What it does: Market research for advertising, books and digital media, consumer packaged goods and retail, online, radio, sports, telecommunications, television and video game industries.
Best known for: The American Marketing Association recognises Nielsen Holdings as the top marketing research firm in the USA.
Staff stats: More than 40,000 employees.
The good bits: Nielsen Holdings joins Fortune’s list of the top 100 best places to work for millennials. Compensation and benefits vary per region, although some of the common perks include health and wellness program, stock ownership and paid time off.
The not so good bits: Graduates should expect lower salaries for entry-level roles compared to management positions, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. The company allegedly doesn’t pay overtime work or provide adequate rest periods for employees in the USA.
Arthur Nielsen founded the company in 1923 as performance measurement and data analytics service provider. Nielsen Holdings has grown into a global organisation with operations in more than 100 countries where coverage reaches over 90 per cent of the world’s population.
The company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2011 and became the first official Olympic Games market researcher a year later. In 2013, Nielsen Holdings joined Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which measures the stock market performance of the top 500 public companies in the USA. Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect comprise the two business units of Nielsen Holdings. The company announced a spin-off in 2019 for the two units to be separated and become publicly traded companies.
Nielsen Holdings updates their career website in real-time, so graduates must be quick to apply for online for listings that match their profiles. You can also apply for jobs through employee referrals or staffing agencies.
Applications for entry-level roles such as analysts and client service executives can take three weeks on average. The hiring process may involve three to four steps starting with a phone interview followed by an exam and interviews by the HR and hiring manager. Nielsen Holdings is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action-Employer. The company’s global non-discrimination policy applies to the following:
Qualified applicants with a disability should inform the recruiter about their needs for special accommodation, especially if they are unable or struggle to finish an online application.
The company divides its employment opportunities into two sections: the US Careers and Global Careers sites where you can find an internship, full-time and part-time opportunities. Nielsen Holdings’ internship program in the Asia-Pacific region only accepts students in Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The company offers graduate training programs only in Indonesia and Vietnam.
Recent graduates and students in Africa and the Middle East can join Nielsen Holdings through co-op opportunities and internships. Finance degree holders have more opportunities for employment with the two-year Emerging Leaders Program, which involves job rotations in the Emerging Markets Financial Planning & Analysis team or Africa and Middle East Financial Planning & Analysis team. The job rotations begin in Dubai.
Nielsen Holdings has a separate career program in India where there are undergraduate programs for select universities, internships and 11-month post-graduate programs. The company also recruits finance professionals under the Emerging Leaders Program. This will expose them to the operations of the Asia Financial Services Operational Controlling and India Financial Planning & Analysis teams.
The actual number of vacancies depends on your location. In Singapore, the company usually accepts interns for six months during the first half of the year. Jobs for fresh graduates in South Korea may be scarce. The company might only have part-time roles such as data production operators for live sports matches.
The company’s compensation structure consists of financial and retirement benefits, work-life balance, health and wellness, and vacation and time away. The actual salaries for different entry-level jobs will partly depend on your location.
The average salary for full-time analysts is around AUD$62,000 per year, which is on par with the median annual salary for sales effectiveness interns. Client service executives earn at least AUD$49,000 on average per year, while seniors in the same role earn an annual salary of AUD$68,000 on average. The company’s bonus program doesn’t seem to impress many employees.
Research associates earn between BDT411,000 and BDT 451,000 on average per year.
The company pays an average of HK$6,000 to HK$7,000 to interns per month. Analysts’ salaries depend on their functions, but the average monthly rate is HK$13,000. Employees get year-end bonuses, annual incentive plans and flexible work hours. Some say that they don’t receive 13th-month pay.
Monthly salaries for interns vary from INR7,000 to INR26,000 on average, while software engineering interns earn annual average salaries between INR356,000 and INR386,000. Entry-level employees like analysts earn between INR700,000 and INR1 million per year.
Research executives earn around IDR7,000 to IDR7,400 per month on average. The median salary for a senior in the same role ranges from IDR8,700 to IDR9,500 per month. Employees get annual or quarterly bonuses, festival bonuses, free parking and health insurance.
Those who work in the client services department earn between NZ$42,000 and NZ$46,000 per month on average. The company provides KiwiSaver contributions, free parking, health insurance and flexible work hours.
The average monthly salaries for client service executives range between PKR52,000 and PKR57,000. Research analysts earn less from PKR43,000 and PKR52,000. Most employees receive standard benefits such as a provident fund and work-from-home arrangements.
Interns reportedly earn between PHP44 and PHP48 per hour. There is a wide salary gap between entry-level and management employees. An executive earns at least PHP29,000 per month compared to PHP95,000 per month for regional project managers. Standard benefits include health insurance, work-from-home incentives, minimal bonuses and allowances for meals.
The median monthly salaries for interns is S$800. Client service executives, research analysts and other entry-level roles may earn an average of S$3,000 per month. Medical coverage, 13th-month bonus, Central Provident Fund contributions, meal and transportation allowances, and annual salary appraisal comprise some of the benefits for full-time and regular employees.
The average salary at Nielsen Holdings-South Africa is ZAR285,000 per year. Research analysts earn below-average pay at ZAR257,000 to ZAR280,000. Employment benefits include 15 annual leave days, remote work arrangement and contributions to investments savings accounts, healthcare and retirement plans.
Research analysts and senior executives earn between KRW32,200 and KRW35,000 on average per month. Employees get paid vacation days and health insurance, but some individuals say that they aren’t allowed to take more than three days of paid time off.
Research executives earn between THB31,000 and THB36,000 on average per month. The monthly median salary for market analysts ranges from THB29,000 and THB31,000. Some employees receive monthly bonuses and insurance coverage.
The average annual salary for research analysts ranges from AED134,000 and AED147,000. Nielsen Holdings pays above-average salaries for most roles and better health insurance than other companies, but their salary increment entails a non-standard approach that doesn’t focus on performance. Some employees say that they can be on paid vacations without any issues. The company also provides family insurance and travel benefits (eg paid flight tickets every year).
A senior client executive at the company earns between VND208,000 and VND225,000 on average per year. Trainees receive monthly allowances and accident insurance. Employees also benefit from relaxed corporate attire policies, frequent team activities and health insurance. They can also go away on vacation for up to three weeks but only if the workload permits it.
Nielsen Holdings claims to be among Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials. The company focuses on health and wellness, despite allegations of unpaid overtime and heavy workload in some regions. Employees in 92 countries recorded almost 540 million steps as part of the ‘Step Up’ challenge. The company also has employee resource groups (ERGs) in different countries. Nielsen Holdings relies on the Global ERG Programme to promote their diversity and inclusion goals.
These programs consist of the Asian Affinity Link (AAL); Abled & Disabled Employees Partnering Together (ADEPT); Hispanic Organisation of Leaders in Action (HOLA); Multinational Organisation Supporting An Inclusive Culture (MOSAIC); Nielsen Generation (N-GEN); Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Allies (PRIDE); Sustaining Active Black Leadership & Empowerment (SABLE); Support & Employee Resources for Veterans (SERV); and Women in Nielsen (WIN).
Only a few of these programs exist in the company’s global offices: WIN in Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam; N-GEN and WIN in Hong Kong; ADEPT, MOSAIC, N-GEN, PRIDE and WIN in India; SABLE and WIN in South Africa; and MOSAIC and WIN in the UAE.
Nielsen Holdings’ top three biggest competitors comprise Kantar Group, Growth from Knowledge (GfK) and Ipsos Group. Kantar began with their operations in 1993, while GfK and Ipsos started in 1934 and 1975, respectively.
Nielsen Cares and Nielsen Green are some of the company’s global corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts. Nielsen Cares uses mobilised data to help non-profit groups through pro bono projects focusing on education, diversity and inclusion, hunger and nutrition, and technology. More than 23,000 employees from 91 countries also volunteered for the Nielsen Global Impact Day (NGID) in 2019. NGID has logged nearly 370,000 volunteer hours ahead of the 300,000 target hours by 2020.
Nielsen Green’s environmental focus consists of three areas: global footprint, value chain and grassroots impact. The company’s global projects include the Trash Blindness Survey, which analysed consumer perceptions on the garbage and ‘trash blindness’. Nielsen Holdings also marked 2018 as the first year of World Cleanup Day. The initial event focused on raising awareness through 80 events in 36 countries.
The company settled a class-action lawsuit from more than 800 employees in California, USA. The plaintiffs alleged that they didn’t receive overtime pay and adequate breaks in between shifts. The work-life balance issues and overtime work are also present in other countries such as Indonesia, where some employees claim that they also don’t get paid to work overtime. In South Korea, the workload prevents many employees from being on vacation for more than three days.
With their 90-year history, Nielsen Holdings has become unofficially synonymous with market research and consumer surveys. The company’s inclusion in the S&P 500 Index indicates job security for prospective graduates. Students from around the world have different options to join Nielsen from internships to structured graduate training programs.
The unspoken trade-off of working for such a large company involves a slow career advancement, partly because of Nielsen’s 40,000-strong workforce. Those who want to succeed in their entry-level roles should prepare for long work hours and heavy workloads, particularly if they work as analysts.