Bertelsmann

  www.bertelsmann.de
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Bertelsmann Reviews

Updated Jul 30, 2014

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3.7 20 reviews

100% Approve of the CEO

Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Dr. Thomas Rabe

Dr. Thomas Rabe

(1 ratings)

73% of employees recommend this company to a friend
20 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    good place to work till they sold us to direct brands

    Equipment Scanner Operator (Former Employee) Indianapolis, IN

    Prosgood raises,good people to work with,good supervisor,

    Consthey sold our company to direct brands

    Advice to Senior Managementcome back and invest in north america again

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Trying to find their way of doing business in the U.S.

    Senior Director (Former Employee)

    ProsLong history of success in a variety of business models. Deep pockets, willing to invest for the long term, not allowing years of losses to derail long range plans.

    ConsIn a state of flux, no true direction as planned models change. The long term outlook does not match with short term decisions most of time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet in touch with the common worker and realize most employees are there to work and have employment as part of their life, NOT their whole being as with the German corporate ladder climbers who are on two-three years plans prior to moving on.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Good company

    Director (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsGood benefits, intelligent management, good work life balance

    ConsNothing major other than hq is in Germany so offices need to stay in touch.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the good work

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Work/Life Balance
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Boutique office in Washington and great working environment

    Research Fellow (Current Employee) Washington, DC

    Prosflat organizational structure, making communication easy, smooth and real time; great leadership, very accessible and encouraging; helpful colleagues who can turn to for questions

    ConsBeing a fellow does not provide the best means to get to the heart of their business; still very research oriented and less project-based elements.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNone.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work if you speak German and are a really good networker

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsBertelsmann gives you a lot of freedom and responsibility from day one. They promote an entrepreneurial culture which, in practice, means that if you have a good idea that fits to their business, chances are they'll let you work on it and they'll also fund it. If you are a good networker you're career can take off very fast. At Bertelsmann, everything is about knowing the right people within the company and making sure they know you. If you're on the radar of one of the big guys, there is a good chance they'll simply put you in a position that's two or more levels above your current role.

    ConsThey claim to be the most international media company which may be true but doesn't mean that you'll get transfered to another country easily. Even if you work at their German headquarter it will be a long and painful process to land a job in another country. There is no support whatsoever so you have to manage the whole process yourself. Mostly this is due to their decentralized structure which is beneficial for the entrepreneurial culture but hazardous for a number of other things like international assignments, knowledge transfer, or building global networks within the group. Moving from one division (e.g. their Broadcasting arm) to another (e.g. RandomHouse, their publishing business) is nearly impossible. You may have worked several years at Bertelsmann but that other division will treat you just like any other applicant. Again, a problem that arises from the decentralized structure. Your career and salary highly depends on your network. If one of the presidents likes you, you'll get those international assignments easily and a ridiculous salary on top of it. It's been often reported that some of the German folks who work in the US receive housing allowances and travel allowances (to go back to Germany) as well.
    Their management development follows the same principles outlined above. If they know you they'll put you into all those great programs. If they don't, well, you'll have to market yourself very aggressively to be considered for seminars, etc. Bertelsmann spends a lot of time and money on employer branding which is, obviously, targeted at prospective employees. They recruit from top-tier business schools and host costly recruiting events. These efforts lead to two problems:
    1) The high-potentials from Harvard, Columbia, and ISEAD who actually accept an offer from Bertelsmann get frustrated very fast and leave the company, often within their first year. They expect to be promoted to VP or president of a smaller Bertelsmann company but mostly find themselves stuck in whatever division Bertelsmann decides to dump them. Once they leave, Bertelsmann has usually invested significant training dollars in them - not to mention the initial recruiting costs.
    2) Current and loyal employees feel frustrated as well since they have to watch Bertelsmann pampering those new hires while they don't receive any training or promotions.
    That being said, it should be obvious by now that Bertelsmann is not good at identifying top talents or top potentials within their existing workforce. Every marketer knows that retaining top employees is multiple times more effective and cost efficient than hiring new employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEnable employees to transfer between division/companies easily. Support international careers. Focus on identifying and retaining top talent and top potentials rather than attracting new talent - or at least balance both efforts better. Make basis for promotions more transparent.

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    Good company with great benefits

    Senior Director (Former Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsAt Bertelsmann you aren't stuck doing just one thing, you are given a lot of responsibility to run your business.

    ConsSenior management is remote and unresponsive.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe more involved with rank and file.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Good

    Process Manager (Current Employee) Gurgaon, Haryana (India)

    ProsGood culture and staff members

    ConsPressure is more with not enough opps

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    A great place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Gütersloh (Germany)

    ProsBertelsmann offers a very wide range of different jobs, there are many interesting career opportunities and the team spirit is amazing. The company opffers great benefits, like many different fitness courses, a great cafeteria, a bookstore where employees can buy books, CDs or magazines from Bertelsmann companies for a small price.

    ConsThe location Guetersloh is a very small city on the German countryside, there aren't many things to do around there

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Never Gütersloher again...

    Manager (Former Employee) Gütersloh (Germany)

    ProsGood wages and great colleagues

    ConsTerrible location (GT, a suburb of Bielefeld!)

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to for development

    Manager (Current Employee) Gütersloh (Germany)

    ProsFascinating media products, special colleagues

    ConsSlow innovations in terms of digitalization

    Advice to Senior ManagementFaster pace in terms of digitalization

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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