Rain Bird Reviews

Updated September 5, 2014
Updated September 5, 2014
239 Reviews
2.2
239 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Anthony LaFetra
191 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The base pay is good with an acceptable incentive plan (in 14 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 14 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 8 people found this helpful  

    Succession Planning

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

    I have been working at Rain Bird full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    They only hire the best just so they can fire the best.

    Cons

    There are many Cons but one of the biggest at Rain Bird is the succession planning. All managers and directors are required to have identified successors to take their place just in case. So what happens is they will hire or promote someone just to be their backup on paper only later to realize that they are not as good as they thought so they are then pushed out through corrective action. I can hear it now, "Sorry, you are not meeting the expectations required for Rain Bird management." I have seen this more times than I can remember. It's really sad for those individuals that relocate their families just to be pushed out one year later while the hiring manager is seen as getting things done by cycling out the poor performers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop pretending everything with the company is ok and that the only problems are due to poor performing individuals. Maybe if you knew how to interview you wouldn't keep hiring poor performers. It's all a big charade to keep and protect upper management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Stodgy, stuck in the 80's culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Regional Sales Manager in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Regional Sales Manager in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Rain Bird full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very smart, talented people work below the directors. You establish some very good professional friendships. Salary is good but bonuses or raises non-existent.

    Cons

    People are not valued. They develop state of the art products but with antiquated equipment & IT support. Manager must do everything; for such a large company there is extremely limited HR, recruiting, administrative help. Company is not nimble enough to compete in the new business climate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change the culture.
    Value your people; don't just think you value you them because you say you do, prove it in your actions!
    You expect managers to be admin; give them the support & resources they need to manage and grow the business.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Hard to be happy here.

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

    I worked at Rain Bird full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    All of your co-workers are completely competent and skilled.
    Solid brand (except for the work environment), high quality products.
    Financially very secure and able to invest.

    Cons

    Being paranoid of what could go wrong and a devil's advocate for reasons not to progress are considered badges of honor.
    Everyone in the company is looking for a better opportunity, but Rain Bird pays well and similar jobs in Tucson, AZ are hard to find.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It doesn't matter. The advice will be ignored, anyway. Even managers at the highest level shut down their desires to change this company for the better, or they will be shown the door.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good, if you have the right personality

    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    Rain Bird pays well. They also have good benefits. They emphasize continuous improvement, although provide little training. Advancement is possible.

    Cons

    Rain Bird likes to hire career driven people who thrive in competition. This creates an atmosphere of extreme competition. Everyone tries to manage those around them. No one actually does much work. Every day at work felt like being a contestant on “Survivor.” If you thrive in a cut-throat, competitive environment and you are good at what you do, you will like Rain Bird.
    A lot of jobs are being sent to Mexico (Engineering, Human Resources, Accounting …)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead of “transitioning out” people in the bottom 20% performance level, give them realistic training goals and provide them with resources. to achieve their goals.

    Approves of CEO
  6. 12 people found this helpful  

    Thinking about working for Big Tony and his crew? Fuggedaboutit!

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

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

    Pros

    They offered me a job when I needed one (they are always hiring).

    The salary for Arizona standards is good.

    They pay for relocation and 30 days of temporary housing.

    Cons

    Pretty much everything else.

    If you have ever heard the old tale of the scorpion and the frog, where the scorpion stings the frog carrying him across the river and they both drown. Then you will understand everything you need to know about Rain Bird. When the frog asks the scorpion why he stung him, the scorpion replies, "It;s my nature." That in a nutshell is Rain Bird. They are all kind and sweet when they recruit you (we only hire the best and the brightest), however once you are there you begin to see the true nature of the firm and its senior managers.

    When you wonder why it takes forever to get simple products to market (years instead of months), when you see your director obsessing over punctuation (stage gate process), when your coworkers through you under the bus (monthly team meetings), when you have to use your own personal credit card for everything (you give them a free loan) when you are unable to get a complete bill of material for your product, when your peers are evasive regarding the product line history, when contracts can only be seen by the senior managers, when your buddy ends up on corrective action, etc., etc., etc., just remember, "It's their nature".

    I remember being assigned a cubicle in Tucson. The previous occupant, a former product manger in another division had left all kinds of personal items in the desk (checkbooks, receipts, credit card statements, etc.). At the time I wondered why they would leave their personal belongs behind? Later I realized they must have either quit or been fired/escorted out of the building in a hurry. That got me thinking and I started tracking turnover based on the list of field sales people. Within 12 months about 40% of the field sales had turned over.

    It all starts going downhill day one. When I asked to see my predecessors files (the job had been vacant for nine months) it took them a week to find them for me. You would think that something necessary to do your job would have been available at the beginning, but that would make too much sense. I think the Sr. Product Manager new he had to mark someone down and was setting me up for failure from day one.

    If you choose to work at Rain Bird (which I would really advise you not to), remember not take the abusive nature of the place personally (which you will). They treat everybody like crap, which is why turnover is so high. Their HR system is a joke (the head of HR was an accountant) designed to drive turnover.

    For me the turning point came while standing in a muddy poop covered field, looking into a filthy cobweb infested controller filled with dead bugs and mouse droppings that I realized, "This is no way to make a living and their are better ways of providing for my family."

    Rain Bird may tell you that Glassdoor is full of bitter ex-employees, and there is some truth to that. Rain Bird leaves the bitter taste of vomit in your mouth. The place is like a large pus-filled boil that eventually you have to either learn to live with or lance with a sharp needle sanitized in fire in order to get out the bloody core. It can be painful and uncomfortable at the time but in truth it is the only way to deal with the infection and move on with the process of healing.

    In hindsight knowing what I know now would I do it again? I took the job because I needed the paycheck to feed my family. However, my two best days at Rain Bird? The day I got my first paycheck and the day I resigned and walked out the door.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. You won't change, because like the Scorpion, "It's your nature."

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

    Unnecessarily stressful work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Rain Bird

    Pros

    Exceptional people for the most part. Leading manufacturer of irrigation equipment so the opportunities to learn are fantastic.

    Cons

    Work environment is the worst I have ever experienced. The sad part is it does not have to be. Most employees are exceptional in what they do and left alone could be extremely productive. Management sees things differently however and seems to believe they must force productivity through intimidation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Back off. You presumably hire high quality people for a reason. Respect their opinions, give them the opportunity to try things - even if they fail occasionally.

    Stop being so secretive. When high-level decisions are made about the direction the company is going, communicate it to the employees to get their buy-in. Things will run more smoothly if everyone is working together.

    Abandon the incentive-type bonus structure and replace it with a profit-sharing plan. The organization is not structured properly to create sensible year-long incentive plans so that sort of bonus simply frustrates employees and results in unnecessary interdepartmental conflict. A profit-sharing plan will encourage everyone to work toward the common goal of increasing profit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 7 people found this helpful  

    Dont plan on staying long

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

    I have been working at Rain Bird

    Pros

    The only pro is that they pay better than the competition. They have the best products on the market and the best people at the sales and product management level

    Cons

    They have to pay better, because it is such a poor working environment.
    Benefits are terrible
    upper management is focused on wrong things.
    no feeling of support for employees
    High turnover of product managers, Engineers and sales people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Update your management style to the new century. If you continue to do what you have always done the 60% turnover rate is never going to change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 8 people found this helpful  

    Avoid the frustration, stay away, terrible culture.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Tucson, AZ

    I worked at Rain Bird

    Pros

    Good products. Good associates at RB. You will develop a "We are all in this together" approach with your peers; conversations will be about moving on and how the job search is progressing. You will develop a great network of friends as Rain Bird hires and fires randomly. Many move on to more fulfilling jobs. Your contacts and friends from your time at Rain Bird will prove invaluable in the future.

    Cons

    Listless company with no vision/message from ownership. Management struggles to deal with owner as they try to implement strategy. Culture is a disaster, management by fear carries the day. Office is depressing with everyone fearful of a pink slip.

    The market looks at Rain Bird as a company that can't seem to get it's act together with sales people, product managers, and engineers coming and going each year. Independent distribution is tired of the endless parade of new sales people who last less than two years in the position, and have no industry experience, while the competition has a sales force that has a staff of reps that on average have been with them for more than a decade.

    The Rain Bird strategy over the last few years has been to lower pricing of key product catagories in an effort to drive the competiton out of the business. The result has been shrinking margins for the distributors and less profitabilty for every one.

    Corrective action review process at Rain Bird is a total disaster with indescriminate choosing of people who do not "measure up". Once chosen by the directors to be placed on "corrective action" , middle managers will create issues with their reports which have very little to do with reality or the contributions the individual makes to advance sales. As a result, it leaves you with little respect for them. They are a weak lot generally, selling out their direct reports on the direction of incompetent directors. They are biding their time, padding their resumes hoping to leave soon. The good managers/leaders who really care about their employees leave quickly as they will not be a part of the disfunctional negative system and culture. If they stay and try to support their targeted employees, they too find themselves on corrective action.

    Company alienates independent distribution network, always promoting their strategy to "go direct to end user" while competitors reap the benefits of partnering with distributors and getting the most out of them to advance their sales. As a result the competition has an incredible advantage in the marketplace. Distribution recommending competitive products over Rain Bird goods is common throughout the domestic market at most distributor branch locations .

    As others have written before me, do your research, contact past and present employees. Contact distribution and you will find that it is a troubled organization confirming the consistant negative reviews this company receives on Glass Door.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I do not have any advice for management as they are a hopeless bunch at Rain Bird. Many are looking for other opportunities outside of the organization, and are merely trying to navigate through the disfunctional system until they find other employment. To those core employees at the director and management level who manage to thrive and survive, they know how bad the culture is and are just going along for the ride.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Do NOT even consider working here !

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

    I have been working at Rain Bird

    Pros

    Tucson, az area employer, tucson is a nice place to live and raise a family.

    Salary above average

    Working for Rain Bird turns this nice city into a CAUSTIC situation.

    Cons

    NO respect for the individual
    Obusive personnel practices
    Hiring practices and promises very unehtical
    Overall working environment creates a leve of distrust at all levels.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change before it is too late

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Wish i would have seen this site before joining...

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

    I worked at Rain Bird

    Pros

    It is a great product and your fellow employees are usually of a very good caliber. It makes you feel good to work wiht quality people that "get it"

    Cons

    At this point you've probably read all the posts on here that are negative. I'll share that I was actually an employees much longer ago that indicated on here, but was compelled to post after stumbling on the site. Even after nearly 10 years of being going I find may of the negative comments resonating with my whatI experienced. Lack of trust.. It is truly McGregor's "theory X" management style at work, from an academic standpoint it is very interesting to see - at least I had never see it in this pure of form before!

    As marketing, you have a GREAT product to work with. However, don't expect to get creative with it, and don't expect to take their great market recognition and presence and run with it.

    They are entrenched in what they have always done, and unfortunately that continues today. While the insults i've seen thrown at the very top management may be inapprpriate, they not completely un-credible. RB is a comapny that has been very successful, but it is now time to go from a family-run styles of business and get a professional mangement team in place.

    The comapany, product and people have an incredible amount of potential. it's time to unleash that potential.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Guys, for 10 years or more it has been time for Tony to step aside, and do it without shame. Take pride in what has been accomplished - the company has been incredibly successful, but it can be so much more so with the right team in place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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