System1 Group Reviews

Updated 5 Sep 2020

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3.1
50%
Recommend to a Friend
67%
Approve of CEO
System1 Group CEO and Founder John Kearon (no image)
John Kearon
14 Ratings
  1. "Quality operation"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at System1 Group full-time

    Pros

    They look after their staff, share the proceeds of growth, and take innovative ideas and make them a reality to tremendous effect.

    Cons

    Some strange decisions have been taken over time which is due to certain individuals being allowed to much sway. They have mostly shuffled off of their own accord so the decks are clearer now and the company the better for it.

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  2. Helpful (1)

    "Avoid at all costs"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Confidential 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at System1 Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I should have listened to the reviews prior to joining and ruining my career. The company is being run into the ground by a consultant and has perpetual global turnover.

    Cons

    None. The business is a joke.

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  3. Helpful (3)

    "Good workplace gone bad - emotion applies to client work but not how they treat their own people"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at System1 Group full-time

    Pros

    Good methodologies that make sense and work. Casual office environment. Ability to work from home. Good perks like extra days off at Christmas, paid sabbatical after 6 years, health insurance etc. Free snacks. London office well located, bright and airy. Work life balance is pretty good. Some excellent support teams - Ops, Legal, Finance

    Cons

    Threw out a brand that clients and staff loved and changed it to something that is dull and very 'system 2'. With the name change came a series of terrible decisions, from restructuring around 3 practices to getting rid of some amazing people. The consequences have been catastrophic. Over 50% of the UK account team have left in the last year. Senior management totally lost sight that the people make the business. Restructuring into 3 practices was meant to bring business efficiencies but it has done nothing of the sort and instead created a disjointed client experience and limited variety and skills built by staff, most of whom have since left or are planning to. Some of the people put in leadership positions have no leadership skills and have created disorganised, messy and uninspiring teams. Until this is sorted out, people will keep leaving. Overall it just feels like it has lost its way. The situation has gotten so desperate that a panic has set in so people can now be promoted (deserved or not) or get huge pay rises just by threatening to leave. HR function impotent - purely administrative, despite all the problems they have done nothing to help, staff don't know what they do or why they exist

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    System1 Group Response

    November 1, 2018Senior HR Generalist

    Thank you for having taken the time to share your thoughts about working at System1. As you know, our industry is going through radical change at the moment. As one of our senior clients said recently “Market Research has changed more in the past 3 years than in the previous 40”. System1 is a very ambitious business - and over the past 12 months we have been changing too to ensure that we continue our drive to discover breakthrough marketing solutions guaranteed to help our clients grow more (and waste less). We do not underestimate the vital role that every single one of our colleagues plays in growing both the System1 business and helping us to spearhead our industry’s change agenda. We are absolutely committed to doing our very best to make sure that System1 remains one of the most exciting and fulfilling places for people in our industry to work. We take your feedback very seriously - and will definitely take it into account as we continue to plan for the future.

  4. "Thinking of working at System1 - don't."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at System1 Group full-time

    Pros

    They have a small group of knowledgeable experts who are up to date on Behavioural Economics.

    Cons

    Bully culture - CEO can be a bully and this negative role modelling filters down. If you want no say and want to be micromanaged, this is the place for you. If you want to be treated as an adult - work somewhere else. Totally out of date and out of touch with market reality - not at all innovative. Arrogant attitude towards clients - dismissive of their genuine concerns. David Brent would be embarrassed by the management.

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  5. Helpful (5)

    "Sinking ship"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Researcher in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at System1 Group full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    progression assured regardless of talent. Everyone is leaving so they need to keep people somehow.

    Cons

    Lots of people covering for their lack of experience and talent. They cover by asserting their opinions. No innovation dispite the 'most innovative' title. They have been left behind, stuck in their ways, not open to new tech or opportunities. Bully and cliche culture with many decisions made before consultation. Unhappy workforce largely due to the lack of responsibility taken by senior management decisions. That, and their endless hours and lack of impact with clients. Use redundancy as a form of performance review. They will make people redundant that they don't feel are performing, then re-hire into the position a month later. Internal training is non-existant. You have to make a business case to be trained to do your job. Wants to believe they are a 'big company' so badly they forgot what's good about being small. No culture to speak of, stupid buzzwords instead. They had a culture and killed it

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  6. "Challenging year but conditions definitely improving"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at System1 Group full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Great emphasis on work life balance (despite a few grumbles) this is definitely better than most other research agencies in the UK & London - Research offering really is market leading in some areas (particularly innovation) - Visionary founder and board room presence very much available (and happy) to discuss concerns - Brilliant, brilliant clients who are really invested in our thinking, reinforces confidence in our tools - Not afraid to invest in people's development

    Cons

    - The disconnect between US based senior management ignores UK market conditions and behavior (can't hard sell as much - it doesn't work!) - Directors are seemingly protected from any accountability and a select few contribute very little to accounts (delivery and growth) - Socials are definitely less frequent

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  7. Helpful (2)

    "Lost their identity"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at System1 Group full-time

    Pros

    Great people although lots leaving due to changes

    Cons

    Management manage change and communication of change poorly

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Innovative environment but clueless in terms of direction"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Consultant in London, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at System1 Group full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The atmosphere is great; people want to be innovative and the whole behavioural economic philosophy brings a great positive spirit and it's super cool to be a part of this bubble. Some of the brightest and nicest people work there and people keep working there for years and years; main reason people stay I think is because of the people. Nice 'lunch and learn' sessions; cool marketing activities; webinars; book club. Possibility to move across offices - they create opportunities for people who work very hard. No result deck goes out if it's not 'juicy' which gives you the feeling you're really delivering exciting stuff in the world. Marketing is truly amazing; they make the company look like the size of Milward Brown or Ipsos (while there are only about 150 actual 'juicers' across the globe!). Team meetings are always set in a positive way; there is a big focus on training and everyone can be a line manager. Teams are supposedly flat, but you get exposed to 'managing' someone early on. There's a grad scheme that works well; bright and good people get hired and given an opportunity. There are company meetings where you sometimes travel abroad for meeting the continental teams. In summer there's 'summer time', meaning on Friday the aim is to stop working earlier. (While in winter it is busier and working normal hours)

    Cons

    BrainJuicer seems to have lost track a little of where they are going and who they want to be; first it's a full service agency, then it's boutique, then it needs to compete with Milward Brown (they are obsessed with them); then they introduce a new tool without even validating it. Or the Labs team (which is a bunch of guys [no women allowed?], mainly older 'sigar-smoking-gentlemen' types who get paid 5-6 times the salary of an associate) introduce a tool to clients in an external webinar without having trained the research teams. They want to be 'super juicy' whilst the executive board is focusing on selling tracking research for which the processes are not set up well and although sold a lot the general consensus is that it's a pain to work on. Building on previous point; although saying the structure is flat and you are indeed able to walk up to the more senior people - decisions and ways of working are very hierarchical. Everyone can line manage someone but it makes it unnecessarily layered. Another point is that even though a lot of people tend to stay at BrainJuicer long; there's also an idea of promoting people just for the sake that they're there for a long time and sometimes no opportunity to grow as there are too many seniors already. There is supposedly a bonus system that explains the lower base salary. You can potentially get up to 20% although this doesn't happen easily and even though your team might hit their target and you worked every night and weekends for a month, it still depends on how the whole company is doing. Finally, although priding themselves with being international; in the London office most people are British and from a particular background. There seem to be some cliques of friends (throughout levels) and to get something done you need to be part of the inner circle (or be an older man). To finish - BrainJuicer is definitely a cool place to work: lots to learn, lots to experience; however beware of getting stuck in the BrainJuicer bubble and thinking you know better than other companies; there's a reason other companies grow faster and grow year on year and why so many people leave (turnover is high).

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  9. "Decent starting block"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at System1 Group

    Pros

    Good place to kick off your career

    Cons

    Running round the rabbit wheel of standardised research

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  10. "Poor senior management"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Senior Research Consultant in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at System1 Group

    Pros

    Salaries are reasonably good. Quick progression for people who work hard (Long hours, doing largely boring work)

    Cons

    Senior management is made up of mediocre, white men who care more about themselves than actually supporting the teams to be successful

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