PLOS Reviews | Glassdoor

PLOS Reviews

Updated September 8, 2017
43 reviews

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2.9
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Alison Mudditt
1 Rating

43 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Supportive, Fun, and Mission-Driven"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Publications Assistant, ONE in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Publications Assistant, ONE in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PLOS full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I have been an employee at PLOS for 6 months and I am thankful for my time here - I do not plan to leave soon. My managers are extremely supportive of my professional development and value consistent feedback, which creates an open, communicative workspace. I am challenged each day and feel busy all the time, while not feeling too overwhelmed. The workspace is inviting and my coworkers are all friendly, open-minded, and welcoming.

    Cons

    Pay could be higher, but hey, it's non-profit.

    PLOS Response

    Feb 7, 2017 – HR Consultant

    Thank you for your kind words. We are very happy that you enjoy working at PLOS!

    --Mariah, HR


  2. "ok, not great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at PLOS full-time

    Pros

    great mission, values, people, location

    Cons

    overextended, unequal work loads across departments and teams

    PLOS Response

    Sep 5, 2017 – HR Team

    Thanks for sharing your feedback! We'll be sure to take both your pros and cons into consideration, as our goal is for PLOS to be an increasingly great place to work.

    - PLOS HR Team

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Good mission and ideas, but there is much work to be done...."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Publications Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Publications Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PLOS full-time

    Pros

    -Good Work/Life Balance

    -Great Mission, with some great and driven people that strive to keep this mission alive

    -Happy Hour every Friday (Wifri)

    -Busy, but you do learn a great deal in a short period of time

    -Casual/informal attire

    -Great place if you are fresh out of college, and need to kick start your career/gain experience

    -There are some genuine people here that work hard, and want to see their department/journal/company succeed and excel.

    -The CEO, Richard, seems motivated to change the company for the better. He also appears to care about the opinions of his employees, and has regular office hours so that anyone can drop by and voice their concerns to him directly.

    Cons

    Management: Firstly, I strongly agree with many of the past and most recent reviews regarding the management here at PLOS. Management appears to be unequipped to deal with multiple employees and conflicts that arise on the team. There seems to be this unspoken understanding when hiring managers/promoting people that as long as the candidate has worked at PLOS, and the candidate is friends with those who are interviewing him/her, then that candidate should be hired or promoted. There appears to be no logical reason as to why people get promoted into far more challenging roles that they truly weren’t ready for.

     A lot of these managers are super young, inexperienced, and have not had any prior management training or mentor-ship. They are just thrown into the job, and fumble around incessantly. These managers do not truly have a grasp on the workflows and processes of the journal they now manage/oversee, and as a result, poor decisions are made.

    Culture: On the surface, everyone smiles and appear to be friendly. However, as time passes, you will understand that this place is exactly like high school: a place consisting of loud, and obnoxious people, cliques, gossip (some of the gossip/rumors are started by the managers themselves!), and decisions/promotions driven on popularity, not merit/hard work. If you are a part of these cliques, then congratulations, expect to excel through the ranks no matter how sub-par your work is! There is this vague, almost non-existent line between management/employee relationships, which clearly creates situations of favoritism. Many of these managers are a part of these cliques, and promote/give praise to who they like, not who actually deserved the promotion. Good people get passed up, and bad employees excel, which definitely leads to an increase in turn-over.

    Also, I believe that the workplace should remain as a neutral environment when it comes to politics (and religion as well). Regardless of whom you support or what you believe, you should not shove your political viewpoints down other people’s throats. Though I personally did not like the outcome of our presidential election, I don’t need to make public statements at work like “If people voted for [insert name here], then they are idiots”! We as American citizens have the right to vote for whomever we see fit for POTUS, and creating a politically charged atmosphere at work causes division, alienation, and toxicity in the workplace. Whether I agree with people’s political views or not, people need to keep their political views to themselves while at work, and focus on actual WORK and learning their roles.

    Advice to Management

    -TRAIN YOUR MANAGERS! I think that there needs to be some kind of required mentor-ship or training program set up for ALL managers (new and more experienced), and periodic training refreshers. Management roles need to be taken more seriously here, and managers need to be held more accountable for their actions and behavior.

    -Also, 360 reviews for management might be helpful, as this can help the company get a better idea of how they are perceived through the eyes of multiple people. A manager's boss may not interact with or see him/her everyday, and may not have the full picture of the quality of work performance and behavior.

    -There might need to be more external hiring to help reduce bias. This company needs to work on reducing this "friends hiring friends" mentality (especially for management roles).

    -Part of having a competitive edge as a company is to have a strong, solid workforce. If bad employees are climbing up the ranks, then the good ones leave. This leads to low employee retention and less productivity overall. Good management will help to retain good employees. This will result in increased productivity, more opportunity for innovation and creativity, a positive workplace culture, and a stronger competitive edge.

    PLOS Response

    Mar 7, 2017 – HR Consultant

    I would love to chat with you in person to learn more about your perspective. PLOS's HR Director, Katie, is back from maternity leave and she has plans to expand the management training program that... More


  4. Helpful (3)

    "A toxic workplace with a great mission"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Publications Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Publications Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    We have a happy hour every Friday and a generous benefits package. Expect a 40 hour workweek, 3 weeks of vacation and a good work/life balance. The atmosphere is friendly with a casual dress code. Departments are highly stratified and each has their own culture, some better than others.

    Cons

    If you like low wages and office politics, PLOS is your place. At face value, people are friendly- however, once you try to advance in the company, be aware that PLOS is not a meritocracy and the biases, misogyny, and incompetence of the hiring managers will keep anyone who excels at their job down while unthreatening, yet mediocre employees will rise through the ranks. Hiring and promotion decisions appear arbitrary and/or personality based and it doesn't appear that anyone at PLOS knows how to assess a resume or cover letter with regard to a job description. PLOS celebrates mediocrity which explains why they’ve lost some of their best brains over the past year or so. Human Resources has been a revolving door for the past 18 months, so there is no one with both the knowledge and authority to provide oversight or training to poor managers. Wages are low and management has trouble hiring qualified people at starting salaries. From a broader perspective, there is a very top-down approach to communication and decision makers rarely seek out the knowledge and perspectives from people on the ground. The deciders are extremely wedded to their methods and procedures, even when they don’t work and don’t know what they don’t know. Supervisors are given immense responsibility with little training or structure, and many lack competence in dealing with personnel issues, resolving conflicts, or developing staff. In terms of advancement, there isn't much opportunity despite high turnover due to organizational structure. Other than our current CEO, management is so out of touch with the day-to-day operations as well as office culture- they have no idea who the toxic people are that are destroying the morale of entire departments via incompetence and inexcusable bias.

    Advice to Management

    I would advise management to implement 360 reviews for anyone involved in hiring/promotion decisions, reinstate management training with extra sessions in unconscious biases, best practices in hiring, and talent development. Managers need to do more to understand the talent at their fingertips-find your staff's background, this is not everyone's first job! More consistent interactions/involvement from management might facilitate a more steady stream of communication. Put a reliable and skilled HR department into place. Increase wages and reinstate the educational reimbursement program.

    PLOS Response

    Feb 7, 2017 – HR Consultant

    Hi. Thank you for your candor. If you are comfortable doing so, I would really like to meet with you in person to learn more about your experience at PLOS to hear more about what we can learn and... More


  5. "Good opportunities within, pay could be better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Publications Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Publications Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very reasonable working hours, minimal overtime. Great coworkers and supportive work environment for the most part. Good opportunities to move up within the company.

    Cons

    Management can be out of touch with the issues facing staff - primarily under-resourcing. Pay could be better - it's benchmarked to other publishing companies rather than other tech firms, but PLOS expects tech-firm type skills (business ops, data analysis)


  6. "Great first full time dev job."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Laid-back culture, friendly people, good company mission. Supportive to incoming engineers, though the onboarding can be haphazard. Good benefits, despite being a nonprofit. Nice location, decent nearby food options.

    Cons

    Management has faced challenges adapting to modern technology practices like agile development and DevOps. Inability to invest time in changes that will relieve technical debt is frustrating.

    Advice to Management

    Explore methods of motivating and cultivating innovation within the company. Letting bureaucracy get in the way of doing what is best for the engineers (not using best practices or tools) demotivates employees.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Short-term vs Long-term"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, nice office and culture. Competitive pay depending on department. Excellent mission. Organization is relatively stable and professional. A lot of opportunities for go-getters who follow through.

    Cons

    Leadership get distracted by short term ideas that will undoubtedly negatively impact the timing and execution of long term goals.

    Some leadership have been in the publishing industry so long it's impacting their ability to disrupt... and they're not open to critical feedback.

    Young staff members turn over quickly due to non-competitive wages and less than stellar recruitment and management.

    Too much stagnation due to politics.

    Advice to Management

    Look critically at your output and disregard your personal biases. Ask for help from the organization: we know a lot.

  8. "Nice place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at PLOS full-time

    Pros

    - Busy atmosphere with smart, friendly staff who seem to genuinely enjoy each others' company.
    - Pay competitive for publishing or nonprofit.
    - Strong founding mission and values.
    - Opportunities to learn / get involved in different projects and initiatives.

    Works best for people who like to multi-task, problem solve, and are very flexible.

    Cons

    Suffers from some of the growing pains listed in other reviews: high turn over, unclear communication, shifting projects and priorities.

    Most likely not a good fit for those who prefer structure, clear instructions, consistency in tasks and responsibilities.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the mission in the forefront. Be transparent with staff and customers.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Good company for early career individuals"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Publishing Services in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Publishing Services in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at PLOS full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good advancement opportunities depending on the team. Access to executives to listen to employee ideas.

    Cons

    Need to do more to create a team environment, some coworkers are only out for themselves

    Advice to Management

    see above


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Ups and downs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at PLOS full-time

    Pros

    The mission attracts great people to work with. Weekly happy hours. Friendly environment where everyone is dedicated to the cause. Decent work/life balance. Excellent benefits package.

    Cons

    Career opportunities are few and far between. Pay is decent for publishing, but not for Bay Area living. High turnover.

    Advice to Management

    Address the retention problem by taking an interest in employee satisfaction.


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