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Consumer Reports Reviews

Updated January 11, 2018
73 reviews

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Current Employees

3.3
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Consumer Reports CEO Marta Tellado
Marta Tellado
33 Ratings

73 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work/life balance is very strong (in 19 reviews)

  • A non-profit driven by its mission and purpose (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • senior management communicates primarily in weasel words (in 10 reviews)

  • Base salaries are high and benefits are very good, but because they are non-profit, bonus plan is nominal (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "some catching up to do with other company in the industry"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - work-life balance
    - subsidized cafeteria
    - pay
    - gym on site
    - nice tech equipment

    Cons

    - commute takes a while


  2. "Senior editor/reporter"

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

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Many/most employees believe in the mission, want to do meaningful and ethical work.

    I'm in editorial. Compared to most editorial outfits, CR seems better off financially and in terms of resources. That will sound odd for a legacy brand with an aging customer base, but we have 7 million paying subs and no reliance on advertising. We pay edit staffers well (not Conde Nast well, but well), and pay freelancers well.

    Management seems smart and does have a growth/survival plan that it's implementing with a fair amount of speed. Much more sincere in its attempt to transform than other media companies, in my experience. I don't know if it will work, but it's coherent, and it's being done.

    Since we're not launching hail mary side businesses, like many publishing companies, there's much more focus on the core brand. As a business, I feel pretty good about CR.

    Editorially, standards have risen sharply; we're now doing things professionally.

    If you want to do tons of service journalism with short deadlines, this is a good place. By the standards of many web outfits, our pace is very civilized. And if you work weekends or late at night, you get paid for it, thanks to the union contract. It's also possible to do more involved service-type investigations, but we're just starting to get there.

    Everyone has an office. If you've been working in a Manhattan magazine or web company, this place will seem quite civilized.

    Cons

    I've seen a lot of rudeness, arrogance, and lack of trust on the part of managers a level or two above me. There's a real finger-pointing culture. I think this is improving somewhat.

    Editorial processes are very byzantine, and changes made with good intentions seem to really be made without listening to the users. That's a bad practice. Lots of inefficiency that seems to run downhill to the front-line editorial staff.

    For editors, there's a constant need to feed the web beast, but getting stories approved can be difficult. Too many layers, not enough departmental autonomy; it's not only inefficient, it's bad for morale.

    Just to say it again: lack of autonomy and a sense of empowerment.

    If you are used to varied editorial, with narrative and very high editorial standards, this can be a tough adjustment. It's got a newspaper/newswire sensibility, and very little patience for individual voice. Basically, we're doing a daily service-news website, reacting to breaking news with service pieces. That's where the main focus lies.

    Advice to Management

    You might assume that bad morale is just legacy employees who don't like change (or demands for excellence). That's partly true. But there really is a layer with very poor management instincts and skills, including newer managers. Numbers have improved a lot because of clear output goals from above, and because we've hired a lot of better people. That's fine, but it's not really going to achieve excellence. For that, you need to push autonomy down the organization, inspire people, etc. But this may all reflect upper management's values and approach...from my level there's really no clear way to know if there's a disconnect there.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Positive Company to work for - except..."

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

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great Benefits and working hours but that depends on which department you are working for

    Cons

    There are ineffective managers that are leading teams that know nothing about technology or are not technically savvy, yet they are managers. Why is this?

    Advice to Management

    Evaluate some of your technical managers in charge of tech to determine what is there expertise level.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Company on a digital transformation"

    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 Consumer Reports full-time

    Pros

    Good work-life balance. Employee wellness is very important to the company, There is a very nice gym.

    Cons

    Depends which department you work for. Some employees have been there over 30 years and some have been there for a few months.


  5. Helpful (16)

    "Don't believe the hype"

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

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    pretty good food in cafeteria and decent benefits; ok commute if you live in Westchester

    Cons

    Way, way behind in technology; very antiquated ways of 'managing' employees (i.e., having to physically be in office 5 days a week). Older employees have been fired, forced out or laid off, under the disguise of reorganization. In reality, it's a ruse to get rid of staffers on top of their game professionally and in pay. Never-ending changes in senior management that is totally clueless, like a ship with no rudder. No career path. The HR department keeps posting positive reviews to counter anything negative--believe the negative reviews as they are all true.

    Advice to Management

    None. You guys march to your own drummer and dismiss any suggestions by the people who actually do the work.


  6. Helpful (10)

    "Toxic"

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

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

    Pros

    Benefits are good. The mission is strong. Consumers need someone to trust. The food is decent. The CEO is a really nice person.

    Cons

    Toxic people are bad for your career and life. There are some nice people at CR but majority of the more seasoned employees at CR are terrible people to interact and work with. Believe the negative reviews, they are true. I attribute this to people battling to keep their jobs secure until they retire, without having to do much work for it.

    Advice to Management

    It is a tough spot to be in, dramatically changing technology and landscape, aging staff with antiquated ideas and philosophies. Advice to upper management, manage your managers.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great Work being done"

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

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    -Very smart people all aligned around a mission to help consumers
    -People talk about the revolving door on managers-not true. We have added managers, and a few have left, hardly a revolving door. Most added have been in new roles. For the most part they seem solid. Time will tell, like another year or so, if they can be truly great, but they are solid
    -While we did lose some long tenured employees, we are hiring employees with great technical skills and external perspective
    -Perfect time to join a non-partisan media outlet

    Take the negative with a HUGE grain of salt. Most employees are engaged, happy, and very proud to work here.

    Cons

    -Based in Westchester, not NYC
    -Base salaries are high and benefits are very good, but because they are non-profit, bonus plan is nominal

    Advice to Management

    Keep communicating, keep an open mind to employee ideas

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Current Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Director in Yonkers, NY
    Current Employee - Associate Director in Yonkers, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Consumer Reports (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful people working hard to do good works.
    Working hard to change and reshape company for digital age

    Cons

    Change is everywhere which naturally cause friction

    Advice to Management

    The board of directors needs to take a step back.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "The truth... get a job at CR while you can"

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

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    There is an immense amount of potential at CR for both organizational and individual prosperity. It would be best for those considering employment at CR to have an understanding of it's history. For many years, CR was the only player in product reviews. The organization as a whole got fat and happy without competition and a steady increase in revenue. Employment benefits were incredible, expectations were minimal, promotions were tenure- and not performance-based, and the need to innovate was not taken seriously. The age of the internet and competition came along and CR started loosing ground. Some senior leadership stayed too long and the tides of change were slow to react. CR found itself loosing subscribers, money, and relevancy to new audiences. Now there is an incredible senior leadership team whose influence continues to expand, responsibly may I add. They are dedicated to addressing the historical issues of both poor performing middle management and base level staff. The enthusiasm in various teams throughout CR is becoming contagious. The poor attitudes of entitled staff are fading. The culture of encouragement, excitement, and community is taking over. Staff, who have the foresight, ability, and ambition, can find the time and resources needed to thrive. Benefits and the mission are still top notch.

    Cons

    Some of the dead wood remain. It takes time to change responsibly. There's lack of adventure and accountability in certain areas and levels. It takes focus, determination, and creativity to navigate around the out-going establishment, although this won't last much longer. Straight talk can be frowned upon.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to staff, investigate in to what's being said and take action, support the promising and contributing staff, ensure the work load is appropriately distributed based upon work level and best management practices, and nurture the risk-taking mentality as promised.


  10. Helpful (17)

    "Sliding Culture"

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

    I have been working at Consumer Reports (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Really nice commute from Westchester.

    Cons

    One strange thing we keep seeing is that for every negative or slightly negative review here, a positive review gets posted addressing specific negative comments. This is clearly CR HR replying and trying to address anything negative. This is a strange practice and is really dubious on Consumer Report's part. Can't they just let honest negative reviews be, this is a sign of an insecure organization.

    The fact is that the organization has gotten worse the last few years and there have been around three distinct changes in upper management over the last five years, this is a fact. There has also been a huge shift in the level right below VP and CEO, Director and Senior Manager. This has caused huge negative impact on the culture.

    The bottomline is that CR isn't the great place to work that it used to be and the current HR and Executive team is trying to hide behind things like: change, digital transformation, brand re-positioning, etc. And the fact is that the very best organization do this stuff without mass lay-offs, scare tactics, and monumental shift in core culture. At the end of the day, CR isn't a good place to work and every prospective employee should know that and the fact that revenue us sliding as well. Period.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest. Stop trying to micro-manage and control opinions and truth in glassdoor.


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