United Network for Organ Sharing Reviews

Updated Mar 17, 2020

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3.4
63%
Recommend to a Friend
83%
Approve of CEO
United Network for Organ Sharing Chief Executive Officer Brian M. Shepard (no image)
Brian M. Shepard
37 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great Mission: not sure that there is anything more compelling than life saving as a reason to come to work(in 9 reviews)

  • "You are working for a mission-- saving lives(in 8 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons
  1. Featured Review
    Helpful (5)

    "My overdue review of UNOS"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at United Network for Organ Sharing full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I wish that more of the driven staff at UNOS would take the time to leave a review of the organization. Unfortunately, many of us are likely engaged in mission-related discussion around the clock. Participating with UNOS isn't "work" - it's participating in something that is life-defining for someone else, and it's not just one time. Your experience with any organization is what you create of it. UNOS is a smaller organization (compared to the typical Richmond top employers) that has much more limited resources, which means that the weight that staff carry is greater in scope than other organizations. Whether you're a policy analyst, software engineer, data scientist, or manager, this translates to having to do a little beyond your specialization - at the same compensation, with the same amount of time, with the same resources. This creates a lot of growth opportunities for our staff; unfortunately, over the years, I've noticed that we end up creating extraordinarily skilled staff to work elsewhere. It's a phenomenal place to work, if your situation fits.

    Cons

    Most things in life are relative, and anything could be done better. I admire the organization for it's staff, mission, and culture for what it is, and have no cons.

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    United Network for Organ Sharing Response

    September 4, 2019HR Director

    Dear Software Engineer, As part of my commitment to respond to every current or former employee who writes a review, I often find myself having to explain UNOS' position on things that an employee doesn't like. Its rare that I get to respond to a review like yours. A review filled with perspective, and appreciation. One that recognizes the incredible work that we do as a team, and the efforts that we expend in our effort to be a Top Workplace in RVA. The rarity is NOT because there is a scarcity of folks that feel it, understand it, or believe it. The rarity is a product of the fact that so many of us are SO fully engaged in making a difference in the nation's transplant community and in our local community that we just don't take the time to share the perspective. Thanks for taking that time, and for encouraging us to do so more often... Lastly, thanks for the important work that you do here every day for the thousands and thousands of folks that are waiting for a life saving or enhancing organ transplant! Tony P HR Director

  2. "Great"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Policy Analyst in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at United Network for Organ Sharing full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Work environment was very collaborative

    Cons

    Work timeframes were often very tight.

    United Network for Organ Sharing Response

    March 23, 2020HR Director

    Dear Policy Analyst Thanks so much for the Great Review. We just learned that we have once again received recognition as a Top Workplace here in RVA. Its rewarding to get reviews like yours, and that type of recognition as we strive to make sure that our culture is what retains those folks that are attracted by our mission! #Come4theMissionStay4theCulture Best of luck in your future roles, and thanks for all you did to make this a great place, and to make the nation's transplant network safer, more effective, and more equitable! Tony P


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Don’t apply for IT jobs!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richmond, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at United Network for Organ Sharing full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great mission, great people working there.

    Cons

    IT is a disaster. Ancient tech, high turnover, a pie in the sky roadmap, and a very high level of incompetence in leadership. CTO has made promises to the business that he has failed again and again to keep (Membership). Beware of being thrown under the bus that will back up and run you over again.

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    United Network for Organ Sharing Response

    March 6, 2020HR Director

    Dear Don't Apply As the HR Director for UNOS, I am committed to respond to every review from current or former employees... even when the review isn't positive. Thanks for providing the feedback... I agree with your assessment of the Pro's of working at UNOS. We are fortunate to have a GREAT team of committed folks, doing work that makes a life saving difference every day. I am not sure that I can agree with you on the "Con's" however as the Board of Directors is comprised of members of the transplant community, and they routinely monitor our progress on our IT commitments and whether or not we are delivering against them. UNOS' corporate performance indicators as well as our performance measures as the contractor servicing the OPTN measure a number of IT metrics associated with systems availability, systems development, systems functionality, and the satisfaction of our membership (with IT support/performance) as a part of that measurement. The Board is very engaged, and hasn't expressed any of your dissatisfaction with the results. While we don't agree with you, we appreciate your perspective, and I am sorry that you feel as you do, Best of luck in your future endeavors HR Director

  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great job, great mission"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Current Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at United Network for Organ Sharing full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    1. Mission: Working to help ensure access to organ transplants and ensuring patient safety. 2. Culture. My manager, who was recently promoted to assistant director, is by far the best manager I've ever had. The other assistant director of my department is warm, caring and knowledgeable. Sadly, I've read reviews on this site of my department's director that are unfair. Yes, she is direct sometimes, but her job is to lead our department and help us all improve. Sometimes she has to be direct in order to accomplish this. I appreciate her straightforwardness as much as I appreciate her kindness and encouragement, which are ample. In addition, she is very protective of her employees and advocates for them regularly. And I cannot say enough good things about my coworkers. Their intelligence and drive help me perform at my best, and their fun spirits and caring natures truly make work a pleasure. 3. Training , development and opportunities for advancement. If you are willing to work passionately and hard, UNOS will provide almost unlimited training and development opportunities. I have been promoted twice since staring at UNOS, and have been provided any job-related training opportunity I've requested. 4. Appreciation. UNOS goes out of its way to provide enjoyable activities for its employees on a regular basis. 5. Work/life balance. Some weeks I put in a lot of hours, but we're allowed to take comp time when it's possible. I've worked at companies where 50+ hour weeks with lots of travel time were expected, but at UNOS if you put in a long week and spend a lot of time on the road, you can usually take comp time as long as there are no urgent projects to complete.

    Cons

    When it snows, no matter how much, you either have to work at home or get into the office somehow. And if a snowstorm coincides with a network problem so you can't work remotely, you either have to go the the office or be prepared to use a vacation day.

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    United Network for Organ Sharing Response

    December 26, 2019HR Director

    Dear "Great Job Current Employee" Thanks very much for taking the time to share your feedback. I really appreciate your balanced perspective on the Pro's as well as the Con's. I would note that while we only grant a "Snow Day" or similar situation when the office is physically closed, There are lots of ways to make up for missed opportunities for work, as you point out in your "work/life" balance comment. We offer more flexibility and ways to work from home or "make up billable time" than most places, though we don't actually close the office very often. Regardless of our likelihood to close the office or not, I do agree that on balance this is an incredible place with lots more Pro's than Con's. Thanks again for the great feedback and more importantly, for all the great work you do for the transplant community. Happy Holidays Tony P

  5. "A Very Driven Employee"

    4.0
    • 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 United Network for Organ Sharing full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    As an employee of 5+ years, I've really enjoyed my time here with UNOS.  I noticed recent postings that did not accurately depict the company.  As in all companies, employees should focus on doing their best work and that is exactly what has kept me here with such a great company.  I've been fortunate  to have worked with many people here that really care about the mission, are driven to get the job done efficiently, and genuinely care for one another.  Ideas are always encouraged, there has always been room for growth, and micro managing is almost nonexistent.   The company's perks are great and often overlooked.  Just to touch on a few, we get free parking DOWNTOWN where some companies use payroll deduction of at least $50 a month, we're also equipped with an adjustable desk as well as ergonomic chairs.  This sounds simple, but not always the case, and I've worked for a few companies. HR does a great job of listening and making changes when needed.  I recently voiced my concerns with HR in a closed door meeting which was promptly investigated in confidence, and with immense professionalism.  HR followed through and the situation was resolved; much was gained from that experience.  I'd recommend that anyone with a positive attitude, great work ethics, and who is mission driven to seek employment here. 

    Cons

    There are a few minor things like office temperature that are currently being ironed out.

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    United Network for Organ Sharing Response

    December 26, 2019HR Director

    Dear "Very Driven Current Employee" Thanks very much for taking the time to share your experience and your perspective. Your comment about some other reviews, points out one of life's great truths... each of us have a unique perspective, and sometimes they contradict. Often our perspective is a product of the mindset that we choose, or the response that we take while others might react or think differently. Having worked in some great, as well as some challenging environments, my belief is that UNOS is the best place I've ever worked in. That's a combination of the mission, the culture, and the perspective I maintain as a result of my past experiences... It seems that you are of the same perspective. I don't want to discount anyone else's perspective, instead I hope to understand different perspectives. To that end, I DO want to encourage those in the organization that aren't happy, to bring their concerns to light so we can address them. Sometimes we can make changes... sometimes we hope to effectively explain the company's position and the reason that something cant or wont be done. Ultimately, if we cant change something that someone considers vitally important, I recognize that we may lose that person's loyalty and commitment. I hope that is never the outcome, but recognize that each of us only controls our reactions, and our perspectives. Since each person's perspective, and reaction is in their control, I can only work to help folks understand and accept the decisions that have been made. If that person cant understand or accept the decision or action, then they have a choice to continue with the organization until they are in a position to effect change, or to seek an organization with which they are better aligned. When someone makes that decision, we harbor no animosity, and wish them great success and great happiness. When folks decide each day that they believe that this is a place worth working in, then I celebrate and hope that the person continues to help us make it an even better organization than it was previously. Thanks for sticking around to make UNOS better tomorrow than it is today. Happy Holidays. Tony P

  6. Helpful (1)

    "An organization that clearly strives to be better every day"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Member Quality Employee in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at United Network for Organ Sharing full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    As others have said, the mission can't be beat - you are part of events that change lives every day. In general, my co-workers are highly motivated, smart, and friendly people. UNOS provides opportunity to make changes, even having formal days (SONU day) where you can propose changes - most of these changes end up being made, and this is employee driven. I have been impressed with HR - and I say this as someone who has NEVER had a good HR experience. I went to HR with some pretty heavy issues - issues I was 99% sure would end my time at UNOS or at least my time in my current position. HR was amazing - they listened, they did not judge, they provided advice that I would have never considered. HR offered to help as much or as little as I felt was appropriate, but also outlined exactly where they could/could not intervene, so I knew what was possible. In the end, by using the advice and guidance from HR, things worked out well. No organization is perfect, for sure. But what I like about UNOS is that i have seen, over and over again, people call out what is not perfect to HR, managers, and other leaders, and seen attempts to fix the problems. Unlike other non-profits I have worked for, UNOS does not expect employees to give up their entire lives. Work-life balance is respected to a strong degree, and I have never felt pressured to work more than 40 hours just for the sake of working more than 40 hours.

    Cons

    The building heating/AC is uneven - some parts of the building are very cold (the building is otherwise quite nice). There are a lot of extroverts, and they plan a lot of activities (which are non-required) but for introverts you have to work a little harder to "find your people" who also want to be more introverted. Closings/late-openings are rare - even when there is a lot of snow you're coming into work (or working from home). I realized last year that I'm likely not getting any "snow days" working here.

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    United Network for Organ Sharing Response

    December 11, 2019HR Director

    Dear MQ Employee Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. I really appreciated the fact that it was so balanced with both the opportunities but also those things that have made a positive impact. We do have a great building, and it is a challenge to regulate the temperature in a fashion that satisfies everyone since we have seating according to department alignment rather than temperature preference. I know that the facilities team really wants to keep everyone comfortable. I also appreciate your effort to share the benefit of raising concerns to HR. We really strive to be open and objective, and to help resolve issues, or explain why the issue is something that you will have to find a way to reconcile yourself with. What's most important from my perspective, is to encourage others to give it a shot. There is a possibility that HR can't or wont help fix an issue if you visit them... but there is a GUARANTEE that HR cant help you if you choose NOT to give us that opportunity. Lastly, thanks for the feedback about our efforts around engagement. I promise our intent is to provide folks with an opportunity to get to know and be comfortable with more of their co workers, while we express our appreciation for their hard work and contributions... It is not an attempt to put the team in an uncomfortable situation. We plan a variety of approaches and events over the course of a year to try to ensure that we have some things... for everyone. If you have a suggestion that we ought to be considering, please swing by and make the pitch... you never know what the answer might be! Thanks Tony

  7. Helpful (7)

    "Missed Opportunity"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richmond, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at United Network for Organ Sharing full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Mission, Mission & Mission! Benefits & cafe in the lobby.

    Cons

    Alarming attrition rate. "Some" managers are leading by fear. Interdepartmental struggles that are "personal" in nature, can and will destroy a team or teams over time. Favoritism is rampant, it destroyed my morale & faith within the department leadership very quickly, which in turn lead me to make a difficult choice of leaving a company I once loved to work for.

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    United Network for Organ Sharing Response

    December 2, 2019HR Director

    Missed Opportunity! As the HR Director for UNOS, I am committed to responding to every review from a current or former employee. Thanks for sharing your review. I am sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with your manager. I would have appreciated the opportunity to have investigated your concerns prior to your departure for a couple of reasons. Firstly to ensure that you had the type of leadership that could have helped you be successful, and secondly to ensure that your manager would have received support as he or she was working to ensure that you and the rest of their team were achieving high results. If you would like to send me some specifics to investigate, please send me an email (tony.ponsiglione@unos.org) or give me a call (804) 782 4950. As an FYI, our turnover is down by 1/3 over the past few years, so I am not sure that your perceptions about high turnover are reflective of what's been our actual experience over the past few years. Maybe your department had particularly low turnover before. Thanks again, and please consider sending me some info via email , or giving me a call. Thanks for all your past contributions and best of luck going forward. Happy Holidays Tony

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Richmond, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at United Network for Organ Sharing full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I think your experience here will vastly depend on which team you are placed on. My team is very close knit, and while my previous team at UNOS was also decent, my current one is much better. Overall, I really enjoy the work I do here. My team is great, I have a lot of respect for my manager, who is incredibly knowledgeable, and our director is also fantastic. Our CTO fairly regularly holds 'catch ups' to also discuss how things are going in IT as a whole. It's a great opportunity to discuss with the CTO what is and isn't working, and suggestions to fix anything that isn't working. I do not interact with anyone above the CTO regularly enough to have any strong opinions. There's a lot of opportunities to learn new things here. I currently work on several different products here using different technologies, so I get experience with a lot of different tech stacks. Our team also has 'fourth Fridays' where you can work on a project you would like to work on, learn a new skill, keep current with your existing skills, and so on. I really like this opportunity as well. I've worked on several interesting projects during this, and I love the opportunity to learn about new technologies as well. Working hours are also reasonable, with no expectation that you will work 60-80 hours a week. I almost always work 40 hours, with the very occasional need to work more. Not to say that you won't have plenty of work to do while you are at work, but it is generally manageable. I also really like our benefits here for the most part. Our PTO/vacation time is fairly generous (2 weeks starting, 1 week of 'floating holidays' which are simply vacation time that you use or lose, the ability to purchase another week of vacation, and I believe it's 2 weeks of sick leave, but I am not certain on that). The 401k program is also good, although the vesting period is fairly long (6 years) if you plan to leave soon (which I do not, but it is still a consideration). Of course, the mission is also great. I really like the fact that the code I write is helping someone get a life saving transplant. For me, though, working environment and benefits are also important (which is why I focus on them here).

    Cons

    Sometimes it can be difficult to get things done with other departments, which can affect productivity. I've needed to get my manager or director involved in several issues to push things along. You would also be able to make more money at CapitalOne or CarMax, for instance, but overall, the working environment and mission make this trade off worth it for me. Some of the policies don't make a lot of sense to me as well. For instance, there is a policy that says you are supposed to get your computer erased upon your return if you take it out of the country or to take a loaner computer. With the amount of setup I'd need to do and software that I'd need to reinstall, this is a real drag to productivity. I could see erasing it before you leave (so that the CBP or whatever agency is in your destination country is not able to get access to UNOS data), but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me to do it when you return.

  9. Helpful (7)

    "Sinking Ship..."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at United Network for Organ Sharing full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The non management level as a whole are a dedicated, lovely bunch who are there for the mission and are the only thing keeping UNOS going

    Cons

    Management, Management, HR, Pay. There's really no long term thinking. Everything is a five alarm fire that's put out just enough to move onto the next. Everything is going to slam to a crashing halt at some point and UNOS is going to be completely unprepared. A lot of managers are where they are due to seniority and favoritism and seniority rather than aptitude. It really does a disservice to the majority of insanely wonderful and hard workers who are driven and love the mission.

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    United Network for Organ Sharing Response

    November 7, 2019HR Director

    Sinking Ship, As the Human Resources leader for UNOS, I am committed to personally respond to every review that we receive from current or former employee. We appreciate the feedback that you have shared, and consider it along with a variety of other sources of information that are available to us to receive feedback, including exit interviews, an annual survey to measure employee engagement and solicit their feedback, as well as a "pulse check" survey to measure progress on engagement initiatives mid year, and comments and questions (offered both openly or anonymously) by a number of communications channels and forums within the organization. Your "Con's" don't share a lot of specifics that we can act on (management, management, HR and Pay) other than to say that we annually review our position in the labor market relative to pay, and do what we can to ensure that we are competitive in our pay practices. That said as a "not for profit", we cant, and wont be a top payer in the market place. We offer competitive pay, great benefits and an employee value proposition that offers incredibly meaningful work, the opportunity to work with talented and dedicated team mates, and a life saving mission. We are an organization ,that operates based on core values of Unity, Trust, Stewardship, Accountability and Excellence and we have been recognized by an objective, outside consulting firm as a Top Workplace in RVA for every year that the award has existed. We are proud of what we can offer as a value proposition and benefits package, and not embarrassed by the compensation that we offer to our team members. Thanks for your suggestion to review reasons for Turnover. As mentioned above, we carefully examine information that we gather from exit interviews, and find that the majority of the resignations in the last quarter are a product of staff going back to school or other changes in personal circumstances. As an organization that hires staff highly motivated by education, this type of turnover does not come as a surprise. All of that turnover is planned based on their interest in returning to school, and because we value expertise and education, we fully support their efforts, even though it leaves us short handed. Thanks again for your feedback, and for your contributions over the years. Tony

  10. Helpful (1)

    "Wonderful Mission!"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Database Administrator 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at United Network for Organ Sharing full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I loved working at UNOS! The people made it what it is. Hearing all the stories and meeting the recipients and donor families and knowing your work makes a difference!

    Cons

    Limited upward career paths for some roles

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    United Network for Organ Sharing Response

    August 22, 2019HR Director

    Dear Former Employee, Thanks for sharing such balanced but largely positive feedback. We appreciate it, and work really hard to deserve it! I completely agree with your comments about our mission and our people. Working in a place where the staff is so passionate about saving lives is incredibly fulfilling. Nothing makes that more real than when we meet organ recipients, and the family members of the incredible individuals who donated their organs. As a small organization, we do have limitations on advancement opportunities. We have done some work in the past year and a half to review our job families and structures and create clarity about the level of jobs and the requirements for promotion. We have also created a hierarchy that allows technical experts to be valued equally with those that are managers. Our effort is to ensure that folks that aren't as passionate about managing don't feel compelled to apply for those types of roles, if their real passion is developing technically, or conducting research, or developing subject matter expertise. In our new structure, "expert" level roles can make as much as managers. We want to be an organization that values expertise equitably with management. Even with all of that work, we are still only an organization of just under 400 people, and as such, there are limits to how many promotions will be available. While 11 of our 16 management staff in IT were promoted from within, and the vast majority of our technical experts in IT were promoted from lower level roles within the organization, there are sometimes folks that feel that they are ready for promotion, and can secure that opportunity outside the organization faster than we can offer it. When that happens we understand, and celebrate their success.. While we miss their contributions and camaraderie, we hope that they can support us as ambassadors, and refer folks to join us. We also hope that some day we will have the opportunity to work with them again, and hope that they will consider rejoining us when we do have the appropriate opportunity that they are seeking, or when they have developed some incredible skills at another organization that they know that we can benefit from. I certainly hope that your positive experience will lend to you considering a return some day. Thanks for what you did while you were here at UNOS, and I wish you the best in all of your future endeavors. Tony P UNOS HR Leader

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