Sandia
3.6 of 5 174 reviews
www.sandia.gov Albuquerque, NM 5000+ Employees

Sandia Reviews in Albuquerque, NM

Updated Jun 22, 2014

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3.6 89 reviews

                             

64% Approve of the CEO

Sandia President Paul Hommert

Paul Hommert

(33 ratings)

72% of employees recommend this company to a friend
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    Excellent

    PMTS (Current Employee)
    Albuquerque, NM

    ProsGreat sense of value and purpose. Tremendous amount of respect and independence. Great work life balance. Great benefits and salaries. Great training programs.

    ConsIn some ways, Albuquerque. Some bureaucracy and politics. Congressional budget fluctuations can cause disturbances. Slow degradation of benefits will hurt eventually. Reward system is improving but upward mobility is still slow mostly due to low turnover and limited budgets.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDownsize the recent influx of financial analysts.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Politicized management; some dedicated staff keep Sandia alive

    Principal Member of Technical Staff (Current Employee)
    Albuquerque, NM

    ProsThere are still a huge range of interesting topics that you can contribute on. 9/80 schedule is fantastic. Many dedicated staff that will help you get work done, though don't expect it to be recognized by management. Your job satisfaction will only come from pride in a job well done, so be sure the projects you get on have some personal interest.

    ConsAll national labs are becoming steadily less relevant as development money is disappearing from government budgets and research money is sent more to universities. Can't compete for a lot of fundamental research money as a FFRDC, and things you could compete for you are effectively priced out of because of ridiculous overhead rates.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTrim unproductive staff and reward dedicated staff. Why should someone kill themselves for a 2.1% raise when you can do no work and get 1.7%.?

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    So much potential wasted...

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Albuquerque, NM

    ProsThe quality of the staff. The mission.

    ConsManagement doesn't walk the talk. They say they are listening but aren't. Poor performance is tolerated at high levels.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe new staffing system could have been ok, but was redesigned by technical folks who don't respect the HR professionals, the financial staff or any of the non-R&D staff.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Mixed bag, but overall positive

    PMTS (Former Employee)
    Albuquerque, NM

    ProsLots of very smart people, challenging problems, excellent facilities. Opportunity to work on problems on national importance.

    ConsFar too much bureaucracy, compensation system has severe defects. Too tighly controlled by DOE

    Advice to Senior ManagementReward system (esp. compensation) needs to recognize differences between divisions. Having comparable salary distributions in all divisions is stupid.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    A great place to work with opportunities for career broadening.

    Sandia Contracting Representative (Current Employee)
    Albuquerque, NM

    ProsNational security and leading edge technology

    ConsThe pay is not as good as leading companies in the private sector

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo a better job of promoting from within

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    You will not find a better company to work for! There’s nothing like it.

    Member of Technical Staff (Current Employee)
    Albuquerque, NM

    ProsThis is my top ten list:
    1. Easy to get a job. Lack of candidates with US citizenship and advanced degrees resulted in hiring those who couldn't get or keep jobs in private sector. Interviews consist of behavioral questions, and no technical questions are asked.
    2. Non-existent dress code. I have seen more cleavage and butt cheeks here than at Hooters. There are many college coeds and office admins who dress provocatively. A+
    3. Work-life balance would make French jealous. Many employees take 2 hour lunch breaks and/or always come in late and leave early. Working over weekends is so uncommon, you will not see another living soul around. Telecommuting is encouraged, and some employees never show up for work.
    4. Encouraged to come up with the most ridiculous ideas that get funded. Never mind if there is no market for your product/idea because you will get more money to go around and market this product to other groups and customers. It is a great place to reinvent the wheel.
    5. At the end of each financial year, you get to splurge on new equipment, computers, and etc to spend down unused funds.
    6. Get time off for working overtime.
    7. Traveling to conferences and training is encouraged.
    8. Outstanding educational benefits – You get to go full time to an Ivy League university while getting paid 75% of your salary.
    9. Opportunity to shake hands with state officials and senators who like to come over and brag how much they did for SNL and NM.
    10. Free healthcare at the onsite clinic.

    ConsNo downsides at all to working here. This place will ruin you for other jobs.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing the same thing. There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Not the place for computer scientists

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Albuquerque, NM

    ProsThat is a tough one.

    ConsI've been with SNL for over 15 years and recent management decisions are decimating what was once an incredible culture. We're now all lumped into a single salary band regardless of disciplines. I.e., a computer scientist is compensated exactly the same as an environmental scientist, mechanical engineer or other engineer. Management winks and pretends that this "enables" something magical, yet can't articulate what that might be. The bottom line is that our salaries were the only remaining benefit to cut, and Lockheed, the company that currently manages us, sees its primary role as managing costs by cutting benefits.

    Culture-wise management has recently enacted a very top-down strategic initiative where we have to tie our work to upper management's strategies. Sadly, they are so disconnected from the work we do (our projects, customers, and what it takes to deliver with excellence), that core activities that we must do to deliver our products are no longer valued. It's reached a point that accomplishments of the past could never be replicated because they would involve having folks do work that would land them in the lowest compensation bin at review time. Teams are fracturing as critical folk learn that their contributions are no longer valued by management…critical contributions that are essential to delivering with excellence. Our culture of excellence is being decimated and management is unable to articulate a credible reason for pursuing this new top-down initiative. Level 1 managers are well aware of the terrible problems it is creating, but none are willing to say a thing to upper management because their own career advancement depends on dancing to the tune called from on high.

    I've now been here too long to easily leave, but wish I could go back in time and reverse my decision to work at Sandia. To all the folks on the job hunt, SNL is no longer a place you should be considering. The consensus is forming that Lockheed may be deliberately destroying the laboratory as a way of eliminating a competitor in certain technologies. How sad.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYour people are your greatest asset. Stop screwing them with your "totalcomp" and top-down strategic initiatives. I challenge you to do a survey where the employees can provide their opinion of your recent management initiatives. Ask them how many want their children to work at Sandia. My guess is that you'll be shocked that very few of us encourage our children to follow in our shoes, and how many senior people think that management is actively destroying the best parts of our culture.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Advice for Computer Scientist Grads

    Principal Member of Technical Staff (Current Employee)
    Albuquerque, NM

    Pros-nice blue skies
    -they'll pay you to get your master's
    -government shutdowns can send you home (sorry, without pay)

    Cons-management makes dilbert look like non-fiction
    -the department of energy is one of the 5 government departments that the republicans want to eliminate - think about it, what do you think the raise packages look like given that these folk control the purse strings?
    -benefits are under continuous attack by lockheed martin (the company who manages us)

    Advice to Senior ManagementForget that…advice to recent grads considering Sandia:
    1) come here only under the condition that Sandia sends you for a master's
    2) get your master's (hey, they'll probably let you apply to some really top notch schools)
    3) know that a real employer will pay the penalty for leaving Sandia prior to the 3 years you'll owe Sandia in return for sending you to graduate school,
    4) start your new job search while in grad school (don't wait until you come back)
    5) don't feel guilty about this plan, people do it all the time. also, if you stay, you'll quickly find that your salary relative to peers in private industry is falling farther and farther behind since you'll be in the same salary band with every other sandia (we no longer have a comp sic salary band)

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    If you have no plans to leave New Mexico, and have no interest on being rated on merit, this is the place to work

    Senior Member of Laboratory Staff (Current Employee)
    Albuquerque, NM

    ProsYou get to work with a lot of interesting, intelligent people if working on the technical side (the business side is a bit more banal and uninspiring). For Albuquerque, the pay is good and you apparently can get every member of your extended family a position in the company - if you find that an acceptable practice that doesn't violate and principles. Frankly, if you are stuck in Albuquerque, there aren't too many business that offer better pay or benefits.

    ConsNumerous. The rating system in no way reflects merit - it is representative of distant, uninterested management that relies on the concept of "visibility" (i.e. the mere act of occupying space in close proximity to management to ensure they recognize your existence) to determine year end ratings. If you are new to Sandia, expect to receive the lowest rating possible as it is considered part of the culture and part of working at for the organization. Nepotism and cronyism are ubiquitous and encouraged. I don't think I have ever worked in an organization where so many people are related. Meetings are more reminiscent of family reunions than work-related gatherings. Tax-payer dollars are wasted with overt disregard through inefficiencies and poor planning - if such things are frustrating and complicate your moral underpinnings, not the place for you.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop complaining about the culture and do something to change it

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Interesting work

    Graduate StudentTechnical (Former Employee)
    Albuquerque, NM

    ProsYou can involve yourself in an endless number of project types that you won't find anywhere else. The work has a purpose. There are brilliant people and the pay is very good. It's a secure job with endless opportunities for upward mobility. The "bosses" are extremely hardworking people who can be trusted to put their work first.

    ConsHR is a nightmare. They care about following their misguided rules and literally nothing else.

    The previous generation received excellent benefits, but the time of unlimited government funding is over and Sandia is very low on resources. Projects and funding depend on interactions with the government, which tend to be extremely inefficient.

    Advice to Senior ManagementUpper management is not the problem, but I would advise a complete overhaul of the HR department.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Sandia reviews and ratings in Albuquerque, NM — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Sandia CEO Paul Hommert. All 89 reviews posted anonymously by Sandia employees.