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Keywords Studios
2.9 out of 5 stars.
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3.2Work-life balance

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Think of this job as a telemarketing company, except with video games.

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Beware of the fake positivity here. They’re full of lies. Try to not get comfortable with anybody, since it’s all for show. Nobody is really your friend here.You’ll meet quite a bit of brutes in here. Qualified yes, but they’re so full of themselves. Biggest egomaniacs. Also they don’t hesitate to throw you under the bus for their own gain.Try not to make more than 3 mistakes, your boss will hold that against you until the end of time, as nice as they may seem about it (it’s all for show). As well as completely drop bombs on you in your monthly evaluation (which HR reads), instead of telling you what you did wrong on the spot to prevent further damage to your rep & your work ethic. Ultimately, work here at your own risk. This job can easily trigger your anxiety & often have you comparing yourself to colleagues since that’s what the seniors/test leads do here. If you can tolerate that, then by all means apply.

Pros

You’re at home due to COVID-19.

Cons

Highly competitive, egomaniacs at every corner, They expect you to be a senior after completing probation
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Official response from Keywords Studios

24 June 2021
Thank you for your review. We absolutely agree that feedback should be given immediately. While we currently hold a minimum standard of monthly evaluations, we are working on developing tools and guidelines for all of our managers to ensure they address issues immediately and during regular one on ones with their team. We will be training our management to ensure they do this with the right approach. Overall, the goal of monthly evaluations is not to compare you with your coworkers, but rather to give you guidance on how to grow both your hard and soft skills as a tester, so that you can have an opportunity to receive a salary increase when evaluations results are compiled every 6 months. We understand you have had bad experiences with receiving feedback and evaluations. If you're able to provide specifics, we would encourage you to reach out to HR or fill out the anonymous bottom-up feedback about your manager. We strive to make our work environment welcoming and comfortable for everyone and your input is valuable in attaining that goal.
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Keywords Studios Montreal - QC

KWS Montreal-QC is a great company. Its management tries very hard. It is a very well-run company. People who are leads and senior testers are very well qualified, and many people are promoted to permanent positions. There is a real avenue to progress within the company, but it's hard to elevate to a higher level.

Pros

Overall, a very good multinational company.

Cons

Hard to progress to upper level
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Official response from Keywords Studios

8 July 2021
Hi! This is wonderful to hear! Thank you so much for sharing your feedback and also the time you devote to Keywords.We invite you to meet with your local HR team to discuss growth opportunities. We are here for you!
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Overall not too bad but no room to grow / salary

Fun people and lots of different games to work on, can ask to move projects which is nice. The salary is quite low and there isn't much room to move up.

Pros

Cool people

Cons

Pay
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Official response from Keywords Studios

19 March 2021
Thank you so much for your feedback! It’s great to hear that you are enjoying your role as a game tester and the atmosphere at Keywords. Regarding our growth opportunities, we are proud of our Level Up system which guarantees that employees receive wage increases over time. You can achieve up to three raises in a year! Last year alone, we had 484 Level Up promotions and 124 promotions to higher roles in Montreal (Test Leads, Project Managers, Managers…).Thanks again for your comments, we are here to help provide the best experience we can!
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Nice Co-Workers, horrid management

Pay is low, and they do not care about you. Promise the world, deliver nothing. Often let go with no projects. Play favorites and do not repect those who work hard.

Pros

Free Soda

Cons

Everything else
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Official response from Keywords Studios

25 October 2020
Hello, and thank you for sharing your feedback.It is true, as you mention, that there are short term projects on which to work. There are now, more than ever, an increasing amount of projects in which staff are offered permanent contracts, with access to benefits packages. The Level Up system is in place offering merit-based promotions, and revised annually based on employee feedback. Even in a mostly remote working climate, trainings and new job opportunities are regularly being shared with staff. We are glad that you enjoyed the perks, such as free snacks and drinks, and hope you enjoyed the time with your former coworkers.
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Poor wages, poor management, toxic culture

The wages are poor - literally minimum wage even though they boast working for large clients.The management is bad - does not listen to employees, threatens with firing all the time (voice a concern and you are fired) , Keywords makes sure to tell you that they did a great deed by giving you work. Any time you meet with any of their so called "Project Managers" just a load of fluff is given in the name of feedback. HR is super stringent with utmost poor listening skills and know -it - all attitude. No promotions or wage increases as they will always come up with an excuse for the same.

Pros

None

Cons

toxic managers
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Official response from Keywords Studios

24 August 2020
Thank you for your feedback and taking the time to write this review. We would like an opportunity to discuss the concerns noted below and would request that you provide your contact details so that one of our Keywords Studio Representatives can get in touch with you. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and for the time you spent with us.

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Good job for a highschool student

You get what you pay for. This is a low level job that would be amazing for a high school student. There are a LOT of smelly people here, literally. People show up in clothes they haven't washed in days reeking of B.O

Pros

Pretty relaxed workplace

Cons

Too relaxed, low pay, managers look and act like something you would find in fast food
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Official response from Keywords Studios

27 July 2020
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for your time at Keywords.Even though starting positions can be on call, more and more employees are on permanent and fixed term contracts. As for career advancement, we are proud to promote from within with our Level Up program, which gives employees the chance to grow professionally and achieve up to three raises in a year and more opportunities for promotions!Thank you again, we wish you the very best!
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Great place to work

I didn't have great expectations but in time I got to love the place. Great teams, great atmosphere, good clients and a good job overall. I worked from home so I don't know how it works in the office

Pros

You learn a lot

Cons

None
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Official response from Keywords Studios

6 July 2020
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. We are happy to hear you are enjoying your time with us and we thank you for all you do for Keywords!
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it is a scam!!!

be careful guys, I did all tests they required and spent more than 3 hours, and they didn't even bother replaying to me!!! i felt like they are collecting data from they lengthy tests so be careful here. very disappointed, shame on them.

Pros

nothing

Cons

felt like a scam!
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Official response from Keywords Studios

6 July 2020
We are sorry to hear you had a disappointing experience. We assure you there are no scams to worry about with Keywords. We'll share your experience with our local HR team as a learning experience for us.
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wage is way too low for the responsibility they give

they keep saying us we should never talk about the things we see in the office otherwise we might get sued by the customers and the keywords, imagine getting sued for thousands of dollars for minimum wage.Also they are hiring on-call employees and expecting people to be available 40 hours a week for minimum wage. they really need to hire permanent employees instead with better pay. work environment wasn't that bad but employees are gossiping a lot. worst part is if they are talking about behind an employee's back and they act normal when that person is around. professionalism is kind of low in the company.

Pros

free fruits

Cons

unstable shifts
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Official response from Keywords Studios

27 July 2020
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.We are sorry to hear you experienced issues with some colleagues. We strive to have a safe and comfortable work environment, and we urge employees to report any issue with our HR department. Keywords employees receive more than minimum wage, even positions that require no previous industry experience. Salary increases quickly through our Level Up program, all Level 3 employees move to permanent positions and there is also training in place to encourage and help earn promotions to higher responsibility and higher paid positions.Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. We take all feedback to heart and as a learning experience for us all. We wish you the best!
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Relaxed but immature work environment

Relaxed and mostly easy going job but immature work environment, as well as a pathetic reward and promotion system. Sometimes feels like blackmail that you may only be given shifts if you keep you availability completely open. The work is mostly easy going and if you are on a team with likable people then the job isn't the worst.
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Official response from Keywords Studios

7 July 2020
Hello, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! We are sorry to hear you did not have the best experience at Keywords. Even though some of our positions are on-call, about half of the employees at Keywords hold a permanent contract and approximately 75% are on long term projects. Employees can provide their availability and their schedules are made according this and to the client needs. We also pride ourselves on our Level Up program, which was implemented to offer employees professional growth and salary increase opportunities. This system can help staff achieve up to three raises in a year and more opportunities for promotions. Thank you for your feedback and for your time at Keywords!

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Nice work environment with interesting games to test

The management works hard to make tester's life easier. I loved working there as a tester. Other testers are very welcoming and the office in Sunlife building is clean and nice. (Nordelec building is also really nice)

Pros

Free Fruits

Cons

unstable work hours for new testers.
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Official response from Keywords Studios

7 July 2020
We strive to do the best for our employees and to give them the best experience, so we are thrilled that your experience at Keywords was so gratifying! Thank you for your feedback!
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Did the interview process where you translate an article from a game

Did the interview process where you translate an article from a game. The transition was fine, it was Risk-II but lost touch with the recruitment team and never got the job

Pros

Email communication

Cons

Communication isn't perfect
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Official response from Keywords Studios

28 May 2020
We do appreciate your feedback, thank you. We wish you the best!
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Environnement relaxant mais stimulant.

L'environnement est propice à une évolution calme et gratifiante de votre carrière bien qu'étant une entreprise travaillant par contrat, il n'y a pas de garantit d'un nombre d'heures stable annuellement.
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Official response from Keywords Studios

22 April 2020
Bonjour et merci pour vos commentaires. Nous sommes ravis de savoir que vous trouvez votre emploi de testeur gratifiant. Bien qu'il soit vrai que certains nouveaux postes soient sur appel, plus de la moitié de nos employés ont désormais des contrats permanents. Le nombre d'employés permanents continue de progresser chaque année.Merci de nous informer que la culture d'entreprise de Keywords vous plait, ainsi que le salaire et les avantages. Nous continuons d'offrir plus d'avantages aux employés, avec entre autres des fruits frais, ainsi que des réductions sur des abonnements au gym, des plans d'abonnement téléphonique, Bixi, des restaurants et plus encore. Vos commentaires sont importants à nos yeux et nous sommes impatients de continuer à croître ensemble.Hello, and thank you for your review. We are glad to hear that you find your position as a game tester gratifying. While it’s true that many new positions are on-call, more than half of the staff are now permanent employees. The number of permanent employees continues to increase, each year.Thanks also for letting us know that you enjoy the workplace culture at Keywords, as well as the pay and benefits. We continue to offer employees more benefits, including fresh fruit, discounted gym memberships, cell phone service, Bixi, restaurants and more. Your feedback is valuable, and we look forward to growing with you.
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Très mal payé et heures supplémentaires obligatoires!!

Payé au salaire minimum pour un travail a temps plein et heures supplémentaires (fin de semaines ou soirs) obligatoires sinon une note au dossier est ajoutée.
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Amazing workplace to start working in the industry, not to stay

KWS is an amazing workplace to start working in the industry, amazing with capital "A", but after more than 3 years, the lack of insurance and stability, make first party QA much more attractive to the experienced tester.

Pros

Can be really relaxed often, schedule flexibility possible, anyone can enter

Cons

No benefits, no insurance, even most experienced testers gain close to minimum wage
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Official response from Keywords Studios

3 March 2020
Hello, and thank you for your review. We are glad to hear you found Keywords to be A-mazing!While most positions are on-call at the beginning, about half of the workforce at Keywords Studios Montreal are on permanent contract, and approximately 75% are on long term projects. Scheduling is done according to each employee’s provided availability. Staff members can provide any availability they choose, offering reduced availability can result in reduced hours.Keywords is especially proud to promote from within; all Level 3 employees moved to permanent positions in the past year. The ratio of permanent staff continues to increase, as it has over the past decade. Once they become permanent employees, testers are given three options of benefits plans at different price points, and may choose the one that suits them best. Multiple benefit plans were considered, and the program was revamped according to employee feedback.In addition to these benefits, we are proud to offer employee perks including a discounted mobile phone provider, bike share program, gym discount, coffee, refillable OPUS station at the office, happy hour parties, summer and winter parties, event ticket and game giveaways throughout the year, and free fruit every day.Thanks again for your feedback. We think the Keywords staff is pretty A-mazing too.
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Nice workplace, slow management

Not a bad work day. Enjoyable, coffee and water machines around, nice eating areas, etc. Depending on what you're doing and what day it is, you can either be super busy or super bored. Management and HR are nice, but bad at communicating a lot of the time.

Pros

Advancement, cozy office, flexible hours

Cons

Slow to communicate, stagnant and super busy periods
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Official response from Keywords Studios

3 March 2020
Thanks so much for taking time to share your thoughts. We are glad you found your time with Keywords enjoyable overall. It’s true that the volume of clients requests can fluctuate day to day. Keywords’ staff comfort is important to us, hence the cozy office space, and multiple break rooms with the coffee, water machines, vending options and free fruit. Employee-wide communication is an ongoing process that we continue to hone, and for which we value feedback from employees, such as yourself.Thank you for also sharing with us that you appreciate the flexible hours, room for advancement, and the HR and Management teams overall.We wish you the best with your future career.
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The more you care, the sadder it gets

- Salary is low, and planning appears to give less hours if you get a salary upgrade. - It is impossible to know if you'll get work before the very day before and your schedule may be switched between day and evening on a weekly basis, leaving any possibility of adapting your sleep out the window. It is possible, and even likely, to end not be receiving any work for days. - Training, while paid, ended up useless as the first project I've been assigned to required completely different methodologies. As an employee, you get shifted around projects often on a day to day basis, requiring you to constantly adapt to different requirements right after training. - The best, and only good part of the job, is the other employees, it is very easy to get friends with everybody since everyone clearly have a passion for games. Even if you'll often end up never seeing them again as they put you on another project...
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Official response from Keywords Studios

24 February 2020
Hello, and thank you for your review.We are glad to hear that you are enjoying the friendships you’ve made at Keywords. While staff are scheduled according to project needs, and not who their friends are, Keywords Montreal organizes events throughout the year to give everyone the opportunity to socialize outside of work; summer and winter parties, Halloween and St Patrick Happy Hour events, tournaments, as well as the private Star Wars screenings and Esports Central event late last year.The Level Up program has been implemented to offer built-in growth and salary increase opportunities for Keywords Montreal team members. In terms of scheduling, both permanent and fixed term contracts (often 6 months) are based on clients’ needs, as well as the quality, availability and desire of Testers.Sorry to hear that you did not find Training to be helpful on your first project. You may be pleased to learn that Just last week, we were able to grow the FQA Training program from 3 to 4 days! Training will now cover more ground, and help new Testers be better prepared for a variety of project need.We hope this helps address some of your concerns. If there is anything else you would like to discuss, we encourage you to share with your leadership or the relevant department.
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Some very nice and friendly people but not a good job, that's for sure.

It would be nice place with better salary and management. At this point I wouldn't recommend. It is a waste of time. LQA department is slightly better.
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Official response from Keywords Studios

10 February 2020
We appreciate you taking time to share your thoughts and would like to invite you to meet with your local HR team about concerns you have. We truly care about our employees' experiences and hope you will take time to share your thoughts in more detail, in person.
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Relaxed working environment

Good working environment. Relaxed atmosphere , no tension of dress code. Level up program is really good. You can have meetings with mangers on how to improve yourself. Very good company for freshers to start there career.
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Official response from Keywords Studios

10 February 2020
We appreciate your feedback, thank you! We are very proud of our teams in Montreal and the hard work that is being done to make our employees' experience the best it can be.
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good coworkers

Amazing coworkers from different countries, low salary, joyful and fun environment. The workload was not really stressful. I generally enjoyed working there.
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Official response from Keywords Studios

13 January 2020
We appreciate your feedback and your time spent at Keywords. Thank you!
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Friendly environment

They have a friendly environment but everyone there makes you feel like you are surrounded by people with no goals in life. it's too gloomy and it feels like you cant affort any mistakes.
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Official response from Keywords Studios

20 November 2019
We are sorry to hear you had a negative experience while at Keywords. We'll pass this feedback on to our management teams. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and we do wish you the best.

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Overall rating

2.9

Based on 141 reviews
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Ratings by category

3.2Work/Life Balance
2.4Salary/Benefits
2.6Job security/advancement
2.7Management
3.2Culture

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