Reed Elsevier Group

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Reed Elsevier Group Reviews

Updated 19 July 2014
Updated 19 July 2014
79 Reviews

3.1
79 Reviews
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Reed Elsevier Group CEO and Director; CEO, Reed Elsevier PLC, Reed Elsevier NV, Elsevier Division Erik Engstrom
Erik Engstrom
28 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • ownership, freedom to work compared to other competition companies,work life balance (in 8 reviews)

  • Great benefits and company supported initiatives (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Communication between senior management and the its' reporting teams is not always optimal (in 6 reviews)

  • Poor strategy and execution of off shoring and outsourcing leads to loss of talent, poorer customer service and inefficiency (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    A Dead end for it staff in the UK

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    "an excellent starting package with pension and medical.

    Cons

    The IT division RETS (reed Elsevier technology services) is almost all run from the US so the UK is treated like a poor offshoot, poor training if any causing a general de skilling of UK IT staff over time, no bonuses, a 3% cap on pay rises although 2% in more common, a promotion path that is totally unworkable leaving people undervalued.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    managerial change is the norm and I personally have had 7 managers in the last 5 years, everyone knows they will be sacrificed for the bottom line regardless as to there use to the company often leading to huge gaps that need to be filled quickly, this reactive approach is not dynamic but flawed as the upper management have no technical understanding yet force decisions that later often prove to be expensive and incorrect, don't work here in the UK if you want management to respect or listen to you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Solid global corporation, but not brilliant at career development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technology  in  Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Technology in Oxford, England (UK)

    Pros

    I work in the Elsevier bit, in particular the Technology group, recently taken over by Dan Olley (2013). (Elsevier is the Science publishing group). The company used to be very bureaucratic, faceless, etc., a lot of tech talent got out-sourced. Olley looks like he's stopping this.

    And the openness has been changing in the last two or three years, it's a more friendly company than it used to be. The benefits are pretty good for the sector, and the salaries at the senior end of thing are relatively attractive when you're coming into the company. There are plenty of travel opportunities - mostly, in my case, to Amsterdam, Dayton (Ohio) and Philly. Internal communications used to be unspeakably bad, but is improving.

    Even if you think you know Elsevier to be a big company, the scale of it will amaze you. Ten years in, and I can still find myself in an office of 500 people without knowing a single person there, or even know what they do! Personally, I like this, but then I'm a loud-mouth.

    Despite what I'm going to say in the 'cons' section, I reckon I fit in quite well at Elsevier. It's not what I expected, but it suits for personal reasons (young family, blah blah blah). Probably best for self-motived extroverts.

    Cons

    The Oxford (Kidlington) office is a souless hole, especially compared with Amsterdam, which is (now that it's been revamped) a far more engaging environment. If you don't get an office in Oxford from the start, you won't get one. Compared with Amsterdam, where if you had an office (almost no-one does now), you wouldn't want one. The Mendeley office in London seems like a nice place. Philly and Dayton are ... well, meh.

    Ditto salaries - it will take YEARS to get any kind of promotion or rise unless you're on the management programme (and I don't think the Technology / IT group has a management / career development programme). The HR team talk a lot about recruiting talent, but very little about retaining it, or developing it (again, I can only speak to the technology group). I would recommend working here for a couple of years and then going elsewhere for career dev, and not uprooting yourself and the family for a long-term relationship.

    If you're ambitious in technology, it can be frustrating place to work. There seems to be a lot of people in the business side who have tech responsibilities and I don't know how that all ties together. Maybe it'll get sorted, but it's been like that for longer than I've been there and doesn't look like it's getting there. The story seems a familiar one from Dilbert: if you're outside the company you get taken more seriously... On the upside, once your projects get funded and supported, they get delivered and supported. This is a good thing, and I've been lucky in that all my projects have been successful - this isn't rewarded financially, but it feels really good. Some poor sods seem to get all the bad luck.

    The tech stack was more limited than it was - used to be MS throughout. Not so much anymore, although Oracle dominates the db side. The fulfilment systems are a hoot. Some of the ideas that come through are really exciting, which makes up for it (but you need to engage with the cool stuff, before some people get all negative about delivery), I find enthusiasm and engagement really helps deliver.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) Have some way of identifying your technology talent and developing their careers. The management programme seems to work well in the 'business' side, why not do something similar?

    2) Do something with the Oxford office. Almost anything. It's the second worst thing about the job, but it's close, it feels like a passive-aggressive library.

    3) The person who runs the Amsterdam office seems to know what they're talking about. As does Olley.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Very corporate but has its moments.

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

    Pros

    Great experience to put on your CV

    Cons

    Large corporate inertia rather apparent

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maybe be more proactive than reactive.

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  5.  

    How to transform a giant into a global but nimble digital player

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director of the Television Division  in  Paris (France)
    Former Employee - Director of the Television Division in Paris (France)

    Pros

    Enjoyed my job, my wonderful colleagues and friends and boss more than any other company. Great benefits and company supported initiatives. The only place where we had our own personal chef on staff for daily lunches.

    Cons

    Office space was limited and cramped with very bad air conditioning in the hot 30C - 35C heat of summer which made work difficult. I was very high up in the organisation but still not opportunity to advance was offered or given so it looked like a reached a peak for which no amount of accomplishment would offer me further job growth and opportunities. All decisions took way too long. There needed to be a Fast Track for some ideas while others needed to be more cautiously reviewed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure that every employee has a career path set and offered to them. If they reach their bench marks then that should be a green light to be moved up or given added or different responsibilities. Reviews and career path was something I always included in my PDP's with key staff but it was a personal choice I made not a company wide initiative.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Had a lot of promise

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Philadelphia, PA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Philadelphia, PA (US)

    Pros

    Decent benefits, decent pay.

    Cons

    You can be unrecognized for your efforts as management is located out of state/country. You can become invisible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be transparent with decisions

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Outstanding company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Full-Time  in  London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Full-Time in London, England (UK)

    Pros

    Very successful company; share price doubled in last four years; strong management; good vision; excellent products and services; innovative; treats employees well; good CSR. Unlike many competitors has crossed the chasm from print to digital and is on the forefront of big data. Worth the journey.

    Cons

    Still silos between the businesses; slow-moving at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate more. You have a great story to tell

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Work-life balance at Reed Elsevier

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

    Pros

    We only work 8 hours a day.

    Cons

    Not a good company for IT fresh grads. Lack of trainings.

  9.  

    We value our employees...see ya later alligator!

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

    Pros

    I guess the severance is better than some.

    Cons

    Screwed up New York and Dayton management with a total lack of focus and direction.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Excellent and advanced global, major, web services company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director Engineering  in  New Providence, NJ (US)
    Current Employee - Director Engineering in New Providence, NJ (US)

    Pros

    Advanced technology, global presence, more than three billion us dollars revenue.

    Cons

    Located mostly in midwest, and there fore not as easily accessible for workers in Northeeast corridor.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    continue developing internal cloud and scale to compete globally. Continue developing, currently excellent team of employees, this is a precious asset.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    Too big to fail

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Executive Management  in  Norwalk, CT (US)
    Former Employee - Executive Management in Norwalk, CT (US)

    Pros

    Reed Expo, the US- based division I worked for, is a leader in the exhibition and trade show space. This organization is strong at understanding the important touch points of a myriad of industries.

    Cons

    For many industries, Reed Expo's lack of authenticity and foreword-thinking activities hamper their effectiveness in that particular segment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to work to understand that an industry event is more than just the specific days during which the trade show is held.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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