearly the same amount? Their health benefits are bare bones.
      - Stingy 401k contributions; There is a reason Businessweek ranked Nielsen #232 out of 250 companies in their 7/24/2014 edition.

    It goes beyond you:
      - Numerous instances gaining long-term client agreements only to fire SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) with lower paid junior account personnel. Just as bad, colleagues witness SME removal after years of struggle gaining the business. Not a good motivator nor client practice.

    As a stock analyst, I rate Nielsen a SELL over the long-term based on these fundamentals; The economy is getting better, employees already see the misdeeds and clients are starting to figure it out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your services are good; Take better care of your employees and clients

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Decent company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Analyst in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at The Nielsen Company full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    flexible hours and work from home.

    Cons

    There was a bit of dishonesty amongst coworkers and the leadership team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Managers should actually take a seminar on laws in the workplace. What to do and what not to do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Worst company ever, I'd rate 0 stars if that was possible.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Survey Editor  in  Oldsmar, FL
    Former Employee - Survey Editor in Oldsmar, FL

    I worked at The Nielsen Company full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Looks good on a resume to employers who have not worked there themselves. And if they have worked there they may hire you based on pity alone for having to work at and deal with such high levels of incompetence.

    Cons

    Management are bullies and it takes months for HR to do anything about them, if at all. HR usually only acts after droves of team members complain or leave.
    No one has any work ethic or morale because they do not feel valued or secure in their jobs. Management is constantly changing, always for the worst.
    When the team members can't stand the bullying and mismanagement of certain Managing Editors and quit, they aren't replaced so the team members who are left just become more and more over worked and taken advantage of.
    Outsourcing is to the point where you have to call India on your personal cell phone just for them to reset your computer password. It's so hard to understand them that it ends up taking an hour from your day just to have them complete a simple task.
    People are kept in part-time positions for years while people that exhibit clear signs of being psychopaths are promoted based on their skills as manipulative bullies and brown-nosers.
    They claim to promote based on merit but then don't interview every person that applies for a job and choose old white men for jobs over people with metrics twice as good as the old white men.
    Once an employee is promoted to full-time the benefits are expensive and cover nothing. No one ever receives raises except those special people recruited for the 'fast track' to management. Another slap in the face to people who work hard but are passed over and ignored.
    I had one managing editor confront me about not taking a break when I had enough work for 3 employees to complete because we were short staffed. He said he had watched me complete my work and knew exactly how long (down to the exact minute) it took me to do each task. I found it creepy and invasive. I also wonder about exactly how much work he has to do if he has time to sit around and watch other people Big Brother style.
    If your stock is rising so quickly and you have such high profits, then how dare you not offer good benefits and pay to the people who have helped the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop taking advantage of your employees. Stop outsourcing to India, it's disgusting. Offer full-time positions to every person who works hard and fire the losers who don't put in any effort. Stop promoting people that would make good serial killers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Awful

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

    I worked at The Nielsen Company full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Possibly a good entry level position.

    Cons

    Door to door trying to get homes to become Nielsen TV research homes. Have to hook up boxes with many wires to every TV in home. Backs must be taken off of TVs to attach information collection device. Must indicate with a remote who is watching TV. Huge pain for families. Middle and upper income homes do not want to participate. Only allowed to call on certain homes in the research area. Very antiquated technology. Must achieve certain number of new homes per week constant micro management. Software to log in information is very antiquated and time consuming.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Company is a joke

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Short life

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The Nielsen Company

    Pros

    Arbitron employees received a presentation about the opportunities to grow and the team-work culture at Nielsen. Many of us never saw that (see cons)

    Cons

    I had worked for Arbitron Inc for 15 years, Shortly after the merger with Nielsen a large part of the Arbitron workforce was notified that they would be part of a reduction-in-force. Our group was part of the RIF. I was never interviewed regarding the applications that I had developed for the company. As far as I know, the presentation by my manager to the new administration was marginalized. Everything seemed pre-ordained without regard for truly learning the intellectual content that they were buying.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When you want to transition people and processes, make sure you talk to all the right people, explore all the variables and risks, and then keep them in the job until the transition is complete. Arrogance is not a virtue. Timelines mean nothing if you meet them and then have to rework everything to make it right.

    Doesn't Recommend
  8.  

    They purchased Arbitron and took the technology and laid off all the staff.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Analyst  in  Columbia, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Analyst in Columbia, MD

    I worked at The Nielsen Company full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I don't have any pro's. This company is only out to become a monopoly and buy other companies intellectual property and then layoff their entire staff..

    Cons

    The whole company is one big con. I had one employee ask me if I wanted to work their even though they laid me off and when I said no she said "good choice, I have been here 10 years and they are a rotten company". I understand why people stay working for companies they don't like so I didn't purse it any further. I had already been laid off.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a heart.

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

    It was a great place to work until they brought in Mitchell Habib

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Internal Auditor  in  Tampa, FL
    Former Employee - Internal Auditor in Tampa, FL

    I worked at The Nielsen Company full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    HR tries to make the place fun and interesting.

    Cons

    There is no loyalty. They don't care what you know, it is all who you know. You will see mothers and sons who are in high positions that only got there because of knowing someone. Many CPA's and MBA's working on a lower level while VP's only hold BA's or less.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize that your VP's do not have the skills to run their departments, it is the people they employ that do all the work for them and the VP's just conveniently take other people's work and brand it as their own. There is so much new talent out there, get rid of the old and in with the new and higher educated!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Horrible position

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Membership Representative  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Membership Representative in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at The Nielsen Company full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Nielsen is a well recognized name and an industry leader.
    Company car, computer, phone, and fuel card are all great perks.
    Hands on experience on how TV ratings work.

    Cons

    There is no such thing as a work-life balance. You are forced to work 7 days a week if you have not hit your numbers.

    Everyday is considered a production day, which means there is no such thing as a vacation or time off. You are always accountable for your numbers even when you go on vacation. Quotas are not even prorated when you go on vacation or go on sick leave.

    There are no opportunities for advancement within the company.

    People are forced out of their jobs by receiving no work, or horrible work that is impossible to resolve.

    The success of this role depends on your territory and manager.

    Some of the areas you have to work in are extremely dangerous and will have gangs, bedbugs, shootings, and cops will ask you to leave because its too dangerous.

    Manger will play favorites and those people will be given better work and will even be given work in others territory.

    Technology needs a major overhaul. The computer systems you use are ancient and need to be replaced.

    The questions you ask homes are too long and most homes are upset by the time you leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to improve the MR and FR role. At the moment this role has a high turn over because employees are undervalued and abused. Also, try to be ethical and allow employees to move into other roles. Offer better raises for employees that are more than 2%-4%. This role supports a core business of Nielsen and employees should be taken care of. STOP playing favorites and don't change goals on metrics before reviews so you can pay employees less and rate them lower.

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

    Ugh. You couldn't pay me enough to want to work here.

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

    I worked at The Nielsen Company

    Pros

    Company promotes collaboration in the workplace. Trying to emulate the environment of an agile start up with over 40,000 employees worldwide is admirable. Very good at making things seem appealing. Oh, and there's an internet bar in the lunchroom so you can have meetings when you chow down that bologna sandwich.

    Cons

    Horrible work/life balance. Decisions focused solely on bottom line with little regard to customer, no communication from management, nepotism, complete lack of quality management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start walking the talk. Open, simple, integrated? Might want to take a look in the mirror. Don't screw up the radio ratings due to your ignorance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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