Vanguard Reviews

Updated September 17, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014
686 Reviews
3.2
686 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Vanguard Chairman and CEO William McNabb
William McNabb
412 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work/life balance is a priority as you don't work crazy hours and get a lot of vacation time (in 106 reviews)

  • There are great benefits and opportunities to build your toolbox in your chosen career path (in 58 reviews)


Cons
  • site locations offer very little job growth opportunities outside of basic call center positions (in 44 reviews)

  • Good work/life balance for some people, but not if your on the phones (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    The right atmosphere and values for me...

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

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    We hear all the time about Vanguard's unique ownership structure and how that leads to low cost...Having worked for a couple of the competitors before joining Vanguard, I can't imagine going back to the traditional publicly-traded "profit at all costs" mentality. Not that Vanguard's perfect, but the stakes are too high for me to consider giving my energy and my days to a company pretending to help clients achieve financial success while working them over for every cent they can get. It may not be the right place for everyone, but in this industry, it's the only place that I feel lines up with my own values and perspective. In addition, the benefits are excellent, and I've found it to be a rewarding place to work.

    Cons

    Occasional "red-tape" -related frustrations that accompany working for such a large company...Some people in management are ineffective leaders, though that's true of every corporation.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    It's pretty good

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

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Very nice people. It's a company that values integrity and putting client first.

    Cons

    As it grows, there's a lot of red tape to cut through which can slow innovation.

    Sometimes the attitude and "vanguard-speak" makes me feel like I'm at a high school pep rally.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Back Office Team Lead

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Back Office B2B Team Leader  in  Scottsdale, AZ
    Former Employee - Back Office B2B Team Leader in Scottsdale, AZ

    I worked at Vanguard full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great ethical company and a very low risk environment. Easy to move laterally, which is highly encouraged, giving you great experience in different areas of the business. The benefits are excellent all around. When visiting the doctor's office, I was often told that my insurance was amazing. Time-off is ample and easy to take with little restriction (everything is PTO, no "sick days"). Overall my experience was great but I was seeking something more exciting.

    Cons

    Making any kind of procedural change is painfully slow. If you aren't willing to keep pushing hard, you won't get anything accomplished. Pay was mediocre which drove away some talented people. Though the upper management open door policy made it easy to interact with all levels, it also contributed to a lot of office politics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The decision making process is painfully slow, limiting the impact of those who really want to make a difference.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Great place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Relations Specialist  in  Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Customer Relations Specialist in Scottsdale, AZ

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Great environment. Vanguard supports it's employees when personal needs arise. Good benefits. Bonuses.(performance based, so salaries are lower than similar companies). Like everyone I work with - great group of people. They offer a lot of training opportunities.

    Cons

    Metrics on calls are unreasonable if you want to give excellent customer service. I won't rush anyone, I make they thoroughly understand everything we discuss. This can take awhile, especially with inexperienced investors. I know my customers appreciate it, but it does hurt my opportunities since my call times are a little longer. I also believe in helping other less experienced crew members, which adds to my call handle time as we'll. Difficult to advance...fewer jobs up the pyramid and lots of competition.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Metrics should not be as important as quality customer service.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    UI Developer

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

    I have been working at Vanguard

    Pros

    Good work life balance. Not a lot of long hours.

    Cons

    Takes to long to use the latest technology. Technology is somewhat dated.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Very positive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Client Relations Associate  in  Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Client Relations Associate in Scottsdale, AZ

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I felt they had a very positive experience working with Vanguard. It's a great firm with excellent leadership and and a very mixture of work/life balance and support for continuing your education and networking within the company.

    Cons

    I felt the salary was far too low and the opportunities to move up in the firm were too slow. You are not given much room for creative thought or feel much ownership in improving the efficacy of the company outside of your specific role.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider ways to retain your young workers with better salary packages and ways to increase worker satisfaction by making the work flows more dynamic to incentive them to stay with the firm.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great culture and a company on a mission for its clients

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

    I have been working at Vanguard

    Pros

    Great company culture. They really care about your success and want you to develop the skills critical to success over time. Great benefits too.

    Cons

    The pay is not as great as other industry competitors.

  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Ethical, Friendly, Takes Care of Employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - College to Corporate  in  Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - College to Corporate in Malvern, PA

    I worked at Vanguard as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Benefits are incredible, everyone is willing to help you learn here. I came in as an intern and found no shortage of people willing to help me find ways to help the team, contribute, and ultimately be successful. If you put in the effort and enjoy a place where it's easy to network and try out positions you might not have the training for this is a great place to work. My boss consistently went to bat for me when needed and was always interested in finding ways to help me move up, I was even lucky enough to set up meetings with people 2 and 3 levels above my boss and they were no different. CEO Bill McNabb is even in the cafeteria enough days, showing how down-to-earth the C-suite staff are. Their training and education programs are top-notch and easy to access. Work/life balance is a huge priority and I found most weeks I wouldn't even receive any emails between Friday at 5pm and Monday morning!

    Cons

    Pay is better at other places, but if the friendly, networking-based culture is something you like, there's not many better places to work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great company

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

    I worked at Vanguard full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great people, benefits, management, training.

    Cons

    Pay is low, little room to grow your career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to employee opinions from all job levels and age ranges.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Good place to work, hard to get ahead

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer  in  Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Malvern, PA

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Awesome job security. Even when the market crashed in 2008 they did everything they could to keep full-time crew (at the expense of contractors).

    The June Partnership payment (think profit sharing) is usually pretty good. There's an end of year bonus too, but it's usually less.

    Time off starts around 3.5 weeks/year and increases with tenure. By the fifth calendar year, you're up to almost five weeks.

    The 10% 401(k) benefit plus 4% match is awesome.

    A lot of training is offered, but I usually find the classes aren't as good as I would hope. I could learn a lot more from a senior developer who knows how we do things instead of a vendor who teaches the topic generically.

    I rarely work more than 40 hours a week.

    Like a lot of places, your experience will depend on the department, manager, and team you have. If you're lucky, you get a good fit and do well. Coworkers are generally nice.

    Cons

    The salary is on the low end of the market. (I was told by a recruiter they knew of at least one other place that paid less.)

    The raises are awful, usually less than 2%. They created this video for us explaining how the pay evaluations are done. They tried to make the viewers feel almost guilty for wanting a raise, because of course they means company costs go up. I find my rent goes up just about as fast as my salary, so I don't feel like I'm gaining any ground.

    I find recognition of good work to be lacking. I've had some good years and other years I didn't think were as good. But they were all rated the same in the final evaluation. On the team I'm on now, I find that I have to make sure my manager knows when I do something because nobody else is going to tell him.

    It is VERY hard to get a promotion. Vanguard wants its employees to stay long-term. The downside of this is that there are lots of people who have been there 10-15 years or more. So even getting the first promotion from beginning software developer to mid-level often takes 5 years or so. There are only a few pay grades, so you could work there 30 years and only get promoted once or twice.

    They say you can switch positions every 18 months. However, for the same reasons, it can be hard to do even a lateral move. You post for a position and find out so did a lot of other people. This is a real downer if you land onto a team and/or manager that you discover you don't enjoy. It is hard to get away, and even harder if your performance suffers and you get a sub-par rating.

    They took away our cubicles and replaced them with an open-air environment, which I would guess a grand majority of the developers did not want. So it's best to learn how to "tune out" all the crap going on around you. Many resort to iPods.

    There is a major emphasis on giving to charity at Vanguard. There are 2-3 drives each year. I get why the company wants to be seen as "giving back to the community." However, it does have a downside in that at least some of the employees wonder if they are being judged on whether they give the "suggested" amount. I personally find the drives tedious. If I wanted to work at a charity, I'd go work at a charity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I personally wish there were more pay grades. Getting promotions every few years would really help workers feel that good work was recognized.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Worked for Vanguard? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.