OCLC Reviews

Updated August 26, 2015
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3.7
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Approve of CEO
OCLC President and Chief Executive Officer David "Skip" Prichard
David "Skip" Prichard
8 Ratings

Pros
  • Excellent physical working environment and equipment (in 5 reviews)

  • Matrix organization with flexibility to work from home (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Company is top-heavy with management (in 5 reviews)

  • product managers, project managers and supervisors (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

60 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great mission and great benefits

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Powell, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Powell, OH
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at OCLC part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    If you care about the future of libraries and want to help sustain their mission to serve communities by delivering top notch services, then OCLC is the place for you. Flexible work environment.

    Cons

    Culture change, while necessary, the implementation is uneven. Employees need clearer picture of business and where the company is heading.

    Advice to Management

    Culture change implementation is uneven. Employees need clearer picture of business and where the company is heading. Clarify business strategy then clearer communicate to employees. More open communication. Treat employees as you would like to and expect to be treated


  2. Helpful (2)

    Marketing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent benefits; vacation and sick; fairly flexible with family commitments, depending on who you work for; nice fitness facility, cafeteria

    Cons

    Entire culture changing, and not for better. Loyalty and longevity is no longer valued. New regime creates the feeling that everyone here before them is expendable. They talk about needing to change, but they are only bringing in people from their work pasts and programs and softwares from their past, so while they say we must change, they are only changing geography.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on changes that make sense to be competitive. Quit treating every employee here before you like they are no longer of value. OCLC has always been a very unique business and if you turn it into a cookie cutter business, it will be lost.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Careerists are running the show

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Dublin, OH
    Former Employee - Manager in Dublin, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at OCLC full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A few good people left who really want to make a difference. Public purpose is a good one and is a fulfilling mission.

    Cons

    New management seems to be motivated by stuffing their resumes rather than the long term health of the company. Environment became controlling and fear-based. The best people are being driven out .

    Advice to Management

    Instead of hiring more bankers, develop the staff you already have & challenge them to deliver results. Sr. Mgt talks the talk, but does not come through when it comes to inspiring staff.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Losing its legacy and innovation

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Analyst in Dublin, OH
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Analyst in Dublin, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at OCLC full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    If you want to work with people who are the best and really understand programming and ways it can be used, work there. The pay is average, the benefits are good (though sliding downwards slowly) and when you need time for family, they do make it possible.

    Cons

    The new management has lost sight of the legacy and the people who made it happen. Some divisions have rejected agile because of the way it micromanages the employees there. To get any real innovation you have to do it on your own time and then go trough hurdles to use it.

    Advice to Management

    Look at how the business was run in past years and stop trying to light the world on fire to justify your ideas. Paying attention to what worked and building on it carefully is not a bad thing.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Director

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Dedicated staff - committed to the mission; nice facilities

    Cons

    Senior management struggling to find growth vehicle - continue to cut expense/staff


  7. Helpful (1)

    Good mission

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

    I worked at OCLC (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great exposure to technology; flexible; great benefits

    Cons

    Limited opportunities for career growth; Management disorganized and lacking clear vision. Too many products. Innovation is slow.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Changing direction for the worse

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits and perks, on site gym, cafeteria discount, friendly co-workers

    Cons

    Culture is changing for the worse

    Advice to Management

    Stop changing the culture, stop hiring people from Chase, stop the political games


  9. Brilliant Coworkers, Supportive Workplace

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Systems Architect in Dublin, OH
    Former Employee - Systems Architect in Dublin, OH
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at OCLC full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Noble mission, worthwhile occupation. Academic atmosphere, with extremely talented employees. Opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology, global workforce. Good work/life balance, with a good focus on the whole individual.

    Cons

    Constant struggle between noble, nonprofit mission to support libraries vs monopolistic bully (in the library industry) with a focus on business and self-preservation. The latter has been eroding the corporate culture and taking away from what's unique about the organization. More recent issues with turnover and layoffs.

    Advice to Management

    Stay true to the mission, always put libraries first.


  10. Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Dublin, OH
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Dublin, OH
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at OCLC full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Relaxed atmosphere, can be cutting edge, library science is fascinating.

    Cons

    Some uncertainty about the roles of libraries in the future.

    Advice to Management

    Keep at it!


  11. One of the best places to work in IT in Columbus, but could improve to retain top talent

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Dublin, OH
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Dublin, OH
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at OCLC full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    * Work-life balance is extremely good. I can probably count on 1 hand how many times I was asked to stay late in my 5 years there. * Very relaxed atmosphere. People wear jeans, and as long as they put in their 8 hours and don't miss meetings, they can come and go as they please. If something comes up at home, they don't mind the occasional work from home. Some more senior engineers work from home 1 day a week regularly. * They offer a pension savings plan in addition to the thrift matching 403b plan. * Layoffs in engineering (excluding management) are exceedingly rare. Many people there have been there for 15 years or more. * Because they're a non-profit, they have documented salary ranges for each pay grade and guidelines for merit increases and promotions. The ranges are very broad, but at least you have some insight. * As of 2012ish, all teams are Scrum and not waterfall. It's been a push that had been going on for at least 3 years before that. * For a company of this size and age, they have a surprising amount of new technology (Groovy, Grails, Gradle, Hadoop/HBase, Mule). * They have a cafeteria with discounted food (sold at cost, OCLC pays for profit margin), and a wellness center (besides a gym, they offer classes, coaching, etc). * A significant amount of training is offered when you onboard (especially for new grads). * They don't send everybody every year, but you'll regularly be offered the opportunity to attend professional conferences. * Most employees believe in OCLC's mission, and that they are doing good in the world. For some, this makes the downsides easier to overlook. * They regularly have a 3rd party administer surveys of employee satisfaction. These don't result in sweeping changes, but they aren't ignored either. * They host a fair amount of company events. They've done something for Christmas off and on, every year they do a 4th of July event with a musician and children's activities earlier in the day, employees watch Dublin fireworks from the lawn. Every year, the OSU alumni band visits before the rivalry game. Oh, and they have bring your dog to work day, and bring your son/daughter to work day every year too. * Currently, COJUG meets at the OCLC office, which is very convenient.

    Cons

    * Pay is somewhat low (but probably not unusual for a non-profit). * While initial training is significant, it seems to drop off later (except when absolutely critical). * Things like TDD, pair programming, allowing time to work in open source are hit or miss depending on your team. The vast majority of the company are what I call 9 to 5 engineers just putting their time in without much passion (though this is slowly improving). But there are some truly exceptional engineers there (and not all of them are the younger ones). If you're on the right team, you can find the work very fulfilling. * You don't really get a say in what project you work on next or the technical direction you'd like to pursue. It's difficult (though not impossible) to move across divisions. These kinds of decisions are rather top-down and bureaucratic. The PDPs you work on with your manager during annual reviews often have little correlation to your professional goals, and are often worded as project goals which usually are changed between reviews anyway. * Because of the culture (which might be in part because it's an older demographic) and size of the organization (over 1000), there can be a lot of red tape in getting things done (this seemed to be particularly the case when you needed something done by another group). * They've struggled for years to knock down information and communication silos between divisions. It's improving, but they aren't there yet. This again isn't unusual for a company of this size. * Some of the engineering practices and technology adoption have been slow to change (varying greatly depending on your team). Upper management has been supportive of people pushing for these changes, but they probably need to more proactive to make those changes.

    Advice to Management

    Accelerate the change in culture to retain the talented engineers. Be more proactive, and allow more flexibility in meeting employee's professional goals.



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