American Institutes for Research

www.air.org
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There are newer employer reviews for American Institutes for Research

3 people found this helpful  

Getting ahead depends on who you know rather than performance

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

I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

With offices around the country, everyone is used to having to work with staff that is located remotely, so the infrastructure is in place for when I need to telecommute. This allows for a better work-life balance.

Cons

It's not an equal playing field. Recognition and promotion depends on who your staff manager is and who you know. When AIR acquired one company a few years ago, all new staff from that company automatically received a promotion of a level or two, so that people that came in from the new company with only a couple of years experience out of college were on par with people who had that same number of years of experience and a Ph.D. because the new VP pushed for them.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Be honest with staff! It's very unfair to say, "You need to do x, y, and z to get a promotion," and then not give out a promotion when x, y, and z are accomplished. What staff needs to do to get ahead shouldn't be a secret and shouldn't depend on who your staff manager happens to be.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

121 Other Employee Reviews for American Institutes for Research (View Most Recent)

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    OK place to work

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

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time

    Pros

    Friendly collaborative work culture, flexible hours, casual dress code, low stress if you're active about managing your work but can be high stress if you aren't.

    Cons

    Lack of career growth opportunities

    Relatively low pay compared to similar positions in same industry

    Requests by higher level staff to do admin work outside of normal project functions

    Occasionally disorganized leadership due to how projects are structured (you have multiple bosses who each have multiple bosses), and the company's policy of underfunding projects in an effort to underbid competitors (which leads to staff working a lot of unpaid overtime and conflicting messages about how to allocate your time).

    The expectation is that new hires will leave in 2 years so there isn't much effort made into retaining lower level staff. A promotion does not lead to much higher pay at lower levels, seems to be based mostly on time served, and without a graduate degree there is nowhere to grow after you obtain it. The lack of incentives to work hard leads to low motivation/morale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This company needs to pay it's employees more if it wants less turnover.

  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Manager at AIR

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

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time

    Pros

    Good team and location. Company is growing fast.

    Cons

    Bad management style, use one people as three.

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