Rain Bird

  www.rainbird.com
  www.rainbird.com

Rain Bird Reviews

Updated December 6, 2014
Updated December 6, 2014
244 Reviews
2.0
244 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Anthony LaFetra
195 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • pay is good but lots of people are laid off or fired (in 15 reviews)

  • Industry leader; quality products (in 19 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior Management Staff is completely disconnected from reality (in 31 reviews)

  • Left behind are inexperienced rookies following orders given by the inept Sr staff and upper management (in 15 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall Good Company

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

    I have been working at Rain Bird full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Excellent people work here. All are very intelligent, competent, and committed to improvement. The base pay is good with an acceptable incentive plan.

    Cons

    Benefits program (vacation, holiday, etc) are below average and the company does little to make employees feel like they are a valuable resource. Although the company prides itself on "hiring the best", there is little trust placed in the employees to truly make decisions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Become more employee focused and allow the employees to feel more empowered.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 10 people found this helpful  

    Not a wise choice

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - President/Business Unit Director in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - President/Business Unit Director in Tucson, AZ

    I worked at Rain Bird

    Pros

    Salaries are good to excellent. With more than a decade of terrible reviews and rankings available online to the savvy job seeker, ("worst companies to work for" will produce much), Rain Bird is forced to pay extremely well to fill the quotas each hiring manager is tasked with. Due to forced rankings and scheduled firings "we're always hiring." Tucson and Azusa are also very nice places to live. For the time you'll work there.

    Cons

    This may sound facetious, but you must not think of Rain Bird as a company. Think of it as a kingdom, with CEO Tony LaFetra as the 80-year-old Prince who inherited it. His parents were reportedly brilliant, his mother especially, and he knows in his heart he can't fill their shoes. That he should try to do so is unfair to him, actually. How could one person replace the two excellent minds who founded the company? Nevertheless, he has attempted to do so, and his shortcomings have led to long-standing insecurities, paranoia, closed-mindedness and a poisonous culture of fear.

    Due to his advanced age and infirmities he is simply out of touch with modern business practices. Spending time with Tony is akin to taking a trip back to an earlier era, a time when women stayed in the home, blacks couldn't use a white drinking fountain, and commies and homos were going to bring this nation to ruin. Opinions contrary to Tony's on ANY topic are incredibly risky. He will occasionally rant so shrilly and absurdly that you think he must be joking. He's not. Laugh at your peril.

    Remember, this is a kingdom, with a bent and shriveled, declining ruler. A ruler who already knows everything he needs to, knows in advance everything you could possibly voice, and has a son your age or older and thus sees you as a foolish child yourself. Forget that you may have a couple decades of successful corporate productivity and several advanced degrees under you belt. Tony alone knows what's best. Any change is to be viewed with suspicion and disdain. And no one is important to the kingdom except Tony. You are a cipher and a drain on his personal finances. The moment he has a whim to replace or release you, it will be done. No matter how long you have been his subject. No matter what you have accomplished for Rain Bird.

    There are so many great companies to work for in this country. Benefits, vacation, flexible work hours, corporate perquisites, even simply a pleasant place to be every day, are readily available just about anywhere. Rain Bird is simply not a wise choice.

    If you must ignore all the evidence and seek employment here because the high salary they'll offer has done exactly what it has been calculated to do, at least insulate yourself from the inevitable: Don't move your family. Don't pull your kids out of their schools. Don't buy a house if you do move. Rent instead. Keep yourself nimble and unattached. Your hiring manager will eventually have a bonus line item that specifically profits him to fire you. You personally. It will be based on a timing and ranking calculation that is longstanding and brutal. If he doesn't fire you, eventually it will be noticed and questioned by Tony and that is never a pleasant experience. Turnover is required at Rain Bird. Your time will come. I lost many excellent employees at various levels and made a great deal of money doing it.

    And then my own time came.

    Good luck to you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seek peace, Tony, before it is too late.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Consider welfare before working here or have comfortable knee pads

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

    I have been working at Rain Bird full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Rain Bird pay well however they need to as many employees need to spend disposable income on counselling to maintain a level of sanity and their relationships.
    Rain Bird provide employment opportunities for people who know nothing about the industry or what a sprinkler looks like so the pool of candidates is large.

    Cons

    So much to consider when speaking of the cons of working at Rain Bird. Firstly, believe every review on this site as they are accurate and are not from disgruntled employees. Believe me, they would be thankful to get out just as I was. If you require further convincing, check the volume and quality of Hunter and Toro's reviews.
    The staff turnover is appalling except for senior management where they seem to be entrenched due to their uncanny ability to nod their heads and perform random sackings, almost like a cat bringing it's kill to it's owner for approval or is it that the old man doesn't have the minerals to sack those closest to him? He needs a degree of separation.
    I first met the company leader some years back and I see where the polluted fountain starts and how it flows to those beneath him. Who could operate a multimillion dollar business with any degree of rationale from god's waiting room? Unfortunate set of circumstances.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have been with RB so long that you have no outside experiences in how business operates today or alternatively, you can tolerate the sore knees at RB.

    Don't let candidates bluff their way into management roles. Surely a screening program needs to be implemented. Psychometric testing by a 3rd party. A recent encounter with a manager in an Asia Pacific subsidiary left me scratching my head and asking the question "How?".

    Go on the Undercover Boss television show and if you still think the company is dynamic and has a great future under your guidance, resign.

    Negotiate a deal with In 'n' Out Burger for customer and company functions. It might cost a little more than usual but the chief will love it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    It really is that bad to work there.

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

    I worked at Rain Bird

    Pros

    Great location in Tucson. Good pay for Tucson. Smart people and met great folks (who are all gone now).

    Cons

    Awful, awful culture. Business decisions defy common sense. Senior staff members are not bright folks so they survive. When bright senior managers are hired, they don't last long. They force good performers on corrective action plans for no reason and try to convince you that it's a good thing to do. They only share information on a need to know basis (example, if you are a manager responsible for a budget, you don't get to see the budget because you don't need to know....). Honestly, it really is that bad to work there....stay away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There's no hope for them because the successors have drank the koolaid so things unfortunately won't change once Tony leaves. Their only hope is to sell and let someone run it like a normal company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Confusing

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Rain Bird

    Pros

    Surprisingly large number of hands-on design/development/Test talent. It is a consolation / solace to be around them :). One of the reasons new hires do join is because of interaction with these people during the interviews. Some first level managers impress you with, "how good management" is done.

    Cons

    Fairly consistently professional growth and any ideas different from, "how it is done in Rain Bird" are stifled

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Being a manager does not necessarily mean you are the most talented and best in that field. In some cases your idea might indeed be far better than those of your reports... but that would be a coincidence... not a requirement for you to be a good (or just being a ) manager.
    A somewhat different role of the manager that has produced great results in other companies is to grow, empower, guide the people who report to you to create very powerful creative forces to help the company advance and compete with an edge in the field

    Doesn't Recommend
  7. 7 people found this helpful  

    Disappointment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Tucson, AZ

    I worked at Rain Bird full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    For the most part the people that you work with are great and the pay is good.

    Cons

    Ownership and upper management are disconnected from reality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management is still using techniques and styles for the 80's which do not work in today's economy. They need to revamp strategies and update management methods. Best thing would be to sell the company to someone who would put money and energy into the company because it has great potential.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 16 people found this helpful  

    Venomous Autocracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Tucson, AZ

    I worked at Rain Bird full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are many great people who work at Rain Bird - most Tucson based positions require a Masters from a reputable college to even make an interview so the result is an environment full of smart people from diverse backgrounds, international too. Sounds like heaven huh?

    Cons

    There has been much written on the personality and moral compass of the CEO and his team of senior staff. Somehow, Rain Bird continues to succeed in spite of itself - heavy reliance on temp workers, staff on unrecoverable corrective actions, staff under review -both of which are disgracefully subjective situations that have little to do with the quality of work you produce - it is flat out intimidation. The companies mantra of only hiring the best is true....the bit they leave out is they also like to fire the best.
    Career advancement is limited and you never get to control anything - or make decisions but you do get to suffer the consequences if things go pear shaped. Suffice to say - morale is appalling and staff turnover is ridiculously high. Most folks last between 12 and 24 months.
    Watching how this toxic environment makes colleagues cry, personalities change and marriage's crumble is hard to deal with after a while so I left. I actually really liked my job.
    Despite the well crafted and well positioned statements Rain Bird likes to portray of itself the reality is much different. The CEO is autocratic with a lot of venom to dispense - a constant state of fear makes it a tough place to stay focused and get your job done.
    At the end of the day Rain Bird is a private company whose owners do what works for them. Unfortunately working for Rain Bird rarely works for the employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice to Management? You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 10 people found this helpful  

    Disappointing

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

    I worked at Rain Bird full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very high quality, smart individuals
    Quality products

    Cons

    Culture of fear
    High Turn over of people
    low product development effort

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your people.
    stability in the workforce will greatly improve R&D, customer satisfaction and reduce go to market costs

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 14 people found this helpful  

    Hostile

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

    I worked at Rain Bird full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people are great and highly qualified. Some are better at dealing with the garbage that goes on there. There were 2 senior leaders there when I worked there that really supported the employee and they made it a great place to work.

    Cons

    When one of the two senior leaders retired then the second one passed away the place went to hell in a hand basket. You were left with senior leaders that did whatever the owner wanted so they wouldn't place their positions in jeopardy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stand up to the tyrant

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 15 people found this helpful  

    The Most Dysfunctional Company On the Planet

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

    I worked at Rain Bird full-time

    Pros

    If Tony will approve of you being hired, they will pay you whatever they need to in order to get you on board. So many people turn down offers, that they rely on money to lure good people. So, pay is not bad.

    Cons

    I really can't say anything that hasn't been said on this site, or ones like it, many times before. But in case you need to hear it again: STAY AWAY! STAY FAR AWAY! This place is awful with really very little to make the freak show worth it. Honestly, if you have a soul or even one ounce of business sense, this place will be detrimental to your physical well-being if you work here. Tony, the president, just won't let anything that is positive and good for the company stay around for long. Good customer service department? Eviscerate it. Good people? Fire them. Good products? Discontinue them. Good marketing? Cut it. Customers? Tony HATES them, but not as much as he hates employees and vendors.

    If you are hired as a manager of any kind, don't expect to be able to make even the smallest decision. If you enjoy seeing a business fail in real-time, you might like it here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is too late for any advice. It wouldn't be followed or executed very well anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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