There are newer employer reviews for Alcoa

2 people found this helpful  

Alcoa gives stable job opportunities, but not much of a challenge.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Pittsburgh, PA
Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Pittsburgh, PA

I worked at Alcoa

Pros

Good work/life balance and opportunity for growth and career advancement Alcoa encourages employees to rotate jobs every few years to continue to build a variety of different skill sets and understand all aspects of the business. Most people find a permanent job at Alcoa with good benefits and never leave, which is good if you are after job security and want a comfortable living. The corporate culture is fairly laid back, with consideration given for outside of work activities. But, there are deadlines that people are expected to meet depending on the department. As long as you focus on getting work done, there is no need for face time.

Cons

Alcoa is a large corporation. Therefore, there is a lot of bureaucratic yellow tape to get through in getting things done. It is also easy to get lost in the shuffle, and outstanding work can sometimes get overlooked. Career advancement within Alcoa will most likely occur through "paying dues" either by working in a remote location or at a variety of different jobs to gain a broad business background. I know many current employees that have had to take jobs in far flung manufacturing facilities to gt the background before returning for their ideal corporate position. The company has some evidence of meritocracy, however, there is a definite sense of seniority throughout the organization.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Encourage employees through a merit based bonus and incentive program. Alcoa is very mechanical in the way things are done, give extra incentive to employees for thinking outside the box.

Recommends
No opinion of CEO

191 Other Employee Reviews for Alcoa (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    You will never be bored here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer in Dover, NJ
    Current Employee - Manufacturing Engineer in Dover, NJ

    I have been working at Alcoa

    Pros

    The benefits are awesome. Perhaps a bit on the overgenerous side. You also get to work with a diverse group of operators and engineers, not just diversity in terms of ethnicity, but also in personalities. When business is going well, there is also a lot of Alcoa's capital from a corporate level that the company can tap to make big improvements. Howmet is a relatively recent purchase for Alcoa, so there has been lots of investment in the company. That investment slows down a bit in tough times, but the big projects generally still get approved, more likely if that project is also important at a corporate level.

    Cons

    Management communication of the important things is pretty weak. Depending on which area you work, you may not get an idea of how the company has been doing month to month. No advance notice when they need to make a workforce reduction. The management heirarchy has been flattened to the point where a promotion often means going from relatively bottom-rung straight to senior management. Difficult to see a path upward through the company if that is your goal. Progression in responsibility is always there, and will likely come whether you were looking for it or not. As a result, it seems like a lot of the people get pushed beyond their limits. Corporate parents means corporation-wide initiatives, so there is the occasional trouble associated with trying to fit a diverse bunch of businesses into the same initiative mold.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The folks on the floor and in the lower offices are the ones that have the answers, or at least the ability to come up with them, so ask them what the obstacles are if they aren't telling you, and if they are telling you, listen to them. Helping your direct reports by eliminating roadblocks works better than threatening them when things aren't getting done on-time. Communication of how the business is doing needs to be more frequent and thorough, and you shouldn't be so loathe to deliver bad news.

    Doesn't Recommend
  2.  

    Alcoa is good to learn but not for moving up based on performance and skills.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Lead in Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Team Lead in Pittsburgh, PA

    I have been working at Alcoa

    Pros

    Learn about the commodities industry. This company is in the aluminum industry but you will learn how in general commodities work including oil, metals, foods and other commodities. You can also learn about the 'old school' way a company is ran. They try to do a good job, but still ran in an old fashion way.

    Cons

    Very heirarchial company, hard to move up based on skill rather on time put in. If you expect to move up the ladder based on your skills, don't expect it. You need to put your time in and they make it very hard to get hired externally as it is a highly desireable company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize talented people based on performance not on seniority.

    No opinion of CEO
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