BBC Reviews

Updated August 27, 2014
Updated August 27, 2014
151 Reviews

3.5
151 Reviews
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Tony Hall
22 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The work/life balance is amazing (in 8 reviews)

  • Excellent opportunities, great people, bosses are open to new ideas (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • Far too many layers of management and hierarchy, stagnant workplace with a lot of people who remain in the org too long, difficult to get promoted (in 5 reviews)

  • middle management & lack of security due to short term contracts (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Consultant to BBC

    Former Employee - Consultant  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Consultant in London, England (UK)

    I worked at BBC as a contractor for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Dedicated & talented people, great reputation as an organization.

    Cons

    Bureaucratic and control-oriented but getting better (I think). Became reactive rather than proactive following multiple errors, missteps and scandals: the Iraq WMD story, Brand/Ross "Sachsgate", Queensgate, large payoffs to departing executives, disturbing Saville abuse scandal ...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Plan for the future - set the stage for future success with a dynamic, ,compelling vision now of the corporation in the the coming 5-7 years.

  2.  

    Good employer

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

    I worked at BBC as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Good benefits package, friendly and inclusive working environment where staff are really taken care of. Good work is recognized and it was always a pleasure working as part of a great tightly knit team.

    Cons

    BBC can have a reluctance to hire on rolling contracts. Preferring to hire on fixed term or temporary appointments. Also, gone are the days when the 'once you're in, you're in' mantra held true. Moving around between departments isn't easy, so if you want to work in news, don't think you'll get there by starting off in performing arts. However, BBC will support you to try your hand at new things internally.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Orwellian.

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

    I worked at BBC as a contractor for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Interesting content (golden rule: never forget this, otherwise you may quickly wonder why your buttocks are constantly parted.)

    Free batteries.

    Cons

    Being treated like a child by those really thick people at school who were always guarding their answers behind a bent arm, but who were both intellectually sub-normal and sexually inept.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    God, where to start.

    Doesn't Recommend
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    Great for work/life balance. Terrible for just about everything else.

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

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

    Pros

    * The work/life balance is amazing
    * Offices are lovely
    * HR were sympathetic to the problems there
    * Lots of free training

    I worked in the "new media" department (i.e. the internet side of things). Compared to other companies I've worked at it was like being in a holiday camp. The offices in White City were amazing - everything looked great, there were tons of quiet places to go and work.

    When I did have issues, HR were great. Really sympathetic and actually good to talk to. Most HR departments seem to toe the party line and ignore any issues but at the BBC they were interested in the problems and wanted to help fix them.

    Compared to any other IT job I've had the work life balance was amazing. No one expected anyone to work anything more than 9-5. At 5 o'clock the office would empty out within 5 minutes. I've not worked anywhere else like this - most IT places will have you working 9-10 hours a day but not the BBC. As well as this no one batted an eyelid if you wanted to work from home for extended periods.

    One other great perk was the amount of training. There seemed to be an unlimited budget for this and there were no lock in clauses that would mean you had to pay back the cost of training if you left. Hang around for 6 months, get lots of training and then leave for free!

    Cons

    * Low salary
    * Unwelcoming people
    * Unionisation
    * Terrible middle management
    * Trailing edge technology
    * Lots of "busy work"
    * Dysfunctional departments where teams would refuse to speak to each other
    * Staff turnover
    * Huge amounts of deadwood
    * No fear of failure

    Everyone complains about the low salary, and it's not great. If you're working on the new media side of the business then you will be able to easily get more money anywhere else. The question whether you want to balance the lack of money with the work/life balance.

    Another problem is pay rises. These were decided by the unions, even if you're not a member of the union. And no matter how much you work you'll get the same payrise as everyone else. So if you sit around watching videos on youtube or work ten hours a day or produce loads of useful tools you'll still be getting the same payrise. I gather from HR that any attempts to bring in performance related pay were resisted by the unions at every step because it would be discrimination. Well, yes, it would. It would discriminate between those that did something and those that did nothing.

    As well as that, the unions would protect every member of staff from being fired which led to a lot of deadwood. The worst example I found was of a DBA who hated using computers and who would avoid doing any DBA work if possible. In any normal company the person would have been fired for not doing their job, but thanks to the unions no one in management could touch them and so they continued to have a job where they would do nothing.

    As a result of this anyone in the department who was any good was leaving. In a department of a couple of hundred people it was a bit concerning to see that every Friday there were leaving parties for 2-3 people. The upshot was that the amount of deadwood was slowly increasing over time as anyone competent left and the people that stayed were the lazy people who never did anything.

    This problem was exacerbated by the state of management. My direct manager spoke to me about two or three times in six months. There was little if any direction as to what we should be doing and a lot of the talk within the team wasn't about how to make things better but how to keep things the same. I came from a company where automation was almost a mantra (so you can easily scale horizontally) and was shocked to find most of the deployments were done manually. When I asked why this was the case it turned out it was because "otherwise we'll have nothing to do". This kind of busy work was widespread. In theory the website could have been run by half the number of staff but there was no interest in doing this.

    There was however one team that were talking about automation and moving to a cloud computing provider. Because my team were seen as an impediment to this they had been kept out of the loop and not consulted about the changes. This kind of thing wasn't out of the ordinary. Teams wouldn't speak to each other despite people all working on the same overall system.

    Overall there's only one reason I'd recommend a job in the new media department of the BBC and that would be if you wanted an easy life. Compared to any other IT job there was very little, if any, scope for progression or to be able to do any interesting work. And if you hang around for long enough there's the real chance of blunting your skills to the point that it's difficult to get another job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of a lot of the deadwood and it'll probably change the atmosphere to be a lot more innovative and dynamic.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    where I received my training and start

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

    I worked at BBC full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    great training, prestigious, rewarding, prospects

    Cons

    restrictive hierarchy. sub standard management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    less meetings and consultants

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    BBC work experience and co-workers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Chief Radio Publicity Officer's Assistant  in  London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Chief Radio Publicity Officer's Assistant in London, England (UK)

    I worked at BBC full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Fun, interesting always something different

    Cons

    My Boss, she would have had to die for me to take her job

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Awe-inspiringly futuristic and yet quaintly old-fashioned all at once.

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

    I worked at BBC full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    High quality is paramount in all aspects of work.
    Very high appreciation of what we do amongst the ultmate users, the viewing/listening audience
    Varied and flexible career is possible
    High standard of training and development
    Inspirational colleagues - many are world-class
    Iconic workplaces

    Cons

    Bureaucratic and ponderous
    Sometimes a bit self-indulgent - bespoke is not always better than off-the-shelf.
    Can appear to spend much time and money in self-justification.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut the crap! Did Greg teach you nothing?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Short internship at the Moscow office of BBC

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Moscow (Russia)
    Former Employee - Intern in Moscow (Russia)

    I worked at BBC full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The people at the office are very nice and laid-back people. I worked in the production team and got exposed to every aspect of the work they do. I got to do some translations, interview transcript, wrote briefs on topics in production, participated in filming of news stories etc.

    Cons

    The programme unpaid. Plus it is only two weeks long so it is hard to really learn a lot. Also, I worked in the end of summer, which is apparently the hardest season for finding interesting news stories. Accordingly, the pace was very relaxed and some of the stories in production were really silly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My main complaint is the length of the internship. It would be great if longer internships were available.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    Not bad, terrible in-house politics, greedy execs

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

    I worked at BBC full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Stunning machine when it works well. Good work locations. Strong corporate ethos.

    Cons

    Constantly downsizing; far too many chiefs. Terrible green credentials (shocking waste, eg energy)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Shed 40% of yourselves.

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

    Great place to work. Lots of good technical and creative people. Good training.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer  in  Salford, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Salford, East of England, England (UK)

    I worked at BBC full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Training is excellent.
    Access to great technical people.
    Culture of learning.
    Able to try out new jobs through various schemes ranging from a week to months.

    Cons

    Bogged down in beaureaucracy.
    Too many management layers.
    Loudest people seem to get most attention while quieter ones with good ideas get overlooked.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees.
    Engage with your employees.
    Be more available.
    Remove blockers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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