Unilever Reviews

Updated October 17, 2014
Updated October 17, 2014
748 Reviews
3.7
748 Reviews
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Unilever CEO and Director Paul Polman
Paul Polman
418 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance was certainly fair, never had to fight for time off when it was needed (in 63 reviews)

  • Flexible working hours, great remuneration and understanding line managers (in 27 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance, lack of opportunities to move up unless you relocate (in 52 reviews)

  • decision-making can be complicated & slow since this is a matrix organisation (in 28 reviews)

More Highlights

171 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Supply Chain Co-Op in Englewood Cliffs, NJ
    Former Employee - Supply Chain Co-Op in Englewood Cliffs, NJ

    I worked at Unilever as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    great co-op experience, gain a lot of knowledge of the supply chain field

    Cons

    They don't make offers for full time after a co-op/internship. You still have to interview and go through the whole process that anyone else would, which seems unnecessary after they've seen how you work and taken the time to train you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't lie about your hiring policy when recruiting for interns/co-ops. You make it seem like it is likely that you will get a full time offer, which is completely false.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Crazy out of control Plant Manager, Cut costs including head Count.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Safety and Manufacturing Specialist in Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Safety and Manufacturing Specialist in Little Rock, AR

    I have been working at Unilever full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Free food (Start-up and non-retailable) and company store

    Cons

    Long hours and minimal raises and promotion opportunities

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Complicated matrix

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

    I have been working at Unilever

    Pros

    Work life balance is great

    Cons

    complex matrix can make it hard to get goals accomplished

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    can be great, with limitations

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Brand Manager in Englewood Cliffs, NJ
    Current Employee - Brand Manager in Englewood Cliffs, NJ

    I have been working at Unilever full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    It's a good place to grind your teeth when you start out in brand management. Great resources, talented people, lots of education and networking opportunities, ability to gain experience in various categories and brands, all while learning 'classical marketing' which sets you up well to move onto most companies.....as long as they respect classical marketing, and many do not.

    Cons

    The company goes through changes quite often. The culture changes, strategies change, everything. The intent is clearly change for the better, but this isn't always the case. Each new leader brings their own agenda, and often their own buddies, displacing people who are well respected long-timers, and tossing them out. There's been a tendency to flatten the pyramid....more and more at the lower levels, and fewer positions as you try to move up. From assistant to associate to manager isn't too difficult. It's trying to move up to sr. mgr. or worse yet, director where things seem to grind to a halt. Too few positions, too much politics. Politics exist in any organization, some worse than others. Overall its collaborative here depending on which group / category you work with, but it often doesnt feel like a meritocracy. The goal posts seem to move. Despite your best efforts and accolades/kudos, you can get a horrible rating or bonus based on factors that were out of your control. The attrition rate in marketing the past couple years is quite telling. Also, more Europeans and South Americans seem to be brought in especially at director level. The common sentiment is that this is because the pay rate for expats is much lower. The downside is a feeling of frustration among the Americans waiting to move up, and also given that these folks know there rotation is limited in time, there tends to be much less focus on building strategies and long term viability for a brand, and more on doing whatever it takes to deliver this years numbers, since they wont be living with the long-term repercussions of a lack of strategy/vision.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Golden Handcuffs is used by many to describe working here

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

    I have been working at Unilever full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility. They truly embrace agile working... allowing people to have better work-life balance. The motto is that work is what you do, not where you go every day. There are several social initiatives that the company support. These are all very commendable. They've saved lives, made commitments to improve the environment and supported developing countries in the development of new business initiatives.

    Cons

    Minimal advancement. In order to get ahead in an extremely competitive environment, you are practically killing yourself by working crazy hours and doing the work of 3 or more people. Have seen cases where people are with the company their whole career (30+ years) and never get a promotion. Opportunities for advancement are scares in certain functions and specific countries. Very UK/IN focused.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You've run your organisation so lean that you put yourself at risk. As well, some of the recent promotions and reduction in force practices are putting you at risk for legal actions. Making someone redundant but filling their role is very unethical.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Disorganized, demands a lot, good benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Quality Technician in Kansas City, KS
    Current Employee - Quality Technician in Kansas City, KS

    I have been working at Unilever full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good benefits: medical, dental, long-term disability, tuition reimburssment
    Company store, can buy a lot of personal products for discounted price
    Decent salary...exactly average for the position type and region of country
    They pay OT for some positions

    Cons

    Limited locations
    Demand A LOT from you - have to wear their uniforms, hairnets, earplugs, painful steel toe shoes
    They keep the staff spread pretty thin so you are always moving

    Work Saturdays AND Sundays
    Work 12 - 16 hour shifts
    Have to work at night./overnight/ very early in the morning
    Terrible work/life balance...feels like I'm always at work. Used to have a life... not any more

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire enough people so the job can be done right and your people can have a decent work./life balance

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Sales (Customer Development)

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

    I have been working at Unilever full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Great brands, competitive compensation, great benefits, good training ground.

    Cons

    - All CPG companies going through tough challenges, avoid this space if at all possible (commoditization, private label brands, retailer consolidation)
    - All new management with little tenure at Unilever (in US), from outside the company...therefore more than usual back stabbing, lack of trust, no relationships, no one in upper management wants to make tough decisions. Focus will be on personal care brands, which means if you are out in the field working with Grocery retailers, your relevancy to your customer is shrinking daily. I give it less than 5 years before Ice Cream is sold (margins vs personal care). They are 15 years behind P&G in pruning their Foods portfolio.
    - Have upgraded Talent, however if you are not a Director by age 35, you're time is limited, not a VP by 42, you are out the door. Move up or move out, no room for steady Eddies.
    - Moving to a revolving door enterprise, how 'sustainable' is that?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You already know it all.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Talented employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Marketing Manager in Englewood Cliffs, NJ
    Former Employee - Associate Marketing Manager in Englewood Cliffs, NJ

    I worked at Unilever full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazingly smart and talented marketers

    Cons

    Always restructuring and changing organization, very disruptive. low pay relative to market

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    reward merit and develop talent

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Going global has dehumanized the company

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

    I worked at Unilever full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    After a period of time, you may have the opportunity to work from home occasionally.

    Cons

    Bringing all of the components and regions of the company together has been over-whelming for the employees. There is no work-life balance anymore. And it is rare that you have an 8 hr day. You work until all issues or time sensitive tasks are completed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is no work/life balance anymore. The majority of the employees are very stressed, overworked, and burnt out.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Complex organization, with little trust in upper management

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

    I have been working at Unilever full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people in entry to mid level positions, great agile working environment that fosters a good company culture. Field offices are have the most positive culture

    Cons

    Too much political complexity that causes slowness in the organization. Recent reorganization left people unaware of the new ways of working with more responsibilities

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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