Nielsen

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Nielsen Reviews

Updated January 31, 2015
Updated January 31, 2015
1,349 Reviews
3.3
1,349 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Nielsen Chief Executive Officer Mitch Barns
Mitch Barns
208 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • They have a great work life balance with work from home options available (in 89 reviews)

  • Flexible work hours and the ability to work from home when necessary (in 77 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life balance is challenging given the workload is often too much (in 110 reviews)

  • depending on your role, you could be working long hours in some stressful environments (in 70 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    You may or may not like working for Nielsen TV Ratings

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Outside Sales Representative in Franklin, WI
    Current Employee - Outside Sales Representative in Franklin, WI

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

    Pros

    Ok, let me start by saying that I only took this job for the paycheck and not for a career. I have worked over a decade in 3 leading industries that were worthwhile, fulfilling, financially rewarding and highly desirable. This is a job that a trained monkey (or as my manager put it, any slave—more about being a slave later) can do. So, if you are a magna cum laude, this is not the job for you. If you are a summa cum laude, this is not the job for you. If you are a cum laude, this is not the job for you. If you are a rocket scientist, this is not the job for you. If you want to make a difference, this is not the job for you. If you want to use your post-high school education, this is not the job for you. If you are opposed to being a slave (to quote my manager), this is not the job for you.

    That all being said, you may or may not like working for Nielsen TV Ratings.

    Pros…
    There’s NO drug testing, very little to NO background checks (it’s just criminal and motor vehicle), NO psychological testing and NO exams of any other kind.

    You get a chance to earn quarterly IP (bonus or incentives). This starts at $25 (per home over 25 homes signed) and can go as high as $400 (per home once you hit 36 homes signed), albeit the company and management caps your recruitment efforts by capping the number of homes (approximately 28.8) per quarter. Sorry, there is NO sky’s-the-limit earnings here.

    You get the potential for paid overtime (time and a half) albeit they will cap your OT to 4 hours per week. You can get $1,500 language differential if you speak fluent Spanish.

    You will get a company car (albeit, you will have to pay per mile for any personal use) plus $25, $35 or $60 per pay period (twice a month) for access to the company car. The company pays for the vehicle insurance (albeit Nielsen TV Ratings is self-insured). The company pays for all maintenance and gas (business miles only).

    You get a company laptop, printer, GPS and company phone (currently an iPhone).

    You get a lot of autonomy.

    Cons

    Cons…
    Low starting salary of $32,100 per year paid bi-weekly or every other Friday. The 2014 Federal Poverty Guidelines (effective February 10, 2014) for a family of FOUR is $23,850 (at 100%) and $31,721 (at133%) for a family of FOUR. So, yes that’s right, if you work for Nielsen TV Ratings you will qualify for Medicaid and federally funded Food Stamps. I know, I had to apply for food stamps and use a food bank just to make ends meet. Keep in mind Nielsen Media, publicly traded, earned around $18 Billion in world-wide sales during 2013.

    You will be required to attend a 3-4 week sophomoric ‘recruitment’ training program at the home office in Tampa, FL. The company pays for your travel to and from Tampa and puts you up in an extended-stay property (albeit with virtually no maid service they change your bed linens, 2 face towels, 2 hand towels and 2 bath towels just once per week! They also only clean your room/kitchen/bathroom just once per week!). The rooms are just ok, but the property is fairly nice and includes an on-site gym, restaurant and bar. All meal expenses are solely on you (zero is paid by the company per diem for your meals and you cannot expense your meal expenses!). Although you get to share a rental car with your roommate for the 3-4 weeks, gasoline expenses to and from the training facility as well as for personal use are your sole responsibility and will not be reimbursed by the company.

    You will be required work a non-standard schedule including mostly afternoons, evenings and weekends. This means locating and then ‘walking’ and Knocking unannounced on the door of anywhere from 1-90 (or more) ALTs and Knocking unannounced and without appointment on Basic recruit doors within an assigned Spec from 9am-10am, 11am-Noon, 3pm-5pm, and 6pm-8pm (or any other hours the company, your manager and/or your trainer sees fit). These Specs are selected at random (based on some statistical model created by the company to meet the company’s needs) and assigned to you by the Sample Management department, a Sample Manager and your Sales Manager based on a pre-determined outcome they (the company and the management team) are trying to achieve.

    You will be required to locate and go unannounced into some pretty bad areas/homes…drug/violence/roach/rat/mice/tick-infested areas/homes (albeit some nice areas/homes too). Some homes will have fecal/blood matter or bodily fluids in the yard, on the walk ways, on the porch, on the walls and/or living areas, etc. You will go into some very interesting homes and try to recruit and then conduct in-person interviews with people of all walks of life good or bad (ie. felons—violent ones too, rapist, child molesters, child/women beaters, gang members, drug dealers/users, perverts, and/or just plain crazy people, etc.). You will have to go into very dark/private areas of the households living quarters (ie sheds/garages, basements, attics, bedrooms, etc.) to look for and at TV sites alone with one or more persons of the household. You will be required to talk to persons of the household who answer the door in various stages of undress/nudity. You will be required to continue the recruit even when being hated, ‘hit on’ or sexually harassed or touched inappropriately. I had a woman hold my arm and then run and lent roller over my crotch-area to remove her cat’s hairs from my pants after she invited me to sit – not lay down -- on her cat’s pillow that was in a chair. Also, I had a husband and wife talk graphically about threesomes and group sex, before inviting me to a swinger’s party with them although I gave them NO inclination towards liking such activity.

    You will have to use the company provided laptop/iPhone and related programs to input collected data. Most of the systems used will be redundant and obsolete as well as rudimentary, requiring much more human effort than required or normally used in similar industries with similar capabilities.

    You will work very unusual work hours. Nielsen TV Ratings takes pride in its vast study of the ‘best’ time to reach its households to recruit them into the ratings. The primetime for recruitment for Nielsen TV Ratings is 6:00pm-8:00pm (and that’s regardless of if the home is located 3 minutes from your home or 3 hours from your home). You will be required to work some weekend hours, yes, both Saturdays and Sundays. You also will be encouraged to work holidays to reach homes where you have had difficulties contacting household members at 2 different meal times (breakfast/lunch or diner) on 2 different days as well as weekends. At times you will be pressured to skip vacations and planned days off to maintain production numbers/goals. From time-to-time, you will be sent to SWAT (recruit) in other geographic locates for 2 or more weeks at a time while your work in your assigned area waits unworked until you return (keep in mind, you will be penalized for not working your assigned area while you are away).

    You have to pay a pretty high deductable ($1,000 or so) for any/all accidents you have in the company car, be it during business or personal use. Let’s say you are traveling within your assigned area within the posted speed limit to recruit a home in an assigned Spec at 6:00pm and its dark outside and a deer collides with your company car. You will be required to pay the deductable out of your pocket, even though the company is self-insured!

    You have to pay a pretty high deductable (around $100 or so) if your company laptop, printer, GPS or company phone is lost, stolen or damaged.

    By all accounts, turn over is extremely high for Membership Representatives (don’t go into any new debt -- credit card, car or home, etc. with this job!). The turn over rate is around 70-80% with less than 1-3% or Membership Representatives lasting 1-2 years on the job.

    Benefits package including medical, dental, vision and 401K, effective first day of employment; however, they have some of the highest medical/dental deductibles of comparable industries around.

    Career development opportunities don’t really exist as the management teams in place concern themselves with primarily protecting their own jobs/careers and will often derail your career (hence high turn over rate) for the fear of being replaced by younger, brighter, more educated, and more resilient talent.

    Back to being a slave. You will be recruiting families and getting them energized and excited about participating in the Nielsen TV Ratings as a Membership Representative. However, recently, several local and state governments as well as the federal government forced Nielsen Media to change the title of the Membership Representative to reflect what the role actually is – an Outside Sales Representative. One thing you will do as a Membership Representative or Outside Sales Representative is, in essence, work for the Field Representatives or FRs. Your real job is to initially build rapport, sell and recruit homes for panel participation and then immediately after they sign up hand that home off to the FR for the next 2 or 5 years. That’s right; you are a salve to the FR by making sales that the FR isn’t capable of making, because of a lack of training or knowledge. Once the sale is made, you are no longer needed on that folder or account. As my manager put it, it’s a numbers game and you are a salve to it, pure and simple.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Good as the best all the time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Field Representative in Las Vegas, NV
    Current Employee - Field Representative in Las Vegas, NV

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

    Pros

    Nothing alsways the same old thinking

    Cons

    Nothing really becasue why not

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Awesome

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Very low pay and azero work life balance

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

    I worked at Nielsen full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Company car and thats about it! Health benefits are expensive but they do start right away.

    Cons

    Micro management, travel about 70%, very low pay for experienced sales reps.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay better and dont look at your employees as robots because they are human!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Bottom Line

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - BPO Manager in Tampa, FL
    Current Employee - BPO Manager in Tampa, FL

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

    Pros

    To work with genuine people

    Cons

    Very focused on cost reduction, draw your own conclusions

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Nielsen is rough

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Team Leader in Tampa, FL
    Former Employee - Team Leader in Tampa, FL

    I worked at Nielsen full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    They are an average company.

    Cons

    They have no loyalty to or care about employees. They lay-off every six months no matter the work load.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show more loyalty to employees instead of the constant threats and bully tactics they use to press you to keep working. Manager says " if you don't like it leave your badge at security"....

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Client Director's are out of touch with clients so the Onsite's suffer

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

    I worked at Nielsen full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    great benefits, good family-work balance, many civic minded employee events to give back to local communities

    Cons

    HR and Middle managers are clueless to efforts of on site managers. a very cover yourself environment which is sad.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No way to have your voice heard or be supported when your manager is never on site, does not come to client nor spend a day with you to see what you actually do, yet can determine a person does or does not meet needs by osmosis.Hr is only there to make sure they don't get sued which is a shame as I'm sure they have lost more talent due to these non-coaching, no show managers "protecting their turf" then they should have. There are some good people there for sure, but its too "clique-y" and if you don't fit the right clique no matter how much the client likes your work, or how hard you work to give the client the proper "Nielsen experience" you will not survive,

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Bottom line focus leads to short-term thinking and poor results

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

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

    Pros

    Nielsen is still perceived as the gold standard in the media research space and can be a big draw on your resume.

    Cons

    I worked at Nielsen through their transition back to being a public company, and the company was driven by a short-term obsession over cutting costs that lead to decisions that made no sense - like using an English-language site to recruit panelists in Japan to save a few bucks. Over time this made the work environment unbearable as people were pressured to meet unrealistic goals. Out of my team of 12 people there are currently 2 still working at Nielsen.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't just reward yes-men and think long and hard about how impossible "savings" are being achieved. I saw many instances where senior leadership pressed very hard for outsourcing relationships that didn't even save any money despite causing layoffs, leading many of us to conclude they were getting payoffs under the table.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Terrible company to work for

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

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

    Pros

    You can meet good, talented but pretty much always dissatisfied and about to depart folk.

    Cons

    Company has bad reputation as disorganized, poorly managed with seriously outdated technology and notoriously under-paid employees. Turnover in some departments is about 60-70%, which is unheard in the industry. Even folks in unemployment office close to the area and a lot of them or relatives were working for Nielsen at one point (one of the larger companies in Tampa bay) , directly or indirectly tried to talk me out of it . I have read really bad reviews in Glassdoor, Ideed and local sites and yet was lured by overinflated, overrated "Nielsen Ratings Magic" Which are not only inaccurate but the middle management doing unethical and in times unlawful things to "crunch the numbers" just to please upper management. No wander some extremely popular shows like Breaking Bad, Girls, Mad Men, ’s 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation showed poor rating "according to Nielsen" . Seriously? Anyway, please do google “Nielsen Ratings" and you will see overwhelming reality about the company from universally trusted sources. I only wish I did that before in-depth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I am sure it is useless. The company is huge, with established brand and gained momentum so it will rot slowly but surely. With likes of Twitter, Google, Facebook and especially with numerous talented and flexible startups The Nilsen Company has no future.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    It was an interesting experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Vice President in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Vice President in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Nielsen is a great relationship company. They know how to build and maintain relationships with their largest global clients. Great international recruiting - I think it is a good place for new college grads to learn A LOT about marketing & marketing research.

    Cons

    Very large, very bureaucratic organization. Good if you enjoy and are good at navigating that sort of thing, not good if you are more focused on external business results than internal results.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out how to unleash more of your people's creativity and drive. I am a huge fan of Mitch Barns and I think he will improve the company.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Tone-deaf management and no HR support

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

    I have been working at Nielsen full-time

    Pros

    The company's name recognition makes it a solid resume builder, and there are advancement opportunities for some....

    Cons

    ...but not all. There's a division between the elites and the rank and file, there is little support from HR for things like onboarding new hires, and many of its internal practices are stuck in the dark ages.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop getting hung up on how it's done and focus on how it should be done - especially where internal processes are concerned.

    No opinion of CEO

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