Chicago Zoological Society Reviews | Glassdoor

Chicago Zoological Society Reviews

Updated April 4, 2017
34 reviews

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3.5
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Stuart D Strahl
17 Ratings

34 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Highly Recommend"

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

    I have been working at Chicago Zoological Society full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Very talented and dedicated staff
    Lots of autonomy to do what you do best
    It's a zoo - can visit the animals whenever you want
    Good benefits, decent pay
    Great mission, feel like I'm making a difference

    Cons

    Sometimes long hours
    Public transportation could be better, more accessible

    Advice to Management

    Continue the great work and focus on employees, engagement, and culture building


  2. "Good place to work"

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

    Pros

    get into the zoo for free, fun work environment

    Cons

    very low pay, physically demanding

    Advice to Management

    Have to make connections and work hard to move up

    Chicago Zoological Society Response

    Feb 16, 2017 – Vice President, Human Resources

    Thank you for your review. Please be aware that since the posting of your review, we have significantly updated our pay structure and are very competitive.


  3. "Don't do it!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Guest Relations in Brookfield, IL
    Former Employee - Guest Relations in Brookfield, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Chicago Zoological Society part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You could pick your days for the most part.

    Cons

    They don't work around your schedule, No end times, Not worth the money, Rude upper staff.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Assistant Manager- Food Service"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Brookfield, IL
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Brookfield, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Chicago Zoological Society part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fun environment, great co-workers. Love the Animals!!

    Cons

    Micro-managed, low pay, watched like a hawk for everything I did.

    Advice to Management

    It is supposed to be a fun place to work- let it be that for EVERYONE!! Hire good people and trust they know what they are doing. Get rid of the slugs that work there.


  6. "Merchandise Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Merchandise Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Merchandise Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Chicago Zoological Society part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fun work environment, pretty friendly staff and management, 20% employee discount on merchandise and food, business hours (9 to 5) and schedule flexibility.

    Cons

    Almost no advancement, no pay raise, working in extreme weather conditions (extreme heat and extreme cold), 30 minute unpaid lunch breaks, and lots of crying children.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Guest Services"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Guest Services in Brookfield, IL
    Former Employee - Guest Services in Brookfield, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Chicago Zoological Society full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great hours, if the weather permits. It can be fun to see the animals at times. Starting pay is more than minimum wage.

    Cons

    Terrible management. Hours rely on weather. No set shifts, you get off work when the manager tells you. Virtually no room for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Hire a manager that actually cares about their employees, there is a high turnover rate.


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Excellence in Conservation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Guest Service Representative in Brookfield, IL
    Current Employee - Guest Service Representative in Brookfield, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Chicago Zoological Society full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I love the people in my department. The benefits for full time staff are excellent. You can't beat working in a beautiful setting. The mission is outstanding and it's clear that all staff play a role in connecting people with wildlife and nature. As far as my department is concerned, staff are encouraged to think outside the box and co-workers are supportive and helpful. I have never worked anywhere where I have felt as comfortable in my own skin as I feel at the zoo. I love my job and to this day I don't say "I'm heading to work now" but say "I'm going to the zoo now!" The zoo is my happy place and I'm proud to be a part of CZS.

    Cons

    Front line staff leave much to be desired as far as good customer service goes. Departments can be competitive amongst each other and not in a supportive or positive way. Everybody has their own agenda and politics, but in my experience that is everywhere. The HR department is awful. Every year the zoo needs to hire hundreds of seasonal staff and you would think they would have it down to a science but instead departments and teams are left short-handed year after year because the hiring process can take months. MONTHS.

    Advice to Management

    Striving to be an employer of choice starts with taking care of your existing employees before attracting new ones. Having staff who work 35+ hours a week, year-round for 10+ years, yet still classified as "seasonal" is an awful way to skirt paying out benefits. These people work 52 weeks a year on weekends, holidays, nights, and early mornings without vacation or sick time. That is not how any loyal employee should be treated.


  9. "HR Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Human Resources Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Chicago Zoological Society full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    A unique environment to practice HR, one of the top zoo's in the world.

    Cons

    But as with anything, there are too many egos and the problems that come with them. They make promises that they will not keep, and are quick to make cuts that usually involves their most loyal employees.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Manage several locations and special events"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - General Manager in Brookfield, IL
    Current Employee - General Manager in Brookfield, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Chicago Zoological Society full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The mission and vision of the organization is great and the focus on the environment and conservation is top notch.

    Cons

    Slow upward mobility. It's a great organization with a lot of departments but most are specialized positions with very low turnover. The non specialized departments have little to offer.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on becoming employer of choice


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Worker there for four years"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Security in Brookfield, IL
    Current Employee - Security in Brookfield, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Chicago Zoological Society part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fun environment
    Outside work
    Friendly employees
    Room for promotion
    Strong non for profit group
    Very caring
    Good first job
    Lots of starting positions
    Easy interview process
    Fun events
    Very customer based

    Cons

    For starting employees or seasonal workers you have to reapply every year
    No room for pay increase unless full time

    Advice to Management

    Pay raise should apply to all employees
    No need to make employees reapply every year
    Very positive work environment

    Chicago Zoological Society Response

    Feb 16, 2017 – Vice President, Human Resources

    Thank you for your review. Since the time of your posting we have significantly upgraded our wage structure to remain very competitive. In addition, we have implemented a new, streamlined process ... More


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