Penguin Random House Reviews | Glassdoor

Penguin Random House Reviews

Updated March 13, 2019
397 reviews

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3.8
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Markus Dohle
174 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Very caring managers, diverse selection of books, great work life balance" (in 33 reviews)

  • "Plus, there are bookshelves everywhere from which to take free books" (in 69 reviews)

Cons
  • "Some departments have limited room for growth, competitive" (in 13 reviews)

  • "Low pay in comparison to graphic designers in other industries" (in 26 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Best Job of My Career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Editor in New City, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Editor in New City, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Penguin Random House full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I respect the leadership; consistent cost of living raises every year; PRH's size means there's a lot of best-in-industry analytics and support

    Cons

    With little turn over, there isn't much room for advancement within the same department. However, there are good opportunities if you're willing to change teams.


  2. "PRH Labs Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Labs Assistant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Labs Assistant in New York, NY

    I have been working at Penguin Random House full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Location and benefits are great, offices are always welcoming.

    Cons

    Lack of company communication across departments and imprints.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Unmatched Benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Credit Correspondent in Westminster, MD
    Former Employee - Credit Correspondent in Westminster, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Penguin Random House full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The benefits provided at PRH are amazing. Several weeks of paid vacation, bonuses, free books, the opportunity to meet authors, etc.

    Cons

    There isn't a lot of room to grow as a professional within this company. A lot of people get comfortable working in the same position for several years. They will dock your pay if you miss working the day after a holiday, regardless of weather conditions.

    Advice to Management

    Communication is key... with all employees.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Lack of POC is a REAL business opportunity issue"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editor in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Editor in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Penguin Random House full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Long-standing reputation
    Money to buy competitive books
    Highly organized operations
    Summer Fridays
    Holiday blackout
    Free books

    Cons

    Merge eliminated much of the Penguin nonfiction side
    Lack of diversity and inclusivity. Not enough POCs which is a problem across the board in the industry
    Minimum effort towards diversity awareness— diverse books yes but hardly any diversity within the company especially editorial

    Advice to Management

    As the largest publishing house in the world and among the Big 5, it’s unacceptable that there is a diversity issue and lack of POC. There was also zero effort to maintain imprints that were doing actual work that promoted and supported the hiring of POC employees. It’s not enough to seek out “diverse books”; invest in POC people and the fresh perspective they bring. Diversity is the future and any company who doesn’t incorporate it in their business model will lose out in the market.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Best Publishing Company in the Industry"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Art Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Art Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Penguin Random House full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Amazing facilities, great systems, hardworking and progressive staff, the best books in the business, strong diversity & inclusion programs, top-notch health benefits including maternity and paternity leave, a multitude of programs for learning and development, and a great work-life balance.

    Cons

    While it is the leader in the publishing industry, there are many pockets of teams which are still mired in sexist, misogynistic, racist, and generally ignorant tendencies. The company is actively training, but managers are still not given adequate education to deal with the complex situations that can arise when running a department. Leadership is often a dictatorial situation rather than a collaborative one.

    The company would like to think it is a tech forward, but it pays too low to be competitive in talent acquisition with other industries, so it needs to invest in technology in a much more disruptive and progressive manner.

    Publishing is in a transitional period with a pause in the growth areas, so it is hard to say what the future will look like, but PRH is the house to lead books into this new age.

    Advice to Management

    The employees are your best resource. Treat them as such and pay them livable salaries, promote them on merit, and clearly communicate corporate intentions.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Toxic Work Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Penguin Random House full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits
    A bit above average pay for the industry
    Good training possibilities
    Free Books

    Cons

    Toxic Work Environment
    Many good and intelligent people have left due to poor management
    Shrinking industry - more work/less pay

    Advice to Management

    Instead of placing your directors through a training program after they are proven incompetent and the creators of a toxic working environment, fire them so that your best employees don't quit their jobs. You'll end up with an industry incompetent team and former employees that will not recommend your company because of the toxic environment they were placed through.


  7. "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Designer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Designer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Penguin Random House full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Generous benefits package, work/life balance encouraged.

    Cons

    Limited room for growth, limited salary.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Has the ability to be a great company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Publicist in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Assistant Publicist in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Penguin Random House full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Summer Fridays, Constant learnjng available, really great co workers, yoga classes.

    Cons

    Micro Agressions and Micro Assaults are the norm here. Liberal racism is a must. (Thinly vailed racism cloaked in niceness) Its almost like an initiation drill I guess. No support from management or HR no matter how much proof you have or even if they have witnessed it.

    Advice to Management

    Management must be fully committed to diversity for includion to honestly work. Its a different time now. I would recommend this company to a friend ONLY if they were White. Its very hard otherwise. There are slow changes happening so in the future it may be ok


  9. Helpful (1)

    "A great place to start your career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Editor in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Assistant Editor in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Penguin Random House full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Strong mentors, well-oiled corporate machine, amazing benefits, and very smart coworkers.

    Cons

    The pay is low and promotions are often a long time coming, but that's true of the book publishing industry in general.

    Advice to Management

    Help execs understand that younger employees need to earn more from the start to be able to stay in the industry, especially in NYC.


  10. "Not bad for book publishing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant
    Current Employee - Assistant
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at Penguin Random House full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free books, good heath coverage and great vacation time.

    Cons

    Limited upward mobility. Upper management doesn't value junior staff.