Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

  www.frbsf.org
  www.frbsf.org

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Reviews

Updated December 1, 2014
Updated December 1, 2014
60 Reviews
3.2
60 Reviews
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Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President & CEO John C. Williams
John C. Williams
34 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Salary, benefits, work-life balance, location to public transportation (in 19 reviews)

  • great benefits good people there is a work life balance cutting edge technology (in 12 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-Life balance was always discussed, but was unable to balance (in 4 reviews)

  • Senior management prefers "technicians" rather than staff with strong "people skills (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Friendly People, Important Mission

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

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    I enjoy working at the San Francisco Fed because of the public service mission and friendly people. While the pay is barely competitive, the benefits are excellent.

    Cons

    It is frustrating trying to be creative in a risk-adverse culture, although executive management are aware of this problem and are trying to reduce the barriers to innovation. We'll see how successful that will be. The office decor is dreary.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember to value and invest in those engaged employees who are not in managment, but are the boots on the ground trying to complete projects and move the ball forward.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Chill, fun place for freshman year internship

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

    Pros

    Pretty laid back, lots of data and statistical tools, pretty outgoing people and bosses who are willing to actually listen to what the intern has to say

    Cons

    not as high flying as other IB jobs, pretty bad pay

  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Stale 1960's culture; overdue for purging current leadership and brining in new innovative leaders from outside

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits. Opportunity for flexible working arrangements (if your department management is aware and progressive enough to approve of it); pension plan. Officers (directors and above) have fantastic perks -- major bonuses and incentives, numerous cash allowances such as thousands of dollars per year allowance for additional medical treatments, other payments disguised as allowances, and upper $180,000's to mid- $200,000's salaries.

    Cons

    Suppressed stale "mad man" culture. Every department is completely disjoined from other departments. Everything is very political, and decisions are made to please certain people, not to benefit organization or the staff. In the past, majority of the Fed used to be a processing plant for cash and check operations. Back then management treated blue collar workers as second class citizens. In the last 10 years the checks processing had seized, cash operations had shrank, majority of blue collar workers were disposed off, but the management was kept and re-assigned to lead white-collar departments such as IT, Statistics, Accounting, Cash Product Office. As a result unqualified people are spearheading important Fed function, which they don't quite understand. They still treat workers as second class citizens, and rely completely on their workers to figure out how to do the job, expect their workers to write drafts of e-mails for them, so that they can append their names to those e-mails and send them to their management, don't support staff development and block promotions, since they are afraid that letting their staff shine would expose their lack of knowledge and would make their staff look better than them. Due to the lack of promotional opportunities, stale culture, and heavy office politics, some departments have extremely high turnover rates. At the other end of the spectrum are people who've been in their positions with heads down for 30+ years, did the same function all these years, have a subdued demeanor, have no interest in any innovations, suspicious of new hires, and wait for the retirement to kick in. Those people are hailed as examples, celebrated as success stories, and depending on the department are thrown 25, 30, 35 year anniversary parties. The Fed is in its own bubble, and is completely unaware of the progress that had taken place in the past 20 years. The only people who get promoted are the ones who management takes a liking to. Those people are typically the same mediocre types as their management. They are not deserving of promotion based on their performance, but the management considers them to be a good fit for their clique. Thus the culture lives on. Economics department, which President Williams comes from is the only exception. It is completely independent from the rest of the organization. Unlike the rest of the departments, none of the cash/check managers were re-assigned to lead it, so Economics department has collegiate atmosphere, which is completely atypical for the Fed. President Williams is not closely involved in day-to-day leadership of the organization; his primary responsibility is to work on monetary policy and to represent SF Fed at the Board. He is not hands on leader and is not aware of the real culture, which dominates all non-Economics departments. Bottom line: the only reason many people stick around are job security and retirement benefits. Other than that, it is not worth the effort.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get in touch with the people, see what is actually going on in the company. Talent management philosophy which has been touted in the past few years is not changing anything. People should be promoted to the management positions based on their leadership abilities, technical skills, and positive demeanor. The people who are currently promoted are usually 100% focused on pleasing their management and are not necessarily capable of building healthy relationships with their subordinates. There are numerous examples of that. Also, make it easier for people to transfer to other departments without becoming a subject of retaliation form their current management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    I Really Liked My Experience with the Fed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Recruiter in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Recruiter in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The culture is great and the people are fantastic. I had amazing work/life balance, great training and benefits. I think the organization and the leadership team really care about their employees.

    Cons

    The only downside to my experience with the Fed was the overall compensation. Since, you do not have a bonus structure plan in place for the roles, they need to do a better job at paying for performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep listening to your employees, they might surprise you, but overall a great leadership team.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Supervisor in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Supervisor in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, diverse staff, many opportunities for advancement, excellent commute location, good salaries and stable employment environment. The work is extremely important to the health of the global economy. You really get a sense that you are making a contribution to the betterment of society.

    Cons

    It can take some time for the organization to evolve, but be patient and good things will happen. Some people say that management is slow to accept change. It is a very conservative company, but that is getting better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Excellent place to network and build relationships for other job.

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

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    It was a solid atmosphere with an interesting mixture of individuals, policies and practices.

    Cons

    Work-Life balance was always discussed, but was unable to balance. There was more work than life balance. Pay structure was and is very skewed not only throughout the District but throughout the System. Health benefits were considered part of the pay package. Management seems to terminate / let go of the key people and retain those who are "YES" employees and not those that actually are productive in the departments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Discussing at all levels the pay structure, benefits package and the hiring of staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great place!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Analyst in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Friendly atmosphere, management willing to help out, direct influence on important work, easy to have work life balance

    Cons

    Hierarchical structure, some bureaucracy (it is a public institution)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Great job overall, perhaps promote better cohesiveness within teams

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    The employees are very good people.

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

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It has a good benefits package.

    Cons

    It is much like other environments, the more you talk the sooner you get promoted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to employees and try to understand what they tell you.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Relaxed.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Information Security Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Information Security Analyst in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Relaxed. Cafe/food on the 4th floor. Very good benefits. Stable.

    Cons

    Very office-ish. Segregated. Private spaces.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make the environment more collaborative instead of pure cubicles that separate everyone.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    It's been great experience so far

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco full-time

    Pros

    flexibility, work-life balance and great people and good collaboration.

    Cons

    sometimes things move very slow.

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