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8 people found this helpful  

Like Selling Your Soul to the Devil Without the Benefits

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Research Associate  in  Los Angeles, CA
Former Employee - Research Associate in Los Angeles, CA

I worked at Lieberman Research Worldwide

Pros

Smart people. Casual dress code. Fast-paced. Lively. The image of being reasonably laid-back. Plenty of office parties. Most people are keen to be social with their co-workers.

Also, Lieberman really is a good place to have on your resume. It is a respected firm and it consistently churns out a quality product and is one of the best-reputed market research firms in the industry. If you can handle the workload and misery you will have a good firm on your resume.

Career advancement is only as limited as the individual. I firmly believe that they are true to their word that if you merit a promotion after only three months in your current position, you will get it. Likewise, if you suck, you'll languish where you're at forever.

Cons

Junior staff positions are a joke. If you are brought on as a Research Associate or Research Manager, you will be paid hourly and do grunt work far beneath your education or professional experience. LRW believes in allowing anyone to take ownership of any project, but in reality, the demagogues control things pretty tightly at the top. There is little incentive to actually throw one's hat in the ring and take on a task when it is inevitable that upper management will micromanage the whole thing, provide insufficient feedback or mentoring, and inevitably nix 90% of the work one might have done.

The hours are terrible. LRW has done a very good job weathering the economic downturn, but it surely must be at the expense of employee morale. When the economy tanked, LRW switched junior staff to hourly compensation, but at a lower rate (i.e. - what was once a $47K/yr position was lowered to a flat $40K), allowing for potential overtime to make up the difference. The result is an overworked junior staff that seems to intentionally work 10-12-hour days so as to make something resembling a living wage in expensive LA and Orange County. It was evident time and time again that project management could have been done more efficiently, but junior staff milked the overtime for all it was worth. Moreover, if you are content only working 9-hour days, even when completing all of your work, you will be frowned upon as if you are not dedicated enough to the company.

Market research isn't for everyone, and I really think it can only be interesting once you reach the upper management and get to spend more time strategizing and working with clients. At the lower level it is the epitome of grunt work - staring at neverending data tables, light coding, looking for programming problems with online surveys (yes, they have research associates manually do a job that a trained IT professional could figure out in 30 mins), and receiving little support, recognition or mentoring along the way.

There's also good reason why positions are regularly open at this company. Yes, the organization is expanding and they really do need new spots, but turnover within junior staff is really high. Only the true believers will stick it out for the 2-3 years it'll take to even be salaried. Definitely not worth it.

By the way, want a bonus? You won't get one until you are senior (salaried) staff. Have fun negotiating a signing bonus. It'll be to a pretty low sum and with a TWO YEAR commitment.

There is a ton of backbiting, scheming, nepotism, and cronyism at this company. Many ill-educated, one-trick ponies occupy the mid-tiers of management, and they are there because of whom they know, even though they do a job that could honestly be done by a high school student. I think I found the interns to be some of the most capable people in the company! Every company has an element of this, sure, but it's pretty bad at LRW. I'm glad I got out when I did. Facing unemployment was sobering, but the sense of relief when I realized I would no longer have to wake up and be miserable every day was akin to escaping a cult.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Mentoring. Don't hire people with diverse skill-sets that aren't directly in-line with market research ideals and then leave them to the dogs. If you hire someone with an understanding that an element of training will actually transpire, then train them. Be true to your word.

Fix the hours problem. Remember how the employee survey at the end of 2009 showed how miserable junior staff were in terms of hours and compensation? You might want to take a look at that. Those jobs are miserable, but they are the grunt work that makes the entire machine run.

Play hardball with vendors. Aren't you the one paying them for a service? Yet they - forgive the expression - act as if they have you by the balls. Have set deadlines that must be met. If not, ditch them and move on (I'm looking at you, WW). Too many man hours are wasted waiting around for something to come back from a vendor or statistician at 9 pm. Either get it done or leave it until the next day. You are losing money to employee wages by not properly managing vendors and projects.

Give bonuses back to all staff. Your product is made possible through the lost lives of your junior staff. Some form of appreciation and improved remuneration beyond a Starbucks gift card would go miles to improve employee morale. Don't get me wrong, you have been pretty generous with team lunches and activities, but it'd be wise to promote individual, personal investment in the success of the company.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

Other Reviews for Lieberman Research Worldwide

  1.  

    Good

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

    I have been working at Lieberman Research Worldwide

    Pros

    Fun environment to be a part of. Everyone wants to be social and help each other out. They look out for us.

    Cons

    Some of the work can be tedious and boring, it depends on the clients you get to work with. Can be long hours

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote equally across all business units.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Demanding but worth it

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

    I have been working at Lieberman Research Worldwide

    Pros

    LRW is a smart, high-performing business that demands a lot from its employees. In return, employees get to work with and learn from a very intelligent, thoughtful, and enlightened group of people -- from senior management down the ranks. The company works with top-tier clients, and does high quality work.

    Cons

    Goal-setting tends to be overly aspirational, with company seldom "making its numbers." There is something of a culture of no-matter-what-we-accomplish-it's-never-good-enough.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Inject more celebration into the company's accomplishments and success.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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