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Frontiers Reviews

Updated 16 January 2018
32 reviews

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2.9
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Frontiers CEO Kamila Markram
Kamila Markram
21 Ratings

32 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great company to work for"

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

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

    Pros

    Young and nice environment to work in, lots of possibilities for career growth and promotion

    Cons

    There are really no cons although the salaries could be a bit higher


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Stop hiring PhDs - very limited growth possibilities"

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

    I worked at Frontiers full-time

    Pros

    The company is young and international, you get free snacks and coffee and a barbecue once a year. Most people are friendly, with some notable exceptions. Great team spirit in some teams. Very relaxed working atmosphere for the most part, no real pressure.
    They send you to conferences , sometimes even abroad (without proper training though, so it could be stressful).
    The location is pretty, just next to the lake.
    Non-challenging 9 to 5 job, no need to stress or work late hours, perfect for people with children. Otherwise, only recommended to undergrads that want a bit of "editorial" experience on their CV to move to better and greater things.

    Cons

    Frustrating if you have any ambition because of the VERY limited career growth possibilities in most of the Lausanne office teams. Loyalty is rewarded more than talent, leading to inexplicable promotions of lacklustre employees - they have just been in the company long enough. Because of this, most of the senior managers lack talent (and some are real bullies). This also means that career growth is limited: you may get promoted once, only if somebody resigns and if you have been there for 1-2 years - and that’s the end of your career growth in the company.
    They often hire people with PhDs in the editorial team - PLEASE STOP. It is a 9 to 5 sales job, the journal's content is not in the editorial team's hands, so you really need no previous knowledge of the of the field.
    Very little chance for personal growth in the editorial office as well - no outside training was ever provided.
    Management seems very confused on how/where to grow, with continuous poorly announced major changes of roles and positions in some of the departments. Awful handling of internal communication. Less senior employees are never listened to.
    Last, pay is not very competitive for Switzerland, given most of the employees’ academic backgrounds.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your people - your senior management is far from perfect and should be taken care of. Stop hiring PhDs.


  3. Helpful (18)

    "AWFUL"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great team of international, young, hard working people.

    Cons

    Members of senior management are arrogant cowboys. They do not appreciate the talent they have. No focus on training or developing staff abilities. Huge emphasis on proving one's worth. No human decency.

    Advice to Management

    No advice. Beyond redemption.


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  5. "OK for first job in academic publishing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Journal Development Specialist in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Former Employee - Journal Development Specialist in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Responsibilities from day 1, if with the right manager, you can work independently and manage your own projects
    - Opportunities to travel and attend conferences
    - Company is focused on data analysis and technology
    - Smart and fun co-workers

    Cons

    - No internal growth opportunities, promotions are based on personal preferences of the higher management, not on actual performance
    - Higher management has no clear long term vision for the company
    - Too big part of the job is solving reoccurring quality issues


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Only good for an internship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Journal Development Specialist in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Former Employee - Journal Development Specialist in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The environment is definitely cool: nice location, snacks, standing desks.
    Working hours are very flexible, and the work-life balance is indeed very good.

    Cons

    As mentioned in other reviews, there are no growth opportunities, which might be ok for an internship position, if at least you were taught something useful. Unfortunately, at Frontiers this is not the case. You will spend your whole day typing emails based on drafts you are provided. No need to use brain nor to provide any kind of valuable input - some words (like sorry, or regret) are even prohibited when answering emails, so be very careful when copying and pasting your drafts and don't try to add any kind of personal touch as it is not appreciated at all.
    Additionally, even though I liked most of my colleagues, I found most of the managers to adopt very incorrect behaviors. Promotions are not based on merit (and how could they if all you have to do is copy and paste drafts?), and sometimes coercive behaviors are adopted as well (just as an example, we were "encouraged" to submit positive reviews of the company of Glassdoor).
    Last but not least pay is very low - don't let numbers deceive you, living in Switzerland is ridiculously expensive.

    Advice to Management

    Stop adopting coercive behaviors, stop underestimating or ignoring your employees skills.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Dynamic and ambitious organization with great people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Dynamic and ambitious organization with great people who truly care about the scientific community and who want to make a change in publishing by making sure research becomes publicly available to everyone. Will have a lot of growth potential in the future. Fast-paced, hard work, room for people who take initiative and want to make a change. But also a place of fun, with monthly drinks, yearly summer BBQ and Christmas party for the entire company.

    Cons

    The nature of a start-up is that a lot of things change quickly, and not everything has been perfectly organized. Departments and responsibilities have changed as well in the last few years in order to cope with the rapid growth, which did not pleased everyone as some prefer that things just stayed as they are, but these changes were definitely needed. As it's a young organization, many employees are in their first job coming straight from academia and therefore not experienced working in such environment, and I would argue that some of the negative comments may derive from a combination of this and the above. But the organization for its part is catching-up, and appreciates that things need(ed) to improve, tries to involve the entire organisation more on this, and is investing more and more in hiring the right people, and training and personal guidance. The organization has become much more stable in the last year with very few organizational changes.

    Advice to Management

    Keep investing in the people!


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Dynamic company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editorial Assistant in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Former Employee - Editorial Assistant in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Young, vibrant workforce; amicable work atmosphere; admirable company values and aims.

    Cons

    Some colleagues felt neglected and under-appreciated.

    Advice to Management

    Be more willing to listen to employees.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Only good for a first job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Specialist in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Specialist in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Relatively young and international group (It's nice that many are from around the world so if you have just moved to Switzerland this is a group of people who will understand your situation)
    - Depending on your team, the company will pay for you to go to conferences
    - For the most part not a stressful job. It can easily be a 9-5 type of job
    - Good to have something on your CV when you first move to this country or if you are young because you can make this job sound better than it is (they don't want you to know that they hire anyone)

    Cons

    - Very unclean facilities. The bathrooms are the worst that I have ever seen anywhere.
    - The office is casual dress, which leads many people to abuse this. This is still an office environment so a certain level of professionalism should be upheld. I have seen mini skirts, bras, strapless tops, and walking around the office without shoes on many occasions.
    - The pay is very low by Swiss standards, which is why you can count the number of Swiss employees on one hand. The only ones that stay are those who cannot speak the local language well enough to work elsewhere.
    - Managers are chosen not based on skill or past experience, but rather favoritism. If you are one of the favorites you can do no wrong. It is very obvious who are the favorites at this company.
    - The company has little to no marketing practices, and in fact this team has actually recently been disbanded for having "different" views than the CEO. The department name has been changed from Marketing and Communications to just Communications.
    - Every week there is at least one person leaving the company, and very often not for a happy reason. Expect high employee turnover during your time at this company.
    - Managers are extremely negative and territorial so expect to not hear "good job" or "thank you" often...if ever. I am not sure if managers are so afraid their positions will be become redundant (constantly new people being hired) so this makes them act in an aggressive manner.
    -If you are looking for a professional environment then this is not the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees, and not just your favorites. We have repeatedly said we are unhappy, but little is being done to address this. A high turnover means something. Also keep in mind that a high turnover costs money so focus on making your current employees happy.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "IT"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Information Technology in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Former Employee - Information Technology in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    ° Manageable stress level
    ° Good quality of work condition
    ° HR
    ° International environment
    ° Free coffees and snacks
    ° Cutting-edge technology

    Cons

    ° Low salary
    ° Some departments are managed by non-enough qualified "manager"
    ° Lack of communication between managers slow down processes
    ° The turnover is too high, they need to find a solution

    Advice to Management

    Hire a CTO


  11. Helpful (6)

    "It could be a nice place to work..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Young (10y) and international company.
    - Most people are really smart and friendly, with some notable exceptions.
    - If you are lucky (depending what team they put you on basically), you might be sent to a few international conferences per year.
    - Beautiful location by the lake.
    - Senior managers and HR seem to have a vision and it looks like they want things to improve.

    Cons

    If you are ambitious, the job can be extremely frustrating, as there are no real growth opportunities. And I do not mean just the lack of promotion possibilities; I mean that you will not learn too much in this office - you will spend all your day typing.

    As someone previously mentioned, loyalty is rewarded more than talent, leading to inexplicable promotions of unskilled employees. Hence, some of the so-called managers lack talent and leadership skills. They just have been in the company long enough and happened to be in the right place at the right time.

    They hire lots of people with PhD degrees, which I will never understand. It is a pure sales job – they should focus of hiring people with background in sales, marketing, communication, and/or management.

    An astonishing number of people in this company lack social and interpersonal skills. If you want to work in a professional environment do not even bother applying. The top management tried to implement a relaxed atmosphere at work, including casual dress code, but certain people (including some midrange managers), took it one step too far. At Frontiers, one can encounter people in flip-flops, hiking boots, jean shorts, and low-waist pants (some outfits really scream "gym" or "beach" and strangely no one seems to care about it). If you are “lucky”, you might also see unshaved female legs.

    Last but not least, pay is low by Swiss standards (no wonder that you can count Swiss employees on the fingers of one hand). They attract mostly young EU citizens that are tempted by salary that might seem great at first (in comparison to most EU countries), but once people get acquainted with the Swiss job market, they start looking for better positions, contributing to Frontiers’ ridiculous employee turnover rate.

    Advice to Management

    Look into what midrange managers do. You have so many talented employees that aren't noticed nor appreciated because of the big egos of their line managers.


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