C&R Research Reviews | Glassdoor

C&R Research Reviews

Updated June 29, 2017
25 reviews

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Robbin Jaklin
18 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at C&R Research full-time

    Pros

    Casual, fun environment. Caring people

    Cons

    Do not know of any


  2. Helpful (1)

    "A Study in Stability"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst
    Former Employee - Analyst
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at C&R Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    C+R Research has been around for a long time. And given its size (~120 people when I left) that's quite astounding. Mid-size research companies tend to come and go, but C+R has weather the storm of multiple financial crises, changes in the industry, and extraordinary technological advancements. The company has a loyal customer base, many of whom are huge names in their respective industries. The partners are adept at building up and solidifying such relationships, and have been doing so for nigh on sixty years. They were pioneers in focus groups, and continue to innovate in their approaches to qualitative research.

    All this creates an environment of tremendous stability, of endurance. C+R has always been there, and always will. Related to this is the company's treatment of its employees: if you show up, work hard, and get along with people, you will succeed at this company. Yes, of course there are politics at work - but you'll get that at any job. Bottom line is, if you serve the company to the best of your abilities, then they will do likewise.

    I'd like to give a special mention to the people at C+R as well - they really do hire some great individuals. As a transplant from out West (Colorado) living in Chicago the past five years, I've found the clique-ishness of Chicago to be a bit maddening. That being said, while Chicago provincialism does tend to rear its ugly head on occasion (the Cubs celebrations continue, nearly ten months later...), nearly all the employees are super easy to get along with. I've formed some great friendships while I was at C+R: not only with others on my team, but outside my team as well.

    In short, C+R is a pretty good place to work - they have staying power, the company will actually exert more than a modicum of effort to keep you happy in terms of benefits/looking out for you in general, and you can form some great friendships there.

    Cons

    Now, I mentioned a lot about stability in the previous section. Unfortunately, the stability at C+R does tend to come at the cost of innovation. And this is something the owners of the company are inexplicably proud of. They love to mention this defining characteristic of the company at business meetings, and I expect that the message falls on mostly welcoming ears. C+R just isn't going to blow you away with anything super creative or innovative, and for the most part, employees like it that way. The company is actually remarkably conservative (I'm NOT talking about politics, here), and for some people, that's just fine. If you have new ideas though and want to try and implement them at the company, expect everything to happen at a glacial pace. The tedious nature of market research can be stultifying to creative thinkers, and eventually those people either leave or wake up one day realizing they've become devoid of those abilities. And a caveat here - while this is especially true of C+R, I expect that it applies to most companies doing market research.

    Which brings me to my next point. The upper management of C+R is full of folks who have been at the company for a long time. We're talking, 20+ years long. Which is a great thing in some respects - the company has an enduring culture and ethos that they help to maintain. This also means, however, that those methods from 20+ years ago are still alive and well at C+R. For at least your first two years of employment at C+R, you can expect the majority of your time to be spent proofing things one way or another. Proofing questionnaires others wrote, checking surveys others have programmed, checking tabs that others have processed, checking bar charts others have pulled, and checking reports others have written. It really doesn't have to be this way - I understand the purpose of quality control, I really do. At this point, though, automation should really be solving some of these problems. Again, C+R is pretty resistant to change in this area. Although keeping a dedicated data processing staff on hand is great for those few people employed as data processors, it slows things down for everyone else. Again, there are some people who really like this! And I get it - there are those who are dedicated to this part of the job, and they enjoy the meaning derived from it, but I truly think that younger employees are just not in that camp. And they are the people doing most of the grunt work - the operational stuff that is justifiably beyond the purview of management. After a while, the endless proofing and checking and checking and proofing can really grind you down.

    Now this last thing I have to mention has to do with how C+R handles employees leaving (whether it's voluntary or termination). Like all the cons I've already mentioned, this one has two sides to the story. On the one hand, you don't see as high a turnover at C+R as you might at other MR companies - folks tend to stick around. Now on the other hand (and perhaps because it doesn't happen that often), when people do leave, nobody really seems to know what's going on. When employees leave it feels like a secret somehow - and this applies both to firings and voluntary moves. It's always left to the employee to inform everyone of their leaving the company. In my opinion, I really think that should be the manager's responsibility. But often (and this is especially the case if the person leaving is on another team), it can be the last week (or the last day!) of someone's tenure at the company, and you only just find out. It's especially bad when someone gets fired. We all understand that firing is a fact of life - and it really doesn't happen that often at C+R. So, when someone gets fired, your employees NEED to know. Not letting everyone know about terminations just further engenders an environment of secrecy - people will begin gossiping about why someone left and it's not good for morale. Yes, I know it's uncomfortable, but somebody needs to step up and let employees know about these things.

    Advice to Management

    When it comes to looking after your employees, keep doing what you're doing. For the most part, I do think that the aura of stability surrounding C+R is good for employees and it would behoove you all to maintain it.

    But on the other hand - maybe try something crazy. If you have a hunch that a new methodology, client, or whatever has some potential, then take a chance and go for it. Your younger employees would especially appreciate it, and it would show them that you're willing to make changes to better the company.

    And to echo what others have said on here - enough with the endless proofing already. There has to be a better way to do quality control, and it ends up driving good employees out of the company. If possible, it would be great to foster a workplace where creativity is valued alongside attention to detail.

  3. "Associate"

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

    I have been working at C&R Research full-time

    Pros

    Love the people, relaxed environment

    Cons

    None, it was an amazing place to work


  4. "Sink or Swim Culture + Upbeat but Negative People"

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

    I worked at C&R Research full-time

    Pros

    Efficiently run organization, free lunch on Mondays, supportive manager (in my case), and high expertise in market research

    Cons

    As others have mentioned, there is something off with the work culture here. I found people to be cliquish and petty. On the surface, everyone seemed so nice and upbeat but when I actually listened to them talk it was nothing but mean gossiping about coworkers and vendors, constant complaining/venting , etc. I'm very glad I removed myself from all that negative energy.

    Also, as others have mentioned, it is a sink or swim culture. Management expects new hires to be independent after several weeks of training.

    The career pathways are limited, and few opportunities to work on projects outside of your assigned role.

    Advice to Management

    Terminate anyone who has been at C+R for 10 years or more.


  5. "2 year employee in a senior position"

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

    I have been working at C&R Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Having worked in many large companies in brand management, advertising and research, this is the best company culture I have ever encountered.
    -Because the company is privately held , partners are able to keep employees first in decision-making. This results in a human-centered culture, not driven only by financial results.
    -Partners are dedicated to helping create work-life balance, as much as possible.
    -Treating clients well, and having a can-do attitude makes for loyal repeat clients.
    -Emplyoyees are treated like adults and not micromanaged. Management looks to what you are doing right and rewards those who perform.
    -Employees are expected to support one another, which makes for a feeling that others 'have your back.' It is about the team succeeding, and less about individuals in the limelight.
    -Managers are down to earth people.

    Cons

    Hours can be long due to client requests and needs. This is true in most supplier companies.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to uphold your vision.


  6. "Would not recommend to a friend"

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

    I worked at C&R Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people you work with are typically friendly and outgoing. Great retirement fund matching, and summer Fridays are nice. Terrific location, especially if you live off the Red Line (it's right by the Grand stop).

    Cons

    I would not recommend this workplace to a friend unless serious structural changes have been made since I left. (As of this writing, it's my understanding they have not.) Employees with fewer than 10 years of experience are overworked and underpaid relative to the market, while more senior employees enjoy comfortable salaries, frequent promotions, and perks. This paradoxically incentivizes loyalty, while also generating high employee turnover and substantial resentment. Of course, senior employees get more than junior ones everywhere; still, in this office the gap is unusually large and junior employees' end of the stick is unusually short. This system carries with it two other serious barriers to employee satisfaction.

    First, it's very difficult to have control over your own career in this environment. Management provides very little transparency and insight into the employee development process, so promotions and compensation remain shrouded in mystery. This is a bummer for those who don't get rewarded (no visible path to get what they want) *and* for those who do (a nagging sense they haven't earned what they've been given).

    Secondly, the culture is not based around shared values (unless day-drinking counts), but rather a random-seeming system of punishments and rewards. The office has its golden children, and everyone knows who they are. This is bad for morale for obvious reasons -- including the morale of the "golden children." On the flip side, it's not uncommon for management to pass out undesirable assignments or set unrealistic deadlines following a conflict, in lieu of having a constructive and direct conversation.

    Even more troubling, management rarely recognizes employee contributions. When you get promoted, the company president reads a nice paragraph that your direct manager wrote about you, but that's about it. Instead of leadership making an environment in which team members admire one another and strive to improve, this culture's "team-building" tends to manifest as an unstructured bar crawl.

    Ultimately I would encourage a job-seeker to continue looking until they find an opportunity where they can be reasonably confident they will be paid a competitive salary and treated with respect. There are dozens of other research firms in Chicago that fit the bill.

    Advice to Management

    A culture of respect starts from the top down. Employees who feel valued, supported, and empowered in the workplace are better equipped to excel than those who fear punishment or reprimand. A few ways to show employees that they are valued include adequate compensation, demonstrating openness to new ideas from a variety of perspectives, and giving employees specific, direct, and actionable feedback on their work and behavior. Center employees' contributions when celebrating, rather than partying for the sake of a party.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "It's OK."

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

    I worked at C&R Research full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The culture is close-knit and friendly. You can easily make friends among your team members. They work with a pretty good list of clients, so you get some exposure to big industry names which can be exciting to be a part of. And if you want to move away to a cooler or cheaper area of the country, they'll let you, as long as you're one of the favorites and you kiss enough you know what. And if you have a baby, you will probably get to take at least 1 day a week to pretend to work at home while you really just play with your kid and sometimes answer emails from your phone.

    Cons

    Expect to do others' work until you reach the magical level where you can pretend to work, but really just delegate it all to junior employees who have to stay late to maintain expected quality and continually under report hours to project the false image that they aren't actually miserable and spending way too much time contributing way more than they get paid to. You will write reports for someone else, who will get to take all of the credit, and those people are often your direct managers so there's not much you can do about it. You will work in these shadows until you somehow convince someone above you that you are willing to be good and sell your soul and work there forever. If you don't successfully project this image, you will be overlooked and expect to burn out quickly. Also, if you don't take the path they've chosen for you, you will be dismissed. You will be put into a box. But don't worry, it gets really cozy.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent. Be so much more transparent. And getting wasted and being besties with junior employees and expecting them to be your personal assistant in return is not professional, in any world.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Could not be worse"

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

    I worked at C&R Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Small enough that you could potentially get exposure to a lot of different areas. Many nice folks, usually lower down the corporate ladder.

    Cons

    Management. I've got one or two people at the VP level and above in mind who actually have some human characteristics outside of sloth, greed, and jealousy. It is amazing that clients keep coming back.

    Advice to Management

    Go away.


  9. "A great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Associate Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at C&R Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great work environment and they treat their employees really well. You get to work on a wide variety of projects, there is great pay, free lunches on Mondays and frequent happy hours! You really feel like your ideas matter here, and you aren't just a number.

    Cons

    There are times when you have to work late or on the weekends, but you will find that anywhere.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "A good company and a great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Vice President in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at C&R Research full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Worked there for 9 years and was always treated well. They take pride in their work and care about their employees. Pay well, good benefits, perks like free lunches on Mondays, regular happy hours and annual bonuses.

    Cons

    Only two cons:
    1. Missing all of the great people there when I retired
    2. Someone kept taking the salt shaker out of the kitchen

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing and don't sell the company to one of those big international marketing research firms.


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