Hearst Corporation

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Fashionable, cutthroat work environment that values personal style over work performance.

Editorial Assistant (Former Employee) New York, NY

ProsIf you're interested in the New York dream of working in a glamorous workplace filled with beautiful people in a very sleek skyscraper, this is a good place to come, but don't expect much more.

ConsThe Hearst tower is home to the editorial and business offices of many national publications, primarily fashion magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Marie Claire, Esquire, and Town & Country. If you're looking for a career as a writer, this is NOT the environment to come to. Print media has had its paid jobs drying up for the past decade as people move online to consume their favorite titles. As a result, only the cattiest of the cutthroat can survive at a place like Hearst. With all the fashion magazines housed in the building, the people are very glamorous and investing heavily in personal style is unfortunately a serious work expense in a company like this. The culture trickles into every office in the building.

There is a rotating cast of writers that find their way into gigs at Hearst, and this is by design. With print media dying and ad sales plummeting, as well as the general economic downturn, a number of years ago Hearst began employing outside agencies to fill all the entry to mid-level editorial and sales positions inside the company. This was a means of cutting costs to avoid paying any benefits to these workers, by making their tenure at Hearst a temporary arrangement, subject to termination at any time.

This works out well in a company whose publications thrive on spotting trends and "taste-making". The cyclical temporary employees are basically "auditioned", so to speak for an editorial position. They are paid hourly to pitch ideas for stories, proofread, or suggest new designers and pieces of perfumes to review. Their personal fashion sense and their compatibility with the corporate culture is tested during this period. As a result, all of these staff members are forced to compete with each other to prove themselves for a long-term tenure or (gasp!) a permanent position. Typically, each publication in Hearst has only a handful of permanent staff (at least for the past 5 or 6 years), with all the remaining work, creative or otherwise, performed by the aspirants.

Unfortunately, this naturally leads to a very cutthroat and tense work environment. Everyone there's seen the Devil Wears Prada, and unfortunately that movie is not dissimilar to the experience that many fresh college grads encounter when they come to Hearst.

I worked at Hearst for three years, and I was lucky enough to have "made the cut", and held permanent positions in a few of the publications there. For those considering employment at Hearst, it is not for the faint of heart nor the thin-skinned, and the professional culture was by far the most competitive and snobbiest I've ever experienced in my adult life.

Advice to Senior ManagementIncrease your online presence, and hold sensitivity training so the unfashionable and unattractive are better tolerated. Provide benefits. Invest more in the support workers employed by the company.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Excellent company

    Ad Sales Assistant (Current Employee) New York, NY

    I have been working at Hearst Corporation

    Pros: Benefits, excellent HR team, room for advancement, gym in building Cons: Employee reviews are a long process. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    A multidimensional company flawed by one dimension thinking.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) New York, NY

    I worked at Hearst Corporation

    Pros: Trendy corporate environment. Great location with easy access to mass transit.… Cons: Corporate management is too far removed from the everyday to be effective. They take on a subordinate role in relationship to top editors and seem… Advice to Senior Management: Hire a management team that is willing to take charge. It is not about micro managing but more about accountability and having the ability develop… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More

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