Universum Reviews

Updated March 18, 2015
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3.2
32 Reviews
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Petter Nylander
15 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Think global, make an impact, and grow everyday.

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

    I have been working at Universum

    Pros

    Employees are exposed to many different opportunities from the get-go at Universum. You have the autonomy to dive into what interests you, and get involved in much more than your designated scope. It feels good to be a part of a team of energetic professionals who are passionate about fostering an innovative and creative space. You'll be challenged everyday and will collaborate to achieve more than you realized you could. Accelerate your professional development alongside peers who care about your growth -- both inside and outside of the office.

    Cons

    If your looking for a work experience with more structured hand-holding, then the fast-paced and dynamic environment at Universum may not be the right fit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep pushing the level of innovation within the Employer Branding space, and continue to empower employees in all regions by being the visionaries of a rapidly growing industry.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. Leadership listens. They empowered me to make ideas real and encouraged a global team to help.

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

    I have been working at Universum full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Regularly I get up far too early to jump on calls with colleagues in Australia, Sweden, Italy, the UK and a number of other countries. For many of these calls (honestly) I'm in my pajamas, but I don't mind getting up as I know that stuff actually gets done when we have these calls. The teams I work with are global, smart and want to get stuff done.

    In the short 10 months that I've been at Universum, I've regularly met with leadership across the globe and they have supported my ideas and initiatives - this doesn't mean that they've been lazy in their analysis and critique of these ideas - far from it actually. I'm regularly put on the spot to sense-check progress and thinking. But I think this is good as I can see that the ideas and products have got better because of it. And once these ideas have passed this executive gauntlet I've got immediate support - from a budgetary perspective, but also and more importantly they have been vocal in their support on these ideas and products through the organization.

    I feel empowered that the work that I'm doing will actually make our clients smarter and will foster better communication with talent and employers. Although I've not been in the mix for that long, I feel like I've sped up rather than slowed down; and that's perfectly alright for me.

    I'll keep taking those calls in my pajamas.

    Cons

    There's a lot of opportunity, so there's a lot going on every day. All of the colleagues that I've met have been great so far, but the biggest challenge that I've experienced is competing priorities. Being able to rank these and marshal everyone to move in unison will keep surprise projects at bay. As such, if you're looking for a 9 to 5, stay away from Universum.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company is growing fast and moving towards being a technology company. Making this vision clear and continually communicating it to everyone will decrease the number of internal questions and friction.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. Ability to Make a Difference

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

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

    Pros

    Universum is a great place to accelerate a career. It may not come in the form of classroom training and structured programs, but you are given a lot of autonomy and all employees are encouraged to share ideas and drive them forward. Rather than spoon-feeding you, the company encourages you to challenge yourself and learn as you go. If you work hard and show your potential, you'll be rewarded with more responsibility and quick progression!

    Cons

    Things at Universum move very quickly and change rapidly - this is important to stay at the forefront of the fast-growing employer branding industry. As too much structure would inhibit agility, Universum won't be the right fit for people who crave structure and predictability. I personally enjoy this dynamic environment as it allows you to constantly step up, take on new challenges and feel that you're actually making a difference.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. Tackling the biggest issues in the war for talent

    • 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 Universum full-time

    Pros

    There's nothing more important right now for multi-national companies than winning the war for talent. Universum's dedication to employer branding and what drives the decisions to attract and retain employees is unmatched with data-driven insights and phenomenal creative skills. The people are curious, energetic, and believe in the cause. It feels like we are working on one of the most important challenges facing major corporations today. The backing of the most comprehensive data sets along with the new addition of digital and social media activation offer makes the range of services we can provide our clients unmatched.

    Cons

    It's a work hard, play hard culture, so be prepared to work, learn, and challenge. The decision-making of MNCs can be quite complex, and for individuals to succeed they need to be equally curious, dedicated, and smart.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    With many offices around the world, this is truly an international company. Consider ways to share the global client successes as well as integrating the cultural experience of employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. Good place to gain experience, poor place to grow

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

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

    Pros

    You are given a lot of autonomy and responsibility.
    For the most part, the people are great to work with.

    Cons

    There is absolutely no focus on career growth or development (Ironic for a company that sells this)
    If you don't "buy-in" to management's way of doing things, you won't last long
    Management showed a consistent unwillingness to divert from the path and listen to it's employees opinions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you preach. You can attract talent to your company, but you will never retain anyone worth retaining without a clear path for development and advancement. Don't play favorites and keep an open mind to those who question and challenge the wisdom of certain decisions. Do not sacrifice longterm goals for short term profits. Understand that universities are the foundation of your research and should be treated accordingly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. Misguided management, unfulfilling work, lack of growth opportunities

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

    I worked at Universum

    Pros

    Flexibility to work remotely. There are some smart/fun people on the team. You can get exposure to HR professionals at a lot of different industries.

    Cons

    No robust strategy or an understanding of how to grow the business. Disconnect between upper management and the team - a ton of bureaucracy and politics even though the office is mid-sized. Things do not get done efficiently. Most people do not really want to be there so the office culture is not positive. The pay is generally below market value.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not just talk about the company's core values - your values should not be words on a poster, but should actually reflect the office culture. Stop sacrificing long-term relationships for short term sales.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. Satisfying learning experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Development in Singapore (Singapore)
    Current Employee - Business Development in Singapore (Singapore)

    I have been working at Universum

    Pros

    International environment, flat structure, thought-leader in the industry, dynamic work, opportunity to work with regional, global clients.

    Cons

    unclear employee's career development plan

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. A majorly disappointing employer that is unable to deliver what they promise

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm (Sweden)

    I worked at Universum

    Pros

    Most employees are intelligent, hard-working, ambitious young professionals with great potential: people you genuinely enjoy working and spending time with.

    Cons

    The major downside of this company is the lack of professionalism shown by its top management. During the time that I worked for Universum, I could not help but notice serious leadership errors that had a deep impact on employee satisfaction. A few issues to pinpoint:
    - No training was provided upon entering the company, no documentation or guides. Main source of information was Google, despite working with customers and having to deliver presentations to experts in the field
    - Chaotic, no processes in place, all actions were guided by personal intuition and common sense
    - No 1-to-1 meetings, poor communication between management and employees
    - Inappropriate language used by managers in all hands meetings, very unprofessional
    - I was often advised by management to lie to customers about products and my position in order to seem more credible
    - Company led by emotions and impulses, not reason and logic
    - Undefined role descriptions, one gets to do a little of everything, which prevents one from specialising on a certain field
    - High workload which requires overtime. No compensation provided for extra hours

    What I find most disappointing is the fact that a company whose entire business revolves around employer branding lacks the very essentials of it. This leads to major credibility issues: if you have dissatisfied employees and cannot apply your knowledge and expertise within EB to your own business, then why should potential customers take your advice?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please make sure to respect the people you hire: most of them have qualifications and skills that could easily get them jobs somewhere where their value is acknowledged. Don't hire people that are too good if you can't deliver - you will waste their time and your money.
    ALWAYS set the right expectations. You want your former employees to be ambassadors, not dislikers of your brand.
    Learn that professionalism is vital if you want your business to be respected by both employees and customers.

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

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

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

    Pros

    No set work hours, you can choose the pace yourself

    Cons

    There are no words to even start describing this company. Its an inhumane company, and its surprising how it can still exist. The real problem lies within the management team, who only care about themselves and disregard anything else that comes in their way. Ultimately, they, and the people "on the floor" quit - in a quicker pace now than ever. Did anyone hear that this company works with employer branding? Ironic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the employees, do not be egoistic, and work with employer branding.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. Do not work for this company

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

    I worked at Universum full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The flexibility, you can work from home a little now and then

    Cons

    There is nothing positive to say about this company, it really is screwed up than most companies (see the interview someone else wrote a while ago).
    Management team only thinks about the money and sales, they think in short-term, and for a company consulting Fortune 500 companies on employer branding, it's ironic how they treat their own employees (like they are manual workers without value) and how little they work with employer branding.
    There are no opportunities to grow, no opportunities to have an impact, and salary is way below market average (with little salary increase each year).
    Most people want to get out of there, so the atmosphere is very dull and sad. People drop out one by one, and that also enhances the dissatisfaction overall. Work somewhere else less chaotic, less dull, and where your voice will be heard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change everything you're doing right now and you may be on the step towards a successful employer brand.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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