Roka Bioscience Reviews | Glassdoor

Roka Bioscience Reviews

15 reviews

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2.4
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Paul G. Thomas
9 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Good for experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Quality Control Chemist in Chula Vista, CA
    Former Employee - Quality Control Chemist in Chula Vista, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Company is fast-paced but pretty organized. This position offers a variety of work and is good for experience. They also have a great manufacturing team

    Cons

    Need more structured training, communication, unclean labs. # # # # m m m m m m m m m

    Advice to Management

    Communicate, do not be hesitant to give advice, clearer SOP's


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - QC Chemist in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - QC Chemist in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Roka Bioscience (Less than a year)

    Pros

    the best thing about this place is that the people are helpful. the atmosphere is also great.

    Cons

    not consistent with upper management. a lot of laid off. thats about it


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Needs improvement."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Most of the people working here are nice people with good attitudes. Sometimes we could go home a little early on Fridays.

    Cons

    Ironically, the company is ramping up production but insists on running with an overworked skeleton crew. People leave but are never replaced. Promotions are almost unheard of at the lower level positions. Only the fat cats get fatter here. The medical plan is also poor and has surprise charges and large deductibles.

    Advice to Management

    Having the New Jersey office is a luxury that can no longer be afforded. Consolidate in San Diego and do the shareholders a favor by reducing this wasteful spending. Also, try promoting people in departments other than just sales all the time.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Research and Development"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Company's technology is solid and built upon Gen-Probe's TMA and instrument platform. Provides the food testing industry the opportunity to improve food safety.

    Cons

    Company has offices on both coasts, which makes working together difficult and inefficient. Communication is strained by time difference.

    Advice to Management

    Hub of operation should be on west coast to build better working relationships between all departments. Number of sick days (3) given is unrealistic and promotes people coming to work when infectious.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "A House Divided"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Roka Bioscience full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The R&D team in San Diego is staffed by a great group of individuals. There are a lot of talented and experienced folks working to develop the assays that I would gladly work with again under a different roof.

    Cons

    As the title suggests, Roka is a house divided. This didn't occur over its 6 year lifespan but from the very beginning when the company was spun-off from Gen-Probe. Half of the company is located in San Diego where R&D, manufacturing, and some administration takes place. The other half is located on the other side of the country in Warren, New Jersey where marketing, an applications lab, all of HR and management of Roka reside. It is this separation that has contributed to the tribal knowledge, lack of accountability, and finger-pointing that has eroded the morale of its employees and the confidence they had in management.
    Roka is the byproduct of a medical diagnostic company (Gen-Probe). The talent that designed the technology and formulated the assay come from that diagnostic background. The food industry, however, does not operate like a diagnostic lab. Food testing labs are often staffed by individuals that may lack a college degree operating under intense schedules in environments that are not always sterile. These conditions lead to increased instances of cross-contamination between samples that result in false positives for Roka’s Atlas instrument. Proper maintenance procedures and guidelines for the Atlas go largely ignored no matter how many times the FSAs train and retrain technicians. The biggest failing by the marketing department was failing to understand how their customers operated from the very beginning. As a result competitors like Dupont’s BAX system have the edge over the Atlas despite its features.
    Late last year Roka experienced a severe layoff with the axe falling hardest in San Diego. The company had failed to meet its milestone for the quarter of placing a certain number of Atlas instruments with prospective customers. Much of the talent in the San Diego was lost and the workload increased dramatically for those that remained. The San Diego office was also left without an HR representative and still does not have one as of this review. The New Jersey office where the CEO and CFO are located were mostly left intact. The leadership of the marketing team which failed to understand and anticipate the food testing industry as the instrument and assay were being developed are still with the company as of this review.
    The future of the company is in question. Many of the employees are waiting for the announcement of the Q2 results this July to determine if they will still have a job at the end of the year. New applicants at Roka should expect short-term employment.

    Advice to Management

    At this point any advice I provide is not going to improve things at Roka even if it was to be implemented. Instead I can tell management what to expect over the next few months: brain drain in the San Diego office. No amount of bagels or bowling parties are going to retain the staff while they are overworked and underpaid. An exodus of employees to other companies has already started. Any goodwill the staff had with the company was lost after the reverse stock split and layoffs from last year.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Underpaid, underappreciated"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Research Associate in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Managers can be a hit-or-miss: some are willing to work with you, while others may carry a reputation of getting their subordinates fired.
    Work scheduling was fair - starting work late and/or leaving early was an option provided you did your task/duties promptly.

    Cons

    Pay and benefits are not made, nor readjusted to keep the employees content.
    RAs are underappreciated, and often considered dispensable.
    Antagonistic work environment where individuals in higher positions had the tendency to look down/detract the worth of other co-workers.
    The trend during my tenure at Roka was that they often looked for the small window of making a mistake to get employees in trouble/fired.


  8. "Commercial Team Member"

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

    I have been working at Roka Bioscience full-time

    Pros

    Lots of change. Team communication is clear between departments. Strategy is clear and customers are adopting technology through evaluations. Stock price is not representative of the financial stability.

    Cons

    Not a con but a current status on what might be a legacy concern in the market. The product is solid. Like most start ups who are brand new to market space the learning curve was difficult. That said the cost, quality of kits and the instrument robustness have all improved with great focus on customer feedback.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to customers and react quickly. Follow through with your key value propositions.


  9. "Applications Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Roka Bioscience full-time

    Pros

    Hard working environment, very friendly work environment.

    Cons

    Many changes in very short periods


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Good for an in-between job, NOT a long term company"

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

    Pros

    Co-workers were nice and friendly, but terrible company.

    Cons

    VERY Inconsistent management, terrible laboratory practices, expects employees to work weekends without overtime pay.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Ignorance on Fire"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Roka Bioscience full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Easy job and good pay

    Cons

    CEO is clueless, ignorant and provides no guidance
    R&D department has failed to deliver a solid product and their activities go unchecked
    None of the executive staff know anything about the food safety industry and their concerns

    Advice to Management

    Face reality, quit blaming the client for their products failures. Enrich, Transfer, Automate it's that easy, but then a technicians mishandling of a bag contaminates their assay-why not the competitors-cause it isn't the handling it's the bad assay.


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