Decent benefits. Flexible with scheduling.
I was brought in initially to help "build the brand", but that became extremely difficult as the people in charge of making critical marketing decisions employed a substandard and financially superficial approach to design that ultimately became a waste of time and money. Marketing decisions were almost always based on SEO results and revenue generated by ads that were literally years old. Because of this, building a brand became nearly impossible as the company was always looking backward instead of forward. Also worth mentioning is that you are monitored relentlessly. NCH monitors your keystrokes, takes screen shots of your monitor, records your web surfing habits, read your emails…the whole bit. Coupled with the below-average pay, these practices were in large part to what accounted for the comically large amount of the employee turnover. Overall, I quit my job voluntarily because of the poor handling of marketing and creative, the low pay, the extremely low employee morale, and the overarching themes of “quantity over quality” in nearly every aspect of the company. I would definitely not recommend working at NCH Software.
I have been working at NCH Software full-time (More than 5 years)
Reasonable flexibility with working hours.
Your opinions may be asked for but will probably never be heard or seriously considered. Owner holds the reigns very tightly and rarely will be swayed and often makes what most of the employees would consider "questionable" decisions edicts at best. Communication is poor and somewhat curt and people who can't adapt quickly to the company culture are dropped, making a stressful enviornment with very high turn over
I worked at NCH Software full-time (Less than a year)
Nice employees to Skype with (but nobody talks) and a benefits package is included depending on the salary negotiated. Also free coffee.
Employees have a purveying attitude of resentment and apathy due to atrocious, and at times lacking, management. There is a very high turnover rate, as far as I know there is only one person left in advertising, and this is evident throughout the company in projects employees are tasked with in which they have no clear understanding of how they were created or how to improve on them. Middle-management does not exist here (they have all been fired); expect instead to be micro-managed by ownership through poorly written, confusing Emails. The running joke is everyone literally dreads clicking on their MS Outlook icon each morning. Worse is the climate of acquiescing to any idea or project given by ownership; even if it will be detrimental to your personal, or company, performance. Keeping your head down and doing the minimum to stay out of trouble are the norm. The fear of change and investment is ripe here, which is frustrating as the software industry has great growth potential. Most technical help is in the Australia office, good luck coordinating your time zones. In my opinion, there really isn’t even an advertising department. Mainly because there isn’t a clear strategy other than to throw money at various channels and see what works, but also there are no internal tools for marketing, sales, CRM, etc., with an emphasis to develop basic tools in-house even when it doesn’t make sense to. The entire company, keep in mind this is a multi-million dollar, international software provider, is run through Excel spreadsheets. Finally, you will be monitored by invasive timekeeping software created by NCH Software. Every minute you work, are idle, every keystroke, regular screenshots, program statistics, etc.; basically don’t expect any privacy, freedom, or flexibility in your schedule. For most positions the pay is very low. Embarrassingly low.
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I worked at NCH Software full-time (More than a year)
As a software developer, you are always directly involved in influencing end products. You make a new feature or update something, it's tested, it gets released. The schedule is flexible. As long as you meet minimum working hours, they don't care what times you come in to work. The people I worked with (except senior management) were all very friendly, supportive, professional, and knowledgeable. No dress code. You don't have to wear a suit, which is nice. I could go to work in jeans and a tshirt. The business is growing, and often hiring. Easy to get a job if you're qualified.
Senior management believes in an 'I can do no wrong' approach. On one day, we had a meeting where we were warned "do not make changes to products simply because YOU think it's a good idea - make sure you have good reasons." Sure, that makes sense. But then literally one hour later, we had a design meeting for the project I was working on, and I was told "I think we should totally change this up, because I don't like it the way it is." When I tried to point out we'd been researching and developing the current design for months, I was told he was the boss and therefore I had to do what he said. They track every single move you make. On every computer, there is a program installed that tracks keystrokes, takes a screenshot every five minutes, and another screenshot every time you open a new window, and counts mouse clicks. If you don't press a key or click the mouse at least once per minute, it logs that you have gone "idle". It was extremely off-putting that I could not google something without senior management potentially being aware of it, and I could not take a five-minute break without my computer logging it. This was even worse because sometimes I would genuinely be working, but not at my computer. For example, in a meeting. There is little community feel. When I worked there, there was a 'kitchen' facility. It had a microwave, and a fridge. There was no space to sit and relax, or communicate with co-workers. You literally had to converse while sitting at your desk, or standing in a corridor. There was nowhere else to go. Lunchtime is set to be half an hour as standard. When I started working there, I was unaware of this rule, but was soon informed: "Your lunch hour is half an hour." As such, my agreement to work 9-5 days was obviously thrown out the window. I either had to work 9-5:30, skip half the lunch hour I expected, or eat at my desk while I worked. Most people chose to work and eat at the same time. The high turnover rate reflects how difficult it is to work there. There are a few employees who have worked there for longer, but even they admit dealing with senior management is difficult. The advice I was given was "just do what he says and once he's satisfied you can fix it."
Advice to Management
Stop micro-managing, follow your own rules, and LISTEN to your employees. You have hired them because they're experts, so let them share their expertise with you!
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