The Bradford Group Reviews

Updated April 6, 2015
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2.9
45 Reviews
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Richard Tinberg
22 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great Starting Point

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The Bradford Group

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Extremely casual work environment, minimal stress, nice people. Location is great in the suburbs. Can obtain basic marketing skills.

    Cons

    Upward mobility is unlikely, work product is likely going to fizzle out in several years (mail order and older clientele targeted).

  2. Senior Media Manager

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

    I have been working at The Bradford Group full-time (more than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Casual work environment, flexible hours, good location.

    Cons

    Top management has been there for years - need fresh/new ideas. Systems are archaic. Hard to get promoted without fighting for it. Salaries are not great for employes that have been there a while.

  3. Good Place To Start

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

    I have been working at The Bradford Group full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great place to get general business. Skills are generally not transferable, however the general business knowledge that you learn is worth it.

    Cons

    Micro managed to the extreme. No decisions can be made without upper management approval.

    Advice to Management

    Allow your skilled employees to make decisions, and invest in new IT infrastructure.

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  5. Great medium size company to start out and grow career.

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

    I have been working at The Bradford Group full-time (more than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Plenty of support and encouragements.
    Good professional approach to everything they do.
    Organized and solid corporate structure helps new employee hit the ground running.
    Flexible and relaxed overall atmosphere.

    Cons

    Not too many perks.
    Fair salary compare to market, not great but not too low.
    Divided between factions within the company.

    Advice to Management

    Everything seems to be working well but each division works too much in silos. A closer collaboration between divisions within company could hugely drive the company forward.

  6. Great notch to add on your resume, but get out of there after a year and begin to look for a career.

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

    I have been working at The Bradford Group full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Great start-up job coming out of college
    - Great benefits
    - Great facility

    Cons

    - Horrible training
    - Promotion completely based on how long you've been there and if there happens to be an open position
    - They still use a main frame, technologically behind

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees with respect and listen to what they have to say. Great ideas are turned down constantly because of the company's stuborness to innovate.

  7. OK

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

    I worked at The Bradford Group (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good people to work with

    Cons

    Stale management style that needs change

  8. Helpful (2)

    Creative environment with talented people that lacks organization, communication and humanity.

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

    I have been working at The Bradford Group full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Challenging work that utilizes specialized skills. Many talented people. Decent benefits. Flexible hours (for some). Building has really beautiful indoor gardens, good cafeteria. City of Niles is very international so a huge variety of restaurants and produce markets to enjoy.

    Cons

    Company is structured in isolated silos (divisions along product lines as well as divisions between service groups - marketing, product development, advertising, production, design). There is no managerial body overseeing these silos (fostering communication, negotiating, assessing the problem between departments then finding the right solution for the company) so it's a chaotic free for all battle to try to get work done. People who would probably get along in a business that was healthier grow to detest each other as a result of the zero communication between departments (lack of education and understanding of what each does). Zero training at this company. Thick middle/senior management without a lot of managerial presence.

    Advice to Management

    Introduce someone/group to oversee the business between the departments to reduce the tension and inefficiency that is caused by the constant blame game of one department towards another. Currently, each department exists in a state of dictating what the other department is 'supposed' to be doing.

  9. Helpful (5)

    A Long Journey to Nowhere

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

    I worked at The Bradford Group full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    A good place to learn the fundamentals of direct marketing. Full stop.

    Cons

    One need only open the tabloids (Enquirer, Star, Globe etc.) to see the kind of lowbrow trinkets this company produces on a short timeline to the landfill. It was not always so, the company produced many delightful porcelain objects in its early days. That the company has survived this long speaks to the power of the original vision. However, once the founder died, the surviving family, with the collusion of the 2 top officers, converted the company into an "annuity" to throw off a multimillion annual income for this select few. Nothing wrong with that, but the implicit promise was that the loyal employee would share in this wealth. That explains the long tenure of many employees. Of course this never came true. The “sweatshop” tone expressed by many of the reviewers is a direct result of this scheme as very little re-investment in modernizing the business has been made (to protect the owners’ income); systems are archaic and inefficient; new products are formulaic, uninspired and issued relentlessly; new talent is rarely rewarded or retained. The worst injury has been the cynically systematic removal of the original key employees who helped build the business and subsequent replacement with grade “c” talent. Retention of the tenured or sharing in the real wealth was incompatible with the final, desperate move to extract money from a burned out shell of a company through a sale that never came (who wants a collectibles company?) and finally the last resort of forming an ESOP. So they were discarded. And now that Bradford has gone ESOP, there is no chance for the remaining long term employees to benefit. All in all, a sad story of a once great company, picked clean by seemingly benevolent but ultimately ruthlessly greedy ownership. Learn the craft of direct marketing quickly, then move on. This is not a long term play.

    Advice to Management

    Leave.

  10. Helpful (1)

    A place to learn then leave

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

    I worked at The Bradford Group full-time (more than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good company to start at and learn marketing.

    Cons

    Lots of unpaid unappreciated overtime.

    Advice to Management

    Be fair and respectful to your employees. Need a better work and home life ethic.

  11. Helpful (3)

    Old business model with a lot of change needed

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

    I have been working at The Bradford Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent learning environment, great place for young people to get their career started. Casual dress code. Good place to learn how to have a thick skin, deal with politics, etc. Beautiful building with garden and sky lights. Good benefits including profit sharing and the recent addition of an employee stock option plan as a retirement benefit if you stay long enough. Strong opportunity to work with many different people in different departments, and ability to work on different types of products if desired.

    Cons

    Culture can be very competitive and some units have very disrespectful interpersonal relationships. People who are seen as money makers get away with bad behavior. HR tries to help and is well-meaning but they have a high turnover rate. Frequently it seems that they are not aware of the real issues because higher management does not want to allow the rainmakers to be reprimanded and risk their leaving. Business strategy is old and morale is low because the way we have all been told to do things is not in line with modern business ethics - for example dry testing, using low quality materials, and heavily photoshopping images. Company is making an effort to change but with such a large company, change is slow. Starting salaries are low and raises tend to be minimal unless there is a major promotion. Promotions are more driven by seniority than performance and advancement opportunities are limited by a glut of senior employees waiting until the economy improves before they retire. The low starting salaries and lack of quick advancement cause high turnover rates in many areas. Management can be very overbearing and micromanaging. Surprisingly for a company that is largely dominated by women, the culture is not very friendly for mothers and families and offers no flexible hours. Most departments do not allow working from home or have part time positions.

    Advice to Management

    Stop allowing bad behavior to continue from "rainmakers" - these people ultimately cost the company money too, by causing higher turnover rates and employee dissatisfaction. Pay attention to customer complaints and find real strategies for solving issues. Higher starting salaries and faster, performance-driven advancement, could help a lot with turnover rates. A better work-life balance is needed, as is looking into flexible hours, work from home, part time, etc. to retain employees with young children.

The Bradford Group Photos

Bradford Building
Indoor Garden 2
Indoor Tent Garden

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