Abcam Reviews | Glassdoor

Abcam Reviews

Updated October 10, 2017
74 reviews

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3.1
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Abcam CEO Alan Hirzel
Alan Hirzel
35 Ratings

74 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work life balance in boston (in 9 reviews)

  • It's a very friendly and open environment which is welcoming to new hires (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • They don't practice what they preach (work/life balance (in 3 reviews)

  • Several middle managers appear to be poor at their job and would rather be doing something else (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great Entry Level Job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Logistics Technician in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Logistics Technician in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Abcam full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly environment with committed co-workers and a management that really cares and gives you the tools to perform.

    Cons

    Little room for growth if your background is not Biosciences.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Growing pains is an understatement"

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

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

    Pros

    Positive local groups. Department and management gaps mean there's always opportunity to grow and learn beyond your role. Solid, if not spectacular benefits.

    Cons

    Going through major restructuring, which has devolved into an unending, disorganized nightmare. Horrible internal communication and coordination, especially from UK 'mothership'. Major initiatives are changed/dropped without replacement or even notice, with local offices sometimes working in silence for months.
    Management (while positive) is uncoordinated and poorly prepared to scale, with little project or resource planning. Positions and roles constantly in flux. Advancement is a game of roulette, with direct/local leadership having little to no say in budget or structure.

    Advice to Management

    Tighten up your project management. Look hard at what's causing underlying issues. Don't be adverse to unflattering answers, especially since the company culture discourages identifying/correcting failures.

    A year ago, I'd have said to address your project and resource management before there were serious staffing consequences. Now that several departments have been completely vacated (mass voluntary departures), that ship may have sailed.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Extremely Poor Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Abcam full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Location is good, benefits are OK.

    Cons

    Abcam's management consists of employees who were hired straight out of school with no prior work experience, and were promoted because there was no one else working in their department at the time. Managers have never managed teams elsewhere. These managers would never get the same job title at a different company, thus they never leave. There is very little opportunity for growth. Favoritism is often displayed on teams. Employees are not encouraged to voice their opinions, and when they do, there is a price to pay. If you are considering a job here, I strongly suggest looking elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to the upper management in the UK - try hiring some managers with actual work experience.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "A Facade..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Nice coworkers. Generally stable company.

    Cons

    Management doesn't seem to know what they're doing. The decisions that are made some times don't make sense. They like to claim one thing, but reality is another. Basically a sales and marketing company, not a science company. Benefits and holidays are not good. Neither are career progression opportunities. High turnover.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "The nicest workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Logistics Technician in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Logistics Technician in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Abcam full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Abcam does seem to hire for personality, at least in the Logistics Department, and they succeed! I've never worked at such a fun, genuinely warm and welcoming place. Even for a a position (technician) that wouldn't seem to require it, training in new things, including leadership-type stuff, is frequent. There is at least an effort to help you develop new skills.

    Cons

    The major con is the lack of possibility from advancement. Unless a team lead position opens up, there's nowhere really to move up to. As a result, there's somewhat high turnover.

    Advice to Management

    My advice to management is to keep up the good work. Continue the buoyant, fun atmosphere, but maybe be a little more transparent to techs that career advancement is unlikely.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Very cliquey and not organized"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Abcam full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good work life balance...I never stayed late or worked weekends. Company match on 401k.

    Nearby 10 minute walk to Kendall Square T stop

    Cons

    This company is extremely cliquey and unless you run with a certain crowd its not a good experience. There is little to no growth opportunities and little chance to learn. If you want to feel challenged and grow this is not the place to go. A lot of mismanagement and my boss frequently skipped 1:1s. Benefits are ok...high deductible on both health plans. No FSA. Exempt employees are forced to use full PTO days but non-exempt are allowed to use it in hourly increments. Some employees are allowed to work from home while others are not.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate and review the actions of your midline managers. Some need better training and lack the skills to be successful. Boss frequently skipped 1:1 meetings with the excuse they were too "busy."


  7. Helpful (10)

    "Working for "The Invisible Man-ager": Jobseeker Beware"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing/Sales in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Marketing/Sales in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The company has some really good, intelligent, hard working employees that take ownership of their job and attempt to make a positive experience for the customers, both internal and external. Noteworthy departments: Customer service and supply chain. Tech support is sketchy. Management receives the lowest marks.

    Cons

    Managers with no experience outside the company bring a two-dimensional and limited approach to problem solving and leadership. Abcam definitely plays favorites. Management talks about communication, work-life balance, appreciation but is really, really not the truth. Abcam reminds me of the Stepford Wives movie from the 70's or so- looks pretty on the outside, scary from within. Jobseeker beware. Don't express the opinions, they ask for so nicely. Whether it is negative or not, if you are not a Yes-Man Drone, you will be punished. I would never recommend anyone, friend or foe, to work there because of this.

    Advice to Management

    Change. Just change for the good. Experience matters. Quit hiring people straight out of college and promoting them before they are capable or prepared. Please stop promoting people who don't do their job. The majority of people that I saw promoted deserved to lose their job. If you really knew your company, you would know that. I don't even know what to say except do it differently. You could be so good and go so far but you won't, not if you keep doing it this way.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Marketing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Abcam full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Encouragement to present strategic ideas. Also, this company is a darling in the AB industry

    Cons

    Employees squeezed for high returns and ridiculous growth targets. They don't practice what they preach (work/life balance.) Also, there is discrimination when, for example, you determine who can work from home and who can't - even if it's for more valid reasons.

    Advice to Management

    The Marketing department should stop the ball and think. You won't get anywhere just by moving "fast". Trying to think fast instead and stay updated to current developments.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Great for many different people"

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

    I have been working at Abcam full-time

    Pros

    It has a great culture, and most departments are very collegial. It offers excellent benefits, and accessibility to leadership, who are often very good about providing feedback.

    Cons

    not all departments have growth opportunities, and as a result some departments have higher rates of turnover. That can cause issues with continuity or the ability to build relationships among different departments.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize the efforts of employees more consistently, and do more to give individual recognition (especially to the unsung heroes).


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Good with the bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Abcam full-time

    Pros

    Lots of vacation time (most employees start with 20 days of PTO). Great benefits. Very laid back office environment (I wore shorts all summer). Good employee engagement activities.

    Cons

    Certain departments are prioritized and allowed to dump work on other departments.

    Office relationships give way to special treatment for certain departments/employees.

    Upper management seems to want feedback from the employees but does not act on the feedback.

    Middle managers could communicate more effectively.

    The "small" office feel is quickly going away and being replaced by a more corporate structure.

    Advice to Management

    Try to avoid special treatment for longer tenured employees.

    Let each department do their job. Do not allow another department to pile busy work onto another just because it will be tedious.


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