BuzzFeed Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

BuzzFeed Reviews

Updated 11 November 2018
194 reviews

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3.2
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Jonah Peretti
125 Ratings

194 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great work/life balance -- they threw together a carnival for us this summer" (in 13 reviews)

  • "Free lunch 2 days a week, free breakfast one day a week" (in 21 reviews)

Cons
  • "Company is expanding so fast so there are natural growing pains" (in 8 reviews)

  • "Middle management was a nightmare" (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Fresh company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at BuzzFeed full-time

    Pros

    Work for one of the most popular companies in the content creation sector.
    Great company culture and people

    Cons

    Overtime is expected. You got to churn out videos consistently.

    Advice to Management

    Make it easier for staff to find different career opportunities within the company.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Utter Chaos"

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

    I have been working at BuzzFeed full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - free lunch 2x a week
    - good snacks

    Cons

    - Restructures and re-orgs literally every few months. Makes it very hard to know what's going on, and it's clear that the guys at the top have no idea what they're doing
    - Pretend to be super progressive and liberal when in reality most leadership is white men and "boys clubs" exist throughout the company - promoting each other rather than deserving talent
    - Feels exploitative - they will add a ton more responsibilities to your job but refuse to give the pay rises or promotions you deserve - which is probably all due to cutting costs and maximising profits. Why hire 3 people to do 3 jobs, when you could just make 1 person do it?
    - Lack of specialism - similar to above, they don't want to pay experienced people in their field to do certain roles, they ask existing staff - who have no idea what they're doing - to take on roles instead. There's a distinct lack of people who are "masters" in their field and there's no one to learn from. It's all about just winging it, and getting the job done, rather than quality or thought.

    Advice to Management

    - be more transparent about the diversity issues of upper management and actual work to tackle them rather than paying lip service
    - respect your employees and recognise their talent and hard work through actual monetary benefits, rather than assuming the BuzzFeed name and free snacks is enough reward
    - hire people who know what they're doing, instead of promoting internal favorites

  3. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer in London, England
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BuzzFeed full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Good people
    - Good organization that cares about people
    - Good wages (well, I'm in engineering so YMMV)
    - Flexible working (remote work, days off for personal stuff)
    - Good communication (SBI, Radical Candor, Authentic Communication).

    Cons

    Working across time zones can get tricky (overlap requires staying an extra hour or maybe going offline and having to come back online later). The organization doesn't enforce this, it's more something we as employees feel is a responsibility.

    So this isn't a con in the sense or "boo hoo they force us to work late", more - I wish there were more staff in certain localities that meant we didn't need to do cross-over timezone meetings.

    Advice to Management

    Not sure what this box is for?

    - Are we able to give advice to management? Yes, 100% and it's encouraged.
    - Do I have advice for management? No, maybe more regular 'global all hand meetings' as they're super useful.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "They'll keep you hanging..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Services Manager in London, England
    Former Employee - Client Services Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at BuzzFeed full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Great people to work with
    -Pay for lunch 2 times a week and breakfast one time a week
    -Never boring, always changing, lots of work to be getting on with

    Cons

    -They'll promise you contracts and never fill the promises
    -Leaving staff 'come to an arrangement they will no longer be working for the company' e.g. the sack people every few months
    -Still act like a start up, processes confusing, pick up and drop people if and when they need them
    -Hard to progress at BuzzFeed UK


  5. Helpful (8)

    "Not what you think."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    . Free lunch twice a week.
    . Easy location for most people.
    . Looks good on CV.

    Cons

    . Terrible management, dishing out pay rises and managerial positions to anyone who has been there for 5 minutes often with disastrous consequences. The senior management in charge seem to have no idea on how to actually manage people or care about staff, they show blatant favoritism to those who are go most viral rather than supporting decent writers and as such this has lead to an uncomfortable work environment. It's all targets and money which is disappointing given their 'quirky' outward appearance.
    . There is lots of talk and no action on pretty much everything and anything, including diversity which is a huge topic they've once again been all talk on. Question of equal pay is also brought up and then brushed under the carpet.
    . They force branded swag onto people at every given opportunity, it would make a difference if they paid people fairly or invested this money in training managers or team building instead of hoodies which half the people dont want.
    . NY office is over baring and controlling to UK, there is no respect for cultural differences and they are constantly told what to do by America regardless of how staff in UK feel.
    . Office has long been outgrown and is now incredibly cramped.
    . Terrible office atmosphere because the two sides of the office seem to be pitted against each other and labelled as 'church vs state' for no apparent reason other than terrible management and ludicrous hierarchy. On a good day you might hear someone cough out loud.
    . It seems to be a company-wide issue that people are promised progression and payrises which never materialize.

    Advice to Management

    Stop fobbing people off and get staff the answers they all deserve. Telling people they will be reprimanded for discussing unfairness in pay structure isn't a decent answer to gossip.
     If you want to preach about being the most innovative company and have your motto as 'no haters' then you need to invest in more than a free lunch in people.


  6. Helpful (12)

    "Get in, get experience, get out."

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

    I have been working at BuzzFeed full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free snacks
    Free swag every year
    Some great, creative people as co-workers
    Looks good on your CV

    Cons

    Low pay with no chance of raises or promotion.

    Managers who actively discourage employees from discussing salaries (which is illegal) and who reprimand employees who've discussed their salary with others or try to get a raise. This happens across multiple departments.

    Lack of skills and knowledge by management to address the real problems in the company that prevent us from doing better work. A lot of incompetent managers who skate along doing nothing and don't get fired.

    Big drain from the company of talented, smart people on both the editorial and business sides due to lack of respect, being treated like a content factory and absolutely no chance for any kind of career progression or even a salary rise when their annual review is due.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees like people and don't take forever to start reviewing pay and career paths because all the good ones will be gone by then.

    The more you replace truly creative, bright minds with old media business types, the more the spirit of the company dies.

    Offer people an incentive to stay on and dedicate years to this company beyond "it's Buzzfeed"


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Sink or swim"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Writer
    Former Employee - Staff Writer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at BuzzFeed full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Buzzfeed's reach is HUGE - a single piece of your work will often be read by hundreds of thousands of people (and if it's a super-viral piece then we're talking millions). Colleagues are clever, innovative, content-savvy -- they know how to get stories shared. Other media companies will be impressed that you've worked there.

    Cons

    These observations only apply to my dept as I'm sure things vary across teams: Buzzfeed takes a short-term approach to its staff - you are disposable, turnover is high. Editors/managers put a lot of pressure on writers to produce a high volume of work, which in itself is okay, but they don't offer the training or support that's needed. Mentoring is almost non-existent. Employees who don't adapt/self-teach quickly are fired. The attitude is "sink or swim."

    Advice to Management

    The rapid "hiring and firing" culture drags down team morale. Think carefully before hiring. Or maybe hire people on 6-month contracts to start with, so you can see if they're the right fit for the company, instead of firing them after 3-6 months if you don't like them.

  8. Helpful (6)

    "A good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Writer
    Former Employee - Staff Writer
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at BuzzFeed full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Friendly team
    - Lot's of socialising and going out
    - They allow you to do things outside of your job title if you want to gain more experience (e.g. if your'e a BuzzTeam writer (listicles etc.), you can ask to be on social media sometimes, write an essay for BF Ideas, do some illustrating or social snippets, or occasionally do news)
    - Lots of perks and free stuff (Macbook air, free clothes etc.)
    - Great PR opportunities
    - Kitchen full of free snacks and soda
    - Free lunch once or twice a week (depending on the office)
    - Opportunities to work from their offices abroad
    - Quite flexible as far as working hours go

    Cons

    - No clear targets - you can think you're performing very well since you're getting viral hits at least once a week and are in the top 20 in the company, but then during evaluation they say you're not performing well enough
    - There's a difference in editorial standards between the US office and the other offices worldwide which is very annoying because often your pitches get rejected in your home office because they're not good enough but someone in another office drops exactly the same pitch and it goes through
    - Similarly, you can be told you're not supposed to do a specific type of content anymore because it's tired by now, only to find out that another person in the company just did it and is getting praise for it
    - The office is a bit cliquey, but I suppose that's an issue everywhere

    Advice to Management

    - Set a clear content strategy and guidelines
    - Explain the "no haters" rule better - right now it's too subjective and open to interpretation hence problems like the whole "let's take down articles" kerfuffle arise
    - Make sure your senior writers and managers are actually pop culture savvy - the amount of times they had no idea what I was talking about re: major pop culture events/shows/etc was ridiculous for a company of this kind


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Don't believe the hype"

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

    Pros

    The exposure. Your work is seen and read by a huge audience on a daily basis.

    Cons

    The management was what I found really appalling. A bunch of insecure, power-hungry control-freaks who want you to stay in your place and interpret any type of disagreement or different points of view as a direct challenge to their authorities. The way I saw my managers is that they were probably mediocre, run-of-the-mill journalists in big news organisations, who came to BuzzFeed and the power just went to their heads. As a company they claim to be reinventing the wheel, but really it's run the same way as any well established news outlet. It's just all wrapped up in the some colourful package to make you think it's revolutionising the game.

    Advice to Management

    Let journalists be journalists and chase stories they feel passionate about, instead of trying to tame them.


  10. "Great, fun work environment - some growing pains"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Social Media Strategist in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Social Media Strategist in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at BuzzFeed full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very creative and fun environment, great people, somewhat structured career growth plan for junior employees, good exposure to upper management

    Cons

    can be cliquey, definitely hit a wall in terms of growth for more senior employees, sometimes runs a bit like a startup, says there are options for bungeeing on different teams - but thats more a statement than a reality

    Advice to Management

    more transparency, and genuine feedback, develop a better growth plan for employees who have been there awhile, allow your employees to explore different teams


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