International Flavors
3.1 of 5 39 reviews
www.iff.com New York, NY 5000+ Employees

International Flavors Reviews

Updated Apr 10, 2014
International Flavors – Singapore – “IFF”

All Employees Current Employees Only

3.1 39 reviews

                             

47% Approve of the CEO

International Flavors Chairman and CEO Douglas D. Tough

Douglas D. Tough

(15 ratings)

48% of employees recommend this company to a friend
39 Employee Reviews
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1 person found this helpful  

Long time employee Somewhat satisfied

Shipping Clerk (Current Employee)
Dayton, NJ

I have been working at International Flavors full-time for more than 10 years

ProsCompetitive pay good benefits to employees

ConsVery few jobs in plant that are not multiple shifts

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Wish I could have stayed longer and completed my project

Process Engineering Intern (Former Employee)
Dayton, NJ

I worked at International Flavors as an intern for less than a year

ProsNever felt like "the intern" here- had lunch with all the senior process engineers on a regular basis and was treated like a real person. Got assigned a very real project, not busy work.

ConsProject was too large to complete in internship timeframe: wish I could have seen it from start to finish. Lab work was monotonous at times, but it's part of the job.

Advice to Senior ManagementTry to encourage interns to get to know each other. Had a few good events; the program has a lot of potential.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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IFF - Lean and Mean Machine ... Improving It's Game

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at International Flavors full-time for more than 10 years

ProsPeople; Programs; Systems; Environment; Global-nature

ConsHectic pace; no downtime to think/breathe or come up again for air!

Advice to Senior ManagementKeeping it lean for too long lends stress to the individuals .. and firefighting modes don't always make processes more efficient long term. Too many of us are wearing too many hats so not always able to complete a project or process to its successful conclusion before starting on the next .. five!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Senior research investigator

Senior Research Investigator (Current Employee)
New York, NY

I have been working at International Flavors full-time for more than 5 years

Prosflexible schedule, some work very interesting (only because I love the subject), some very smart, committed people, doing great work inspite of management.

Consno future, regardless of your accomplishments. everything is boiled down to a "metric" or number. How many X did you you do, not what did you do and what value came from it. Management has 2 or 3 favorites because they keep their mouth shut - comply don't think!! No critical thinking here. Again, very little advancement. I've seen outstanding workers, very productive committed people, at the same level for 30 years. Forget about any career development - althought it's spouted by senior executives, there are no chances to learn or further develop your craft. Everything I've learned here is beacuse I did it myself without going through managment. And did it on my own time.

Advice to Senior ManagementPlease listen to the people below director levels. We know what is and is not working. Please be honest and look at the development opportunities for everyone, not just the select few. Spend some money to upgrade equipment (ours is > 14 years old) that is on it's last leg.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Overall it has been normal experience, nothing out of the ordinary.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at International Flavors full-time for more than 5 years

ProsGood products, good talent, salaries are slightly above the profesional median.

ConsTerrible locations, New Jersey. Stuffy "old world" management styles from the Executive leadership. It's totally money motivated with a 70's style of management. Long a go gave up all of there employee activity incentives, BBQ's, Sports, extracurricular employee functions.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe upper executive leadership need to wake up and show much more appreciation for their talent and employees. If not you'll see it on the balance sheet. A happy workforce is a very productive workforce. The coffee is on time to recognise the aroma!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Good experience

Intern (Former Employee)
New York, NY

I worked at International Flavors as an intern for less than a year

Pros- Got to work with numbers on a large, corporate scale
- Manager was very nice
- Pay was decent
- Worked when it was convenient for me
- Always smelled great

Cons- Easy to get lost (because there are so many people and because the building is quite confusing)
- Instructions can be unclear
- Didn't like the atmosphere (lots of swearing in the office)

Advice to Senior ManagementMake sure managers are more than just nice.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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4 people found this helpful  

Not a 21st century company

Research Investigator (Current Employee)
Union Beach, NJ

I have been working at International Flavors

ProsInteresting industry
Good 401K match
Global, many interesting people to interface with.
Where else can a chemist have a product on the market in 3 yrs?

ConsNo formal career path
inconsistent salaries
Senior managment loves ROI and misses the point of innovation.
Little support for implementation of novel chemical technologies: still replying on 1950's chemistry.

Advice to Senior ManagementBe a chemical company that makes fragrances, not a fragrance house that makes chemicals. Take the time to listen to your in house experts instead of consultants.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Very frustrating filled with road-blocks - no succession planning - no support of career development - many silos

Senior Research Investigator (Current Employee)
Union Beach, NJ

I have been working at International Flavors

ProsThere are a select few managers who are really creative and outstanding to work with

ConsNo personal development process (actually supported by management) - Little actual "research" being carried out

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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#1 to #3 in 10 years....

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Union Beach, NJ

I worked at International Flavors

Pros- excellent work-life balance
- friendly environment
- above average 401K plan
- decent communication betw. departments
- culture has a tendency to be family oriented vs. intellectually "top notch"
- the comments echoed from various employees are consistent. Just look at the comments on this website.

Cons- miserly tuition reimbursement plan.. ~ 1 class/semester.
- fluctuating bonus plan which has only paid out 1/2 the time. Only 2 of those times has it been at target stated levels or above.
- stagnant market share which has resulted in #1 to #3 in 10 years (with #4 coming very close)
- 3 CEOs in 9 years with a divisional restructuring with each tenure. All of which has not improved IFFs market share or rankings against its competitors.
- sales growth in 10 years has only markedly increased in-line with inflation while the other 3 top competitors out of 4 has had substantial sales growth increases..leading to greater market share. The difference in #3 and #4 now is only 1.8%
- There have been a few excellent directors and VPs I have worked with thru the years, and they never make it to the divisional VP or executive board level. There is a tendency for IFF to hire for these levels from the outside.
- no transparency in grade levels or pay scale within those grade levels.
- no well defined plan for employee development for promotional targets. It's highly political in this regard and more bureaucracy than meritocracy.
- upper level management (divisional VPs, executive boards) have a tendency to be out of touch with whats happening at department levels or lower. There is a feeling of a "boys club" at the higher levels, and this clique-type aloof mentality shows in the promotion choices and lower level frustrations...(why offer suggestions to a VP if you feel like it's going to be ignored)
- culture has a tendency to be family oriented vs. intellectually "top notch"
- higher attrition rate than the industry average

Advice to Senior ManagementThere will always be attrition at the lower levels as these levels are easier to come by, still feasible for career changes for those inclined, and provides for opportunity for younger people to still figure out what they want to do with their lives.
It's the attrition you see at the higher levels (middle management or non-divisional VPs) which is a cause for concern..My experience has shown that higher levels leave when they find barriers to change in the company impossible to surpass. And a constantly changing CEO may also be a sign of that.
My advice to management is to read the comments on this website. It's highly consistent with the observations. Some drastic changes have to happen if IFF wants to regain it's pre-eminence. Apparently nothing in 10 years has done that, which would indicate a wake up call. Perhaps IFF has to reach the precipice before drastic changes occur. And until then, expect the unwanted attrition at higher levels because good talent will always be wanted elsewhere.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Very Poor Lines of Communication

Finance (Former Employee)
New York, NY

I worked at International Flavors

Prosinteresting industry
challenging work
learning enviornment: must have the ability to educate yourself on issues; they do NOT show a new employee the ropes

Conssenior management treats staff disrespectfully
leadership has very poor interpersonal/communication skills
lack of team spirit; everyone is out for themselves

Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on improving the treatment of the staff; new management does not seem to care or is oblivious on how to manage/lead people

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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