There are newer employer reviews for Gilead Sciences

19 people found this helpful  

Not viable as a long-term option...

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Foster City, CA
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Foster City, CA

I have been working at Gilead Sciences

Pros

The individual who wrote a review of Gilead on April 10 got it exactly right--if you want to expand your skillset in a high pressure environment and are willing to devote your life to your work, Gilead is the place for you.

Campus facilities are nice enough, benefits and salary seem to be pretty much industry standard, and I really enjoy most of the people I work directly with.

Layoffs are almost nonexistent, but that is very much a double-edged sword, with a significant negative aspect to it (see "running lean" below).

Cons

Don't expect any life/work balance or any feeling that you are valued as anything other than a cog in the Gilead machine, because you most likely won't get it. Upper management pride themselves on the fact that Gilead maintains high profitability & productivity by "running lean" (i.e. burning out employees) and seem to have little concern for employee development or overall satisfaction.

Workload and expectations vary among groups, but on the average, expect that you would be doing the work of 1.5-2 people. I previously worked at another "lean" company, but the difference vs. my previous employer and Gilead is that Gilead actually has products in the market and has a very healthy bank balance!!!

In my view, there's really no excuse for not trying to provide a more reasonable workload given that the company apparently CAN afford more hiring (they clearly can afford the multiple very expensive acquisition deals they've cut over the last 2 years), but the company's decisions make it clear that employee satisfaction & retention is far, far below their bottom line on the priority list---and the turnover I've seen in our department is totally consistent with that.

I'd rather have adequate project staffing combined with a greater potential for layoffs than to have high job security and crazy, unrealistic workload expectations. Many of my colleagues share this view, and have conveyed it to HR, but HR is also understaffed and overworked---and our dept. HR rep, though a very nice person, seems to have totally lost hope of making any meaningful changes.

Management provides lip service to employee satisfaction by doing "engagement" surveys (though without any real follow-up on fixing the areas identified by the survey as the most egregious problems) and offering career development courses, but the reality is that nothing is going to change their policy of understaffing projects because it's an employer's market now and probably will be for the foreseeable future.

As mentioned in previous reviews, the promotion/advancement process appears to be highly political; peformance is of course considered, but time served & connections seem to play a disproportionate role. Gilead's policy explicitly states that promotions will be given only when performance merits it AND there is "busienss need" for someone to be promoted. So the effective result is that some people who have far exceeded the expectations of their current title can linger there for a long time until Gilead decides there is a "need" for the promotion or until the employee gets sick of it and leaves the company.

Is Gilead all bad? No. You can definitely get useful experience here, and I have a lot of terrific colleagues. Is this a place that I see as a company at which I could make a long-term career at ? No, because I'd like to actually have a real life again someday, and I don't see that as a likely possibility while I'm working at Gilead.

Gilead looks good from the outside and is definitely a respected company, but its inside culture seems to be a petrified old boys' network in many respects, and is slowly rotting from within. There are a few sparks of optimism in the hiring of some new senior people (though not in the uppermost reaches of management), and I genuinely hope that they will be able to have a positive impact but I think it's equally possible that they will be stifled by what seems to be a fear-based culture here.

If you're thinking of trying to get a job here, all I can say is caveat emptor.

Maybe you'll get lucky and have a great experience complete with a supportive manager and reasonable life/work balance, and maybe you won't. Unfortunately, I'd bet more on the latter and not on the former.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Recognize the fact that your success is derived from your employees, and value them accordingly.

Recognize and respect the fact that work/life balance is integral to ANY kind of job satisfaction, and that most employees leave because of lack of work/life balance and/or because of poor managers (both of which have been identified as serious problem areas for Gilead).

Gilead has a healthy cash flow: invest in your employees by giving them challenging but REALISTIC project goals that are grounded in a REALISTIC expectation of output per person.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

172 Other Employee Reviews for Gilead Sciences (View Most Recent)

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  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    A very demanding and political environment to work in

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Foster City, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Foster City, CA

    I have been working at Gilead Sciences

    Pros

    There is a lot one can learn in a very short time due to the high volume of work, there is the possibility to learn how to prioritize and focus on the important tasks, learning how to execute and accomplish tasks without much training, guidance or easily accessible information (excellent survival training), good environment for self-motivated individuals who are driving for results

    Cons

    Work life balance does not exist or just for short periods of time, the career development process is not transparent and difficult to understand, people are not easily promoted even if exceeding expectations, unforgiving environment regarding mistakes or perceived mistakes, employee satisfaction is not a focus of the company

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    small biotech experience, but large company bureaucracy (clin ops review)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Associate  in  Foster City, CA
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Associate in Foster City, CA

    I have been working at Gilead Sciences

    Pros

    *job security due to company's current financial standing
    *onsite cafes and gym
    *free bagels once a week
    *401K match

    Cons

    *pay is on the lower range for the bay area
    *not much training/career development offered to the staff. company has money but is generally not willing to pay for training, especially if it's out of town training
    *promotions are far and few (inconsistent), turn over is very high in clin ops
    *the management team has been around for many years (10+) and so nearly their entire experience has been at Gilead and in most cases it has not matured as the company size has matured.
    *micromanagement from top down
    *very inflexible with alternate work schedule (i.e. telecommuting, etc)
    *lean means completely understaffed

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    clin ops is broken; the constant turn over should not continue to go unnoticed!

    No opinion of CEO
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