At Genentech, which develops new medicines through genetics, the chance to help people drives deep pride and hard work among employees.



This review is based on 903 employee surveys, with a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of ± 3.15. It was published on Nov 14, 2014. 37279 Visitors

What You Should Know

At Genentech, which develops new medicines through genetic engineering, the company's focus on science and patients gives employees deep pride and drives dedicated, hard work. But employees also know how to enjoy themselves. From Patient Connect, a program that allows employees to meet the people who serve as daily inspiration, to Pipeline Palooza, a celebration of science and innovation, Genentech leavens lifesaving research with an emphasis on the company's shared commitments. Teamwork is close and the atmosphere consistently friendly as employees explore new scientific frontiers while helping those in need. Collaborative and communicative professionals will thrive, but those who want a pure 9-5 environment may want to look elsewhere. Despite sometimes long hours, many employees find the work rewarding. “I feel grateful and proud that whether I'm working in the lab or at my desk," one employee says, "my work will in some way help someone with a significant medical need.”


Genentech is a biotechnology company that uses the power of genetic engineering and advanced technologies to make medicines that will help improve the needs and lives of its patients. Genentech values rigorous science and encourages publishing data and participating in the scientific community. 

Website: US Headquarters: South San Francisco, California
US Sites: 11 Major Locations: South San Francisco, CA; Vacaville, CA; Oceanside, CA; Hillsboro, OR; Dixon, CA
US Employees: 12895 US revenues: $16289 million
Worldwide revenues: $16289 million Employees worldwide: 11
Founded: 1976 Industry: Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals

Great Challenges

How much responsibility would I have? What kind of support is there for professional development?

Great Rated! conducted an anonymous survey of randomly selected employees to assess the quality of the workplace challenges the company provides. At Genentech, 82 percent of employees report the company often or almost always provides needed training, fair promotions and personally challenging work. Another 14 percent report the company sometimes provides these opportunities, for a combined positive rating from 96 percent of employees in the Great Challenges category.

Genentech employees work together to bring breakthrough medicine to patients. The company has approximately 12,895 employees in the United States, where they operate 11 locations.

The vast majority of employees (93 percent) say they carry a lot of responsibility in the organization, and 86 percent also say that managers trust them to carry out these responsibilities without micromanaging them. For most employees (89 percent), their work at Genentech is more than just a job: The chance to provide hope in battling life-threatening diseases provides special meaning.

At Genentech, 89 percent of employees feel they receive the training and development they need to further their careers.

Supporting Employee Development

  • College Tuition Reimbursement: $10,000
  • Average annual training for part-time hourly employees: 40 hours
  • Average annual training for full-time salaried employees: 37 hours
  • Employees have access to leadership programs, online seminars, career assessments, career consulting, mentorship, sponsorship, a series of interpersonal communication courses and unique resources at the CareerLab. 
I'm very proud and humbled to be part of an organization where all leaders have the fundamental belief to invest in our employees' development so that all employees can reach their full potential. All employees and leaders - whether in discovery research, development, manufacturing, commercial and our corporate administrative functions - are always looking to learn, improve, develop and innovate themselves as that way we are collectively better able to keep helping patients in the future.

Great Atmosphere

What would my colleagues be like? How do people have fun? How formal a workplace is it?

At Genentech, 85 percent of employees say they often or almost always enjoy their colleagues and find their workplace to be fun and cooperative. Another 11 percent sometimes benefit from these qualities, for a combined positive rating from 96 percent of employees in the Great Atmosphere category.

Genentech's head offices are located in South San Francisco, California, with a Genenbus with various routes across the Bay Area helping employees get to work. Photos of patients adorn the office walls, inspiring employees to greater accomplishments. Employees enjoy a free onsite fitness center and the company has plans to build a brand new employee wellness center. 

An astounding 95 percent of employees describe their working environment as consistently friendly, with a close 90 percent saying it is caring. Eight out of 10 or more employees also say it is fun and cooperative, with a family or team feeling, where people feel comfortable being themselves. In fact, 88 percent actually look forward to coming to work.

Fun and Celebrations

  • The efforts of Genentech staffers are recognized with unique rewards including cruises around the Bay and dinner awards. There's even the quirky recognition tradition of displaying a three-foot-tall stuffed donkey wearing a leather jacket, bandana and aviator glasses in the office. 
  • One of the largest celebrations at Genentech is the Benefit Concert at AT&T Park where surprise performers delight an audience of 23,000 employees and their families. 

Caring and Support

  • In times of unexpected personal crisis, Genentech offers a flexible schedule, referrals, counseling and other support, emergency assistance loans, temporary housing, hardship cash allowances and hotel reimbursement, to name a few.
  • Genentech employees can take their six-week, paid sabbatical every six years.
People celebrate special events around here.
Genentech has a special dynamic in how the various groups collaborate and work together to accomplish a goal and move projects ahead. The team members are open to sharing ideas and helping each other learn and get through challenges together.



Great Rewards

What kind of perks and benefits are part of the employment package? What is the work-life balance like? Does the company appreciate hard work?

At Genentech, 82 percent of employees often or almost always find the company compensates them fairly, provides special and unique benefits, supports their work-life harmony and shows genuine appreciation for their contributions. Another 13 percent report they sometimes receive these benefits as well, for a combined positive rating from 95 percent of employees in the Great Rewards category.

We have excellent benefits and a sabbatical every six years, which is a fantastic way to recharge. We all share in the company's success via stock. I am given the opportunity to try [to] learn and try new things with cross-functional teams and I love the focus on innovation as part of our culture, not just a one-off project. 


$71,500 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Senior Administrative Assistant $123,000 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Clinical Specialist
100% 401(k) match of employee's salary, up to 4% of an employee's contribution 88% Company-paid health coverage for employees
88% Company-paid health coverage for dependents 20 hours Weekly hours at which part-timers receive health care coverage


  • 401(k) or 403b plan
  • Pre-tax savings account


  • Free beverages during the day
  • Take-home meals on a regular, daily basis
  • Onsite package/mailing service
  • Discount ticket sales
  • Car wash
  • Hair salon
  • Banking
  • Subsidized public transportation
  • Subsidized lunch on a regular, daily basis
  • Personal concierge service
  • Massage therapy
  • Fitness classes
  • Weight Watchers meetings
  • Convenience store
  • Personal travel service


31 days Holidays & vacation days after one year of employment $5,000 Adoption benefit
60 days Job protected maternity leave provided above and beyond FMLA 30 days Paid leave for adoptive parents


  • Paid sabbaticals
  • Telecommute option (30% use it)
  • Compressed workweeks (10% use it)
  • Onsite subsidized child care
  • Elder care resources
  • Flexible schedule (55% use it)
  • Job sharing (1% use it)
  • Phased retirement planning
  • Lactation rooms
I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.
People are encouraged to balance their work life and their personal life.
Genentech puts great emphasis on employee satisfaction and work-life balance. Patients are truly the foundation of the core business and Genentech makes that extremely visible.


  • Dental care
  • Prescription drug subsidy
  • Alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, homeopathy or chiropractic
  • Vision care
  • Mental health care
  • Fertility treatments


  • Skin cancer screening
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Fitness center
  • Medicare facility
  • Cholesterol tests
  • Flu shots
  • Subsidized offsite gym memberships

Great Pride

What inspires employees' company spirit here? Do people stand by their teams' work? What impact do people have outside the organization?

At Genentech, 92 percent of employees report that they often or almost always carry meaningful responsibilities within the organization and are proud of their accomplishments, community impact and the company's reputation in the world. Another 6 percent report that they sometimes experience this pride as well, for a combined positive rating from 98 percent of employees in the Great Pride category.

Genentech's goal is to keep the market full of new drug candidates for serious life-threatening diseases, while focusing on putting patients, science and the work of its employees at the forefront. 

I'm proud to tell others I work here.
As a biochemical engineer, it is hard to imagine a more inspiring and exciting place to come to work each day (which I have done for almost 18 years). The culture supports data-driven decision making, and a focus on doing great science for the benefit of patients. I see the results of this in our successful pipeline which continues to generate innovative new therapies for patients. I have always felt supported, valued and challenged at Genentech.

Supporting the Community

  • Philanthropic donations in the last year: $249,804,727
  • During the annual Genentech Gives Back Week, more than 5,300 employees walk to support important causes, bid on charity auction items, share their meals and volunteer for more than 250 community projects. 
  • Genentech matches employee donations up to $2,000 per year, per employee and matches volunteer hours at a rate of $10 per hour, up to a maximum of $300 per year, per employee.
  • Employees share experiences through the Volunteers Online program and tutor elementary school students in underserved communities through the Gene Academy.
I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
I appreciate the focus of the company's mission, which is on patients. Genentech organizes a Gives Back week where employees can give and serve their communities through a variety of volunteering options and culminates with a benefit concert with popular musical acts at AT&T Park in San Francisco (a highlight for many employees and their families). 

Great Communication

How easy is it to talk with managers and get the information I need? Will managers listen to my input?

At Genentech, 79 percent of employees say they often or almost always experience a free and transparent exchange of ideas and information within the organization. Another 16 percent sometimes has this experience as well, for a combined positive rating from 95 percent of employees in the Great Communication category.

Whether Genentech staffers work at the home office or in the field as a member of the sales organization, they generally feel like they are kept in the loop. The majority (83 percent) of employees feel that they are informed about important issues and changes, with managers being approachable and easy to talk with. More than eight out of 10 employees also believe expectations are made clear and managers genuinely seek and respond to any suggestions and ideas they may have. Most (78 percent) say that they get straight answers to any reasonable questions they ask. 

The entire management group across all franchises is as transparent as they can possibly be, regarding business decisions, corporate goals and even during unforeseen challenges which can occur. I always feel like I know what is going on and why.

Great Bosses

What are managers' leadership strengths?

At Genentech, 77 percent of employees say their managers often or almost always act with integrity and care, are competent in their positions and provide clear directions and vision for the organization. Another 17 percent say their managers sometimes display these characteristics, for a combined positive rating from 94 percent of employees in the Great Bosses category.

Genentech employees widely appreciate the pride and atmosphere their leaders encourage at the company. The overwhelming majority (92 percent) of employees believe their managers are both honest and ethical when it comes to business practices. Nearly as many (89 percent) say that leaders are competent at running the business. Eight out of 10 or more employees agree that managers deliver on promises and have a clear view of where the organization is going and how to get there. That same amount also agrees that there is a sincere interest shown in them as individuals, and that management would only use lay-offs as a last resort. 

Genentech always keeps our mission in the front of us about helping patients. It is lived, not just a slogan on the wall. In research, people are encouraged to follow the science not just the profits. Management makes it clear that the patients always come first and we must think about them in making our decisions. 

Great Perks and Programs

  • Pipeline Palooza: A festival-themed event called Pipeline Palooza gives leaders a platform to communicate and celebrate employees' latest scientific achievements. There are sessions, presenters, a stage designed as an antibody and leaders clad in T-shirts proclaiming their inner science geek. 
  • Innovation Ah-Ha: At a celebratory event called Innovation Ah-Ha, product technical development employees get together to discuss how the group might better foster innovation. 
  • EC Coffee Chats: Casual, small-group encounters with the Genentech Executive Committee, called EC Coffee Chats, allow employees to connect, ask questions and share perspectives. These chats happen company-wide. 
  • DNA News: DNA News is a company-wide resource for important news involving conversations, culture and commentary. Employees write news articles to share everything that is happening in the company and leaders are involved in reviewing these stories.
  • Ideastorm: Ideastorm is a way for employees to propose all sorts of ideas for apps. Ideas are displayed for everyone to see, related apps that are already in existence are shared and if they aren't, an app idea is further developed. 

Employee Quotes

Great Rated! collected feedback from Genentech employees via an anonymous survey. Following are common reasons employees said they appreciate their workplace.

"The incredible research and focus on unmet medical needs. The day-to-day priority on making quality products and ensuring no patient goes without. In other companies in which I have worked, the focus was on supply and financial returns. Here, the priority is the patient - their pictures are everywhere, we constantly have patient speakers talking about their experiences with our products and inspiring us to greater accomplishments."

"This company addresses every question on the basis of, 'Is this the right thing for the patient?'"

"The sense of performing our work at the highest level of quality is unique. We have a philosophy that quality is every patient's right and every employee's responsibility. I have seen this demonstrated through actions time and time again. They are not just words on a cool-looking poster."

"Our people are our most important asset and we have exceptional benefits and programs to support our unique and varied interests and passions, both professional and personal."

"Everyone seems aligned with the corporate goal around getting medicines to our patients that improves their health outcomes and quality of life. And many of us have a particular connection to the diseases we target in terms of how it affects our loved ones."

"For the most part, decisions at this company are based on the great science that is done here. I'm happy that Genentech values rigorous science, encourages publishing data and participating in conferences with the scientific community."

"There is a Genenbus for various routes all across the Bay area to take employees to work, a free fitness center onsite for working out, an annual give-back event to the community and future plans to build a brand new employee wellness center."

"Scientific integrity, focus on the patients and commitment to its people."

"I believe that many people who work at Genentech genuinely want to make a difference to society, specifically to develop therapies that make a meaningful difference to patients' lives."

"The culture here is fantastic. You have a lot of opportunity to pursue your dreams here, develop yourself and create your career path. The pipeline here is robust, which makes the future very exciting."

"This company provides a great sense of stability. There is a sense of pride in the work that I do to help contribute to bringing new drugs to the market. There are great numbers of marketed products that make a difference in a lot of patients' lives. In addition, we have great scientists here contributing to a huge development pipeline giving hope to combat more diseases out there."

"This company spends significant resources on our professional development and also on our physical and mental well-being. It's amazing."

How to Get Hired

We asked Genentech for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.

What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?

We are always curious to know how a candidate's career interests fit with Genentech's mission. Being able to speak authentically about what attracts you to the company and mission is key to pursuing any role across the business. We also look for candidates who are collaborative and communicative, as both skills will help one to navigate the culture successfully.

What can prospective employees do to get your attention?

A genuine interest in the mission of Genentech is critical, and knowledge about the company and our history can help in an interview. When applying online, be sure your resume is customized to the role you're applying for so it stands out among the many we receive. Genentech currently receives more than 200,000 applications annually.

Are there any unusual or especially rigorous steps of your hiring process that candidates should be aware of?

Interviews at Genentech are primarily comprised of behavioral-based questions with the intention of eliciting answers from candidates that are grounded in their previous experience or how they might react to a particular situation. Our interview process can be rigorous, as we often expect a candidate to interview with many stakeholders to build a complete picture of a candidate. Technical candidates should not be surprised to receive technical questions in an interview setting

Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?

As in previous years, we continue to hire across our business for scientists, engineers, MDs, clinical specialists, regulatory and quality experts as well as individuals with operations and manufacturing experience among many other roles typical of our industry. We also expect to hire 400 interns and co-ops this year.

What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?

In addition to applying at, candidates should consider their networks and connect with Genentech employees for advice and potential referrals. Approximately 20 percent of our hires every year are from referrals. Many of our recruiters are on LinkedIn, so it's worth connecting with them online to discuss the role you're interested in pursuing. Candidates should also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to get a sense for our culture and what it's like to work at Genentech. Greater familiarity with the company will help in the interview process.

Hiring Outlook

7%Job Growth 64Average number of applicants per opening
4%Total voluntary turnover in past year 234143Applicants in past year
1990Openings in past year 20%New hires by employee referrals

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