Penton Reviews

Updated August 26, 2014
Updated August 26, 2014
115 Reviews

2.5
115 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Penton CEO David Kieselstein
David Kieselstein
55 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • PTO is great with many managers appreciating the importance of work life balance (in 10 reviews)

  • The flexibility of the work environment is wonderful (in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Under senior management level, there is little to no reward for going above and beyond (in 11 reviews)

  • Most middle to upper management are brought in from other companies (in 11 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    The people make Penton a good place

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

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

    Pros

    There are some wonderful people at Penton and in the Overland Park office, especially, who are the main reasons it will be tough to leave Penton. Some people go out of their way to be mentors. Communication has improved. The C-level leadership is saying some of the right things.

    Cons

    Recognition for shared services groups is hard to come by. Despite the amount of energy expended on some endeavors, execution can be spotty. Some business decisions make you wonder about varying levels of accountability among different groups.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Penton Media

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales
    Current Employee - Sales

    I have been working at Penton full-time

    Pros

    Great PTO, Casual dress, nice coworkers.

    Cons

    Management does not have proper training. Zero skills on how to handle any issues.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a hard look at your management team.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Shift to online media not the only change

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

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

    Pros

    Many of Penton's brands are well respected in their markets' communities. There's also a good amount of schedule flexibility.

    Cons

    When management goes bad, there's no oversight to correct the situation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention when there's a mass exodus from a publishing group. Listen to what people tell you in exit interviews and then act on that information.

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

    Good company in need of some better trained managers

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

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

    Pros

    Co-workers are friendly and professional. There is a great work-life balance, allowing employees to work at home when necessary and generally allowing freedom to do your job without micromanaging.

    Cons

    Managers seem reluctant to accept the fact that the media landscape is changing and work requirements must be adjusted. Also, managers, while generally very knowledgeable about their industries, could use better training on managing staffs to get the most out of employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reach down below the management level to more directly tap into the knowledge of employees. Managers don't consistently express the expectations of what upper management wants to accomplish, leaving the impression that employees are not receptive to the ideas.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    The emperor has no clothes

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

    I worked at Penton full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    That I was recently laid off and the company is essentially paying me to move on to a better company to advance my career. I was already looking to make a move, I am now able to do it full time.

    Cons

    The CEO is blind to his direct reports. They filter information to him and he believes without confirmation. I used to think he was a top notch leader; although when he fell for the story the new CDO and his staff sold him, I knew it was time to leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Check your egos at the door and start listening to your line staff to determine where to take the company or you will be back in financial restructuring as was the case 5 or 6 years ago.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Worst place I have ever worked in 30 years in the industry.

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

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

    Pros

    It's a job that pays a salary, even though the salary is below industry standards, and it provides health insurance, even though it's not a great plan, is expensive, and is only partially covered by the company. Otherwise...no reason to work there.

    Cons

    This company is currently being positioned for sale. It's very obvious. There is no concern for quality presentation visually or editorially. It's no longer a media company. It's now all about data. We are supposed to tell people we "power the possibility" when they ask us what we do. Yes, we are even told what to say. Certainly media is changing and media companies must adapt but this company is doing so without any thought or creativity. The office culture sucks. It's virtually silent and they have replaced our cubicles with smaller, uglier ones, leaving a lot of unused open space. People are constantly being fired. After we switched to a new platform, they fired the tech people and hired new ones and now we are switching yet again. They have plenty of money to spend on the CEO's whims but salaries outside tech are insultingly low. Nobody is happy but they won't talk about it. The managers are the CEO's tools. There is no loyalty or concern for any of the employees. Everyone there is afraid to do anything except keep their heads down and keep working.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    There are better choices out there

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

    I worked at Penton full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Flexible work environment, casual dress, some of the people you work with are excellent.

    Cons

    Does not promote an environment for getting and keeping top talent, key people are incompetent in their positions but rewarded because they are part of the "boys club". Lip service from management and very little improvements. No 401(k) matching, high cost of benefits, the more you make the more you are penalized if you work at Penton. Corporate bonus program, let's call it the dangling carrot, is WAY out of reach based upon the budgets that are set - just another placebo to make you feel like you are working at a better than average company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seriously? Change needs to be made from the top down. Turn over at upper management level doesn't promote growth or a stable work environment. Start listening to the surveys you take annually and effecting positive change, by giving it lip service only you show everyone what you really care about. The company won't change by doing surveys, only by your actions.

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

    Penton Media

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Analyst  in  Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Associate Analyst in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at Penton full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Leave work at work. Some freedom to present ideas that are listened too.

    Cons

    Managament staff does not seemed to be properly trained on how to manage teams.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Penton Response

    Jun 17, 2014Chief Talent Officer

    Your comments are appreciated. We strongly believe that our employees should voice their opinions, and encourage you to talk to HR about any issues you may experiencing. This being said, at the ... More

  10.  

    Smart people

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Penton

    Pros

    Smart people work at Penton

    Cons

    Subtle arrogance permeates the culture.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Cronyism, Arrogance, and Blind Incompetance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Development  in  Overland Park, KS
    Former Employee - Software Development in Overland Park, KS

    I worked at Penton full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There are not many pros about Penton beyond a casual and loose work environment where, if you do not really care, you can camp out her for a bit until you find something better.

    Cons

    There is much cronyism and questionable competence in the senior software development executive management team. The top members of this team all worked together outside Penton at small start-ups and were brought in over the heads of more qualified existing staff in a block hire with no consideration of promotion from within. Despite resume statements to the contrary, this collective team has had little large corporation leadership experience and limited longevity in any one position. These folks are smart but inexperienced. They would be great employees at other companies; however, they are not leaders, have less work experience than existing staff, but come with an attitude of superiority and a total lack of understanding of how to get things done in a company with established products. If you do decide to work for Penton, you had better live in New York or you will automatically be looked down upon. The collective management team cannot be trusted, and all operate knowing deep down they are working beyond their personal skill levels. The Kansas City development team are all disgruntled and many are considering their options. Work here at your own risk.

    Read the reviews carefully. Especially note with care the ones with a high number of stars for upper management has specifically campaigned internally to have folks submit positive reviews to offset the negative.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take some time to do some serious introspection into your values.

    Realize that asking your employees to submit positive reviews (as you have done) on Glassdoor to try to artificially increase Penton's rating and whitewash concerns is not a good social media approach. Official company responses to these reviews are humorous at best--actions speak more loudly than words.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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