First American Reviews

Updated October 17, 2014
Updated October 17, 2014
103 Reviews
2.9
103 Reviews
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First American CEO and Director Dennis J. Gilmore
Dennis J. Gilmore
39 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • My manager strives to make our work environment pleasant and very team oriented (in 7 reviews)

  • If you want a "Big Company " name on your resume, this is a great place to start (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Dysfunctional senior management with too much focus on the wrong things (in 7 reviews)

  • No work-life balance there at all (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

22 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Troubling signs

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

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

    Pros

    The holidays are ok. Lots of training resources available through the company if you have the time to look at them. Great coworkers.

    Cons

    No shortage of managers, but it always seems like one hand doesn't know what the other is doing. Management doesn't seem to have reasonable expectations of workload which is an increasing issue resulting from multiple layoffs. I don't find management trustworthy after a few experiences, nor supportive in addressing larger operational concerns. You have to play the game to get ahead.

    Benefits are going down the toilet. Deductibles are unreasonably high even in the top tier health plan.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Refocus some attention from the board to your employees. It's clear that the main goal is to make more money for your senior staff and investors, but that can't be done when your workforce is poorly managed, overworked and undervalued.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Trapped in time

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

    I have been working at First American full-time

    Pros

    This is a very old and established company. They own everyone in the title and won't be going out of business in the next 100 years. Decent working hours, great cafe, beautiful grounds, flexible schedule, okay benefits. Getting a foot in the door is hard, but once your in, your in.

    Cons

    Upper management is a huge problem, they all have pope jobs and aren't going anywhere. They get big yearly bonuses the size of your yearly income while you are told you there is no budget for a small raise. Nepotism exists big time here and that won't be changing anytime soon. On your first day you are branded, so if you start at the bottom, thats where you are staying. You are who your manager is. Period.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop behaving and wishing it was still1950. A progressive environment and mindset is the only thing that will grow this company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Not as great as it seems

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

    I have been working at First American full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Large established company, cafe on campus that's decent

    Cons

    Below average pay, below average benefits

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give more to the employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Decent working environment and job security, but lower pay and no room for growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Data Quality Analyst in Santa Ana, CA
    Current Employee - Data Quality Analyst in Santa Ana, CA

    I have been working at First American full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Almost everyone is polite and cordial, and the corporate campus is very nice. The company seems very accommodating of those with disabilities/differences, which is always good. Employment can be very secure, and you generally have a lot of latitude over how you do your work. At certain times or with certain people/groups, the work/life balance is good.

    Cons

    Management/HR seem to be playing moneyball with hiring technical talent, which makes sense from a financial POV, but pay/benefits are below market and there's no COLA. One of the upsides, job security, is likely because of lower than average pay.

    Advancement seems to be somewhat difficult because those fortunate enough to be in management positions have both decent pay and job security, and aren't going anywhere. Management seems to be a little good-old-boy'ish, and it's very difficult to move internally unless you're either so good the company can't ignore you, or really lucky. The flip side is that someone good enough to not be ignored could also make more someplace else.

    Work life balance can be good, but if the business really wants you and/or your group working on something, forget about it.

    I have a sneaking suspicion executive management view some groups ( for instance IT) as resources instead of partners, but I suppose that's true at many companies. I think the image of being a great place to work is very well cultivated, but not accurate in many ways.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Market share and stock price aren't the only parts of a great company, although given the bonus structure, I can see why those are of so much interest. Ignoring/letting go of talent, either because of politics or finances, may hurt the company's long term health.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    I worked at First American

    Pros

    Salaries vary widely by region but compensation can be attractive. If you are able to use it, there is a lot of PTO, which accrues yearly. Lots of independence in how you work with your clients, as long as they are satisfied. A majority of your co-workers are fun, friendly, know their job and are willing to share their skills (if they have time) and are probably the best thing that working for this company has going for it.

    Cons

    Overly oppressive management at every level. Mostly incompetent in the rules that they fill, most mid and senior level management is either filled from outside the company or from the sales department... having no experience or concept what the jobs that the employees they are managing actually entail seems like a recipe for disaster, but that is the constant flow of the business model. Corporate policies that are announced and reversed or eliminated at the whim of management without any need or basis for most changes. Drastic change to work processes and tools, usually rolled out without any useability testing, often causing region wide server crashes and major workflow problems. Horrible, petty, vindictive management that has no skills or training in management techniques. Expectations to complete the workload of several people within 40 hours a week while there is a "no overtime" imperative, frozen salaries for years, reduced bonus structure, forced partial unemployment or random, massive layoffs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Most of the management should be forced out of the company, there should be a larger view of the company and profit structure. Short term small gains in profits and productivity at the expense of the quality of the product and employee and customer retention will be a huge loss over time when compared to quarterly reports. Standardize pay structure company wide, as well as training and benefits. Sup using pointless directives, new web portals (why would it make sense to have to navigate over ten sites internally for hr, benefits, work product, etc. and how would a customs know what to do when there are over 20 sites to navigate, many of them duplicates or half baked and abandoned but still somewhat functional?) Stop running the company into the ground and treating employees add if they are servants, chasing unattainable Wall Street fickle expectations without keeping an eye on creating a strong and viable company will eventually lead to being taken over and dismantled by a larger corporation. Cut management by at least a third.

  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Deceiving

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Santa Ana, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Santa Ana, CA

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

    Pros

    Beautifully maintained corporate headquarters; employees have everything they need to do their jobs.

    Cons

    Don't believe management's rhetoric about the company's "kind work culture." Below the shiny, happy veneer lurks other intentions: planned layoffs, benefits reductions, etc. Many other employees have posted postive comments in this forum (Glassdoor.com), but they have not yet experienced what I've experienced, and are essentially "drinking the KoolAid."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more transparent. Walk the talk.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    You can do a lot better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Purchasing Agent in Van Nuys, CA
    Former Employee - Purchasing Agent in Van Nuys, CA

    I worked at First American full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -401(k), paid vacations and opportunities to get a little overtime money in during the busy/summer season
    -The higher ups put forth some effort to create a casual environment and make a 9-5 cubicle gig less like, well...a typical 9-5 cubicle gig

    Cons

    -Frequent mass layoffs. Would be understandable if layoffs were necessary for the survival of the company and based on the selective weeding out of under performers and other "bad apples", but it doesn't appear that way. I was herded into a room with seemly randomly chosen people (many of whom been with the company for years, worked very hard, were never late...), given the axe and basically pushed out of the office after the "clean off your desks" speech. I know they do that to prevent any "incidents", but one can be little less curt and robotic when terminating someone's job. Also, as others have pointed out, it's not a good look when a company wraps itself in an American flag and lets employees know how profitable the company is, but outsources to India and lays off great workers.
    -Interdepartmental fighting. Department A doesn't know exactly what Department B is doing and vice versa
    -Training is minimal. No written standard operating procedures for your position. You have to rely on coworkers (cross your fingers that they are friendly and/or not busy!) and (sometimes nonconstructive) criticism from supervisors to help you out.
    -Company has a horrible reputation. Google reviews for First American and see what I mean.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Non competitive compensation for FA employees, poor morale

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Client Relations Manager in Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Client Relations Manager in Detroit, MI

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

    Pros

    PTO,Colleagues,Well known in industry, Experience,Locations,Clients,Benefits

    Cons

    Little opportunity for advancement
    Management riddled with control freaks
    No vison
    Wrong people in Leadership Positions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensate staff, support staff and increase communication

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Words are great but actions are better.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Representative in Sacramento, CA

    I have been working at First American

    Pros

    Great product, employee teams that care, and vast resources. Good benefits and a generally pleasant atmosphere.

    Cons

    3 years of no raises despite stellar reviews, Senior Management that thinks its ok to reduce workers pay by 5-10% every year for 90-120 days, then give it back as if it was a raise, no promotion opportunities, uneven application of performance standards, and no recognition outside of your immediate management team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You going to lose smart, talented, and eager workers to companies that treat employees as a resource. Recognize talent and treat them like you want them to stay.

    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    do not make this your first choice

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Westlake, TX
    Former Employee - Intern in Westlake, TX

    I worked at First American

    Pros

    friendly staff, can be a good first job, low expectations, work - fun balance, good management team

    Cons

    peanuts for pay, hardly any chance to get a job out of the internship. no challenging work, more like a temporary worker job

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more time in assigning challenging work to interns rather that the usual data entry story.
    Competitive pay relative to industry is a motivation for any student like me.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

First American Photos

Outside the First American Corporation headquarter office in Santa Ana, CA (Photo by Coolcaesar - available under CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 & GFDL, v1.22)
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