Unrpedictable hours; not enough communication on flow-rate expectations to interviewers
Pros: most supervisors are excellent. a lot of freedom (i.e., as to when to take breaks, etc)
Cons: unpredicability of hours. incredibly low pay and no benefits. unprofessional atmosphere.
I've worked in social research over the years and previously headed a research project (social research as opposed to marketing research). Over a decade ago, I also worked for another marketing research firm.
Personally, I have NOT found this group to be all that professional and they also seem to be rather cheap -- for example, by not allowing the interviewers to keep the manuals they are provided at the training session -- they actually ask that trainees hand them back at the end of the session, and also trying to ensure that they don't have to increase the salary from $10.45/hr to the $10.95 (hardly anything) that they indicate in the letter they provide once a person ahs been hired -- they will actually dock 30 cents from that raise if a person has been late just one time, even if they were only late by only 2 minutes. Additionally, people have to hand project briefing notes back in at the end of the shift for the next shifts' use, which, to me, is not all that sanitary, and the lunch room is abysmal, with dirty tables and chairs and a sink that looks like it's never been cleaned. I would definitely not use any of the dishes they have in their cupboards. It also seems that they don't really take care to ensure the washrooms are kept clean either. (As one former employee stated, the washrooms smell like fish.)
To me, they also don't communicate their expectations regarding flow-rates to staff all that well. They mention the expected flow rate at the beginning of some projects, but not for others. Also, if one does not begin working on a project until after that project is – more... underway (e.g., the next day or even week), they'll likely not be told what the flow-rate is. I find this to be exceptionally poor. Also, it seems that the flow rate is not a really good method for analyzing productivity with this group, because if one comes into a project when it's almost at it's end, then you'll obviously get much fewer interview completes than if you come in at an earlier point in time. (From what I can tell, it seems the flow-rate they use to base employee productivity on is based on the number of interviews done per month, which actually makes it somewhat unfair for those who work less than at least four days a week @ 6 hours per day). (Ironically, during training, our trainer suggested we should start with either 3 evgs a week @ 6 hrs/evg or 4 evgs a week @ 4.5 hrs/evg.)
The big point here is that interviewers can expect to receive calls telling us not to come in for the shift that evening (or on the weekend)because it has been cancelled due to the shift being cancelled or sometimes due to an entire lack of projects. (I found out that the shift being cancelled only refers to one's own shift -- i.e., not really an entire shift.) To me, this can be problematic for many people, which is likely why there seems to be an incredibly high turnover. In fact, one area this company seems to spend a lot of money on is ads for marketing researchers. They can be seen all over the place -- on buses, the Internet, etc. Well, I guess we know why. (At the other marketing research firm I worked for years ago, I never got calls telling me my shift had been cancelled. I also know people who have worked there since and who are still working there, and no such thing has happened to them.)
The one good thing about this group is that the supervisors and floor managers are very nice overall. Most of the supervisors are great at monitoring calls and letting interviewers know what they did wrong and right and how the interviewers can correct those areas in which they're weak. Other than that, this is most definitely not a place one should consider for long-term employment. – less