Aramco Overseas

  www.aramcooverseas.com
  www.aramcooverseas.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Aramco Overseas Reviews

Updated September 16, 2014
Updated September 16, 2014
24 Reviews
1.1
24 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Fahad Abdul Karim
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Purchasing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Medical Equipment Purchasing  in  The Hague (Netherlands)
    Current Employee - Medical Equipment Purchasing in The Hague (Netherlands)

    I have been working at Aramco Overseas full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Large company with lots of opportunities

    Cons

    Start at a low wage. Around 48,000 per year average

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Interesting Org

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

    I have been working at Aramco Overseas full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Team were a pleasure to work with. This is those who actually have a role to do -not self-important management

    Cons

    A team of highly inadequate management. A HR function who to everyones knowledge do nothing. A head of recruitment more interested in reports and quantity, as opposed to quality. a 1 Dimensional organisation adverse to change. Happy to keep under performing friends of management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to listen. Look after your employees, not just your friends within the company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    By far the worst working experience of my career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PR ADVISOR  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - PR ADVISOR in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Aramco Overseas full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Peers & co-workers were a pleasure to work except in PR where they are knifing you in the back - if for no other reason - because we all had a common enemy, upper management / executive team. Friendly work colleagues in Staffing services and Office Services. Old fashioned working environment. The excellent people at the coal face deserve better

    Cons

    The culture of this place was very, very dry. Executive team holds a military mind and shuns new thoughts and ideas. "My way or the highway" train of thought. It does not yield a culture of teamwork or togetherness. PR management (for the most part) are useless an have no knowledgeable attributes in their role. Leaving this place for a new job was the best step I could have possibly taken in my career. Over many occurrences I have seen the PR management disregard their employees needs and wishes for their own selfish self promotion. The company provides employees with the bare minimum to perform their duties - lack of direction, no strategy whatsoever - archaic approach to social media, reputation management cos PR management practice reputation destruction across all touch points. I have worked for smart, astute, media savvy and commercially focused managers, that is something you will not find in this company esp in PR. I worked here for 9 months and left, I was smart enough to know how bad this place was and now work for a global brand in Advanced Manufacturing which pays industry rates and development is awesome - not toxic like AOC.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Will they listen, Will they care if I wrote it down here - the other reviews have captured it all over the last 3 years and you have not bothered to do anything about this, so what's the point in writing advice to such big headed, egotistical, arrogant contemptuous people in management - who have not grasped how Western corporate culture works and not even bothered treating staff like human beings!

    Stop fueling a culture that terrorizes employees if they make (small) mistakes - this might work in Saudi Arabia. It does not produce loyal employees in the UK. Also, paying employees what they're worth (or even what the market dictates) would improve the atmosphere greatly.Oh and fire everyone in HR in London and The Hague as they stop people going on training!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Simply: NO GO - Avoid this company like the plague - no career development here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PR Associate  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - PR Associate in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Aramco Overseas full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Office is not bad and easy to get to
    Nice idea of outsourcing services to a parent company but it will not take off. There are other companies out there that do what you do, better, cheaper, smarter and more efficiently. There is nothing of substance to this company so work is boring - if you like that sort of thing and much ado about nothing here - other than a master and slave relationship with the parent company, you need permission to write, say or speak anything to anyone so defeats the purpose of PR, marketing and stakeholder engagement - lacks substance, content and use of advanced technology.

    Cons

    Leadership and esp PR Management follows one rule, which is promote myself and not my team and work my team into the ground like slaves. No vision, no strategy and no plan behind this company. Lack of literally everything: benefits, career development paths, courses, integrated systems (Intranet, none of it properly working), new website is stuck in limbo for years cos the PR Management is incompetent has no clue about PR to actually design the brand towards a specific segment). Services that PR do not add any additional value - acts simply like a second class agency to the parent company. PR just plans loads of useless internal events for few internal people to make the PR and AOC management look good, money is wasted to the extreme here - on the wrong stuff, the only thing PR does is order flowers and make sure the lamb is arranged properly on the table and the banner designs which are from the 1980s as the level of design talent at AOC is severely lacking.

    Stakeholders constantly complaining, AOC management and esp PR management destroys relationships with stakeholders that no one wants to do business with us again at all, mainly thanks to PR Management - short-term thinking here - vendors are not paid and agencies threaten to pull pack their work or send court orders because of open bills ... Attrition rate of 80% - all management are Saudi nationals who have not made any effort to understanding Western corporate culture in general management here treat people with disregard, and are arrogant - they make no effort to understand Western office culture, even they annoyed other tenants in the same building cos of their attitude - they think their status is like the Gods of Olympus, most are not very well educated, never worked anywhere else - lifers - no commercial acumen whatsoever - give staff their lunch leftovers to eat which are displayed in the break out area.

    The upper management is not good. Sadly, early joiners moved up the ladder and have stayed there. Very bad pay hike. No good compensation offered on promotion. The internal company policies keep changing an are ambiguously applied depending on if HR in London like you personally or not, so HR's friends go on training and get subscriptions to industry magazine's and others do not.

    Corporate Social Responsibility – more of a box ticking exercise rather than something that truly has a positive impact on communities, the environment etc. Get your staff involved!

    Undertrained, unprofessional Management – it is quite common to come across extremely rude and unhelpful managers, who are all from Saudi and unfortunately expect to be treated like demi-gods - one has to where a suit jacket to speak to them - so expect to be told to where your suit jacket and tie even in 30 degree summer days to speak to a manager, with an alarming number of such managers lacking the most basic of manners and are so over their heads in their roles as they have no clue about what they are doing - the PR Management have no skills in B2B Marketing, PR, media relations, copy writing, lead generation, branding, corporate reputation and are just duds, not sure why they are in these roles but we can all read between the lines, it's certainly not cos of the quality of their work.

    All the above factors have a detrimental impact on morale.

    Unprofitable business – Accounts are public records and available from Companies House for a small fee. If you ever decide to work for a company it is a good idea to go through their annual accounts to see how the business is performing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees better – levels of staff turnover are extremely high. It is the most I have ever seen in a business. Development is key - you need to invest in the right areas. Offer real career progression in order to improve your retention.

    Take some time and start to think instead of running after each opportunity as if this is a lifebelt. Management should also take some very basic courses in manners and cultural intelligence.

    Learn how to use comms: do not shoot meaningless content through all channels, mail like twitter. Try to show some style and commitment with a proper content strategy and editorial and campaign calendar.
    Stop throwing money on useless internal events just so you personally can go back to Saud Aramco with a promotion. That's just Selfish - as a team behind you got your there!

    Lack of leadership. Lack of Communication. Lack of Strategy. There are a lot of inefficiencies in your operating model. You have severe shortages of manpower where it is needed, yet have an overabundance of senior consultants and projects managers from Saudi Aramco that do not add anything to the business and don’t deliver results. Have a review of whether it is really necessary to pay £100k+ pa each for all these people.

    You really have no business taking on certain projects especially when you are not qualified in PR, marketing, branding or corporate communications when you’ve had no prior industry experience – so there’s nothing really of value or intellectual property you could use that would really benefit you. Work on developing a clear strategy where your business is sustainable.

    Treat your employees better – levels of staff turnover are extremely high. It is the most I have ever seen in a business. Development is key - you need to invest in the right areas. Offer real career progression in order to improve your retention.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Challenging company providing a testing work environment

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

    I have been working at Aramco Overseas full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Brand new office, excellent fit out
    9 Day fortnight - if you work that day (or the weekend) it is paid at overtime
    Employee culture is friendly and often groups meet up after and outside of work for drinks
    When company organizes events money doesn't seem to be an object
    Company recruits in multiple diciplines, not just oil production. Wide range of positions to fill
    When you travel for work, you only travel business and put up in decent accomodation

    Cons

    Workforce is heavily overworked and demotivated. Management take a "must meet the expectations" approach and rarely attempt to consult or help staff members to achieve targets
    Parent company share little or no information about candidates but blame the recruiter when they are not supplying the right candidate. Recruiter is given little to no information regarding the reasoning behind the outcome of an interview and left to share negitave outcome with applicants
    Recently new senior positions have been filled with the individual's not formally introduced to the team. Their position details are not shared so employees are left to find out on a need-to-know basis
    Poor communication from leadership with few defined goals for the year. Has recently attempted to address communication but act very defensive when issues are raised
    Expectations are set by parent company that operates in Saudi Arabia under local laws. Employees must manage expectations of company whilst protecting themselves under UK law
    Recruiters have little influence on the recruitment process. Justification of reasons why candidate was not suitable are rarely shared. No ability to challenge decision. Not allowed to contact the decision maker directly on most occasions
    Very little career development. Management did create new jobs as the company grew but rarely these positions are advertised internally. Impression that management wan't to keep you in current position as you are already filling a gap
    High number of workforce are on agency or temp contracts where no policies are outlined to move into permanent positions
    New employees are rarely given time to train and often learn by operating in the role. At times the mistakes affect others around them of who are expected to help therefore taking time from their own duties
    Reports requested are often and at times very short notice. Multiple methods are used to track data which is not 100% but management execute strategy on this false numbers
    Human Resources are friendly but are not approachable to talk to about issues in the office as they do not directly impact management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Issues raised by former employees are not old, they are still there. Consult with your employees, listen to them. People that work here want to make a difference, they want to achieve the targets. Take more time to boost the team instead of beating them while they are down!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    WARNING - CAREER GRAVE YARD - STAY AWAY

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

    I have been working at Aramco Overseas full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Central London offices - convenient to reach
    New Building
    Not much else

    Cons

    This is by far the worst company I have ever worked for, it is run as a personal fiefdom of the Saudi nationals who are all managers here – they display arrogance and belligerence towards non Saudi staff and if you are smart you are viewed as a threat and they ensure that your progress here is limited. The Chief Reps are aloof, they are not very make profits, clever as most of them have only worked in Saudi or for this company which is in fact an extension of the Saudi civil service and not a true commercial enterprise, the Chief Reps have never worked in true market economies where they have had to work within true market forces and are totally detached from the realities of running a true commercial enterprise, there is no CRM, there are no analytical tools that they have invested in that even the most basic marketing tools are missing and not invested in. Completely data light and on top of that there is no relevant training given if you are in Marketing, Branding or PR.

    Progress will not happen if you are not a Saudi and the performance reviews are a joke, there is no formal performance review mechanism, managers just rate you without having a conversation with you and you are not allowed to know your rating till 6 months later on the SAP system. Ratings are based on favouritism – this is not an employer of choice by a country mile. HR is so incompetent and the whole HR team are Aussie friends not competent HR professionals, more like glorified office managers but with nothing to manage. Internal comms does not exist.

    If you are looking for a performance driven, collaborative and innovative company, this is not it – they have no corporate strategy, the business plan is a cyclical resource plan with no true strategic or operational metrics and tangible KPI’s – no leading or lagging indicators and it is ranked in the bottom percentile in all corporate reputation benchmarks.

    I have worked in employment branding and recruitment in banking and other oil and gas majors and this is by far the worst culture and worst management I have ever worked for. Staff have to wrote the Chief Reps e-mails for them, cos they are so lacking in grammar and command of English.

    Postings on Glassdoor are reviewed by staff that the Chief Reps feels are their favourites or staff who suck up to management and these staff finger the suspicion of subjective blame at others they suspect - without any proof - whom they think drafted the reviews, this happens in my unit.

    DO NOT work for this company – that is my advice to anyone reading this post

    If you are in marketing, branding, comms or PR do not come here - pay is 40% less than on the market today - check all the salary surveys - do your homework before applying to work here – this is valuable advice and it’s free!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    See above because no one can figure out with such lack of expertise, knowledge, commercial acumen and sharpness required to operate in today’s global markets, how can the Chief Reps be so lacking in intelligence, forward thinking and clear lack of management expertise – listen to your bright staff – cos all the good ones have left – they are subject matter experts and clearly all of you are never going to be experts in any shape or form – learn the local languages and culture properly, do not impose your Saudi and religious culture on the rest of us.

    Working here is about the company not having staff build your personal CV and profile so you get a promotion when you go back to Saudi after 2 years here.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Only a fool would join this company

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

    I have been working at Aramco Overseas full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The offices are brand new and have very good facilities
    Employees are very friendly and hard-working
    Employees attitude to their work is admirable

    Cons

    Management is completely made up of Saudi nationals, yet they have no experience of recruitment, or even western cultures. Their management style and approach is hopeless at best. Current leaders tend to bark orders with no thought as to the detrimental effect of their actions. I’ve witnessed employees crying as a result of this style of management. Further problems are caused by the fact that original orders are forgotten and new orders are then given, meaning yet more time is wasted. Efficiency is not a word associated with this team of managers.
    Cultural awareness training has been provided on various occasions for UK based staff to learn about middle-eastern culture. Although this may seem useful, our input is largely dismissed and we are told to ‘follow orders’. Training budgets would be far better spent on relevant areas for each set of employees.
    As management heads up the office for a limited time period, it’s seen as an opportunity to further progress their own careers without any regard to office morale. Employees are often under the impression very little thought has gone into whatever initiative has been recently launched. New teams within the organization add very little value.
    The company actively discriminate both for the roles we recruit to in Saudi as well as in the UK office. We’re told to only source candidates from certain geographies for certain positions, and to limit the number of female candidates for interviews. Female colleagues in the office are not treated in the same way male colleagues are.
    Career progression is not an option here. Quote from management: ‘There’s a business need for your position. If you transfer to another team, we need to employ another person, so it’s not an option’. We were also informed that if an opportunity of promotion presents itself, relevant teams would be notified. This is simply not true.
    The business is an extremely ‘one-tiered’ organization. Management’s dismissal of this fact is laughable. They believe because there are senior recruiter positions in the company (3 in total) there are opportunities to progress. Presumably they’d forgotten about the quote above. Our roles here are very much jobs not careers. Saudi nationals have no concept of careers, unless it’s from a personal point of view.
    Probation length varies, despite promises made by HR at interview stage. Current employees are told their rolling contract will be given depending on business need. This is simply not true. Contracts are awarded depending on which team they enter the business on.
    Unrealistic targets are dictated by Saudi and no explanation given as to how these targets have been constructed. As we approached the end of the business year, frantic plans are made to try and reach the targets. This clearly demonstrates the poor leadership skills of the office management.
    Recent senior hires have little to no interest of learning how the business works or gaining knowledge of the current procedures, and often embarrass themselves by making suggestions of how to improve the business. There seem to be no consequences to this, but I can’t imagine this would be the case for the remainder of the staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat staff equally, no matter what sex they are.
    Provide training relevant to the roles they’re recruited into, after all it’s not like they’ll be moving teams internally.
    Communicate how targets have been created.
    Don’t lie to staff about development opportunities, when clearly there are none.
    Don’t disregard employee suggestions about how to improve the business.
    Employ an experienced recruitment/communications expert to work alongside MD.
    Don’t dismiss the fact that people that ‘toe the line’ are treated with more respect and given responsibility regardless of their performance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE BY COMING HERE

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

    I have been working at Aramco Overseas full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Centrally located offices
    Convenient to get to

    Cons

    Terrible management, very scattered approach and very unprofessional, the basic things that should exists do not exist, management adopt a laissez faire approach, a company that does not care about it's reputation, it's communications, it's brand - this company is ideal for people who have very limited skill sets, who have no drive or ambition and who are happy to work in a very restrictive, controlled environment with no help from management or colleagues. PR team has lost good people and recently an exceptional person - the culture is toxic and not for good or talented people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the promises you make at interview rather then mis-selling the job
    Try and train your staff not just your favourite staff in certain offices, be fair to all
    If you hire experts listen to them and give them the chance to flourish

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

    Taken for granted

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

    I have been working at Aramco Overseas full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Free wifi
    Free coffee
    Work colleagues
    I had to put this sentence in as this section needs to be a minimum of 20 words and there really is no further pros to add

    Cons

    No problem finding 20 words here:
    Thankless environment.
    Employees never listened to or consulted.
    Micromanaged to death with sometimes 2-3 reports a day on the same topic.
    Unapproachable management with a "how dare you question me" attitude.

    Every member of the team is visited every morning by management which is great in other organisations I have worked in but is anticipated with dread in this place due to the often unreasonable, repetitive grilling that comes with it. I have sometimes not even taken my jacket off and it has begun with managers looking for figures.

    No action taken to improve the work environment. Turnover has been ridiculous in the last 6 months and the attitude is "we will find a temp" who then is treated like a slave and their reward is a year to year contract.
    N.B. This is only rewarded to those who have jumped through every unreasonable hoop put in front of them.

    We have Saudi senior management who we ultimately all report to. The only time there is interaction is when collectively or individually we are dragged into an office to tell us how bad we are at our jobs or how "complacent" we have become. Other than that you receive a grunt in passing.
    The way female members are spoken to should be illegal.
    Words to describe: negative; rude; arrogant; unapproachable; and false.
    What is worse is the influence this has had on team management as it has caused all to adopt this often unreasonable and aggressive "management" style.

    Regarding HR:
    Training is largely irrelevant and often timed during our busiest periods with attendance compulsory - when this subsequently has an effect on performance the fact training was forced upon the team is not taken into consideration.
    HR is an exclusive members club which you may only join if from Australia.
    Incompetent; inconsistent; and only willing to deal with the nice issues.
    Void of any innovation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value your employees
    Treat everyone with respect
    Equality regardless of gender
    Saudi management learn Western culture and values

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Ticking time bomb

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Recruitment and Relocation  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Recruitment and Relocation in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Aramco Overseas full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Nice, new offices
    - Central location
    - Free occasional meals (leftovers from management meetings)
    - Every other Friday off (when you're not pressured/guilt tripped into working it)
    - Good private medical cover (if you're not on one of their never ending temp contracts)
    - Paid overtime

    Cons

    - Inexperienced HR team with no compassion for the staff and don't deal with staff issues very well.
    - Unappreciated staff.
    - Saudi culture in a western environment doesn't fit very well - management needs to loosen up a bit and understand that this office is in London and they should adapt to a multi-cultural workforce where both sexes should be treated equally.
    - Severe inconsistency in probation length and amount of time it takes a temp to receive a contract to be employed directly for the company.
    - Many staff currently working as temps can give one day of notice to leave or to be let go - does not bode well for any job security or stable workforce.
    - Takes a long time to get any annual leave requests approved.
    - Management focusing too much on irrelevant issues such as tidy desks and coats on chairs.
    - Management arrive to work late and leave early while the lower level staff work extended hours attempting to achieve out of reach targets.
    - Staff interact well together but are highly demotivated due to being overworked and being expected to achieve unachievable results.
    - Middle and senior management are generally uninspiring and seem to believe that staff will work well if dictated to, scaremongered and questioned on items out of their control.
    - Poor communication between management and staff on changes that affect all employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please don't squeeze every drop of energy out of staff in order to achieve unachievable results in an effort to make yourself look good for when you finish your assignment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Worked for Aramco Overseas? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.