Cancer Research UK Reviews in London, England | Glassdoor

Cancer Research UK London Reviews

Updated July 20, 2017
55 reviews

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London, England (UK)

3.2
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Cancer Research UK CEO Harpal Kumar
Harpal Kumar
26 Ratings

55 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • No career progression as they prefer to hire from outside instead of developing their employees (in 5 reviews)

  • As with any large organisation can be overly wary of innovating or straying too far from the tried and tested techniques (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Volunteering Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    Former Employee - Volunteer in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Volunteer in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cancer Research UK part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    1) Flexible Schedule
    2) Friendly coworkers and manager (my personal experience)
    3) Looks good on a college application.

    Cons

    1) Some customers can be a tad difficult to deal with.
    2) Needs better stock room management


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Hierarchical organisation with some great people trying their hardest to make a difference"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Manager in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cancer Research UK (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Many staff (usually below Senior Manager level) are dedicated to the cause whilst also being incredibly good at their jobs. The working atmosphere in the office is good and has a very sociable vibe.

    The work life balance is great, with the opportunity for home working within a lot of roles.

    Cons

    It's very hard for people to climb the ladder, when people are constantly encouraged to 'play the game' which is essentially saying the right things to the right people (predominantly to those above you), as opposed to being judged on performance. The phrase was used to me in every 1:1 meeting with my manager, who was telling me I should do this more, which actually made me feel incredibly uncomfortable at times. People should be judged on their working relationships, I don't disagree but a mix of this and results should be key to an individual's success.

    It is also amazing how many people move up through the ranks from the internship scheme. This implies that you have a far better chance of progression, should you be able to afford to live in Central London, unpaid for three months.

    The staff make-up from Exec-Middle Management is predominantly white, middle class, which is something that should definitely be addressed.

    Advice to Management

    Look at employing externally. Within the past 12 months, the department I was in (of over 150 people) had 2 Head positions become available, both were initially advertised internally only and subsequently went to staff who had been there for 10+ years, this approach breeds an inherent lack of new ideas and broader thinking.

    Reward results and loyalty, as these come lower down the priority list than massaging the ego's of those above.

  3. "CR-UK -"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Policy Manager in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Policy Manager in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cancer Research UK full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Strong brand, high impact for a charity, good resources

    Cons

    Bureaucratic, poor benefits and remuneration


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Innovation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Innovation in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Innovation in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cancer Research UK full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I guess the cause is one of the best reasons to work there. For me it felt like I was working with a real purpose, helping to raise money to save lives.

    Cons

    On the day to day though, you can barely feel that purpose in what you're doing. The politics take much of your time when you're working there. I was expecting a charity to be a great place to work but it felt like a big ego fight between teams and individuals. There was some training, but the senior managers were not really invested in developing their direct reports. There were some people in the team with strong innovation background from consultancy and FMCG which was nice, but overall the projects weren't exciting to work with.

    Advice to Management

    Improve collaboration between team and hire or train senior managers to be better leaders.


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Too much change"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cancer Research UK full-time

    Pros

    The cause is incredible, the ambition is inspiring and if like me you have so many friends and family touched by cancer you don't doubt Cancer Research UK can help to beat cancer.

    Cons

    There is too much change. Just when one piece happens and things start to settle another change starts. Staff are unsettled and demotivated.

    Advice to Management

    Value the talent you have in your teams. Communicate better with your teams. Give them direction and recognition or they will leave too.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Shop Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Shop Manager in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Shop Manager in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cancer Research UK full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great cause to work for and good for the community to part it. Great team and wonderful people to work with.

    Cons

    From a company which used to be the same for 15 years, all of a sudden every thing changes. High management seems to want for the shops to be like high street retail, but work with volunteers. To be a corporate, but still a charity. Every time someone from head office comes up with an idea, we just just have to do it, without questions asked. Stress is very high because of this, because of the changes which are happening very often now. You can't get used to one thing, and another one comes on for you to juggle with. There is no respect for staff anymore, volunteers don't enjoy their jobs and atmosphere is very dull

    Advice to Management

    Leave the shop managers to show their creativity and let them do their jobs. Stop interfering where things are going well just to justify your jobs. There's no one size fits all. Relax a bit and respect your staff!


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Volunteer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Volunteer in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Volunteer in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Really friendly, nice place to volunteer at - everyone was super nice to me, and it really brightened up my week going in. If you've never volunteered before I would recommend it - I started volunteering because I needed a reference for jobs, and expected it to be quite boring, but once I started going in I found that it was really enjoyable, and got me out of the house.

    Cons

    I wasn't a paid member of staff, but I felt as if a lot of the paid members of staff were doing a lot of work, and not getting paid much, with not much career progression, which was somewhat sad to see, as they were very nice people putting a lot of effort in and doing a lot for the company.

    On the one hand this might seem reasonably understandable on the basis that it is a charity shop, and as much money should be going to charity, meaning pay on the low side for staff, but when you contrast that with the ridiculously absurd amounts of money the CEO etc get paid, it seems much less reasonable.

    Advice to Management

    One thing I noticed was that the permanent staff in a charity shop (managers, etc) would put an awful lot of work into keeping the charity shop in a really nice, presentable condition, knew where everything went and how all the systems worked, etc, and had set everything up and took a lot of pride in the fact that they had done so; and then area managers would come in, and would criticise and critique things that people had put a lot of work into.

    Whilst this is perfectly understandable to a degree, and is their job, I felt that the area managers could have better understood the amount of work that the full-time staff put into organising everything, engineering the systems, and ensuring that everything ran smoothly and looked nice, and that by finding fault in places where there wasn't particularly any fault, the area managers presence was almost like someone coming into your home which you felt a sense of pride in, and unnecessarily telling you that everything was wrong.

    I felt that the area managers could have worked much better to help fulfill the vision of the shop managers whilst still conforming to all the required regulation, and giving assistance where required, rather than the area managers attempting to impose their own vision of how things should run, when they weren't the people who were on the ground implementing that vision.

  8. "CRUK"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Recommends

    I worked at Cancer Research UK (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great working environment, friendly staff

    Cons

    Lots of red tape, low autonomy

    Advice to Management

    Empower junior staff


  9. "Volunteer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Volunteer in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Volunteer in London, England (UK)
    Recommends

    I have been working at Cancer Research UK (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours and working with a great team.

    Cons

    I do not think there are any cons I can come up with.

    Advice to Management

    More organisation might be helpful sometimes


  10. "Outstanding company, and workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Human Resources/Recruitment in London, England (UK)
    Current Intern - Human Resources/Recruitment in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cancer Research UK as an intern

    Pros

    - The interview style was very conversational, and friendly where the interviewers clearly tried to make it as painless as possible, allowing you to ask any questions you had at any time.

    - Working at Cancer Research you are immediately welcomed into the organisation, and people actively seek to ensure you have everything you could need and feel comfortable asking for help.

    - If you are based in the office in Angel you are working in a dynamic workspace where diversity and creativeness are encouraged

    - There is a high percentage of interns who gain jobs at the end of the internship, and working in the office you see just how many full time staff were once interns, sometimes even years ago showing how keen people are to stay once they start.

    - They give you real responsibility on the first day, and you are expected to perform to a high level at all times - it is absolutely not an internship where you just make the tea.

    Cons

    Some of the very basics such as how to send a calendar invite are not explained at the very beginning, but if you ask they are ready to explain

    Advice to Management

    Carry on the amazing work!


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