Illumina Reviews

Updated May 14, 2021

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4.0
75%
Recommend to a Friend
93%
Approve of CEO
Pros
  • "The work is fast paced and always changing depending on evolving needs(in 89 reviews)

  • "The company encourages a healthy work life balance(in 88 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Work-life balance could be better(in 74 reviews)

  • "It is fast paced and can be crazy(in 67 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

    Ratings by Demographics

    This rating reflects the overall rating of Illumina and is not affected by filters.

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year
      Featured Review

      Amazing!

      Nov 25, 2020 - Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - benefits are top notch: flexible time off and company wide shutdowns around holidays twice a year is better than any other place I’ve worked - career progression opportunities and a focus on growth of employees - great people that seem to love what they do and love working here - the mission makes the work feel important and interesting - for software engineering specifically: working with new tech and lots of interesting problems to solve

      Cons

      None - love working here so far.

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    2. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Great place to work

      May 14, 2021 - Senior Financial Analyst in San Diego, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The company offers good compensation

      Cons

      A lot of executive turn around.

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    3. 4.0
      Former Employee

      Good product very low pay

      Mar 12, 2021 -  
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good product but as is obvious company is no longer innovating in core technology. Every product is just a rehash of the next one while trying to acquire competing companies. Still is the leader in short read but incremental progress. Needs to get pacbio or grail to grow. Covid care was good.

      Cons

      Significantly low pay compared to other companies specially if you are competing with tech companies and not just pharma. Hr initial offer is so low that it is insulting. For starters where San Diego semi giant staff pays 165 k base 55k stocks and 35 k bonus...illumina senior staff is 155k base 12 percent bonus which is not paid most years or just a fraction and a stock of 50k. People are leaving for element and other places for 35 percent higher pay but Illumina responds with 3% raise. It is pathetic and I moved to a more expensive place with almost 75 percent raise if i include stocks. Should have gone much earlier.

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      14 people found this review helpful
    4. 4.0
      Former Employee

      Lots of Brilliant Fish Swimming in a Muddled Pond

      Mar 26, 2021 - Engineer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Illumina has very very good at externally marketing itself as an employer. Media publications, in particular, tend to herald it as the "Google of biotech" and for better or for worse the recruiting team tries to play up this image. A couple pros I found: - Brilliant people. Like, really really smart. A lot of PhDs, MDs, dual MBA/MS degrees walking around. A lot of folks with very in depth knowledge about a relatively novel and admittedly complicated field. I was particularly impressed by the bioinformatics folks as well as some of the more seasoned process engineers. - Beautiful campus. Lots of well-designed buildings, coffee bars, koi ponds, an onsite gym. This was very much a pre-COVID perk, but for aspiring applicants it should be open as time goes on. - If you're in HQ, then you can live in San Diego. People really like to ham this up when getting folks to join. It's true, San Diego is very nice, but the location can be a double edged sword. More on this later. - Working for a "winner". Remember that board game you played as a kid, the one with Boardwalk and Park Place? Yeah, that's Illumina's market share in the industry. It's not a surefire protector against layoffs and the like, but it does help a bit with job stability and gives you a "brand name". - Vacation benefits. I have some issues with the entire comp/benefits package (more on that below) but the vacation benefits are amazing. 2 mandated shutdowns a year + FTO. FTO is also a double edged sword as that depends a lot on your management/org structure, but I was fortunate enough in my Illumina experience to have management that was supportive of vacation and wellness.

      Cons

      A lot of my downsides aren't new: they have been expressed in multiple reviews here and both in internal employee surveys. - Lower velocity & higher bureaucracy: The company is growing, and with that comes layers upon layers of bureaucracy, multiple reorgs, and a lack of clear vision from upper management. Everyone is trying to do everything at once, there's not enough high visibility projects to go around, and everyone wants a piece of the pie. - When Everything's on Fire, Nothing Is: This has been mentioned in previous reviews, but there definitely is a culture in the GQO org of "I need this, and I need this now." Priority is not assigned, and if it is then it is always at the highest priority. Not only is it exhausting and a lead-in to burnout, it also numbs the employee to responding to an issue if it actually *is* high priority. "Oh this request is high priority? Yeah, so were the last 5. Just throw it in the back of the queue." - Meetings: Everything is a meeting, and maybe about 50% of these things need to be. Everything needs to be thrown in a PowerPoint, and maybe about 50% of these things need to be. - Compensation: I said in the Pros that vacation is nice, but compensation is anything but. I actually debated putting this one here because, if you work at Illumina and are reading this, odds are you already know that compensation is poor. And by "poor" I mean something else but I don't want this review to get banned from Glassdoor, so I'll settle with "poor". That's why you see it plastered all over these glassdoor reviews. I know this, you know this, honestly HR probably know this. This is the thing: I'm not really sure if it will change. You know what I said about Illumina's recruiting being good at marketing? Yeah. Why compensate your folks more if you're "the Google of genomics" and people are clamoring to get in?

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      21 people found this review helpful
    5. 2.0
      Current Employee

      Great mission and company purpose - toxic leadership

      Mar 28, 2021 - Associate Director in Hayward, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The company develops and manufactures great products that help improve the lives of people all over the world. It is a fulfilling mission and many of the people that join because of this. There are many smart and talented people at the company and it's great to be in a company that is really making a difference in the world. The potential for the company is incredible.

      Cons

      politics. The interactions between the executives is just awful and it has led to many good executives leaving. Over the last year or more we have lost so many good people, multiple SVP's, VP', senior directors and more. The main reason these people are leaving is because of the actions of the CEO. He says people are leaving for the money but most of them are not, they are leaving because he doesn't let his team lead without coming in and directing people without many times have the informtation needed to make a good decisions. He continually insults and puts people down. He is always changing things an we hear in the company survey how people complain about the lack of focus and prioritizaiton and the start and stopping of project which are most a result of the CEO not focusing and being all over the map.

      8 people found this review helpful
    6. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Great company to work for

      May 7, 2021 - Senior Process Development Engineer in San Diego, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The company looks to ensure employees will fit within the culture. Coworkers are very inclusive and generally good people. The product vision/impact is meaningful.

      Cons

      Not as competitive pay. Sometimes too fast paced. Certain areas lack program/project manager roles and therefore a lot of logistics fall on regular engineers to manage.

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    7. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Great place to do rewarding work

      May 4, 2021 - Software Engineer I in San Diego, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Company has a genuine interest in the well-being of its employees - Management trusts employees to work without being micromanaged - Rewarding to work for a leader in genomics with great values and goals - Benefits are best-in-class

      Cons

      - Extremely fast paced environment can lead to burn-out - Reorganizations are not uncommon and can cause disruptions

      1 person found this review helpful
    8. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Great Mission and Company Culture

      May 4, 2021 - Business Data Analyst in San Diego, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great company culture, people who really care and work hard to accomplish goals, awesome benefits, competitive compensation, beautiful campus.

      Cons

      Fast pace can lead to constantly shifting priorities. Will not commit to full remote strategy as we come out of the pandemic. Senior leadership sometimes feels disconnected from needs of employees.

      1 person found this review helpful
    9. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Amazing place to work!

      May 4, 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      So many perks, the pay is great as well as the free time off. The people really make the place great!

      Cons

      Some groups are overworked. Department fit is very important.

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    10. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      great place

      May 11, 2021 - Research Scientist in San Diego, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Illumina is a great place to work

      Cons

      lots of meetings. Many concurrent projects.

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