Advanced Testing Laboratory

  www.advancedtesting.net
  www.advancedtesting.net

Advanced Testing Laboratory Reviews

Updated December 19, 2014
Updated December 19, 2014
58 Reviews
1.8
58 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Greg Neal
37 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Can get some really good work experience depending on where you end up (in 5 reviews)

  • A chance to work with fortune 500 company (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • The turn over rate at the home office is outrageous so employees never have any idea of who to contact with issues (in 4 reviews)

  • low pay, only paid for 40 hours per week but i worked close to 50 hours (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good for people right out of college or with no/little industry work experience, but no career future here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Biologist; Analytical Chemist in Indianapolis, IN
    Former Employee - Biologist; Analytical Chemist in Indianapolis, IN

    I worked at Advanced Testing Laboratory as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    It is job experience if you are right out of college. The Eli Lilly facilities and experienced personnel were invaluable. When I was laid off of my first position due to Lilly's budget cuts, ATL found me a second position at the same site.

    Cons

    Job Satisfaction: A lot depends on which team you get placed with, who is your manager, and how visible your position/team is to management. My first position was a biology position that I couldn't be happier working in (Eli Lilly scientists that were very enjoyable to work with, good ATL teammates, and fantastic science that kept me challenged/learning new things). My second position was an analytical chemistry position, and was a nightmare (60+ hours with overtime expected, upper mgmt micromanaging the team because it was high profile for them, metrics that evaluated everything you did and compared you to fellow employees, backstabbing teammates, couldn't maintain a lab manager, very high stress environment made worse by company treatment of employees).

    Pay: I have work for 2 other staffing agencies that paid me a higher starting wage. I started at ATL at $13.50/hr. Most people I knew had a second job to make ends meet. Several people had roommate(s) or remained living with their parents to make ends meet. (These are employees with bachelor's and master's degrees.)

    Raises: Raises were capped at 2%. The only way to get a somewhat decent wage is to provide them with an offer you received from another company. The CEO came to our site to tell us how well the company was doing, and how ATL was expanding into the Pacific Rim region. And then he proceeded to tell us that raises would be capped at 2% that year due to the economy...

    Benefits: Health insurance is offered. The coverage is ok, but it is a very high deductible plan. (I believe it was $5000 deductible with $10,000 out-of-pocket maximum when I was there.) Vision, dental, and Aflac are offered; however, every year I calculated that dental cleanings/work would be cheaper without insurance. 401K is offered after you have been there for a period of time; however, the employer contribution won't kick in until you have been there for 2 years, and it is pretty low. PTO is 10 days/yr, and you won't get paid during Eli Lilly's one-week shutdown between Christmas and New Year's unless you use PTO. Everyone saves their PTO for the end of the year as the result. Many people come into work sick.

    Promotions: The hierarchy for scientists is: scientist, technical lead, and manager. I was offered/recommended for promotions more than once (technical lead and manager), but was later told that I was too valuable to my current position and would not be allowed to accept the offer. If your team already has a technical lead and manager, then there is nowhere for you to advance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    During the interview, you need to be honest with your employees about how many hours you expect them to put in (including overtime). I went from a position where overtime was not allowed to a position where large amounts of overtime was an expectation, and no one mentioned to me in the interview anything about overtime. I accepted the job and later found out.

    Employees need more PTO to compensate for the 1-week shutdown at the end of the year is needed. Also pay needs to increase by at least $2-3/hr. Employees are exhausted because they have to work 2 jobs to make ends meet. It would also decrease the turnover rate for employees.

    Take your employees job interests seriously, otherwise you lose talented employees. I requested for 2.5 years to be transferred to an area where I had more interest (and experience), and I was told that they would notify me when an opening became available. Yet I was introduced to several new hires in the area I wanted to work in. Whenever I said something to management, I was told that I was too important to my current team, and that I should just wait a little longer until everyone was trained. I would train everyone, and then people would quit. I saw the cycle happen time and time again until I finally quit.

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

    A good way to get industry experience and better than being unemployed

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

    I have been working at Advanced Testing Laboratory

    Pros

    Good way to get your foot in the door in an industry position and gain experience by learning more techniques and making more contacts relevant to biotechpharm industries. One of the few options available to recent PhD graduates that isn't in academia. If you want to work in industry long-term, this is one of the few ways to get the industry experience desired, since more and more companies use contractors. Friendly co-workers and managers.

    Cons

    Pay very low-- approx the same as an academic post-doc. Raises are very stingy (if they happen at all). The insurance is awful, so don't get sick or injured. Very few days off per year. 10 days off in your first year (sick and personal days combined). No advancement opportunities. Some jobs give you very little responsibility. A definite wall between employees and contractors in interactions and social opportunities. Few work-from-home options. No professional growth opportunities (although these are promised during orientation.) If the company you are working at has a holiday that ATL doesn't, you have to either make up the hours somehow that same week or use 1 of your 10 PTO days. Bring your own office supplies (stapler, tape, etc.), since not provided at some places.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to continue attracting more employees with Master's or PhD degrees, pay them more and give professional growth and advancement opportunities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Good place to gain experience fresh out of college

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

    I have been working at Advanced Testing Laboratory full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good experience in industry
    Good lower management
    When working at a client site, good experience with global companies

    Cons

    Pay
    Some places you are not using your degree as much as you could- but definitely not all places
    Transparency and communication as a company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate to your associates

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Depression

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Microbiology Analyst in Blue Ash, OH
    Former Employee - Microbiology Analyst in Blue Ash, OH

    I worked at Advanced Testing Laboratory full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    You learn how to do fundamental lab work.

    Cons

    So many young kids if you are 30 years and up you will feel so out of place in the lab. Especially in the base lab very little stimulating conversation from any of the kids there. Pretty juvenile work environment (microlab).
    High turn over rate too.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Spend more money in investing in people who can work for you long term

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Degrading, Disorganized, Disgrace

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technician in Blue Ash, OH
    Former Employee - Technician in Blue Ash, OH

    I worked at Advanced Testing Laboratory

    Pros

    They will hire almost anybody because they have to to keep the place staffed

    Cons

    Working tons of mandatory overtime with no notice

    For most people there raises are non-existent unless you are one of the managers favorites

    EXTREME favoritism...You will be forced to work ridiculous mandatory overtime hours and watch the managers favorites punch out after 8 hours no matter how much work there is to do

    The companies model is based on hiring desperate people and forcing them out with deplorable raises after the first year

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's no secret that you hire bachelors level talent and pay them fourteen dollars an hour if they work in house and fifteen an hour if you send them to P&G. Give the people that work at your home site lab at least a shred of respect. Maybe hire some adults to manage your micro lab while you're at it. If you're not going to do that at least tell employees what they are getting themselves into with the overtime, garbage facilities, and raises.

    I think if some of your more upstanding clients (like P&G) took a look at how you actually un your business and treat your employees they would cut ties.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great for finding a job straight out of college, nobody could make a career here though.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - General Manager in Blue Ash, OH
    Current Employee - General Manager in Blue Ash, OH

    I have been working at Advanced Testing Laboratory as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Will hire straight out of college.
    Great opportunity to refine resume before seeking an actual career.
    There is a good Holiday party once a year.
    Other companies will be happy to buy your skill set from ATL and you will be at an advantage to leverage your pay scale.

    Cons

    There is no career with this company, very little promotions are available and are dependent on someone leaving the company for an opportunity to open. Turn over rate for employees is extremely high since most associates are only using this company as a stepping stone to get into the scientific community (even though attaching ATL to a resume will gain no merit in the job market). HR is an absolute joke, constantly making promises to associates in order to glance over real problems and then never following through on those promises. Upper management has little opportunity to grow associates and once you are hired into a position your are almost certainly stuck there until you are fire or you quit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do something (anything) to restore faith in your HR department. Actually offer the competitive wages that you claim to advertise.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Horrible 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 Advanced Testing Laboratory full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I like the people I work with, but nobody stays long. After one year and great performance, it took forever to get my evaluation and then it was just $.25.

    Cons

    There is no leadership. The owner cannot make a decision and yet nobody can make a decision without his approval. The people I worked with our nice, but the pay is way below other companies.

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

    No incentive for improvement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mason, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mason, OH

    I worked at Advanced Testing Laboratory full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    (Note: I was a contractor at one of ATL's major clients. Direct hires or hires at a different company may have a completely different experience).

    They are always hiring so if your background is in the right area it's really easy to get hired. The company is a great resume booster for a few years out of school while you look for a "real" job. The schedule was completely flexible and I was able to move my hours to exactly when I needed them. All of the other employees were nice and friendly and there was no drama.

    Cons

    There is little to no room for advancement. From the time I started I was doing work completely above and beyond what I was hired to do, and getting any more money was like pulling teeth. I was eventually told that I would be placed at a higher level to represent the work I was doing; the move took 6 months, I got half the raise they said I would get (which was already half as much as I thought I needed), and when I finally got the raise it wasn't retroactive to represent all the time I spent doing the higher rate work, let alone the time I spent simply waiting for the rate increase in the first place. I ended up leaving for another company as a full-time employee making significantly more than I ever would have at ATL.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I feel like I was a very valued employee to the client company. If you want to make your clients happy, make your employees happy.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Advanced Testing Laboratory is a good opportunity for entry-level professionals in need of experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technician in Indianapolis, IN
    Former Employee - Technician in Indianapolis, IN

    I worked at Advanced Testing Laboratory full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    1. I was told to work 37.5 hours per week (30 minutes of on the clock breaks/day).
    2. I really, really needed a job.
    3. Good experience working when I really, really needed experience.

    Cons

    Because the pay is pretty low, "middle management" was composed of 27-year old employees. They seemed to have been promoted to management for working at Advanced Testing Labs for several years and demonstrating competency in their job - not demonstrating genuine managerial skill.

    I received very little direction from my direct manager (a "middle manager"); as a result, when I was promoted, I was dysfunctional, too. I was literally told to "talk about things like their important, because then people will think they are important." In hindsight, I now understand why I would leave meetings with my boss having felt like the things we discussed were very important, even though I couldn't figure out what I could or should do differently.

    My manager's un-professionalism is the only truly disappointing part of working at Advanced Testing Labs. It's understandable that some managers lack experience or knowledge; but her language and the way she described other employees was very, very inappropriate. I noted those things on my exit interview, but I'm not sure if they were taken seriously, or if they were ignored because I only said them upon leaving.

    Overall, the workforce is largely young and immature. (Note that I was one of them - so I don't claim superiority.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember that your employees will be as skilled as you make them. If you need to invest in training, and decrease your profits, you will create a workforce that has experience and wants to stay instead of go. You will need to pay them more and improve the insurance offering, too.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Technician

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

    I have been working at Advanced Testing Laboratory (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Advanced Testing labs sends there employees to different locations. At my location I hardly ever here from them, and my manager is very flexible. They gave me a great opportunity to learn.

    Cons

    Not a lot of vacation. Have to pay to bring spouse to holiday party. There are absolutely no advancement opportunity. Pay raises are only approximately 3% per year.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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