International SOS Employee Reviews about "french"

Updated Oct 6, 2018

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3.6
69%
Recommend to a Friend
86%
Approve of CEO
International SOS Chairman and CEO Arnaud Vaissié
Arnaud Vaissié
425 Ratings
Pros
  • "Flexibility of work environment within certain departments(in 42 reviews)

  • "Supportive Management; Comprehensive onboarding/training; Great culture; Flexible working; Really good work-life balance;(in 26 reviews)

Cons
  • "Simplification of the Senior Management structure(in 30 reviews)

  • "More likely to reach top management if you are French and above all a man(in 19 reviews)

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

Reviews about "french"

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  1. Helpful (5)

    "Brilliant purpose but where is it heading?"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at International SOS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - International SOS has a fantastic purpose and is saving lives - Work is challenging and motivating - The assistance centre is impressive - Very nice atmosphere in the business park in London

    Cons

    - More likely to reach top management if you are French and above all a man - For the past 2 years there has been restructuring every couple of months (some teams do not know their remit; eg in Asia/Pacific) - Huge gender salary gap (20% according to the Guardian) and HR doesn’t do anything about it - Low pension contribution

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  2. Helpful (1)

    "Business Development Manager"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Development Manager in Johannesburg
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at International SOS full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good package & excellent benefits. Great experience gained. Global feel & great cooperation from cross border colleagues.

    Cons

    Change is constant - 6 managers in 6 years. Executive Management is unfair and favours the french-speaking. Ridiculous incentive scheme, incentive scheme got cut by more than half. Incentive payout are 2 months in arrears. Target & Budget only provided in the 2nd quarter. Internal stakeholders always looking to blame the sales person. Zero career growth unless you are willing to relocate to Africa and that is if you are chosen by the GM.

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  3. Helpful (3)

    "Finance Analyst"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at International SOS full-time

    Pros

    - Nice folks, decent culture - Global reach

    Cons

    - Low compensation - Silo mentalities and departments - Confusing business strategies, that don't get explained outside of senior management - Low diversity at senior management level (male, white, french)

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  4. Helpful (4)

    "BDM"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Business Development Manager in Singapore
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at International SOS for more than 3 years

    Pros

    great on the ground people and line of work. Travel far and wide. Workforce of diverse cultures and nationalities, that add color to the workplace.

    Cons

    Very bureaucratic and complex organization. Friendship and personal relationships tend to be preferred against merit and performance when there's openings for promotions and relocation. French nationals also tend to be preferred against other nationalities as the owners are french. Poor work/life balance and benefits could be better.

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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Intl.SOS review"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at International SOS full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The products and services are very unique, you really feel immersed in the offerings of the company. Great company atmosphere.

    Cons

    The company is a like a French mafia. If you are not french you have little chance to grow. A multi-billion dollar company with 10k employees, yet you need to check every decision with the owners. No proper career path. HR at Intl.SOS are the worst, nothing to contribute. No remorse in firing employees because of bad management decision.

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  6. Helpful (10)

    "Outsiders or outside thinking not welcome!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant General Manager - Learning & Development in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at International SOS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - They save lives everyday! - Personal global cultural appreciation gained! - The diversity of clients from serving high end wealth clients with big demands in credit card concierge services through to life threatening security and medical situations for business travellers and expats is epic! - It's easy to have an emotional attachment to the products offered to clients!

    Cons

    - Egos!! Serious Egos!.. Flexing your style and consultation is standard in any industry (expected) But bending over backwards for everyone is a serious reality at International SOS. Let specialists focus on their job more and less on trying to pander to everyone's idiotic egotistical demands. - Racist if you are not Asian, French or South African. And frequently told so! (Particularly if you are not Asian) - Homophobic through avoidance. In 2 years non of the senior leadership team enquired about personal relationships (a question often posed to many heterosexual peers) - Bully culture, where those with no real position but have longevity are allowed to cause mayhem and upset without personal consequence. - Non supportive network in area of specialism! - Non feedback other than fault finding. Fault finding is deep seeded in the organisations DNA.. This helps case management but not people management! - Narrow minded outside of their products! - Unrealistic in bonus targets.. This organisation has a typical 12% growth year on year and sets bonus way above what any blue chip company could dream of! And so don't pay out! - They want change but are not willing to make changes! - Poor and non existing systems to support people aspects of the organisation. - Blurred reporting lines between medical and non medical! - Medical team put on an inappropriate pedestal. - Really poor bedside manner of medical team with clients and with other operational departments. (How is this accepted as okay in today's working world?) Yes medically trained personnel have a certain intelligence, but basic caring human interactions can not be above them. The strap line for the organisation is after all "worldwide reach, human touch"! - Poor holidays and benefits when aligned to similar organisations of this scale. - International travel to work locations is expected during personal time - Privately owned

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  7. Helpful (1)

    "4/5 but not a 5/5"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hong Kong
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at International SOS full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    What we do is great; directly supporting the lives of others. Personally used their service before joining the company and its amazing stuff. Great colleagues and get to work with people in various backgrounds. Feedback is being heard and internal communications is becoming more transparent and frequent from top management.

    Cons

    Even if you're new to the company you can see the lack of diversity in the management level. Very French dominated, and lack of gender equality. Even though the company is called "International" SOS, the leaders of this company is not representing the internationalism it stands for.

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  8. Helpful (21)

    "Only when you have to, otherwise stay away!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tricare Operations in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at International SOS full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Nice business park, 3 days on, 4 days off, shift swaps for longer holidays, many genuine colleagues

    Cons

    This company tends to keep a low profile. Bear in mind this is a fully privately owned company managed by a small circle of people including the owners, who dont give a cookie about what the employees think. Pretty much our way or the highway. After being almost 30 years in the business and after they have noticed that they have over 50% turn over per year...they recently started a 4 years plan to work out how to be able to manage working with people, i.e listen to them, implement their opinions, do regular company meetings etc...what normal companies just normally do(I think they are doing it for the show)! The fields in which the company operates, what one reads online, and then the recruitment process give a pretty good impression until you're invited to the assessement day....thinking you made it! Prioritsing test, writing test, typing test...and interview with the manager. The interview is somehow intimidating and very pushy, the chair you'd be sitting on is broken and keeps on swiveling, you might loose your balance, I spent the interview leaning to the front to keep balance and thought if I'd get the position, how would I deal with such an intimidating manager... Once you get the position, HR will ask you to print the contract yourself and bring a copy with you, I thought, was just me but found later on that all the new hires had to do that because....HR's printer was broken...really! They will want to know what illnesses you had/ have, how many days sick you were in the previous year aaaand they will run a background check on you, if you fail the background check the contract will be void and that background check is verry tyring and takes ages and most of the search you have to do it on your own and give it to the company. If passed the check that company keeps on checking on you for the entire employment time frame!!! Don't count on HR for anything and especially if you're hired from abroad...just sort yourself out with accommodation, bank account etc (good luck with that in London), they are very passive and cold... Also dont even ask for parking...you'll get a super condascending look of: 'you not important for parking' Then starts the 3 months training period, there you have to think of school times, where you'd be asked to keep quiet, be intimidated with questions, patronized and although with a university degree you'll be made feel of less value than the medical staff...still trying to figure out a plausible reason, your role and theirs is complementary and equal in importance! And after a while in the job you'll be in a position to identify yourself what would be medically necessary to be done in many cases....anyway moving on! Four assessments need to be passed to pass training...there's also an untold blessing from the guys on the floor by them providing continuous feedback on you...that counts as well. Keep in mind you can be fired anytime within the 3 months probation...I saw it happening! You'll then have the chance to go to the live floor and see and sit with the people...the first thing that stroke me was the general grumpiness and somewhat arrogance of some elements with a higher title...you'll have to be at work for 13 hours per day, 12 out of them on shift and at least 6 out of them extremely busy...to an extent you start wishing you had 2 more brains and 6 more limbs to manage what is being thrown at you during that time...keeping cool could often become a challenge. In that time you have to answer calls, at the same time type what's being said, at the same time a supervisor could be speaking with you, at the same time you receive an email to finish a notification, at the same time the medical team will confer with you, at the same time boards start beeping...this is not a joke, this is a true story....when you take that job they think they hired an octopus! In your working day you have to put up with a french or a czech superior screaming at you, you have to keep positive about any provided feedback, you have to accept quality failing you, you have to do your reviews, do any tests, any courses, put up with screaming psychos on the phone, all that on a lame outdated system that keeps on hanging and reacts with a delay that haunts you even when you're working on your home computer....you'll be even assigned additional work..never dream you'd be left with a quiet moment, work is just as a waterfall, one finished thing genrates the next by design till the case is closed....and if it happens at all that it gets quiet and you think you finished for once your workload...an email will stroll through advising to start working on next days' tasks....they are short of thank yous and deeply expect you to be early and do extra time and never ask for that time back (they won't pay for it anyway nor give it back to you, so just don't invest more time than your shift)....on the other hand, dare to come one day late or spend few minutes longer in break, that time will be immediately requested back from you...do it few times and HR will be made quick to intervene.... The golden rule HR is really just the authority that makes sure the company's owners liked rules are being enforced....I asked my self a lot if HR never asked itself someone could take legal actions against the company...you might see few things really on the edge of legal. I still wonder if the company is EU/ UK legal..I really wondered a lot if the owners still have the colonialist mentality....strange company really. The company's motto is human touch but not for the employees, a colleague had a terrible headache and wanted to go home, was given pills and asked to carry on working. My clock showed lunch time, I stood up to go but was told by the manager there was still a minute left on the clock and was asked to sit down for that minute. A colleague wanted to go to the toilet, was asked to sit down because it's busy...it happens very often that people try not to drink much water so they dont' have to stand up and go to the toilet. Again real stories that could go on and on and on... I'm talking about grown up adults being trated this way (many over 30), one can see guys being intimitaded by superiors and blushing red not knowing how to hanlde the situation, soon after they leave the company....weird place really. Intimidation is normal, the atmosphere is very close to bullying... The average time new hires spend in employment is around 18 months, definitely between the 6th and 9th month most people start looking for another job. I started from the 4th month! A complete new hire class left in the 3rd month.... After around a year you have to do night shifts for 5% more money, the promised salary increase is rather fiction, they keep on failing people and slowing the progress down. Quality run by frustrated personalities is notorious for failing people, for mistakes done by the medical team! Again true story, dont even try to fight it. Then if you finally get that long awaited salary increase it is entirely up to the management to evaluate how much they're gonna give you...and they would push it as low as they can. For instance seniors used to get 32500 per year, once that level is reached, now IF you will be senior, IF, possibly you'll get 28000 after god knows how long then...that although their contract got bigger and more secure. Although being failed and get no salary increase your responsibilities keep on increasing and end up doing seniors jobs for muuuuch less money...smart business idea that could be seen as modern slavery as well. If you are lucky enough to get a warning for anything, your progress will be blocked for a year, and therefore your salary increase. Nice trick...I saw that happening as well. Also being a senior doesn't make you more respected, NO, you are expected to do more and accept more...don't try to fight anything. One senior goes regularly to the toilet to cry and come back, so wasn't able to cope but can't give up the job, another one with stress related issues.... They have two TV sets that start annoyingly and continuously beeping one after the other when calls are waiting...and you'll be sitting literally bewteen them...Nervous breakdown guaranteed! Everyone who left, left a grievance with HR against the management...the same people they complained about are the same people there for years....no changes are made...a colleague who left told me he was told in secret, that if the department is rolling fine, changes won't be made...so those grievances have certainly landed in the BIN! And if you dare to complain while still working, hoping things will get better...just expect regular retaliation till you wether give up and resign or you'll be fired because they made you fail continuously....so no more up to the job...and I have seen that happening. In less than a year I have seen 12 operational people leaving, including at least 4 seniors, also 2 key managers, a major director and the HR director. Regularly one reads people's fairwells. So departments are chronically understaffed. People working unpaid time, also paid overtime (only when the company don't have another choice) and four new hire classes per year(back to back evry 3 months), is what keeps the department going. Also be wary of the 3 days on, 4 days off, that might sound nice and relaxing, but with all the stress in the 3 days, you end up shaking at the end of your 3rd day, additionally it is not always the case...sometimes you have to work 4 days, or have just one day off inbetween...it varies In general when walking around the office expect the person walking in front of you to let the door bang in your face, people you see everyday don't say hi or good morning if you don't say it, even people you work with just pass next to you like you were a ghost....at some stage you give up being friendly by nature...the weirdest of work environments I've come across! You'll have doctors walking around while talking loud on their mobile phone or have them ring loud in the office while you're trying to focus on work or have a conversation with a patient...again this company thinks they are better than you. So all in all, if you're desperate for a job, young and ambitious and ready to take anything, or any other social situation that makes you go for this job, go for it...before the year ends you probably will be looking for something else....Or may be you'll be one of the few the management may open doors for...but then you need to keep on feeding them things about your colleagues! This review is specific to tricare remote operations in London, but it's very similar in any other department. The people in operations are the fuel of the tricare contract but they are the most disrespected. Just like fuel replaceable! If you have any ethical issues working for an army, make sure you ask if what you applied for is for the military, since that is normally not advertised nor told. In my case I was told in my 2nd day of training...I wasn't thrilled about that! The job and company are too much trouble for a yet another call centre job, your management have the illusion it is a great job!

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  9. Helpful (5)

    "Senior management and lack of prospects will ruin this company"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at International SOS full-time

    Pros

    There are some very talented and loyal people. Your job can be exciting and in best case scenario you do feel like you are helping people. If you work with right people it can be enjoyable.

    Cons

    A completely nepotist and sexist organisation. Managers fly around in first class and stay in 5 star hotels (evidently; I have seen the bills); while the salaries and benefits for the rest, particularly women, are pathetic. One of these managers I have never heard say or do anything relevant; he doesn't understand the business at all but he has got where he is by being a white middle aged male who "talks the talk" ie. insufferable corporate jargon that means nothing. These are the types of people that get ahead. It also helps if you are French. Hardly any training is provided, you're just expected to know or make it up as you go. An old fashioned company to the core, discouraging flexible working times or working from home, they like women in the kitchen and taking care of babies, no need to come back after maternity. The attitude to employees' well being is incredibly condescending. They recently had an employee survey; however the issues raised were just brushed under the carpet and solutions presented were on the level of "coffee mornings" (buy your own coffee though) and a laminated Best Practices/Team building poster on the kitchen wall. At the same time we were told to expect small bonuses and budget for a summer party/team building events etc. taken away. So once again Management abstained from taking responsibility and the message is that any employee being unhappy is their own fault/they're just whining.

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  10. Helpful (6)

    "Get me the hell out of here"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at International SOS full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I find nothing positive about this company, the product could be great and the clients we serve are fantastic and want answers to their problems.....we just do not deliver

    Cons

    This is a disaster of a company, it is led by a group of French dictators who have no regard for their employees or the products they sell. All that matters is the bottom line. There are so many great people in this company that have come and gone and people who now directly compete against them. This company provides no employee support they have their favourites who do nothing but bow and scape and travel around the world on the company. There senior managers are spineless squirrels who do nothing but obstruct the good people below them.

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