Pearson

  www.pearson.com
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Ghost in the Machine, except to other Scorers

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Test Scorer  in  Austin, TX
Former Employee - Test Scorer in Austin, TX

Pros

If you qualify for the test being scored (yes, you must re-qualify for each test) they want you and need you desperately. People were dropping like flies on my last temp contract. Pearson was authorizing up to 70 hours a week the last week, and paying time and a half over 40. It was ten+ days past the due date when we finished.

If you make an effort, other scorers will be friendly. Most people are retired/working, job hunting, or working two+ jobs, with a sprinkling of college students and new graduates. Pearson will pay for some training (16 hours on my assignment) and if you qualify and meet a minimum they will pay hourly with a slight incentive if you turn out to be both fast and accurate. Most of the regular supervising staff are encouraging and will try to give you individual attention to help you get the rubric for that exam. They want you to succeed--they want people to come back.

Location is a fairly new, isolated office park in far north Austin. Lunch room has ten microwaves and six large refrigerators for lunch. There are two paid fifteen minute breaks. Lunch is 30 minutes and not paid. My supervisor was good about job interviews, when told in advance. Because there is a second shift, you can make up time up to your forty hours. We were not authorized for overtime until the last two weeks, and then only if your hourly scoring was past a certain number of papers.

They do note if they like you and your work, and will recommend you for rehire.

I have a friend over on the design side, and that person likes the company, the benefits, the work. This is not the same Pearson.

Cons

This is a meat market. Other than a couple of key people you are invisible to regular staff at that location. Regular staff not on your assignment will ignore you. You'll be gone soon--why bother? Networking happens with other temps. I doubt there is much advancement to full time except for supervisor of a test--you get $1.00 more an hour and will be worked like a dog, with higher-ups carping about overtime. There is more money to be made scoring, once you get the knack. The building is not healthy somewhere deep--I was warned by regulars that people get sick all the time there.

This is not always simple work because the rubrics can be intricate and demand an intuitive understanding to gain speed and keep accuracy. It took me longer than I'd hoped to get fast and keep up my accuracy. Teachers regularly bomb out because they can't use their own judgement on many things--it's all the client.

Largest problem is that some clients now require your work to be measured against certain criteria from the first test scored (no warmup period before rating) so you may flunk out the first regular day of scoring. I saw a lot of regulars resign rather than have a test fail on their record. There's always another test to try.

No places nearby to eat--you will be brown-bagging.

This is strictly work for hire, no benefits--you'll sign a lot of paperwork making sure you understand that.

You are working in a huge room reading scans of test papers where some kids compete to make it as illegible as possible. You work on laptops, in rows like at a church camp. Ear plugs are encouraged, head phones and private music allowed.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

All that said, this pays better than fast food and is a better environment overall. However, the wage paid for this has dropped considerably, talking to friends who scored there a few years ago. I found out that their competitor pays better and will watch for the next time that company needs scorers. But I would go back here if I needed a temp job. Like IRS this is seasonal, mostly 4th-12th grade.

If you know what you are getting going in, then I'd say go for it.

I'd recommend that Pearson let people know that if they get good at this, their hourly wage will increase. Give them some incentive to stay with you other than an odd job market. Your web site says you are dedicated to kids and to education. Dedicating some time and effort to retaining temp worker's loyalty would be a good investment. You might keep the best scorers and also get good people applying to the other side of the wall.

Also, check out the facilities. I never saw so many people getting sick so fast.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Other reviews for Pearson

  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Heavy workload with few opportunities for advancement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer  in  Bloomington, MN
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Bloomington, MN

    Pros

    Learning new technologies, work isn't repetitive, friendly and helpful colleagues. Many opportunities to add new skills and challenge oneself.

    Cons

    Feel undervalued and unappreciated, all the while consistently working 50-60 hour weeks due to unrealistic deadlines. Underpaid relative to years of experience and years with the company compared to what could be made by finding a new job. Annual salary increases based on company performance as a whole and not business unit e.g. my unit makes $100 million in profit, yet Pearson as a whole loses money so no raise given. One overperforming unit of 5k employees is penalized for other units losing substantial amounts of money.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize and reward employee and team effort. A thank you every now and then can do wonders. Decouple annual salary increases from overall company performance. Why should any one group work hard if another unrelated group on different continent holds your fate in their hands?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Steady

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technical Support  in  San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Technical Support in San Antonio, TX

    Pros

    Being able to implement customer service.

    Cons

    Communication isn't great, but somewhat ok, It could be better.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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