Vanguard Reviews

Updated March 28, 2015
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3.2
831 Reviews
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Vanguard Chairman and CEO William McNabb
William McNabb
495 Ratings

Pros
  • Work/life balance is a priority as you don't work crazy hours and get a lot of vacation time (in 120 reviews)

  • Great benefits; was able to earn MBA and CFP with full tuition reimbursement (in 67 reviews)

Cons
  • The positions in AZ are largely call center support roles, or supervisory roles (in 53 reviews)

  • Good work/life balance for some people, but not if your on the phones (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful

    College graduates hired as expendable inbound customer service reps on a headset

    • 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 (more than a year)

    Pros

    They provide access to obtaining your financial license after graduation. If you are initially hired on into a higher position, the trade is worthwhile to remain employed while you pursue higher levels of education beyond your series 7. Expect to be in a desk job that does not require any extra effort to retain your position as long as you show up on time, keep your head down, and keep your headset turned on.

    Cons

    Employees hold no value- they are not a person they are a number in a computer... expendable and unappreciated. You only receive negative recognition with no positive reinforcement. There is no incentive to perform above expectations. Employees who are Exceeding expectations are not granted recognition. Performance is determined by tracking numbers and metrics- no human components are factored into their actions or decisions against employees who do not deliver their desired numbers or metrics. Any results that falls under expectations are immediately addressed and Any performance that is achieved at or above expectations are ignored. In addition, they use highly regulated protocol to excuse their decisions to disregard your high level of performance during your review and advancement milestones. There is ZERO work-life balance and they give no consideration to individual situations, family life differentiation, and exceptional circumstances are rarely considered excusable and are not factored into performance reviews. Any changes or requests are denied by a human component with no consideration or effort to accommodate your requests. In order to successfully achieve any changes- you put in your time. The system will generate an opportunity for changes or movement based on a list of prioritized employees seeking a change in schedule or department. The list is Prioritized by time served and rank, not by situation or level of need and not by performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't rely solely on numbers to effectively assess compliance, performance, and failures. Exerting substantial effort to avoid recognition and avoiding individual accommodations does not promote high levels of performance or long term employee retention. Try to put a human component into your management structure and value your employees as more than a number on a screen. You are reverse-sifting through mounds of educated individuals; collecting the dirt that falls through the screen and discarding the golden nuggets caught in the sifting basket.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  2. 7 people found this helpful

    Biggest waste of 15 years... Don't get stuck... run fast

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

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

    Pros

    Paid time off is generous, buildings are comfortable. Co workers are generally friendly, maybe to a fault. That's where it ends.

    Cons

    There is a culture of forced friendships and relationships. You must always smile, feel great when someone asks how you are, ask everyone how their day is, inquire about the status of their child, cat or dog, etc. Its about who you know and who likes you, not your skill set. Your actual work is not valued. How much niceties is placed in your email is more important than asking for and getting the information you need to do your job. Mid and year end reviews are based on "feedback" from peers or the managers, not on actual performance. And as you age out of the company, if you are not one of the best " players of the game" then you are forced to either retire or quit the company due to unwarranted negative reviews. Once you start getting the negative reviews, its all down hill from there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Doesn't really matter what's said here. Management will come up with some rhetoric about why Vanguard is a great place to work. (Don't believe the hype) They doesn't listen anyway and will dispose of you if you have an opinion.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 9 people found this helpful

    Super political and a VERY UNFAIR Performance Management process

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

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

    Pros

    If your not in management or not looking for career advancement, then Vanguard is the place for you. They offer some mobility and training however it is limited. Trust me, I lived it.

    Cons

    As a former senior manger in the company, I can tell you first hand that 'crew' members are rated at year end using an unfair ranking system that compares employee performance. People are often 'force ranked' due to the employee vs employee rating system. Problem is often your comparing people who do very different jobs, but because they are the same level, they are rated using the same criteria. Also, management expects a percentage of employees to be ranked at the bottom, causing this 'force ranking practice to meet quotas. AS a result, people were often unfairly rated at yearend. And if you bring the issue to HR, your talking to a wall. The climate is one of stress, competition, and politics. It's always someone else's fault. I couldn't take it anymore and left the company. I now hold a leadership position with a similar size firm and I couldn't be happier. I'm very glad to be away from Vanguard and wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat people fairly. Take a hard ;look at your Performance Management practices. Revamp your HR policies and the 'God like' attitude they have.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 10 people found this helpful

    If you are over 35, opportunities for career advancement are severely limited if they exist at all

    • 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 (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Nice campus, decent benefits, job security, on site gym, work/life balance

    Cons

    Prior business experience and older workers are not valued here

    Company has become increasingly focused on recruiting and advancing inexperienced recent college graduates while pushing older and tenured employees towards the door

    Big push to reduce costs yet I read interview summaries on Glassdoor saying that the company is paying for flight, food and lodging to interview more recent college graduates. That is sickening.

    In addition to the fact that a disproportionate number of VADP grads take up all of the open leadership positions twice a year when they "launch" , many of them move on after time in job is up (18 mos) and take another position or just take the license and management experience that Vanguard just paid for to other companies. This creates an extremely negative experience for the crew who have a revolving door for a manager and they are not able to build a long term relationship with their supervisor.

    It also has a negative impact on older workers who are consistently passed over for these same roles by the never ending flow of VADP grads. Unless they happen to come across, post for and interview for a leadership position when it is off cycle for the VADP groups, they are out of luck.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start walking the talk on diversity and advance the careers of some of your older and more experienced employees to balance out the over abundance of 20 somethings in the management team.

    There are so many well qualified older workers who have basically given up. Pretty sad and very shortsighted of Vanguard to not put more value on their contributions and abilities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful

    Vanguard is a great place to invest your money. That's where it ends. It's not a healthy place to work

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

    I worked at Vanguard full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Retirement plan and vacation policy are very generous. And it's nice to work at a place that's well respected in the industry.

    Cons

    HR gives a lot of lip service to being the "employer of choice" but they have a very long way to go, to put it nicely. Despite doing phenomenally well, the company doesn't share the wealth nearly enough with those who make that success possible. Stressed employees (crew) have become an expense to be minimized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat crew better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 10 people found this helpful

    Ideal place to work for young minorities

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

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

    Pros

    Cafeterias are world-class, filtered water at the public water fountains, Interesting, challenging work. Became a major feather in my resume cap after I left.

    Cons

    More "political" management culture than many corporations. Life experience not important here (Had people reviewing me that were young enough to be my children who then would ask me the best way to shop for a mortgage or a new car).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Recognize the true value of older workers and make them feel valued. Teach your youngster managers how to manage/relate to older employees. Arrogance should not be part of their skill set.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful

    The Walmart of Finance Companies

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

    I worked at Vanguard full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The 401k match/ benefits are good.

    Cons

    They treat you like a resource.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If the company is doing well, make sure your employees are compensated fairly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 14 people found this helpful

    Great place to start as a new grad but a dead end for a long term career

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

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    There is a bright side to Vanguards corporate Vandroid culture, if you like being a financial phone operator taking roughly 60+ calls daily, having clients complain for constant errors made by Vanguard crew, and being attached to a cubical for 8 hours a day, then this might be the job for you. The ONLY positive note worthy of mentioning is their PTO, they offer 16 days for new hires.

    Cons

    I have worked for Vanguard for over 6 years, I've seen many company changes in my time here, and sadly most have been negative. The overall salaries compared to the industry average is well below 15%, they like to promote they make up for the difference by offering better benefit packages. However, recent benefit changes in 2011 have left employees footing a majority of the cost, due to Vanguard downsizing the health care plan coverage over the years. Thus making their argument for paying their employees at a lower salary as obsolete as their technology advancements for crew and clients alike. The company provides employees with bonuses aka movie tickets and candy bars to show its appreciation for your hard work, a kind gesture if I was 10 years old. The annual year-end review may have a slightly higher bonus; the only requirement would entail having to kill your self all year to receive a mediocre average 3%-5% raise. Diversity is non-existent at Vanguard, management controls every aspect of your career progression, and if you don't fit into the white collar polished image it will most certainly limit your opportunities. Be weary of the cult-like atmosphere, be sure to drink the koolaid, if not you won't go far in this company. People don't come to Vanguard to flourish their careers, they either start a career here not knowing any better, or come to retire after working in the industry at another company. Do your self a favor and look somewhere else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead of penny pinching every penny for your bottom line, you should invest into your employees, pay them industry standards. Have you ever wondered why the employee turnover is so high? Maybe if you showed a little more empathy towards the very people who make Vanguard a little more tolerable to work for, they would stick around a lot longer. Surely this would reduce one of your highest expenditures, the constant training of new hires. because you cannot keep your most talented employees. Maybe instead of wasting millions of dollars by annually training new hires, you could avoid such high trading errors and mistakes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 18 people found this helpful

    Do you want to feel like a cog in the call-center machine?

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

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

    Pros

    Great company...to invest. Just don't take their advice or investment "education". Chances are the rep you're speaking with is probably a recent college grad with little to know investment knowledge and is just reading off a script provided to them by Vanguard.

    Cons

    Call-center environment, micro-managers, required to participate in "voluntary" United Way activities, given movie tickets and candy bars as recognition, bonuses barely keep up with inflation, more tenured and knowledgeable employees being pushed out, replaced with just-out-of-college new hires that can be trained to think the Vanguard way, not very much diversity in the workforce, career opportunities plateau at a certain point, not much career mobility, salaries are a good 20% below industry, they try and say benefits make up for that...but they don't.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop creating a culture where only whitewashed and sanitized personalities have opportunities. Diversity is a real thing. Accept it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 8 people found this helpful

    Vanguard's United Way Campaign

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Client Relationship Administrator in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Client Relationship Administrator in Malvern, PA

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

    Pros

    Below average pay
    constant micromanagement
    very political environement

    Cons

    - Every year they're constantly pressuring you to give to the United Way. I think we should all give to local charities regardless.
    - Vanguard claims its anonymous, yet there are events for "high donors."
    - We are pressured to give to an organization that has had multiple scandals. Search "United Way Scandals."
    - If you question anything your black listed from promotions or advancement opportunities.
    - If your going to pressure people to donate then address the multiple scandals of your favority charity.
    - Considering we're only collecting .14% in expense ratio's for our funds. Its a little much to agree to pay 12.5% for the feeder fund to charge in administrative costs before, the money ever reaches the charity. As that charity is going to have their own expenses.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find local charities. Give crew member ten separate charities, listing how much the administative costs are per charity. Stop worries about making headlines but doing what is right.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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