SRA International

www.sra.com
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SRA International Reviews in Fairfax, VA

Updated November 22, 2014
Updated November 22, 2014
9 Reviews
1.0
9 Reviews
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SRA International CEO William L. Ballhaus
William L. Ballhaus
9 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • SRA provides a very relaxed atmosphere and places a focus on work-life balance (in 41 reviews)

  • good benefits , although every year they are becoming less and less (in 29 reviews)


Cons
  • Constant realignment of upper management in order to make company more competitive (in 18 reviews)

  • SRA used to have a reputation as one of THE companies to work for (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

9 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Last Straw

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at SRA International full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Depends on the project that an employee works on. Feeling toward the company will rely heavily on feeling toward the middle management. I am on a project that is up for re-compete. I like the project so I hope SRA loses so I can join a better company and stay on the project.

    Cons

    The company has turned negatively from a consistent Forbes Top 100 company to a debt ridden defense contractor that is owned by an equity firm. The company is mostly has debt issues because the equity firm overpaid and the employees are taking the hit from these mistakes. Consistent benefits cuts over 3 years has made a lot of talent jump ship. The company is mostly a body shop at this point. Bid low, hope to win. If SRA wins, the senior leadership is awarded while the middle management is left to pick up the pieces from the poorly bid proposal effort.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Providence Equity should sell the company to release SRA employees from their wrath. The current SRA CEO is just a puppet and SRA former great leadership (Ernst) appears to have no power anymore.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    What a great former company. Not the same AT ALL.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Principal in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Principal in Fairfax, VA

    I worked at SRA International full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great work opportunities. Chance to learn and grow. Work with good people on projects that make a difference. Decent salary and benefits.

    Cons

    This used to be such a great company. Now with so much of the focus of paying off the debt for going private cuts have been extreem. Also, this used to be a company that would reward the folks who helped the company grow. Now it is full of politics in terms of who you know and how they like you. Good solid work is no longer rewarded. I suspect SRA will pay off their debt off employee's backs and be sold to the highest bidder in the next few years. Not a place to build a career anymore.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up! Your people and groups are not in touch. Your new logo and slogan ring sour and hypocritical. Your senior most leaders are lying and act unethicaly. And SRA has no idea how close to the end of value it actually is. I am not sure anything can actually make it a "best place to work" anymore.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    A company in a death spiral

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Fairfax, VA

    I worked at SRA International full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    A job at SRA is better than being unemployed.

    Cons

    Being sold to Providence Equity was the worst thing that could have happened to SRA employees. Many other reviews tell the story about cut benefits, so there's no need to repeat those. The capability centers are a joke. Their leaders are new to the company, have no idea about who has what skills and where they are located in the company. They have no idea about past performance and have no idea who does know. Dissolving the horizontal specialty practices has been a disaster. The specialty practices used to manage their staffs and projects managers could go to practice management for help staffing surge or part-time requirements. Now, project managers can't staff or deliver surge, short or part-time projects.

    Overhead no longer exists. You can't even get $1,000 for tools or training. SRA is hemorrhaging experienced staff and managers. Bill Ballhaus has surrounded himself with a bunch of sycophants who are out of touch with their teams and reality. The company has lost recompetes and hasn't won much in the way of new business. While management boasts about the IDIQ or BPA contract wins, the company has won few, if any, task orders under those IDIQs or BPAs. SRA recently received a stop work order on a large (100+ staff) contract because of delivery issues.

    Long term employees at all level are demoralized. While the company publishes the percentage of voluntary terminations (one or two percent above competitors), they are afraid to publish the number of people who are laid-off.

    The company used to pride itself on hiring people for a career, not a contract. Now it's a lousy body shop. It's really upsetting to see what has happened to a once great company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sell the company as quickly as possible since Humpty Dumpty can't be put back together. Quit filling your pockets with bonuses while you cut benefits and give miniscule raises. Stop telling lies to employees by saying that what you're doing to the employees is happening at all of your competitors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    All Talk and No Action

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

    I have been working at SRA International full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are many good people still working for SRA, but not in senior leadership has to go. They are pompous and arrogant and too much in love with themselves.

    Cons

    Company President Bill Ballhaus does lots of talking, but has no history of success. He has led BEA Systems, then Dyncorp and both companies suffered financially under his leadership. No growth and many jobs lost.

    The motto "Honesty and Service" is a joke. Dishonesty permeates throughout SRA leadership.

    Planning on leaving soon ... cant take it anymore

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace Bill Ballhaus and the entire top-level SRA leadership

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

    SRA's on a downward spiral

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Member of the Professional Staff in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Member of the Professional Staff in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at SRA International full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Not that many any more, but their 401K match is decent, though I'm sure that's going to be going away soon too.

    Cons

    SRA used to be a great place to work, but at some point they just stopped caring about the employees and it shows. You really don't need to look any further then the fact that they've lost many contracts, and have lost or laid off close to 2000 people in the last two years. Now if this was a 100000 person company, that wouldn't be that much, however for a company that only had 8000 people at it's largest that's 25% of the workforce.

    Recently they've stripped people's PTO from 5 weeks (if you had over 7 years of service) to 4, and put a cap on the carry-over balance. Needless to say, the morale here stinks and the Big Wigs will say that everyone's having to make sacrifices to make us competitive again, but I'm pretty sure their bonuses aren't be sacrificed. At some point, when SRA is slightly in the green again, Providence Equity Partners (the equity firm that bought SRA 2+ years ago) is going to sell us to the highest bidder, and that will be that.

    The worst part about everything is that Corporate's communication has been horrible with all of these effective changes. We were informed about the PTO change about 2 weeks before it went into effect, and when they removed all floating holidays it was stated in a bullet in one of the mass emails they send out.

    If you are brought on, don't plan on furthering your career much. Management makes a lot of unfulfilled promises on career development, training, pay increases, bonuses, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start caring about the employees again. After all, they are the one's that are directly billable to the government that is providing your bonuses.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    poor management; everyone for themselves; talented people treated negatively; politicians encouraged; work life balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Analyst in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Systems Analyst in Fairfax, VA

    I worked at SRA International full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    for a short contract, say 6 mos. company is bearable.

    Cons

    no future; what you are hired for you will be doing the rest of the time there; more or less a body shop with a lot of games going on; a lot of two faced management at line level; very poor communication by management; unprofessional behavior ignored;

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    learn how to manage; due something about poor line management and their incompetence; mushroom theory of management practiced; task management is non-existent.

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

    Started out good but went downhill near the end

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Member of the Professional Staff in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Member of the Professional Staff in Fairfax, VA

    I worked at SRA International full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Really liked the company, culture and benefits the first few years.

    Cons

    Started going downhill the last 2-3 years and the opportunities began drying up. Company does not care how long you have been there - when the contract you are on is over, you need to "interview" again within the company for a different project and they may or may not select you, and even if they do, the new contract may not afford to pay you. I have seen this happen to several people and cannot believe that SRA would not make up the difference in pay.

    It's also very difficult to switch projects within the company. So be sure that you get into the right project to begin with.

    Can be very bureaucratic and may involve lots of paperwork to do the simplest of things.

    My ratings is for the current time, not when I started working there. When I started out, I would rate it 4-5 stars.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to reward loyal employees that have contributed to the company for many years instead of pushing them out when the new contracts cannot afford them.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Future Employees Beware

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technical Lead in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Technical Lead in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at SRA International full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Decent benefits package overall and multiple work locations

    Cons

    Vacation accruals are low for all incoming new hires, regardless of years of experience

    Due to short staffing at all levels, be prepared to give up your nights and weekends at a moments notice to make internal or external clients happy - your career will suffer at SRA if you dont
    As such, employees are treated as if it is their privledge to work at SRA - there is a reason they fell off the list of the Best Companies to work for about five years ago.

    Even though SRA only has about 6000 employees, the red tape to get decisions made takes as long as it would if they were a 60,000 employee company. So many people have to give their opinion on even minute policy or day to day operations in an effort to not hurt feelings and because there are no clear procedures for decision authority that SRA cannot keep up with the work load demanded by internal and external clients.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My current role is in senior management. My advice would be to get rid of the legacy leaders (functional, executive, and client facing) who are stuck in a mental state of "this is how we have always done it" which is in conflict with the new folks coming in trying to establish best practices. SRA had long operated as four seperate divisions and the leaders of these divisions have no interest in working together or seeing the forest for the trees when is coming to the greater good of the company and hence large scale positive change is severly delayed at SRA.

    Internal resources for manager to be managers is also severly lacking - no formal training or integration into management role, no online self-service to manage employee performance and salaries, no career development resources to coach subordinates, no time or emphasis on looking out for employees best interests or their work life balance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    May I suggest Wal Mart first, this will save you the time and misery.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Contract in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Contract in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at SRA International

    Pros

    NONE! Oh wait..they gave me a job, and all my medical bills.

    Cons

    Short and sweet and this is only directed towards 98% of the company screwballs.

    + RECRUITERS = DON'T TRUST THEM! Hire a lawyer to review your Offer Letter (Think of a used car salesman)

    + HR = Mouthpieces for management....DON'T TRUST THEM!

    Management = FOR GODS SAKE...DON'T TRUST THEM!!!! (of course, this only applies to 98% of them)

    Pay= hahahhahahahahha, please...stop me...hahhahahhhahaha

    If you choose to take a job with SRA...Get EVERYTHING IN WRITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and more importantly, hire a lawyer to read the fine print. Or better yet, go to work for Wal Mart, you will be happier.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No use..they won't listen. They only listen to the gossipers who have something personal to gain and that goes with the HR staff as well.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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