BBC FAQ

All answers shown come directly from BBC Reviews and are not edited or altered.

31 English questions out of 31

10 April 2019

Does BBC give time off to volunteer?

Pros

Great promotions on offer as the management really pays attention to the effort you put in. Started as a volunteer runner.

Cons

So worried about stepping on someone's toes (either public or talent) that employees suffer

Advice to Management

Keep making this happen!

Started as a volunteer runner.

10 April 2019

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4 July 2019

Does BBC have a pension plan?

Pros

Good pension; assertive people get good work-life balance because managment is busy playing politics and fearful of not being politically incorrect

Cons

Highly political, beaucratic and passive-agressive culture

Advice to Management

Stop hiring and promoting public school boys and petty politicians into managment. Have some integrity.

Good pension; assertive people get good work-life balance because managment is busy playing politics and fearful of not being politically incorrect

4 July 2019

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29 July 2018

Does BBC offer parental leave?

Pros

Everyone has heard of the BBC

Cons

No flexible working. Maternity leavers put at a disadvantage.

Advice to Management

Please notice how unhappy many of your staff are.

Maternity leavers put at a disadvantage.

29 July 2018

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22 November 2018

Does BBC offer employee discounts?

Pros

- Great people, I had lots of fun and learned a lot from them. - Great place to start, many opportunities, many people to learn from. - Relaxed environment. - Good equipment. - Flexible time and possibility of working from home. - Looks great in your CV! - Very stable company. - It's really cool to work for TV, you get to see the studios, learn how they deliver the content and learn some trivia no one else knows. - You can move between teams, departments and even types of job. It's difficult, but possible. - Relocation is easy. - There is a BBC club with discounts, language courses, gym, etc. - You can watch anything the BBC has been producing in the past years. - You can access decades of archives (if you make an effort, and if you heave sufficient clearance).

Cons

For starters, the BBC don't usually explain to candidates in London about the "London weighting". This weighting is part of the gross salary, so it is a bonus that will not be "added" to your income, but deducted if you move to another city. The BBC is huge. It means things can be very bureaucratic. The HR department is located in Northern Ireland, and so is some of the IT support. That must be alright for people who live there, but for people elsewhere it's a bit of a stretch to get some help from them. Projects can be badly defined because there are so many people involved and no one is really sure how things will progress. That means that while some projects have far off deadlines, some atypical last-minute requirements appear out of the blue and people have to deal with it. The BBC is divided into Television, Radio and Design and Engineering. D&E normally hires contractors for most projects, and since they are quite competent, they make key decisions some times. And when these decisions are taken unilaterally they can backfire on the permanent staff. It happened several times in my department. There is no proper training for newcomers. While there is a BBC introduction course, it is very generic and you have to figure a lot of your work by yourself unless someone steps in. IT support is not great. It is often time-consuming and stressful. I saw people using their private software licences to work because they couldn't be bothered to ask for support. That's not nice. Salary is below industry standards and the only perks are salary deductible. If you work for the BBC, you don't get a TV licence discount. So if you pay the licence, you pay your own salary... It doesn't make much sense. The BBC has to many managers. I had 7 managers in a hierarchy and 3 transversal managers. Some of them have very mysterious jobs. The BBC's main income is the TV licence. Since an article was published in a newspaper about a party organised by the BBC, they stopped doing events for their employees. So the BBC tends to always attempting to be thrifty. But some times it is too much. For example, they don't invest enough in training. There is some training, but few and far in between. Saving money also leads to debates with unions. The last time it happened (around 2016) they froze all promotions. That can make things very slow in career progression and the only way up is applying for jobs as if you never worked at the BBC before. And that can take some time. BBC software development teams do not normally use agile methodologies, even though they say they do. All in-house software must be wired at some point to a main, central database and it is immense. There is no code re-factoring. Software efficiency is considered less important than making it look nice. Also, the BBC never ever deletes data. There is an endemic paranoia that all data collected is useful, which is not true. BBC's databases tend to infinity. The food halls are a mixed bag. The food halls at New Broadcasting House and Broadcast Centre are expensive and the food isn't great. Access to places like Television Centre, for example, is limited to certain people. TVC has very decent food, though, and it's a block away from BC, but alas, if you work at BC, you can't get into TVC unless you are being invited. The reason being that TVC is not really BBC, it is BBC Studios, a different company. You don't get to travel much between BBC branches, not even within the same city. Only on very special occasions like training or some very important department meeting. That's a bit of a shame, because knowing the other branches could mean more networking, and that can be very useful in a place like BBC.

Advice to Management

You should implement a serious retention strategy at the BBC. The typical workflow is: 1. Senior engineer A leaves the company for whatever reason. 2. Hard-working engineer B wants to be promoted. 3. Engineer B applies for promotion. 4. Nothing happens. A new senior engineer C is hired from outside the BBC with a bigger salary and no training. 5. Engineer B is frustrated that his application was not even considered. Starts looking for a job outside. 6. Engineer B leaves the BBC and takes all his knowledge with him. 7. Engineer C is stuck with a product he doesn't understand, no one to guide him and is unproductive for many months. This situation is too expensive. In this example, if you gave engineer B a salary raise and/or a promotion or at least the possibility of advancing in his career, it would prevent him from chasing a new opportunity and you would not spend the TV licence's capital into an unproductive engineer. Advancing B to senior and hiring C as a regular engineer is cheaper and keeps the business knowledge intact.

If you work for the BBC, you don't get a TV licence discount.

22 November 2018

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2 October 2019

How are the career development opportunities at BBC?

Pros

The people. As a rule, those that work here do so because they believe in the place and it’s function. There are some opportunities for travel. Career advancement is ok to a point, then unless you can play a good politics game, expect to stay where you are for the rest of your career.

Cons

Poor pay. Poor management. Risk averse in the extreme. Meetings to decide what we should meet about to decide what meetings we have... Don’t expect to be thanked for doing a good job. *Do* expect a daft degree of presenteeism. Expect to be managed by someone who has no idea what you do.

Career advancement is ok to a point, then unless you can play a good politics game, expect to stay where you are for the rest of your career.

2 October 2019

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31 English questions out of 31