American Tower

  www.americantower.com
  www.americantower.com

American Tower Reviews

Updated October 11, 2014
Updated October 11, 2014
90 Reviews
2.6
90 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
American Tower Chairman, President, and CEO Jim Taiclet Jr.
Jim Taiclet Jr.
54 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • There can be a work-life balance, but it is paramount to establish those boundaries early on (in 6 reviews)

  • Company is growing, so it's an interesting time to be a part of it (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • There is little work-life balance, particularly for contractors (in 4 reviews)

  • Upper management has no respect for employees and the majority of employees think upper management is a joke (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

20 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 8 people found this helpful  

    Houston, we have a (legal) problem!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Legal Professional in Woburn, MA
    Current Employee - Legal Professional in Woburn, MA

    I have been working at American Tower full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    You can't beat the people at American Tower. Colleagues are nice, laid back and fun. Executive leadership is outstanding. Benefits are good, despite low pay. The legal department has a lot of very smart people and you can learn a lot from them. Our GC and many of the veteran lawyers are some of the best telecommunications lawyers in the country.

    Cons

    The numbers are all there. The turnover rate is ASTRONOMICAL. Employee survey results are dismal. Morale is low. At least half of the department is interviewing elsewhere, even grizzled veterans that are key performers.

    So why is this? To start off, it’s a combination of a high volume of work and lots of pressure, but that can be said about any attorney job. But then add in major office politics, poor management, no clear paths for advancement, confusing/contradictory/non-existent procedures, and horrible computer systems. Oh, and low pay as well. Yes, we know that HR has done "studies" of what lawyers get paid, but I'd rather trust surveys like the one Major, Lindsey and Africa did that says that the LOWEST paid attorneys in the telecom industry make $150,00 and the median total pay was $180,000.

    To get down to the nitty gritty, here are everyday experiences in the legal department:

    You work for a manager who has no idea how to do his/her job or how to help you do yours.

    You work overtime each week to crank out hundreds of documents on your drafting list and are the top performer on your team, but you get docked on your review and get a measly 3% raise because of some trivial thing that you did or forgot to do (like comply with one of our many unwritten procedures or say "thank you" in an email).

    You are a licensed attorney and handle your own UPS, FedEx, mail, copying and scanning when you could be writing contracts. Your manager tells you that you are behind in writing contracts.

    You have a major project due by the end of the week, but the company rolls out a new document storage system without testing it and you are locked out of your files. Our motto is to implement first, then actually give the project some thought after the fact, then say that we’re too invested in the current system to fix the problems, and then devise a hundred “workarounds” that make it more burdensome to do your job. We spend millions on bad systems and then tell everyone that raises were low because we have to keep SG&A down.

    You have asked several times what is needed to advance to the next level. You are either given no answer or you are given certain goals to meet, and when you meet them, they “move the chains” and say you didn’t meet other goals that no one told you about. Then the company will hire someone will less experience for a more senior position than yours.

    Your terrible manager has lost 75-100% of his/her team and still has both a management position and a job because the company can’t admit that some people can’t be fixed. There are hundreds of articles that talk about why bad managers can't be changed. Remember, employees don’t leave companies, they leave bosses!

    You are a great worker, but get so fed up with the pay/advancement that you find a new job. You speak with your manager and tell him/her that you have an offer, but you would stay if they bumped you up $5,000 in pay. They tell you that they wish you the best of luck in your new job. Yet, the average cost to replace an employee is 30% of her salary (in just recruiting and training costs), and that doesn't even count the loss of experience, loss of social connections, loss of morale to the department and so on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Legal management is not a group of bad people with evil intentions. They are trying really hard to meet customer needs and grow the business. But the problem is that they are so busy with working on big deals that they don't have the time to give these problems any serious thought.

    To change you need to hire an outside consultant to review the entire department and make recommendations, and this consultant must report to the company president and not to anyone in legal management. This consultant should look at everything, and I mean everything: pay scales, job titles and promotions, whether existing managers are the best people for the job, organizational structure, computer systems, culture and so on. The consultant should recommend changes to the president and they should be implemented, no matter how painful. And you need to do this soon...a LOT of people are on the verge of leaving.

    You aren't going to fix it by having ice cream parties, thank you notes, or “brainstorming” sessions run by legal management. All of that is window dressing that will never get down to the core issues. People don’t want M&Ms with the company logo on them. They want real change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Amateur Hour at US Tower Legal

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Attorney in Woburn, MA
    Current Employee - Attorney in Woburn, MA

    I have been working at American Tower full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free parking. Toilets flush automatically. Heat and AC.

    Cons

    Ditto to everything said in “Houston, we have a (legal) problem.”

    You are not a respected professional in legal. You are a cog in a machine. They work you as hard as they can you so can help them make an extra $50K+ bonus (while yours is more like $6K), but they could give a care less about you. Management talks to us like we are children. We have meetings and they tell us “OK what I am going to tell you is confidential and if you say anything I’ll fire you.” That’s either a really bad joke or megalomaniacal behavior. Or they give you advice about how to be nice when you write an email in the same way that I would talk to a 5 year old. Then your boss sends you a very jerkish email or throws a hissy fit that discredits everything that he was "teaching" you. It's do as I say not as I do at AMT. Basically most of the legal managers have their positions because they are politically connected, not necessarily because they are the best managers or the best lawyers. And yes, lawyers sit in cubicles in Woburn. It’s the secret we’re not allowed to talk about because management hates that lawyers complain about being in cubicles. Management of course sits in offices, but again it's do as I say not as I do. Even storage boxes get offices at AMT. No really, they do. But in all seriousness it just is another reason why it feels like amateur hour there, like we’re not real lawyers. And I love performance reviews because I get to feel like a kindergartner all over again. They follow the “compliment sandwich” rule. Say something nice, then bring up every little flaw they found over the year (real or imagined) and just throw them in your face and then finish with something nice because that will just make you forget how PO’d they just made you on top of the tiny raise and bonus. It’s not constructive criticism. It’s a way of keeping your compensation low. Considering how many major flaws management has and how low our pay is, these reviews are insulting. I don’t want to get Biblical, but there is some quote about pointing out the speck in your neighbor’s eye while ignoring the log in your own.

    I know I sound like sour grapes but I really want to spare any prospective job applicants the experiences that we deal with every day here. It's not the place they make it seem in the interviews.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Eh. What's the use? No one listens anyways. Legal runs the company anyways so nothing will change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    Stumbling, Rambling, Machiavellian - and that's just the IT department!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Tower

    Pros

    A chance to learn a the business of a new industry.

    Cons

    Where to begin.... IT is a MESS. One of the managers proudly informs new hires that they have no IT experience - only HR experience. That should be your first red flag. Second red flag - the department is mostly contractors. Many who do not want extensions to to become permanent employees. And those that do become permanent employees had to simultaneously walk on water while kissing serious butt and stroking egos to accomplish the hiring on. There is little consideration towards treating contractors - or even FTEs - as human beings with ideas and thoughts that might actually help the business.

    The IT motto when it comes to documentation - "Make it pretty. Who cares about the content".

    Each time a contractor leaves, management asks them to write a 'positive' review on this site. Be sure that the only positive reviews you are reading on this site are from management themselves, who are fabricating the reviews to make the company look more attractive. Were I you, I would look elsewhere than American Tower.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Horrible communications regarding project expectations for the newbie

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Specialist in Woburn, MA
    Former Employee - Project Specialist in Woburn, MA

    I worked at American Tower full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Modern offices, independent work environment, great location from home

    Cons

    Training is a joke (bad scheduling, jumped from conference room to conference room); no real direction - as a contractor I was put in a fishbowl of interruptions while my coworkers was in a quiet environment so we couldn't coordinate our projects. Also had another contractor CONSTANTLY interrupting me to teach me her job simply by imitating the steps of her project (i.e. she shows us one step, then we each sit down and imitate the step) when all I needed was a step list; also, would be "reasonable" for those of us who have to drive to get alternative schedule (even just a few days a week)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    PROFESSIONAL training for new staff/contractor that is scheduled and not just scribbled notes from an employee who is too busy to teach ; give a better idea of the go-to lead; give more that 3 days one week (closed due to employee fun day) and 2 days the next to learn projects; free up staff to teach contractors their jobs and give a reasonable learning curve; and don't scrimp on salaries for decent IT people, since AT has just about EVERY application open on their desktops (have you never heard of bandwidth?)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Penny Pay Produces Poor Performance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woburn, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woburn, MA

    I worked at American Tower full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The best part of American Tower is the day you walk out the door for good!

    Cons

    I should have known better than to accept when I was offered my position and attempted to negotiate a minute pay increase. I was told, "It's non-negotiable," which pretty much sums up working at American Tower.

    From the day I started until the day I left, they were concerned about numbers (as in more pay for upper management and horrible salaries from middle-management down).

     CEO Jim Taiclet earned more than $12 MILLION in 2013; Chief Financial Officer Tom Barlett earned more than $4.5 MILLION in 2013; President Steven Marshall earned more than $4.2 MILLION in 2013; Exec. VP William Hess earned more than $4 MILLION in 2013; and Exec. VP Edmund Disanto earned more than $3.8 MILLION in 2013.

    The company scrimps in regard to across-the-board company salaries - again for middle management and below - and tends to hire fresh-out-of-college graduates who will work for pennies on the dollar - only to leave at the first growth opportunity.

    As for customer service, I worked with great people, who cared about the industry and client goodwill; however, with the limited resources (as in too few people for too great a workload), staff just could not provide the "premium" level of service on which American Tower supposedly prides itself.

    It is a shame that American Tower does not understand the simple concept, "You get what you pay for." Their executives seem to ba$k in the glow of that knowledge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I suggest that the company start paying for the quality they seek.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    If you like to be Micromanaged, ATC is the place for you!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woburn, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woburn, MA

    I worked at American Tower full-time

    Pros

    - Benefits
    - Exciting growth at the company
    - Stock doing well

    Cons

    - Management is very old school, and you are constantly micromanaged, as they have no trust in their employees
    - No flexibility
    - A " I must see you in your seat working" mentality
    - No real culture (yet during the interview process you hear about the great culture)
    - Compensation is not comparable to other companies in the area

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a step back and trust your employees. Flexibility and work life balance is a must in today working world. Compensation is sub-par so you must make up for that in other area such as flexibility and benefits.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Company is a joke - look elsewhere if you want a career and decent mentors

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Tower full-time

    Pros

    There are only a few good things that make working here bearable and they are health benefits, location, employees and job security because it is a strong industry and market for cell towers is booming

    Cons

    Managers are incompetent and put people down. Supervisors are dumber than a door nail . HR is even worse when they hire and promote people whose behavior should of had them fired. No knowledge of labor laws. THE PAY SUCKS, the RAISES ARE a joke and then they tell you how much money the company made. Guess the executives are the only ones benefitting from all that money because it certainly isn't being shared among the workers .

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get over yourselves; you're not professional. Stop putting workers down in order to build yourselves up. You have great employees and you should start paying them at market. Most employees are working part time jobs to make up for the lack of pay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Mindless

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Legal in Woburn, MA
    Current Employee - Legal in Woburn, MA

    I have been working at American Tower full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Stable company, decent benefits, laid back work environment.

    Cons

    The work is mindless and there is no opportunity for growth, training is awful and pay is not consistent with the market. Upper management has no respect for employees and the majority of employees think upper management is a joke.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your employees

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Unbelievable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cary, NC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cary, NC

    I worked at American Tower as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    The people that are not in management are a pleasure to work with

    Cons

    MANAGEMENT........ Management micro manages .... they do not listen or communicate with their staff.... They jump to conclusions without asking questions..... They have unreasonable expectations for a skeleton crew.... They have no clue what the people do that they manage or how to do the position.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire managers that have done the jobs in their department so that they know how things are supposed to go.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Don't work Here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woburn, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woburn, MA

    I have been working at American Tower as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    The pay is good. You can listen to music all day.

    Cons

    They are hiring only temps and it is really hard to get hired. Poor Management. No training.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When your company motto is say what you mean and do what you say. You really shouldn't lie to people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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