Charles River Laboratories

  www.criver.com
  www.criver.com
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Charles River Laboratories Reviews

Updated September 18, 2014
Updated September 18, 2014
95 Reviews
2.7
95 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Charles River Laboratories Chairman, President, Director and CEO James C. Foster
James C. Foster
58 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really good benefits- medical/dental, 401k (in 6 reviews)

  • Great work-life balance, ability to grow within the company if you don't mind moving to other locations based on job availability (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Meetings were fraught with bad-mouthing corporate and shooting sarcasm at upper management (in 7 reviews)

  • Lack of communication between upper management and lower employees (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    A great work experience

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

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    There were very many pro's, nice facilities, etc

    Cons

    Long and early hours, and so on

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great People in the Corporate Office

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

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The health coverage plans at Charles River are well ahead of other companies. Excellent BC/BS of Mass options, good dental, vision and lots of other options. Flexible hours (ad hoc) are a nice perq for those who have to juggle family responsibilities and/or a long commute. Nice corporate campus with on-site cafeteria. Really nice people. No bullies in the bunch.

    Cons

    Could use some more training/development classes and opportunities, especially for new managers. IT help is sorely in need of an upgrade -- they are not very responsive and often ineffective at helping.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let those on your management teams shoulder more of the load. You don't need to do everything yourself!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Unprofessional place to work, no respect for employees, worst job I've ever had!

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

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Charles River has many great employees - many of the low to mid-level managers are great and the staff is very knowledgeable. Good place to learn.

    Cons

    The upper management of Charles River made this place a nightmare as an employee! The organization functions as an amalgamation of many different companies and divisions and, as such, there is a large gap in harmonization and standardization across the organization. More importantly, upper management has little to no respect for it's employees. I witnessed behavior that ranged from extreme unprofessionalism to outright abuse - it was shocking. Promotion is based on nepotism instead of merit, and challenging the status quo with new ideas or fresh perspectives is discouraged. Salaries are lower than industry standard, and incentives are spotty - in cases, incentives may not even be paid (or only paid after a long lag) even when they're earned. This is by far the worst place I've worked in my career - I would strongly recommend against working for Charles RIver!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The human resource at Charles River is its greatest asset - it would be in the company's best interest to treat people with respect and compensate them fairly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Get in, get reimbursed education, transfer internally a lot to build skills/knowledge, then go to Pharma/Biotech company

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

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    A good place to learn some of the basics of nonclinical testing. A good place to start building career network if you are just out of college.

    Cons

    If you stick with one position or one group for a long time, your knowledge will quickly plateau. Career development is very limited. If you want to progress in your career, you need to actively transfer within the company yourself (or leave).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In my experience, fear-based management tactics were used. This is not a sustainable model. Also, if you want employees to stick around for a long time, open up sites in rural areas.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Management doesn't care

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Process Development Associate  in  Wilmington, MA
    Former Employee - Process Development Associate in Wilmington, MA

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    While members of the senior management team are busy strategizing over the direction to take the business, the lack of empathy for the manual labor pool in the laboratories caring for rats, mice, and dogs is disgusting.

    Cons

    Most jobs in animal care consist of mindless work and a large amount of injuries are incurred.
    Internal politics get in the way of the company being successful.
    Policies are so strict that employees are constantly fired. There is no compassion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire a stronger management team that has a balance of business savvy and compassion for people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Run Away As Fast As You Can!!!

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

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    Company has a mission to succeed.

    Cons

    CRL is doing everything it can to maintain validity within the pharmeceutical testing industry...but at the expense of its employees. If you are interested in working in anything other than testing on rodents, run!! There is not an adequate onboarding process, no training on systems, very little interaction with HR or management. If you trying to have a career here...you are only kidding yourself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Use your employees to their best qualities and skill set. Encourage and expand the knowledge of your resources (your employees)!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Focused on Business. Not so much on it's employees and departments

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Supervisor  in  Wilmington, MA
    Current Employee - Supervisor in Wilmington, MA

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Work Schedule- very relaxed
    co-workers- are great.Many great employees have come, gone and remain with the company. More leave than stay
    Benefits- average and has consistently increased in costs every year

    Cons

    too many senior management rolls and not enough workers.
    low pay compared to local companies
    inconsistent in yearly evaluations and promotions.
    management worries about every other department except it's own

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Reno Site - Laid back culture but heavy workloads

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Auditor II  in  Reno, NV
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Auditor II in Reno, NV

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    It is nice working in a professional environment that still maintains a casual, laid-back culture. Employees are dedicated to the mission of the company, which is aiding and accelerating drug development through preclinical research. I enjoy having a great deal of autonomy in my position... NEVER micromanaged.

    Cons

    Workloads within some departments were overwhelming at times. In general, salaries are not commensurate with other CROs and certainly not with large pharm/biotech companies. CRL- Nevada benefits from being the only gig in town for those with a biology/life sciences background. A lot of employees stay because the area is rich in quality outdoor activity, not to mention lower cost of living than the West Coast science hubs. That said, CRL seems to even be falling behind on salaries compared to other companies in the small Reno market.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Suggest periodic research/adjustment to ensure that salaries ranges are current and competitive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Good company with good people working there!

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

    I worked at Charles River Laboratories full-time

    Pros

    Great work/life experience with people who value their work at the company. Great to be with groups who have been at the company for many years.

    Cons

    Can be a little slow in growth but if you're willing to take the initiative, the company will definitely help put you on the right path.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Unnecessarily high stress for a job that shouldn't be this hard.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Charles River Laboratories

    Pros

    For the kind of things that we are responsible for, the salary is good. Also, coworkers are great. The vet techs and most PI's are friendly and easy to talk to.

    Cons

    Management is TERRIBLE. You are stuck between a rock and a hard place constently. People are in constant fear of losing their job or they stop caring for the job. For the work that is done, they hire people that are over qualified to make up for the lack of training provided. They promise that things will get better. However, they are really slow on their promises. Also, there is no opportunity to grow, unless you don't mind moving to different locations. This is a new contract. Therefore, I'm really hoping things will improve.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just because it is a contract, does not mean your employees should be pushed a side to meet the demands of the client. Also, before blaming other people for the mistakes they might have made due to said person feeling overwhelmed, look internally to figure out why all employees are feel this way. Do not just take the clients word for it. Discuss the situation with the employee to make a well rounded informed decision.

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