American Institutes for Research Reviews

Updated June 29, 2015
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129 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    Good first job, but stressful

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Researcher in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Researcher in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    AIR is a place where you can work with some truly outstanding people, and the clients are fantastic (USAID, Dept. of Ed, other non-profits).
    The work has a lot of social value.
    There is quite a bit of job security, only leadership seems to turn over at a quick rate (Principals, Directors, and VPs).
    The Georgetown location can't be beat.
    Generally, you will have a private office or lower level staff (non PhDs) will share an office. Not many cubicles.
    There are a lot of professional development opportunities for motivated staff, but in general, it's not covered time (it's on your own).

    Cons

    Leadership hasn't seemed to embrace the strategy of utilizing the personnel well. They seem to be looking for "the next huge contract" rather than doing great work in small chunks and organically developing that into huge projects. The CEO seems to read a lot of popular management books, and think somehow that applying those lessons to a bunch of self-motivated PhDs is going to work. This problem propagates through HR leadership, who seem to want to apply a bunch of off-the-shelf management products to a unique work environment.
    Because of this, there is little mid-level management support, and work-life balance suffers.
    The CEO and VPs also tend to ordain a few employees as stars and dump resources on them. Usually, this doesn't work out well. Leadership is incredibly undisciplined and in many cases unprofessional.
    Despite high turnover among higher level personnel, there is little back-filling of leadership positions internally. So there's not really the kind of upward mobility you would expect.

    Advice to Management

    Be disciplined about not going after external talent until you have proven that internal staff is not up to the job. Consider objective criteria for promotion at the lower levels, and developing individual plans for upper level staff to transition into leadership roles.
    Stop looking for the home run. Play small ball for a while and wait until a great opportunity hits you in the face (like NCLB did).


  2. Helpful (1)

    Psychometrician

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

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great location, great people to work with, fun happy hours every once in a while, great access to training materials

    Cons

    Mundane at times, people from other teams might not know what they are doing sometimes


  3. Great people

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Test Developer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Test Developer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Driven employees, teamwork, supportive management, employee perks

    Cons

    Inconsistent practices, heavy workload at times, office is on 3 different floors. All other cons are common to any office environment.

    Advice to Management

    Create documentation for best practices and make sure that it is reviewed and approved by all managers.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Right place for the right mindset

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

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Work-life balance is great, flexible hours

    Cons

    Very, very unique culture that may be off-putting to younger, more driven staff. Feels impossible to advance in a meaningful way. Rarely promotes from within and pay is extremely low.

    Advice to Management

    Cater to your strengths and promote from within. Offer a competitive and live-able wage to employees as enticement to stay.


  6. Great place!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Recruiter in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Recruiter in Washington, DC

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    great people, very flexible, great mission

    Cons

    doesn't pay as quite as good as a company in DC should

    Advice to Management

    update your market survey on salaries for the Metro DC area


  7. I have been working at American Institutes for Research

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    work-life balance, training, leadership, assistance with troubles

    Cons

    personal growth, mobility, felt awkward at times even though I am outgoing

    Advice to Management

    Great job!


  8. Software Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Washington, DC

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule, great location

    Cons

    Much workload at times, lack of communication among different teams.

    Advice to Management

    Immigration and visa policy needs improvement.


  9. Small Perks all Disappearing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule, bagels on Wednesday
    I generally had a manageable work load, though that wasn't true for everyone.
    Free tea and coffee.

    Cons

    Very low salaries, especially for junior staff. It used to be in exchange for good benefits, but those are disappearing thanks to a new president. Need a masters for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Take more interest in your employees.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Great place, needs management training.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources Specialist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Human Resources Specialist in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Compensation, Facilities, Good People, Benefits

    Cons

    Work life balance
    Management communication
    Wasted time on projects with no results

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to attrition rates under certain managers. Some great people with great skills are not able to manage.


  11. Helpful (5)

    American Institutes of Research

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Washington, DC

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    values your improvement and even pays some for college

    Cons

    low salary is frustrating, not open to new people, you need to network with people to get in. they don't read resumes that are sent by people who don't have any inside contact.

    Advice to Management

    salary is low, it should be more open to new people. they should read the resumes sent by applicants even though they don't know anyone inside.



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