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.  

    Outstanding company

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

    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
  2.  

    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
  3.  

    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
    Current Employee - Technology in Oxford, England

    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
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  5.  

    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.

  6.  

    A difficult place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consulting Systems Engineer  in  Oxford, England
    Current Employee - Consulting Systems Engineer in Oxford, England

    Pros

    Interesting location and some nice people work there.

    Cons

    I worked in the RETS area. It's over-siloed, over out-sourced and good communication between teams is difficult. the on boarding process is fatally flawed. The net result is that it is very difficult to understand how to do your job. There's too much process and very little procedure. They try to do things the ITIL way and fail miserably in my opinion.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Forget about having a separate IT service department and integrate IT with the business areas.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Large company that is trying to break out of its traditional publishing mentality into a fast-moving data provider.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England

    Pros

    The company has a big footprint in many markets and is moving toward some new and exciting technologies/products. It is trying to promote cross fertilisation across its many businesses so there is often an opportunity to work in a completely new field if it is of interest to you. Also, the overall work/life balance is strong.

    Cons

    The corporate functions are generally quite removed from the day-to-day activities of the many businesses it owns. This means that it often acts more like an investment management firm rather than a head of a unified company. The CEO is very distant and culture/leadership from the top is not strong.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work to better integrate the group, creating an environment where corp managers are eager to engage you and offer innovative ideas. This will also increase communication, making it less necessary for us to provide you with the great amount of data you require which burdens the businesses more than previous CEOs.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Poor comminication and decisions from Senior managemnt

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Windows Systems Administrator L3  in  Oxford, England
    Former Employee - Windows Systems Administrator L3 in Oxford, England

    Pros

    Salary was OK if you worked overtime. Team I worked in was good and we were able to attend some training.

    Cons

    Bad decisions and complete lack of communication from senior management. So poor that the directors outsourced devisions to an Indian company. No thought of employee welfare what so ever.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Very good work life balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Editor  in  London, England
    Current Employee - Senior Editor in London, England

    Pros

    work life balance is extremely good in my area anyway, my managers are very approachable, the company is relatively well resourced.

    Cons

    hard to get anything done, some of the people in my area are quite cliquey and hard to get to know, I'm on a maternity contract and there is therefore little job security. I also don't really know if the job is as challenging or as interesting as initially "sold" in the interview.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'm quite happy with the way things are run by management. Most of the managers I have worked with are quite approachable and easygoing, although I do find it hard to get clear, consistent answers at times.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Excellent company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England

    Pros

    - Great mission and contribution to society
    - Talented management
    - Strong financial results allowing for good compensations
    - Very good employee atmosphere

    Cons

    - Not yet as innovative as we would like it to be
    - Not changing as fast as we would like
    - You need to find your own opportunities to progress

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company needs more bold changes
    We need to invest more in technology
    We need to become more knowledgeable about our customers

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    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

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