Social & Scientific Systems Reviews | Glassdoor

Social & Scientific Systems Reviews

Updated April 11, 2017
65 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.7
Star Star Star Star Star
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Kevin Beverly
11 Ratings

65 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • They were committed to their employees having a work/life balance and I never felt pressured to stay late or work weekends (in 11 reviews)

  • It is a employee owned company and good benefits to work (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Depending upon department, there are limited opportunities for advancement (in 3 reviews)

  • Employee-owned but does not feel like it at all (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good Company and Team"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Social & Scientific Systems full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    A beautiful work environment with wonderful team members. Company has good benefits, matching 401k plan, and its a good place to grow.

    Cons

    Retention power is low due to ending government contracts. A strong marketing team is needed to acquire more jobs to keep the company running.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Coordinator"

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

    I have been working at Social & Scientific Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The flexibility is awesome! Great pay!

    Cons

    No room for growth. Don't promote!

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your staff!


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Not the place it once was"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Social & Scientific Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Plenty of PTO

    Good ESOP

    Nice offices and physical space

    Cons

    Too much work for the number of staff

    Issues with organizational infrastructure

    Awful phone systems and problems with conferencing lines

    Sink or swim mentality

    Overwhelming disconnect between executives and everyone else

    Advice to Management

    More respect needed for employees


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Great CEO, Great Company Mission, Great Call Center - Terrible Management in Health Research Dept."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Specialist in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Research Specialist in Durham, NC
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Social & Scientific Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits - especially the retirement plans and ESOP program, convenient/nice location, company mission is great if you have a public health, health policy, research or social sciences background/interests. Overall, I loved the CEO and other executives - they were warm, friendly and helpful to the employees, especially those of us who came over via a buy-out of SRA International's health research department. I feel that the company itself has a lot going for it and is engaged...the management/project leaders however...see cons

    Cons

    I won't name names, but some of the project managers/project leaders are absolutely terrible. If you want to have dignity, feel respected or feel included as it pertains to your team when you leave at the end of your work day, that isn't happening if you get placed with the likes of the project managers that used to be and may still be on the NIH Gulf project or the NIH Rapid Response Project. All too frequently, many people felt they were condescending, expectations were a moving target that seemed impossible to achieve despite best efforts - assuming you were lucky enough to have a clear set of instructions or a clear sense of the assignment provided in the 1st place. Constructive feedback and support was severely lacking...when you have an 800+ page protocol, complicated nesting/sub-groups etc. for a study, I don't advise anyone to take a sink or swim approach in their on-boarding of new employees...but they do. Bottom line: there is a deficit of soft skills within the project management team and at the end your confidence and peace of mind may take a beating.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Micro Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Clinical Research Associate in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Clinical Research Associate in Durham, NC
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Social & Scientific Systems (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great CEO. Some of the people are really good. Do a lot for the community. Need to catch up with times

    Cons

    Old systems, managers in the Durham office ask what you are doing not how are you doing. Ask why your door is shut.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "be careful"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Andover, MN
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Andover, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Social & Scientific Systems full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    There are some very beautiful people that work there.

    Cons

    If there is a problem they won't support you.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Anonymous"

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

    I have been working at Social & Scientific Systems (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    You get paid and you have nice coworkers.

    Cons

    Everything else. I would not apply to any jobs here. No job security right now.

    Advice to Management

    You are untrustworthy and you act like we're all too stupid to know what you're doing.


  9. Helpful (14)

    "Does Not Meet Expectations (DM)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Social & Scientific Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The staff are great people, really committed to the company mission of improving local and global health. When you genuinely enjoy the people you work with, you look forward to coming into the office every morning.

    There are many opportunities to be involved in corporate culture, including volunteering, health & wellness activities, and employee activities.

    Work/Life Balance is generally good - it is a family-friendly company with generous telework options.

    Cons

    The company has been in a gradual decline for years. Dozens of mid- and late-career employees are actively planning their departure from the company, updating their resumes and interviewing with the competition. Meanwhile, many junior staff have been laid off. Management decisions have severely impacted employee morale.

    Benefits: PTO has been reduced, severance pay has quietly been eliminated, most staff have been moved to cubicles, and annual salary raises in recent years have ranged between sparse and non-existent.

    Staffing: Dozens of staffers have been laid off in the last year, some of whom have been with the company for 10-20 years. Layoffs have been not only among the administrative departments but also from project staff. Management would prefer to recycle their hard-working staff for cheaper, younger professionals or outside contractors. No department has been spared the ax.

    Any recent 5-star reviews of this company on glassdoor should be considered with a degree of skepticism, judging by the current climate in the company in every department.

    Advice to Management

    1) Consider investing capital in retraining your junior and mid-level staff to have skills that will help you win contracts. Provide more generous education benefits to encourage staff to pursue certifications and degrees.
    2) Invest in a larger, more robust Business Development team that can win awards. BD has had an exceptional amount of changeover in the last 4 years. Figure out why and fix the problem.
    3) Overhaul the performance evaluation system. Pass/Fail (ME/DM) does a disservice to the employees that go above and beyond in performing the duties of their jobs, and gives them the same recognition as staff that do the bare minimum. These evaluations, in turn, should be the metric by which salary raises and layoffs are considered.
    4) Supervisors must have some guiding hand toward the advancement of the careers of the staff they oversee. If none of your staff are taking on greater responsibilities or progressing toward specific career goals, the manager bears a large portion of the blame. If you cannot find opportunities for your staff to advance, management might not be the right role for you. If they are paid more to BE managers, they should be paid less when they fail to manage, or removed from their positions.
    5) It should be a priority that managers consult with other leadership to find alternate employment opportunities before laying off staff. Many times in the last few years, I hear of a high-performing colleague being let go from one department while an opening for a similar position opens up elsewhere.
    6) Take a page from DC-area companies of a similar size that manage to have "fun" workplaces. Happy hours, movie nights, unconventional benefits, birthday parties, performance recognition events, company-sponsored service days, employee bonding outings, company-wide holidays. SSS is not keeping pace with competitors when it comes to creating an environment that attracts talent.

    This may seem like a rough or spiteful review, but it comes from a former employee that had many great years with the company, and hopes to see it rebound in 2016.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great corporate vision"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Social & Scientific Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    SSS's focus is improving worldwide public health. If you are on-board with that vision, you can make a great difference.

    Cons

    Project management was not always the best.


  11. "Event Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Conference Manager in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Conference Manager in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Social & Scientific Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Employee Owned Company, opportunity for growth, flexibility of work hours as long as you work 8 hrs.

    Cons

    Company goals doesn't always meet your expectation.

    Advice to Management

    There great opportunities in advancing to higher levels.


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