Questar Assessment Reviews | Glassdoor

Questar Assessment Reviews

Updated Nov 12, 2019

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2.0
21%
Recommend to a Friend
16%
Approve of CEO
Questar Assessment President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Lazer (no image)
Stephen Lazer
17 Ratings
Pros
Cons
More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (2)

    "Solid Foundation"

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

    I have been working at Questar Assessment full-time

    Pros

    Smart, dedicated people doing work that directly benefits society.

    Cons

    Assessment business can be hectic during peak times of the year.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to focus on making the company a great place to work!

    Questar Assessment2018-12-12
  2. "Good, Easy Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Seasonal Test Scorer in Bloomington, MN
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Questar Assessment full-time

    Pros

    Great pay, easy work, nice coworkers and supervisor

    Cons

    Somewhat tedious, can get to be a long day of reading and scoring tests.

    Questar Assessment2019-11-04
  3. Helpful (6)

    "Day and night when compared to other jobs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Information Technology in Apple Valley, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Questar Assessment full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Location (if you live in south metro) - Exposure to a lot of different technologies - Some really good people there. Haven’t found anyone quite like them. Still in contact with a few. - Gained an understanding on how not to do things. - Gained an understanding on how to manage a team, how to protect, and how to empower them. (And to be fair, you can find most of the above in any company, minus the part below)

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    Cons

    I was there from a time when we started of with a handful of people in the department to a team within a department managed by a director. Luckily for my department, the majority of my tenure, we were shielded from much of what you read below. We were still subjected to it, but our director really helped manage that and filter it so we could attempt to do our jobs. And even then, it is a night and day difference from my current position. The biggest things that caused incredible strain on the department: - Lack of process - Lack of solid, truthful, and inspiring leadership from the Leadership team. There were good directors and managers sprinkled about, but when the C levels are the heads of said departments - where they go, we went, ultimately. - Blame game. No one ever took responsibility. I would never do anything without some sort of paper trail, just to cya. What a terrible way to work. - Lack of comradeship. As I mentioned, for the majority of my tenure, I had an incredible boss, and that time was great - but before and after his tenure, wasn’t the most positive. - Too many hot fixes, in the general sense. Rather than turn off the source of the fire, lets just put the fire out in this room, because who cares about the rest of the house. - Too much bending over for clients. Get the product solid. We had 50 (exaggerating) different versions of software, causing huge mismanagement of data. - The feeling from most leadership was that we were just expendable parts of a sinking boat. - Work/Life balance. People being pulled back in from PTO for issues that could have been remediated before the leave. 80+ hour work weeks. - Poor planning. Many issues can be remediated if we had planned properly. - A very stressful culture. My significant other noticed a “cloud of depression” come over me after my boss (aka the filter) left. - Expected long hours (for most departments). It should be on exception, not expected. - Turnover rate is astronomical. I once tried to keep track and couldn’t. Many, many, many great people have come and gone. I would not recommend this company for anyone not scrounging for a job, or if you value your time. Even if your think you can right the ship, you can’t. Many have tried and failed. Until leadership gets on board/changes, I would stay away.

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    Advice to Management

    - Get your processes and plans in place. This will bring up morale and make the office a more welcoming place. - Quite honestly, either change how you lead, or find new leadership. Leadership needs to be inspiring, or at least empowering. - The clients are not as important and the employees. Treat your employees with the same care you’d treat a client with. The return will be tenfold. - Hire from within. There are some great people still there that deserve a shot at management or higher positions. - Notice the good managers/employees and reward them for standing up for their team. I’ve seen many great managers/supervisors either get fired or leave because they wouldn’t make their team work 100+ hours a week. - Be honest. Don’t say “we value work life balance” and then the majority of people are working 80+ hours a week. At least be honest about it. 13 year old kids can see through BS, so can your employees. We didn’t/don’t respect you. You can’t build anything around that. You have some great great people there, don’t lose them. Strengthen your product, value your employees. The time is just about passed to improve things.

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    Questar Assessment2019-11-12
  4. Helpful (6)

    "No Job Security"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Production Manager in Brewster, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Questar Assessment full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    People, work, interest, team building

    Cons

    Hours worked, everyone was afraid of the CEO

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees

    Questar Assessment2019-09-23
  5. Helpful (13)

    "Be prepared to be thrown to the wolves"

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

    I worked at Questar Assessment full-time

    Pros

    Most people are friendly and level-headed.

    Cons

    - The CEO lacks all the skills needed to lead a company to success successfully. He waits for direction from other Chiefs without thoroughly analyzing the consequences of decision-making. - The company's financial decisions are a miss. The company is continuously losing money due to loss of contracts and reckless spending resulting in a high turnover rate. - Products are delivered late and with bugs. Hotfixes (temporary) are implemented to resolve an issue without disclosure, hoping it would "go over" the client's head. - Departments are egocentric and enjoy pointing blame. The Tech Department is the first line of the fault due to the high volume of demand for online testing. Faults blind leadership without analyzing the foundation of how an error occurred. - The company's internal mission and vision do not align with the action of each individual with a leadership role, including Chiefs and Managers. - There are no repercussions or consequences for management if issues occur under their supervision. Each employee is dispensable; leadership and management are at-the-ready to discard those who are "challengers." If a positive work culture and ethic are where you thrive, consider looking elsewhere. You will be incredibly over-worked and stressed. If you have a family, there is no work-life balance. You will be told to bring your laptop home to work. There were many occasions where employees were forced to work while they were on PTO. Onboarding and Training: Well, it doesn't exist. Consider your onboarding as being thrown into a pack of wolves, and with luck, you'll survive; if you don't, they'll eat your life up and discard you.

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    Advice to Management

    - Your role does not constitute the injustice to your employees and their well-being. - Your actions should reflect your promises and your "What do you know Wednesday" meetings should be insightful and impactful. - Stop with your words of "encouragement," because everyone knows that it is a blanket statement to keep your employees quiet until another issue arises. - If you want to succeed, work on making the right business decisions and the company's culture. Without the trust and work of your employees, you are nothing. - Stop with the "we're right, and you're wrong" act. Each department needs just as much work as the other, and there are existing flaws everywhere, including Program, Tech, Business Analyst, QA, and within C-Suite, Leadership, and Managers.

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    Questar Assessment2019-07-26
  6. Helpful (13)

    "Prioritization is what it all boils down to"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT in Apple Valley, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Questar Assessment full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Amazingly, the people are great, which almost everyone says, considering the horrifying environment. Generally no yelling, screaming, tearing people's eyes out, threats, or dismemberment

    Cons

    Lack of effective value-based prioritization, which I believe is the MAIN problem. Defects and hotfixes as numerous as the stars. The "C" suite was witnessed blaming others for their own mistakes (I saw it, too). Wrong people leading the company and IT...nice people, but just wrong. Scrum and its talented practitioners were ignored and then abandoned...sad Business ignored new functionality showcases, so sprint teams got little feedback. Popular phrase was: "over-promise, under deliver." No, it was simply "over-promise." How much more room in this box do I have?

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    Advice to Management

    While problems exist across the entire environment with the possible exception of the night-time janitors, to me, every business, no matter how troubled, must get their priorities straight and stop listening to voices. That means having the right person transparently identify where the true VALUE is, get everyone on board, and "coach" the well-known few who seek to get around those values to build their little fiefdoms.

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    Questar Assessment2019-06-11
  7. Helpful (9)

    "Lacking Positive Leadership"

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

    I worked at Questar Assessment full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Most of the employees are great to work with and dedicated.

    Cons

    Disconnected leadership that does not practice what they preach. Very poor communication from leadership. Technology has many issues that keep popping up. These issues have had and continue to have a negative impact on their clients (ultimately students). Losing a few large contracts would really hurt the company's future prospects.

    Questar Assessment2019-04-25
  8. Helpful (4)

    "Good if it can last"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Coordinator in Apple Valley, MN

    I worked at Questar Assessment full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good pay, benefits, and fellow employees

    Cons

    Projects depend solely on state funding. If the state pulls their money, people just lost their job.

    Questar Assessment2019-04-16
  9. Helpful (12)

    "Downward spiral"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Apple Valley, MN

    I worked at Questar Assessment full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Those who actually do the work are good, knowledgeable people. - Work from home policy is fair.

    Cons

    - Parent company (ETS) continuously tries to sabotage Questar with the few remaining clients. - Questar’s “leadership” is equally as bad (especially since most of them came from ETS). - Unqualified or inexperienced people are promoted to management positions. - Technology is poor. Constantly trying to fix the same issues year after year. - Those causing the issues are not held accountable for their actions. - Projects have unrealistic time frames. Work begins months later than it should (every project, every year). - Escalating issues is a waste of time. You’ll only get ignored - The company’s culture is purely panic-driven. Nothing is planned out properly. - Employees get burned out fast. Probably because 60 hour work weeks are normal. On any given day, you will hear at least one of the following: “That’s the Questar way” and/or “At least it’s better than last year”.

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    Advice to Management

    Employees and clients are leaving because of you! If you want either one to stay, do something to actually fix the problems. It’s great that you say you’re going to, but actions speak louder than words. One would think that with the number of advanced degrees roaming the halls you’d figure that out. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the place close up shop within a year.

    Questar Assessment2019-05-11
  10. Helpful (19)

    "Panic Driven Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Dev in Apple Valley, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Questar Assessment full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Incredible team comradery, great "best in class" business product, great to serve the needs of students, half-way decent tech stack and one of the cleanest JS code bases I've seen. If the cons of Questar were not so many and so imposing, I'd want to work at Questar forever.

    Cons

    Inability to "talk people down" from needless worry, inability to grasp priorities with edge case over major feature release. These become mis-labeled as "inability to plan", which is not true; Questar has some excellent planners, but the plan is circumvented by panic. That panic means that over in dev-land, you get pulled off of the work that has been carefully planned, to engage in evening and weekend heroics over and over and over. The turnover has been severe, so there are fewer and ever fewer people in dev who have deep product knowledge. This creates issues which in turn fuels the cycle of panic that defines the company. Any management ideology that strives for sanity and restraint is eventually dismantled because it is obstructionist to the panic. Edge case defects, so inevitable in web-based solutions, are killing us because we do not have the capacity to leave off our planned work to address these, but we do to a fault. You might say it's a tail wagging the dog scenario.

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    Advice to Management

    No advice to management because everyone knows what's wrong, and to some extend I think we even know how to fix it. We are talking about smart people here. But, there is some deeply ingrained thing in Questar that perpetuates the ill that keeps us from being the champions we need to be for our students. We need to think about what student tests will look like three years from now.

    Questar Assessment2019-03-04
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