GfK Reviews

Updated April 9, 2015
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2.6
159 Reviews
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GfK CEO Matthias Hartmann
Matthias Hartmann
3 Ratings

Pros
  • A pretty good work life balance, a good benefits package, great co-workers (in 8 reviews)

  • Good place to learn basics of market research - get your "feet wet: (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • Bureaucratic, different groups feel siloed, work-life balance can be challenging (in 9 reviews)

  • Senior management favored a junior person, took no action when jeopardizing projects (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. my time at GfK

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at GfK full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Vacation benefits are good, if you can find time to use it. If you don't they have a use or lose policy in place. A lot of people here really care about Market Research and are Very hard workers, I am very impressed.

    Cons

    Salary is average, but their bonus structure is quite poor. The difference between being a superstar and just average may be $1k or $2k because their bonuses are so low. The work is also quite demanding, like a startup environment, this company certainly brings new meaning to the term "lean". This is a German company so this is a viewpoint from the US entity.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of worrying about FTE, worry about Revenue per head. Improve the Comp structure. Properly staff, when your utilization rate is low grow your top line, when it is high focus on margin, simple. Lean is good, but burning people out through multiple transformations will cause your "A" players to just leave.

  2. Research Associate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Associate
    Current Employee - Research Associate

    I have been working at GfK full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    On the job training, flexible work hours

    Cons

    Poor leadership from upper management, very low pay, no culture

  3. Confusing Strategies

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at GfK full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting work, well rounded duties, engaging and helpful colleagues, semi-flexible work schedule, good direct management

    Cons

    Senior management attempts to implements new strategies often but give little explanation and strategy before announceing them. Does not provide growth the high performing lower level employees due to emphasis on tenure.

    Advice to Management

    Put high and low level employees on equal footing for promotional opportunities based on merit. Fully develop strategies prior to deciding to elopement them.

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  5. Good place to work but uneven management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at GfK full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Global Footprint
    Excellent people at the Mid-Level Manager Level and Below
    Great place to learn
    Respected by its clients
    Good opportunities to advance

    Cons

    Patchwork of acquired companies with inclination to impose a monoculture (uniformity prized over morale and client service)
    Pay not competitive for many roles
    Poor work life balance
    HIgh turnover
    Playing catch-up with competitors' technology

  6. Helpful (1)

    Good Company, too many chiefs & not enough indians

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Research Associate in New York, NY

    I worked at GfK full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Management is trying to make the company better. Leaving.

    Cons

    Management keeps hiring inept people at VP & higher positions and letting go lower level talent to 'save money'. Too much turnaround. Too much emphasis on "executive level' staff.

    Advice to Management

    Make your higher-level employees take some type of logic or aptitude test before hiring them.

  7. The smart people are all slowly leaving as management continues to underpay and frequently not follow throw on promises

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Research Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Research Manager in New York, NY

    I have been working at GfK full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The people you work with are usually smart, hard working, and genuinely want you to succeed. If you're willing to put in the time to learn, they'll be there to help you out.

    Cons

    WAY under market salary. Very top heavy organization. The HR department is a total joke - they cannot figure out why all employees in the bottom 4 or 5 levels are so unhappy. If you're coming in as a VP you're golden - apparently very well paid and can work 40 hours. If you're below that, you'll end up working 50-60hr weeks for 40-80% under market pay.

    Advice to Management

    Trip the fat. Get rid of those who have been coasting for 10 years and hire 20% more people who actually would do project work. Set bonus targets that are attainable (everyone knows the bonus targets are set high enough that you wont have to pay them out). Pay your people a market wage and stop reorganizing annually.

  8. Dreadful US management, strategy without investment, too EU focused

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Vice President
    Current Employee - Senior Vice President

    I have been working at GfK

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Working with some of the best people I've experienced
    More stable and humane than IPSOS or Kantar

    Cons

    US Pres. too hands on, controlling and doesn't trust his execs to make decisions
    Bad management turned a much desired reorg into a morale mess
    Never ending bureaucracy
    Communications are always one-way

    Advice to Management

    Start acting like a large, public company with access to the financial markets: Make a substantial acquisition instead of always looking for the cheap ones
    Balance the control of the Verein so that development is more focused on what clients, not academics want and the needs of the US rather than Germany

  9. SVP

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at GfK

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good people, work from home policy, new office space and nice benefit package

    Cons

    Working downtown can be a commuters nightmare,

    Advice to Management

    Top leadership has a new strategy every six months, difficult to explain or execute

  10. Great market research company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Research Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Research Manager in New York, NY

    I have been working at GfK full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great client roster
    Amazing work-life balance and opportunities for flexiblity
    Great personal experiences with managers

    Cons

    No work culture, very preoccupied with the bottom-line and keeping clients happy as opposed to focusing in talented team members

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees and make GfK a desirable place to work as opposed to just s productive one

  11. Good company, but is too fragmented

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at GfK

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good people, clients, interesting work

    Cons

    By acquiring a bunch of small companies, there's no clear identity or organization.

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