Reed Elsevier Group

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Reed Elsevier Group Reviews

Updated Jul 19, 2014
Reed Elsevier Group – Amsterdam – “Reed Elsevier Headquarters”

All Employees Current Employees Only

3.1 79 reviews

68% Approve of the CEO

Reed Elsevier Group CEO and Director; CEO, Reed Elsevier PLC, Reed Elsevier NV, Elsevier Division Erik Engstrom

Erik Engstrom

(28 ratings)

59% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • ownership, freedom to work compared to other competition companies,work life balance(in 8 reviews)

  • Great benefits and company supported initiatives(in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Communication between senior management and the its' reporting teams is not always optimal(in 6 reviews)

  • Poor strategy and execution of off shoring and outsourcing leads to loss of talent, poorer customer service and inefficiency(in 4 reviews)

79 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    In a cutthroat market, you need to be in touch with all employees.

    Editor (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsReed Elsevier provides a decent salary and package, compared to the rest of the industry, which is in dire straits.. Some nice co-workers made the experience pleasant on a day to day basis. Management is pleasant on the face of it, as it is most places in publishing, but gives poor, useless, or no feedback while a project is going on. It has a good reputation in an industry which has the shakes, thanks to diversified products that keep its neck above water.

    ConsThere is poor communication throughout the system, a throwback to an era when things moved along at a lazy pace in publishing. But it matters a lot today. Heavy on the politics, even to the detriment of work time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBetter communication up and down. Reward outstanding contributors to the team effort.

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Low pay, and mind-numbing work, but you can take lots of days off...

    Journals, Editorial Production (Former Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsThe company is based in Europe, so the attitude throughout the U.S. offices seems to be a tad more "Euro" also. Great vacation time, sick time, AND personal days. Managers are known for being fairly chill and understanding. There is also the opportunity to travel if you have been at the company long enough, and if you are lucky, basically.

    ConsLOW pay and VERY limited opportunity for advancement, even though management (via corporate)tries to act like there is, by requiring you to fill out a "personal development plan" that is basically BS. It is a genius idea to keep us motivated, but it becomes a big joke to anyone who had been there longer than a year. My branch was also littered with people who were probably considered "unemployable" for the most part, and were just happy to have a job.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe a bit more candid about our significance in the company. We know there is little to no chance for promotion. We know our job is easily replaced by outsourcing (or more sophisticated softwware). Don't kiss our ass and give us a condescending pat on the head (or a measly $5 starbux card) when we do something right. Anyone who has a half a brain can see through it and it's demoralizing.

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Unsure about future

    Systems Analyst (Current Employee) Dayton, OH

    ProsGood location, decent facility. Employees generally able to balance work & home life.

    ConsLimited career path. Outsourcing / offshoring will probably continue. Other IT career opportunities in Dayton are limited.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEven a reasonably intelligent person can detect BS so don't give it to us.

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    • Work/Life Balance
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    • Disapproves of CEO

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    Elsevier needs to think before it acts, look at all the other companies failing due to short term financial focus

    Concerned Employee (Current Employee) Miamisburg, OH

    ProsPeople, Technology A sense of ownership in the process.

    ConsIts diffiuclt to advance your career, no clear cut objectives and measurements for advancement

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet a clue. Think about what it is you just forced the organization to do and rethink your intentions. Short term gain focus ultimately causes significant friction in the the long term. I think you only need to look at AIG and other foundering institutions who based many of their recent decisions on the short term gain and shor term shareholder happiness

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Ups and Downs at LexisNexis

    Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee) Dayton, OH

    ProsWork is diverse and challenging

    ConsThey are outsourcing the software and app development employees

    Advice to Senior ManagementCost is not the only solution to being "World Class"!

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    A Dead end for it staff in the UK

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros"an excellent starting package with pension and medical.

    ConsThe IT division RETS (reed Elsevier technology services) is almost all run from the US so the UK is treated like a poor offshoot, poor training if any causing a general de skilling of UK IT staff over time, no bonuses, a 3% cap on pay rises although 2% in more common, a promotion path that is totally unworkable leaving people undervalued.

    Advice to Senior Managementmanagerial change is the norm and I personally have had 7 managers in the last 5 years, everyone knows they will be sacrificed for the bottom line regardless as to there use to the company often leading to huge gaps that need to be filled quickly, this reactive approach is not dynamic but flawed as the upper management have no technical understanding yet force decisions that later often prove to be expensive and incorrect, don't work here in the UK if you want management to respect or listen to you.

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

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    Solid global corporation, but not brilliant at career development

    Technology (Current Employee) Oxford, England (UK)

    ProsI work in the Elsevier bit, in particular the Technology group, recently taken over by Dan Olley (2013). (Elsevier is the Science publishing group). The company used to be very bureaucratic, faceless, etc., a lot of tech talent got out-sourced. Olley looks like he's stopping this.

    And the openness has been changing in the last two or three years, it's a more friendly company than it used to be. The benefits are pretty good for the sector, and the salaries at the senior end of thing are relatively attractive when you're coming into the company. There are plenty of travel opportunities - mostly, in my case, to Amsterdam, Dayton (Ohio) and Philly. Internal communications used to be unspeakably bad, but is improving.

    Even if you think you know Elsevier to be a big company, the scale of it will amaze you. Ten years in, and I can still find myself in an office of 500 people without knowing a single person there, or even know what they do! Personally, I like this, but then I'm a loud-mouth.

    Despite what I'm going to say in the 'cons' section, I reckon I fit in quite well at Elsevier. It's not what I expected, but it suits for personal reasons (young family, blah blah blah). Probably best for self-motived extroverts.

    ConsThe Oxford (Kidlington) office is a souless hole, especially compared with Amsterdam, which is (now that it's been revamped) a far more engaging environment. If you don't get an office in Oxford from the start, you won't get one. Compared with Amsterdam, where if you had an office (almost no-one does now), you wouldn't want one. The Mendeley office in London seems like a nice place. Philly and Dayton are ... well, meh.

    Ditto salaries - it will take YEARS to get any kind of promotion or rise unless you're on the management programme (and I don't think the Technology / IT group has a management / career development programme). The HR team talk a lot about recruiting talent, but very little about retaining it, or developing it (again, I can only speak to the technology group). I would recommend working here for a couple of years and then going elsewhere for career dev, and not uprooting yourself and the family for a long-term relationship.

    If you're ambitious in technology, it can be frustrating place to work. There seems to be a lot of people in the business side who have tech responsibilities and I don't know how that all ties together. Maybe it'll get sorted, but it's been like that for longer than I've been there and doesn't look like it's getting there. The story seems a familiar one from Dilbert: if you're outside the company you get taken more seriously... On the upside, once your projects get funded and supported, they get delivered and supported. This is a good thing, and I've been lucky in that all my projects have been successful - this isn't rewarded financially, but it feels really good. Some poor sods seem to get all the bad luck.

    The tech stack was more limited than it was - used to be MS throughout. Not so much anymore, although Oracle dominates the db side. The fulfilment systems are a hoot. Some of the ideas that come through are really exciting, which makes up for it (but you need to engage with the cool stuff, before some people get all negative about delivery), I find enthusiasm and engagement really helps deliver.

    Advice to Senior Management1) Have some way of identifying your technology talent and developing their careers. The management programme seems to work well in the 'business' side, why not do something similar?

    2) Do something with the Oxford office. Almost anything. It's the second worst thing about the job, but it's close, it feels like a passive-aggressive library.

    3) The person who runs the Amsterdam office seems to know what they're talking about. As does Olley.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Very corporate but has its moments.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat experience to put on your CV

    ConsLarge corporate inertia rather apparent

    Advice to Senior ManagementMaybe be more proactive than reactive.

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    How to transform a giant into a global but nimble digital player

    Director of the Television Division (Former Employee) Paris (France)

    ProsEnjoyed my job, my wonderful colleagues and friends and boss more than any other company. Great benefits and company supported initiatives. The only place where we had our own personal chef on staff for daily lunches.

    ConsOffice space was limited and cramped with very bad air conditioning in the hot 30C - 35C heat of summer which made work difficult. I was very high up in the organisation but still not opportunity to advance was offered or given so it looked like a reached a peak for which no amount of accomplishment would offer me further job growth and opportunities. All decisions took way too long. There needed to be a Fast Track for some ideas while others needed to be more cautiously reviewed.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEnsure that every employee has a career path set and offered to them. If they reach their bench marks then that should be a green light to be moved up or given added or different responsibilities. Reviews and career path was something I always included in my PDP's with key staff but it was a personal choice I made not a company wide initiative.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Outstanding company

    Full-Time (Current Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsVery successful company; share price doubled in last four years; strong management; good vision; excellent products and services; innovative; treats employees well; good CSR. Unlike many competitors has crossed the chasm from print to digital and is on the forefront of big data. Worth the journey.

    ConsStill silos between the businesses; slow-moving at times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCommunicate more. You have a great story to tell

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

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