Illumina Reviews | Glassdoor

Illumina Reviews

Updated May 11, 2017
68 reviews

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2.9
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Illumina President & CEO Francis deSouza
Francis deSouza
11 Ratings

68 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Pretty good flexibility in our work helps with work life balance (in 22 reviews)

  • Innovative and fast paced environment (in 45 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is always a concern (in 50 reviews)

  • Fast paced environment with constant changing of directions on priorities (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (6)

    "It depends on where you work."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    At Illumina, you will work with and be one of many smart people advancing science and medicine. At the end of the day, that feels great.

    Cons

    As with any environment, office politics can be tough.

    Advice to Management

    Be more flexible -- consider telecommuting, flextime, and other work/life balance programs.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Not a bad place to work, but needs improvement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You will work with energetic, friendly and very, very smart people. You will market products that are advancing scientific research in amazing ways. You will be empowered and supported should you wish to learn more about your trade.

    Cons

    Very hectic work atmosphere where working long hours are necessary, with not a lot of down time in between projects. Not a lot of opportunity for upward mobility.

    Advice to Management

    Provide clear paths for the smart people you hire to advance in their career. Hire more staff to support the workload so the dedicated workers you hire do not get burned out.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "All decisions are made by the top management, the rest are robots trained to obey."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Engineer in Hayward, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Engineer in Hayward, CA
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Work on cool bio tech equipment

    Cons

    Promotions based on favoritism. Idiot managers in high positions.

    Advice to Management

    Loosen the controls.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Good people, questionable job satisfaction"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technician in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Technician in San Diego, CA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible Hours (you can come in whenever you want as long as you get 40-50 hrs a week)
    As many overtime hours as you can stand to do
    Genuinely good hearted, down to earth people who work here
    Diverse employee group (both racially and age-wise)
    Good in-house cafe
    Higher-ups with occasionally buy us lunch

    Cons

    3/4 of the workforce are "temps," which allows the company to hire us for 40-50 hours a week without benefits, so no paid time off, no vacation, no sick days
    Typical corporate culture (i.e. culture-less workplace)
    Production process an environmental disaster (tons of trash with minimal recycling program)
    Job involves starting at a computer screen about 90% of the time
    Job nature is pretty boring - assembly line type atmosphere with 0 creativity involved
    Mostly a solo job - you work in solitude most of the time
    Poor gender ratio is bad for everyone! (10 to 1 guy to girl ratio in my department)

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating your manufacturing floor employees like unimportant temp workers! We work our asses off to make the machines which make you millions of dollars, you could at least hire us on with benfits! The "economic downturn" is no excuse for unethical hiring and unfair compensation. Allow us to choose our own vacation time - don't ask us to work the weekend to "make the numbers," and then force us to take off a full week for christmas when we dont get paid for it! I dont even celebrate christmas!


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Market Lead, but Overvalued"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good job security as the company is intentionally understaffed to increase margins.
    Compensation still a bit above market, but weighted towards equity

    Cons

    Stock price has little upside
    Sequencing is becoming more commoditized and Illumina relies on high margins which will likely dwindle over time
    Poor work-life balance
    A tremendous lack of leadership below CEO level, still acts like a $100M revenue company


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Good place to work, however lack of communication between management and employees hurts."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good People and work environment. Fast Paced and Challenging. The compensation seems right for the positions being held (if negotiated well)

    Cons

    Lack of communication between the management and employees about the exact direction of the company. Plenty of broad spectrum directional communication that isn't really clear. Plenty of lateral movement, very little upward movement. Very little recognition and very high demand on employees. Seem to be drawn into work even during "off" days.

    Advice to Management

    Some major changes need to happen, especially in the mid/lower management. Sometimes you need to step back before going forward.


  8. Helpful (6)

    "An intense ride that will keep you on your toes during your tenure,"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Prefer Not to Disclose in La Jolla, CA
    Former Employee - Prefer Not to Disclose in La Jolla, CA
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Although the benefits and perks at Illumina are amazing it's the the employees at Illumina that keeps the company strong. The yoga/gym/recreation on site and the monthly happy hours / half yearly sponsored corporate parties allow us to network with so many individuals from various pars of the company. Illumina does know how to care of its own. The salary is pretty competitive with stock options, bonus, raise, etc.

    You learn a lot of valuable skills at Illumina in such a small amount of time. They expect you to hit the ground running. 1 or 2 years at Illumina is the equivalent of 3-5 years at a regular company.

    Cons

    When I came on board with Illumina, I was hired specifically more certain skill sets. I have seen myself and others included have their positions radically evolve into something completely different. Regardless of whether or not you are satisfied with the change. Projects and priorities could shift instantly, leaving things a bit chaotic at the office.

    Illumina's core values don't seem to align with your personal goals and end of year review, which tends to lower your raise/bonus. Whether this is on purpose or not I leave that to the employee.
    There seemed to be a disconnect in communication and goals between upper/middle management and rest of the teams.

    Advancement and movement across the organization was difficult and hard get approval of for some employees. No structure was in place to show you a path to becoming a senior person on the team or move into a manager or assistant director role.

    Although Illumina does hire outstanding employees, there seemed to be a lack of basic MS skill sets or analytics for some of the employe thereby having no understanding of their data the to create presentations critical for senior management on how their business line is doing.

    Turnover is quite high. The burnout and level that you are running at Illumina can be exciting but also stressful.

    Advice to Management

    Structured and concise path for growing and advancing to the next level at our position.
    Find a way to keep top talented employees from turning over after several years. Turnover is quite high.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Illumina Inc. Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager, Diagnostics Instrument Manufacturing in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Manager, Diagnostics Instrument Manufacturing in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Illumina full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Cutting edge technology, motivated and hard working employees, great people on a personal level

    Cons

    Same management team since early in the companys growth. Transitioning from start-up to small company to medium sized company with same management team has been challenging since they started as a Life Sciences company and are currently transitioning to add diagnostics and medical devices which are regulated by the FDA. Management often "doesn't know what they don't know". Without former experience with the FDA, sometimes management has overreacted to minor observations and not reacted enough to the need for more robust quality system needs. They are getting better but it has been more painful than it should have been.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the people who have former experience with the FDA and other regulatory agencies. It may not seem needed initially, but will pay itself back ten fold if 483 observations are minimized and product recalls are prevented.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Fading Into Mediocrity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Various in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Various in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Illumina full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Illumina is a fast-paced and exciting place to work with bleeding edge product development. There are a lot of great people still working there which can help make it a fun environment.

    Cons

    Illumina has lost quite a bit of what made it special in their growth from a little start up to a dominant genomics company. They hire very good people, but then management doesn't trust them to make their own decisions. Top level management is still trying to tightly control everything.
    The transition to a diagnostics company, while important, is not really going anywhere. It likely won't until they make a radical move (ie, buying a diagnostics company or getting bought by a diagnostics company).

    Advice to Management

    Trust the people you've hired. Establish a path for career development and give the middle managers more authority to go along with their responsibility.


  11. "Illumina treated me fairly, and in addition to learning a lot, I had many positive experiences with my colleagues."

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

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

    Pros

    Illumina is the leader in its industry, and is keenly aware of, and responds to, competitive threats.

    Cons

    Unless you are in the San Diego office, you are effectively a "second-class citizen". Communication to other offices is poor.

    Advice to Management

    Don't pay lip-service to developing the management skills of employees who are managers - actually do it, and take it very, very seriously. It would dramatically reduce turnover. While turnover is not great, it could be much lower.


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