First Solar Reviews

Updated March 7, 2015
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3.6
86 Reviews
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Approve of CEO
First Solar CEO James A. Hughes
James A. Hughes
34 Ratings

Pros
  • Competitive compensation, academic upgrading program, good benefits program, stays up to date with technology (in 5 reviews)

  • So much room to learn, good pay (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Poor work life balance, high turnover, micro-managing, lack of growth (in 4 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Best in Class

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. Solid people

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

    I worked at First Solar

    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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. Over-utilizes full-time "contractors"

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

    I worked at First Solar

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. Good Place for Contractors

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

    I worked at First Solar

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    Profits over people

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

    I worked at First Solar

    Pros

    You wil get the oppotunity to work with some pretty impressive people. Expect to work a lot of overtime.

    Cons

    This is one company that puts profits over people. You can be doing an outstanding job with perfect job reviews then boom. Your email and phone are cut and security is escorting you off the site. No warning, no notice, just someone you have never seen before comming and telling you that "your services are no longer required." High stress because it happens all the time. You never know when you will be cut. Simply no job security. Also expect long days. Typical day starts with boarding bus to work at 6 am and returning to rideshare lot at 6 pm. 12 hour days with only 8 paid.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of your people and they will take care of you. Keep treating people like a disposable resource and you will suffer peformance and innovation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. Hangin in there

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

    I worked at First Solar

    Pros

    So much room to learn, good pay

    Cons

    stressful, too many deadlines, need more help

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Great place to work

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

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

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits program.

    Cons

    solar industry not stable yet

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    listen to your people not your budget

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. Employment

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

    I worked at First Solar full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Having helped to start this company I have seen it's many faces.In the beginning there was a friendship among all employees.Everyone mattered and contributed.With good benefits and pay,a great place to work.

    Cons

    12 hour days,medicoure benefits and plant wide backstabbing.Always the threat of being fired.Front office is always changing.At present,managment is not associated with the solar industry.They are automotive caste offs with a vicious minde set.This is mindless work and should be considered a fill in till the next job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire all the caste offs and hire glass people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. Project Planner

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

    I have been working at First Solar full-time

    Pros

    Flexible working environment, doing good things for the world, site visits are interesting

    Cons

    Poor work life balance, high turnover, micro-managing, lack of growth

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have concern for your employees instead of treating them just as numbers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. Great company to work for.

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

    I have been working at First Solar full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    This is a world class company with advanced thin film CdTe technology that is on the verge of overtaking silicon in device performance and overall economics. This well balanced and substantial company will continue to prosper. The culture is positive and results oriented, just as you would expect from a successful corporation. The management puts real effort into matching the individual's strengths to the work at hand. While fast paced, it is not a "sink or swim" environment. There is a strong sense of team ownership in the work and ease in cutting across department or other boundaries to pull in the necessary resources to make the project succeed. People are personally competitive but are also very helpful. There is a considerable amount of leadership in this organization. I work in the Silicon Valley operation and interact a great deal with the operation in Perrysburg. Benefits, including time off policies are excellent. I have worked in the Silicon Valley for a long time and this is one of the best companies with a presence in the Valley.

    Cons

    None to speak of. I have had better stock options at other smaller companies, but this is a larger and more mature company. This is not a Silicon Valley start-up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you are doing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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