First Solar Reviews

Updated June 25, 2015
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3.6
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
First Solar CEO James A. Hughes
James A. Hughes
35 Ratings

Pros
  • With good benefits and pay,a great place to work (in 5 reviews)

  • Good pay and work with top tallent peers (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance was a myth, as was the People Matter "core value" (in 4 reviews)

  • The company is no longer nimble in the market place (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

88 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Procurement

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

    I worked at First Solar full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay and the overall team were great folks to work with.

    Cons

    Work to life balance doesn't exist.

    Advice to Management

    Need to enforce work to life balance. Responding to emails on Christmas day isn't something anyone should be doing.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Caring goes a long way

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

    I have been working at First Solar full-time

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

    Pros

    Great people to work with on the production floor. Decent management. Freedom to run your respective area w/o interference.

    Cons

    Long hours. No long term incentives. Feels like you spend more of your life at work than with family.

    Advice to Management

    Keeping solid talent requires sacrifice. Bring back the long term incentive program, even if modified.


  3. Director

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

    I worked at First Solar full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    It has a particularly great work environment amenable to learning and growing. The corporate culture encourages collaboration by associates to solve problems. Company takes its value system seriously and aligns advancement and compensation with it.

    Cons

    The culture and values is increasingly fragmented as the company struggles to move into the next phase of its existence.


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  5. Performance Engineer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Performance Engineer in Tempe, AZ
    Current Employee - Performance Engineer in Tempe, AZ

    I have been working at First Solar (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Very dynamic work environment , Great place to work , learn and grow

    Cons

    - HR experience during the hiring was negative


  6. DET 1

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

    I have been working at First Solar

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Diverse group of coworkers. Diverse experience opportunities. Large engineering group. There is always work to be done. Engineering group tends to be laid back

    Cons

    The pay is lower then average. Development Engineers tend to not have any infield or hands on experience. HR seems to be much bigger then it needs to be.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your DETs more. Give them more experience and not to waste our science degrees on work that can be done by an operator.


  7. Don't work here unless you smile a lot...

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

    I have been working at First Solar full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Dynamic work environment with lots to learn

    Cons

    Extremely political. Rewarded for being liked regardless of leadership, results or expertise.


  8. Best in Class

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director Business Development in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Director Business Development in New York, NY

    I worked at First Solar full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Strategy clearly defined, good product, focused team effort to close deals. Management is aggressive in going after new business.

    Cons

    intense work environment and pressure to close on every deal.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Solid people

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Tempe, AZ
    Former Employee - Executive Assistant in Tempe, AZ

    I worked at First Solar

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good leadership and people were solid. Everyone was there to do their job and not slack off.

    Cons

    Good leadership but could be a bit of a "good ol' boy" company which is hard for women


  10. Over-utilizes full-time "contractors"

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

    I worked at First Solar

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

    Pros

    +Company has a solid product line that you can believe in.
    +Some good engineers

    Cons

    - Stingy with offering full-time associate positions

    Advice to Management

    I worked for First Solar through a contract agency, which was unfortunate because I was cut-off from the benefits offered to full-time associates, including things like stock discounts, bonuses, etc. It's annoying that companies like this get away with getting all the benefits of a committed full-time work with only offering month-to-month commitment (because they work through staffing agencies who you are *really* working "full-time" for). I worked really hard as a contractor hoping to soon get offered a full-time associate only to have my office closed and a vague offer to relocate with a small bonus but the same continued un-guaranteed month-to-month nonsense. I didn't accept.

    First Solar management, give full-time status and all the benefits thereof to the people giving full-time results.


  11. Good Place for Contractors

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

    I worked at First Solar

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Not much difference between Contractors or Employees in treatment or tasks.
    Good working environment with co-workers willing to help out,
    Company leadership willing to test new methods and update their processes.
    A good place to work if you are used to change and being in a cutting-edge environment.
    Employer is held in high regard and puts ethics at the top of focus.
    Opportunities for advancement or lateral moves

    Cons

    Too many people still end up on call for their time off. If company is serious about providing time off in their work/life balance, then duties/tasks should have a backup person. No one should be so indispensable that they cannot be away briefly to recharge.
    Not enough IT backup for timely response to needs.

    Advice to Management

    Please pay attention to the technical support systems. There are opportunities for cost savings and time improvement with the right support/software systems in place.



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