Consumer Reports
2.9 of 5 33 reviews
www.consumerreports.org Yonkers, NY 500 to 999 Employees

Consumer Reports Reviews

Updated Apr 10, 2014

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2.9 33 reviews

                             

25% Approve of the CEO

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Jim Guest

(8 ratings)

47% of employees recommend this company to a friend
33 Employee Reviews
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Tough transition but commitment to mission

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Yonkers, NY

I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 10 years

ProsThere's a real commitment to the mission of serving consumers. The industry is going through tough times, and CR isn't immune. There is some excitement in the transition and in being part of a solution.

ConsAs the organization is transitioning away from print and to a more agile approach to developing and distributing content, there's been some pain as there have been some layoffs. That's a shift in the culture, and resulted in hard feelings for some.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep on pushing through on the transition and making necessary changes; don't lose focus on what makes the organization unique: its mission.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Had a great experience and learning curve

IT Manager (Current Employee)
Yonkers, NY

I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 8 years

ProsCompensation has been consistent
Work-life balance is excellent. Senior Management has been extremely nice to me in this aspect
Other benefits are great as well

ConsPromotions are a slow process and dont have a clue how it goes!!

Advice to Senior ManagementRecognize talent thats already inside. Though they say they are doing it, I know several people who say they have more band width to contribute more, but no opportunities

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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So sad

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Yonkers, NY

I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThe mission and the people who work there. I still have hope for CR, but perhaps not during my tenure there.

Conspoor morale, coldness of some senior leaders who truly don't care about the staff. Recent reorganization was poorly executed. Some changes were drastic and not thought through.

Advice to Senior ManagementWalk the talk when it comes to trust, civility and respect. Start from within and gain back trust of the staff.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Times they are a'changin.

Editorial (Current Employee)
Yonkers, NY

I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 5 years

ProsExcellent mission, nonprofit, important service to consumers

ConsClueless management, flailing about for a solution to a changing industry

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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This place is beyond help

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 10 years

Pros* Dedicated and talented tech and editorial personnel.
* On-site cafeteria is very nice.
* Great history.
* Sprawling campus.
* Good benefits packages.

Cons* Employees are terrified and morale is poor. People are constantly worried that they are going to be laid off, fired, or mysteriously resign.
* Managers are constantly saying that they want a younger image, which makes older employees feel uncomfortable and unwanted.
* Millenials are treated differently than older employees under the same circumstances.
* Several long-time, very qualified employees are passed over for promotions that they you applied for, while far less qualified, inexperienced people are hired for the job.
* Long-time employees have noted that, after getting great reviews for many years, they're suddenly get negative performance reviews and write-ups. Some former employees say they have even been fired because of these new poor reviews.
* Human Resources has become the central focus of managment and is is constantly tinkering with compliance and regulation.
* Organizational revenue and reputation are both dubious. Execs like to say they they're righting the ship, but they have yet to convince the employees that they're headed in the right direction. If Consumer Reports were publicly traded, I'd short their stock.
* Recently tightening up and new processes makes work becomes orderly and boring. This is no place visionaries whose capabilities can shake things up and reset the organization's course.
* There is a cheap veneer of employee satisfaction that the organization tries to portray. Managers are superficially nice and periodically pretend to be interested in employees as people. These employees can count on birthday-cake celebrations and shallow conversations about what their hobbies are outside of work.

Advice to Senior ManagementManagement could care less what I have to say, so I'm directing my comments to the board of directors:

An unfortuante shortcoming of non-profit boards is that they're not financially vested in the organization and therefore are not as willing to shake-up management. Because if this were a publicly-shared corporation and they were shareholders, CR's problems would have been fixed by now.

Board members need to be aware of the everday failures and machinations of Consumer Reports upper managment. We need board members to have their feet on campus more often. They have to observe day-to-day operations.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Don't Believe the 5-Star Reviews

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 10 years

Pros- Union shop, although the union has little teeth these days.
- Gymnasium.
- Top-notch editors

Cons- Incompetent, callous management
- Questionable business plan
- Fear rules the day
- Staff stretched to thin
- HR is an arm of management and doesn't administer to employee needs

Advice to Senior ManagementThe current upper management won't listen to any dissenting recommendations, so I don't feel compelled to give them. I do have to say that all of the recent 5 Star reviews were written by desperate management looking for a new CEO and Editor (they've been turned down countless times because nobody wants to lead in such a toxic environment).

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Interesting organization in transition

Content Creation (Current Employee)
Yonkers, NY

I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than a year

ProsMany great staff and managers trying to reinvent this venerable brand for the diigital age. Great place to work and make a real difference (and a name for yourself) if you are energetic, keen to make an impact and in tune with the future vision. Friendly culture. Some VPs have really clear ideas but others (why are there so many?) seem to add little. Great organizational mission to help all consumers and make the world a better place - what's not to like about that!

ConsLong serving and very vocal staff whining about the good old pre-digital days can be a real drain. Many seem to think they are entitled to a job for life and have no idea what it's like to work in other places. Some lower level managers seem out of their depth. Outgoing CEO (he's overdue to retire) seems indecisive and obsessed with making old-timer staff happy. Terrible cafeteria - not exactly Google!

Advice to Senior ManagementFind a new CEO soon and make sure it's a good one. Stop pandering to old-timer staff so much with endless all staff briefings and awful Q&As, they'll whine whatever you do. Just make great things happen!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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I've loved working at Consumer Reports for about the last 10 years or so.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Yonkers, NY

I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 8 years

ProsThe people here are wonderful. There are doctors ready to take on the healthcare industry and to use evidence-based ratings for surgeries, hospitals, physicians. The journalists are really smart and committed, and the engineers and scientists are topnotch people working with a mission. Working with smart, committed people is a turn on, frankly. I have had a number of jobs, but this is the first where I almost always want to get to work. A senior colleague of mine at CR calls the place "geek chic." Going to the labs and seeing how they test products (and they are always asking the rest of us to join in on testing), collaborating on a story with other investigative journalists, like those at Propublica, watching the talented organizers in Texas, Yonkers, DC and San Francisco work with committed citizen activists -- this stuff is really fun.

The place is going through a pretty radical transformation to get in front of the curve that's overtaken print legacy publications. What to do with mobile? How do you monetize it? OK, the website was a big thing in the late 90's -- the first of its kind and largest to charge subscribers and to be ad-free -- but what's the next big thing? Or the next several medium sized things? Everyone is trying to figure that out and CR, in the last year particularly, has brought in new digital product and services leaders to move the place forward. The proof is still to come, but they are energizing the place.

I like seeing a number of people who were unsung stars get promoted -- which has been happening recently. We're getting a mix of new talent and ideas from the outside, which is shaking up the culture in good and sometimes tumultuous ways, but also promoting talent from within. It's not always comfortable to be in the midst of such transformation, but it's also very exciting.

When I first came to CR there would be no cars in the parking lot by 5 or 5:30 pm. I wasn't used to that. And almost every month there was another party for someone who had been there 25, or 30 or 40 years. It was like my Dad's generation's experience of work life. There are lovely things about that, but also down sides. That culture is changing, making some people feel like they are losing a family that they had come to depend upon. But for folks like me, who never intended to be one place for 40 years, it's a good thing.

Benefits are really good. And there is a real understanding among leadership, even while they drive things forward, that people have to have a work/life balance. Some of the senior leaders (particularly, but not only, the women) are really good about extending that to their staff, as well as showing that they have that even while they are so committed to their work. That's a really nice thing about the place. And if something tough happens to you on the family or personal front, this place really rallies around you and gives you the support and flexibility you need.

ConsCR needs to do more to develop people and show them they have a career track. And of course transformation is unsettling. Some long time leaders have been let go. New senior leadership often wants new deputies, so some of that is to be expected. What's hard for many of my colleagues, and occasionally for me as well, is to see someone who loved the place and was devoted to the mission, and who contributed greatly for years, end up having to leave. If you've been other places, you know this happens. CR just isn't / wasn't used to it. And so there is uncertainty, but also excitement. The biggest thing we're waiting on is who the new CEO will be. There's a search on now.

The other thing that is a con, is that the place really does need to do a better job with diversity at many levels, including the most senior.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen, engage, keep your doors open and find better ways to recognize the talent around you. And figure out how to make it more clear to folks that they have a career trajectory at CR. It's a small place, and leadership positions don't always open up as often as one would like. How do you get around that? You need to be thinking more about that, and being creative.

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

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Lost its way

Manager (Current Employee)
Yonkers, NY

I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 10 years

ProsThe company has a great mission--to inform and protect consumers by providing ratings of products and services and working for a safe marketplace. In general the employees are on board with the mission and feel like they're helping consumers. On-site gym is nice.

ConsIn addition to the endless rounds of layoffs, management does not seem to have a plan going forward to resuscitate the business. Laying off people will not solve the problem--you need to add other revenue streams.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Fortunate to enjoy my work and am respected, but there are issues here

Content Creation Group (Current Employee)
Yonkers, NY

I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 8 years

ProsSome perks, benefits (time off, healthcare costs, work hours), relatively relaxed working environment, company recognizes need to fix problems and is trying.

ConsPiss-poor financial compensation for middle management; execs say they are open to hearing from employees, but they don't want to hear ANYTHING that goes against their plan; glacier-like movement on fixing website ills; union environment (too much overpaid dead wood that can't be fired); more gripers than hard workers.

Advice to Senior ManagementYou need to do actually listen to the concerns of people. Too many meetings and "training" sessions; let us do our jobs. Upgrade computers!!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Consumer Reports reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Consumer Reports CEO Jim Guest . All 33 reviews posted anonymously by Consumer Reports employees.