ALS
Happiness score is 51 out of 100
3.0 out of 5 stars.
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ALS Employee Reviews for Laboratory Assistant

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Job Title
Laboratory Assistant27 reviews
Location
Canada27 reviews

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3.1Work-life balance

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Based on 16 survey responses
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  • Sense of belonging
  • Fair pay for job
  • Ability to learn new things

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Only hire people with a degree (and state that in the hiring process that it is required) although they pay you like you don't need one. It isn't even a requirement when you look at the contract (which is why they are allowed to pay you so low). I was bullied in my department on day shift for three months and it was my first job out of university. They train you on day shift even if you are not hired for day shift for no apparent reason other than the team lead on days likes to play favorites and thinks they are superior. If the team lead doesn't like you then expect to be ignored and treated even worse. Extremely cliquey and do not have any sort of proper training system which is frustrating. I can't even describe how terrible my training was, it was not linear whatsoever and you feel terrible if you did something wrong because trainers will make you feel that way. Once I was on afternoon shift things were so much easier and all of my co-workers were nice and wonderful, a complete shift of energy it was like day and night. Had independence in my job and was always trusted that I knew what I was doing and had an amazing team lead. Good job to learn and get experience working in a lab, however the pay is terrible for how hard you work and are rarely recognized for it. Benefits kick in if you aren't laid off which they usually do once winter hits. Have an unfair system of obtaining a full-time role, as some get it after three months and some after nine for no reason whatsoever. They pay is alright if you get the afternoon premium but much too low on day shift and not even worth - 

Pros

Nice people (on afternoon/night shift), Independence on the job (once you are trained), Lab experience

Cons

Low pay, No proper training system in place, Favoritism
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Good if you are looking for something short term

Fast paced temporary position. Don't expect to become a permanent employee. Repetitive work, but easy once you get used to it. Good if you are looking for something to do for a couple months, but that's about it.
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I had awful experience. Manager didn’t bother to meet new hires. I was bullied and felt helpless. Training system is awful.

Awful management. Rude coworker. Confusing training system. Unfair pay based on the amount of work. Dint expect to be compensated if you get injured. Health and safe will make it looks like it was your fault.

Pros

Lab setting work experience

Cons

Poor pay. Poor management. Stressful
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It’s definitely a welcoming place to work at.

I have a good time working at ALS. The co-workers make my experience there much appreciated. The managers are also nice and helpful. I mostly have good and productive days.
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Bad management, overworked and underpaid

Management was bad they were unsupportive and disorganized while working there different managers wanted me to do different things there was no singular plan. They even wanted me to do tasks I was not hired for and the training was drawn out with a lot of policy readings with little lab time in the beginning. Scheduling was mismanaged despite me making it clear that I was a student and they would need to be flexible with my time slots. In regards to scheduling, management wanted me to call them to make sure I wasn't needed on holidays instead of them knowing they will need me and scheduling me in it's their responsibility to know that. Couldn't trust my lab supervisor/trainer as everything discussed with her would end up with management. This workplace asks for a lot for minimal compensation in return for large workloads and non-flexible work schedules.

Pros

entry level lab experience

Cons

large workload, bad management, minimum compensation
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High school environment

Cliques in every department making it difficult to have a comfortable work environment. Poor management with advancements from favoritism. Overworked and underpaid with little room for advancement.
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Official response from ALS

11 April 2021
We appreciate your feedback. Making ALS a great place to work and continuous improvement are very important to us. We will review your comments with regional management with an eye towards continuous improvement. Thank you for your review and we wish you the best.

A good place for a new grad but not for a long term career

ALS is a good place to work at if you are looking for a laboratory experience. They offer a lot of environmental services. I have worked there for almost 2 years and I was one of the people to almost get laid off but they changed their mind on the very last day. However, I had to decline and quit due to relocation to another country. On a typical day at work in summer, it gets crazy busy sometimes your break gets late. In winter depending on your department it can also get busy. I learned the basics of laboratory operations and protocols. The management are okay, really sad they have to lay off a lot of their staff in the midst of pandemic but I guess that's business. Job security is nothing at that point. Hardest part of the job is it gets stressful. You're overworked due to amount of workload, understaffed, the pay is really bad, management expects a lot from you, growth doesn't really happen because the opportunity is limited and overtime is expected. Your co-workers make the job enjoyable and there are treats and party too(not free, tho) but nice to see co-workers not in their lab coats.
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Official response from ALS

6 March 2021
Thank you for your thorough and detailed review. Because we are a seasonal industry, things get very busy during the spring/summer months and we realize that this can get stressful for employees, which is why we give out treats and arrange parties (not during Covid) to try and lift people's spirits. I remember the Winnipeg lay-offs last year. With Covid, there was so much business uncertainty and we felt so relieved that we could cancel those lay-offs. Unfortunately, that still resulted in losing a committed employee like you. We hope you are doing well in your job and continuing to stay safe.

Overqualified and Underpaid.

They hire most people with University Degrees for Assistant position at minimum wage. Good for entry level to gain some experience. But not something you can spend your life working. Just get experience and find something that pays you fairly.

Pros

clean organized labs and common areas.

Cons

No advancement
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Official response from ALS

22 October 2020
We appreciate your feedback. Given the seasonal nature of our work, it is a good fit for those who are looking to gain work experience in a laboratory setting. As a result, our compensation structure is designed around this seasonal hiring. However, we also have structured wage increase programs in place for permanent employees and professional development opportunities for those that want to grow their career with us. It appears that there is an opportunity to do a better job messaging this to all employees.We sincerely appreciate your comments and hope you found a role that is more rewarding for you!

Good company to work for

I enjoy working at ALS environmental in Waterloo. The management is good. Cooperative co workers. Good entry level lab. Work is not so stressful. Overall I like working at this lab

Pros

Good entry level company.

Cons

None
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Official response from ALS

24 June 2020
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. It is rewarding to hear when an employee finds the work culture welcoming and collaborative. Our Waterloo laboratory has done a lot of work in this area through its highly active social committee and engaged management team. We appreciate your feedback; thanks again.

Great people

when I was there in 2012 it was a 4 month contract. I was pregnant with my second child so the contract worked out perfectly. There was some stress because it was the busy season so there was lots of over time. It took me about 2 weeks to really start to get use to the job and after about a month I was comfortable with it. It was mostly run by women and the atmosphere was very friendly and team oriented. Everyone helped everyone else when necessary. I really enjoyed it. I would definitely consider going back if they had an opening for me.
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Official response from ALS

24 June 2020
Thank you for your feedback. We are glad to hear that the temporary contract worked well for you. (And we wish you a belated congratulations on the birth of your second child!). Things do get busy during peak season but it is reassuring to hear that employees in the Thunder Bay laboratory remained friendly and helpful. In fact, we have done a Global Employee Engagement Survey the past three years and working with great co-workers consistently scores at the top across the world!If you are interested in working at ALS again, career opportunities can be found on our website at alsglobal.com. We appreciate your comments and wish you the best.

fun place to work. nice people. good management

definately lot of potentials to grow. very futuristic, goal oriented fun place to work. I learned many new things from work with task and also from the people I worked with as well
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Official response from ALS

24 June 2020
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. It is encouraging to hear that employees enjoyed working with us and grew their skills while they were at ALS. As a global employer with locations around the world, we have many opportunities for employees to grow their career and develop different skills. And while we do work hard, we also try to inject some fun in to work and recognize employees. It is great to hear when our efforts have an impact. We do appreciate your feedback and wish you the best in your future!

Get what you want out of it

I went in knowing that this company isn't built to retain talent and even strong work ethic. I just wanted to work to get relevant experience. I didn't get any benefits during my 'casual' employment there but I've had significantly better offers since being laid off due to the nature of their work and their management. I wish people didn't spend as much time speaking ill of other competing companies and gossiping behind others back but it comes with the nature of this company and those that work here. They systematically work to keeping things the same and that's not beneficial for ambitious and intellectual folks so as long as you are aware of what you're getting yourself into and what you want out of your job, it's a totally reasonable place to work. Majority of the folks have low education and poor academic foundations but this is appropriate for the jobs/roles within this company and they do invest in training people thoroughly. They're no different from any other third party testing company. Since they don't compensate people fairly, they emphasize on company-wide group meetings where a few individuals get recognition which is definitely encouraging.

Pros

Location is very easily accessible for those without cars

Cons

low pay
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Official response from ALS

24 June 2020
Thank you so much for the detailed and thorough review about your experience working at ALS. The majority of employees we hire are temporary due to the seasonal nature of our work. It is true that we hire temporary employees at entry level wages and that the work can get routine. However, for employees that remain with ALS, there are opportunities to develop additional skills and grow a career. Sounds like you saw a bit of that in the thorough training you referenced. Fostering a constructive work culture is important to us. It is great to hear about that in your comments around recognition and training. However, it is unfortunate to hear about gossiping and unprofessional comments about competitors. If you would like to share more detail about this, please go to the "contact us" link on our company website: www.alsglobal.com and someone in HR will reach out to you. Again, we sincerely appreciate your feedback and are truly happy to hear that you were able to use the experience you obtained by working at ALS to find a better employment opportunity after being laid off. We do wish you the best!

Always meeting a certain daily quote

I have learned so much about working in a fast pace environment where you are always working accurately to complete the assigned task or numbers. You need to work really quick, and seat on your desk for hours.
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Official response from ALS

25 October 2019
Thank you for your comments. It is true that our environment is fast paced and accuracy is very important to our customers. We recognize that this environment may not be for everyone; however, we strive to make ALS an engaging place to work through organizing employee activities, giving employees access to ongoing training and providing them with opportunities to share their views. We appreciate your feedback and wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Productive and fun work place with tennis table

Good people to work with, fun and easygoing environment. Work hours are not great and little room for advancement. Clean work space and good training and safety protocols.
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Official response from ALS

6 May 2019
Thank you for your feedback! It is rewarding to hear that you find your workplace place fun and enjoy working with your team. While it is true that career opportunities may be limited at a particular site, we are a global company with opportunities across different locations within the province, across different provinces or even countries! If you are interested in the possibility of relocating, please speak to your manager or human resources. We also have a variety of training and career development tools available to our employees. Your manager or human resources can help you get started if you are interested.

Good family Environment

This job comes with very little job security. I also wouldn't say the pay is competitive. However I've seen a lot of bad reviews for ALS and I don't share the disappointment. I thought the management team was kind and I loved the family feel atmosphere they fostered. It is a fast pace environment with a steep learning curve. The team in ALS are always happy to help you along your way, (Despite them all being very busy themselves.) as long as you show interest in improvement. The people with permanent positions at ALS seem happy and ful-filled with their jobs. This is important for me to note because I've worked for a lot of companies, and often I find the employees stressed, and miserable. It's rare to find Coworkers coming in for OT on the weekend with positive attitudes. They do expect a lot of OT but you are well paid for it. No one expects you to work for free.(This may seem obvious to most. But a lot of companies will refuse you OT and still deem you unmotivated for not staying an extra half an hour for volunteer work. ) If there was more job security and better pay I would have loved to make ALS my forever job. I'll miss the work and the people.
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Official response from ALS

15 April 2019
Thank you so much for providing such a balanced and insightful comment! It is true that the seasonal nature of our work can leave people with a poor impression of ALS because we work very hard during the busy months and have to adjust our staffing levels during the slower winter months. However, we also really work hard to make employees feel appreciated for their hard, comfortable at work and supported by their teammates. It is great to hear when employees have had the experience we are trying to create. Thank you and we hope that you are able to return to ALS!

good place for first job!

a busy company without any job security so many nice employees some managers are good and some supervisors are unstable! training quality is very good
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Official response from ALS

15 April 2019
We appreciate your feedback! We are busy and ramp up quickly during our busy season which means we have to unfortunately adjust our staffing levels during the slower winter months. However, we do strive to create a positive work environment and are encouraged to hear that you found some positive elements from your time at ALS.

Good place to start

I was hired on contract as a lab assistant in the Inorganics department right out of university. I was given a shift of Sunday-Thursday 11a-7p. Overall, it was a really good place to work for 4 months to gain lab experience. Everyone there was awesome. They were really flexible about hours- you could come in late or early if you needed to without a problem, as long as you got everything done. Super understanding about the whole “life outside of work” concept. Work wasn’t hard, just very repetitive, and involved a lot of overtime and later nights during the busy season (October-November). It was a great place to start for me but they have high employee turn-around rates because it all depends on volume of samples and funding.

Pros

Flexible, great environment, lots of potlucks

Cons

Not great pay, lots of overtime, repetitive
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Official response from ALS

15 April 2019
Thank you for your feedback and comments! It is so wonderful to hear that our efforts to create an interesting and engaging working environment are hitting the mark for some of our employees. It is true that we are very busy during our peak season and that it isn't always a great fit for everyone. However, it is rewarding to hear that it works for someone who likes to keep busy and enjoys the additional overtime!

Nice place to work. Every one are professional in dealing with job related problem. Friendly environment. Clean and environmentally friendly work plac

Nice place to work. Every one are professional in dealing with job related problem. Friendly environment. Clean and environmentally friendly work place
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Official response from ALS

30 October 2018
Thank you for your positive feedback! It is rewarding to hear that our efforts to make ALS a great place to work are making an impact for some employees.

good place to work, nice people

It was a good place to work, lots of team building. staff help each other and get a long. good safety program as it is a lab. very clean and well maintained.
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Official response from ALS

30 October 2018
Thank you for the positive comments. We do try strive to make our work environment pleasant and engaging for all employees. It is rewarding to hear about employees having that experience.

Low Wages! No benefits for first 9 months!

The managers are not very friendly or good with people. The wages are low ($15/hr). You start casual, and remain so for 9 months!!! You do not receive health benefits or paid sick days or vacations days or stat holidays for 9 months before becoming permanent. For most places this is 3 or 6 months. During the first 9 months they discourage you from asking for any time off at all! Like you're suppose to work without a break for 9 months. Managers are rude at times. There is a "pass-the-blame" culture. You feel rushed to meet daily quotas. Once you work for 9 months and become a permanent staff member, you get a raise of 70 cents!!!

Pros

Strong Safety Culture

Cons

Low Pay, No health benefits, discouraged for asking for time off
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Good working environment

The company was nice to work for. They had comfortable work environment and a friendly atmosphere. However the company is only busy in the fall and does massive layoffs once snow begins to fall.
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Overall rating

Based on 506 reviews

Ratings by category

3.1 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
2.9 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
2.6 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
2.8 out of 5 stars for Management
3.0 out of 5 stars for Culture

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