Ryan, LLC
4.1 of 5 199 reviews
www.ryan.com Dallas, TX 1000 to 5000 Employees

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2 people found this helpful  

Terrible place to START your career

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

ProsFlexibility is how people describe, although it depends to some extent on the type of work you perform and your manager.

ConsI've seen a few reviews state that Ryan is a great/good/decent place to start your career. Here's why it's the exact opposite:

When you get hired, you're either an "experienced hire" or a regular hire. Experienced hires in this case may have direct experience (they come from a competitor where they performed the same basic job functions), or indirect experience (their previous work had direct similarities to their job at Ryan, but was not the same job; e.g. you worked for a REIT and now you'll be a property tax consultant).

Experienced hires have significantly higher salaries, which makes sense since they are more valuable starting out. However, regular hires obviously become experienced at some point, but Ryan has no mechanism for recognizing this. Therefore, someone who comes in as a regular hire will generally always be paid significantly less than experienced hires regardless of results, education, ability, responsibilities, etc.

Imagine two people, we'll call Ralph and Betsie who graduate college together. Ralph lands a new job as a Property Tax Consultant at Ryan, and Betsie lands the same job but at Ryan's competitor, Lame Tax Consulting. Ralph has a starting salary of $41,000 which he thinks is decent. Over the next 5 years, Ralph performs admirably and earns a 5% raise each year, now making $52,328. Betsie's company goes under and Betsie calls her old friend Ralph who manages to get her a job on his team in the same position he has. But Betsie is now an experienced hire, so Betsie gets hired at $70,000.

Both Ralph and Betsie now have 5 years of experience, they have the same responsibilities, the tax savings they generate over the course of the next year is within $10,000 of one another - meaning their revenue is within a couple hundred dollars - but during his 5 years, Ralph also managed to earn a master's degree. When raise and promotion comes around in October, they will both earn 5%, now making $54,944 and $73,500, respectively. Ralph will never be paid what Betsie is paid, despite being equally valuable to the company (in some ways Ralph is more valuable because of his familiarity with Ryan's policies and procedures).

Even if Ralph is promoted above Betsie, he will not catch up to her salary-wise. He may get 10% instead of 5% (though that is unusual).

Ralph's only hope of being paid his market value is to leave Ryan, to the detriment of his team.

Hence Ryan has created a system whereby it incentivizes the resources it has spent thousands of dollars training and grooming, to leave precisely when they become most valuable to the company.

Advice to Senior ManagementYour starting salaries are fair for the most part. HR does a decent job of setting up the brackets. If anything, certain people are paid way more than they're worth in the beginning. But the compensation committee tends to base raises as a percentage increase of employees' existing salaries. The problem with this line of thinking is that for some people, at some point their existing salary becomes completely divorced from their value to the company.

An extremely intelligent person who comes here straight out of college ready to prove themself is probably ok with his starting salary; but once he's proven himself, once he's gained valuable knowledge and training, once he's demonstrated that he can use that knowledge and training to consistently outperform his peers, no consideration is given. No adjustment is made. He gets the same congratulatory letter with the same 5% raise as his well-paid experienced-hire teammates who rely upon him to solve the complex problems they are incapable of solving.

And therein lies the central flaw in the whole concept: how does the compensation committee, made up of people who have never met the individual or his teammates, who have no knowledge of the daily work the person performs, know that he solves these problems? How do they know his value to the company? How CAN they possibly? Especially when they overrule the suggestion of his manager (without even discussing it with the manager) who IS privy to this information.

So I guess my suggestion is fairly simple, or maybe it's complex, I don't know.

First, implement a sort of premium into the raise component for regular hires that reflects the experience they gain from working at Ryan. Make it a straight-line, accelerating, or diminishing increase, whichever makes the most sense in your opinion, for the first 3 - 5 years of employment, contingent upon results, performance evaluations, etc.

Second, when the compensation committee asks for feedback from managers during the raise and promotion cycle, include information about performance relative to teammates as well as how their salaries compare. 5-10% salary variance among similarly qualified teammates based on experience, age, education, etc. seems acceptable, but 30% is indefensible without some performance-based reasoning.

Third, to address the immediate disparity that exists from the absence to date of such a program, launch a review of salaries of normal hires with 3+ years of experience and seek extensive feedback from their managers with regard to their performance and perceived value relative to their experienced hire peers. Adjust salaries as needed.

I also highly suggest that you look up the Equity Theory of Motivation - you can find it on Wikipedia if needs be - for why this is a much bigger problem than you might otherwise believe. WIN emails and workplace awards DO NOT motivate employees beyond the weak-minded, highly suggestible, and usually recent hires. Long-term motivation is impossible when your teammates are making 150% of your salary for the same (or less) work, and attrition is inevitable.

– I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    My career and MyRyan's workplace

    Senior Consultant (Former Employee)
    Austin, TX

    I worked at Ryan, LLC full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros: Flexible work hours allow a work life balance. Career opportunities… Cons: Too much travel for my position. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO


    Ryan is a great place to work!

    Tax Technology Consultant (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Ryan, LLC full-time for more than a year

    Pros: My Ryan is a great way to balance your work schedule with your other life obligations. Ryan holds all its employees accountable for… Cons: I didn't see any cons to working here. It's a great place to start a… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
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