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Best Places to Work: 2011 (#7)
I have been working at SAS Institute part-time (Less than a year)
Flexible Hours, Great Environment, Opportunistic, Lots of Food, Large office, Work From Home
Can Get Boring, Software Issues
Advice to Management
Fix Free Software Products
I grew up minutes from the main SAS Institute campus in Cary and always heard great things about working here. A friend showed me an open position that matched my skills and experience and even though I wasn't actively looking for a new job I knew I had to apply. Three months went by without a word on my application so I figured that I had been passed over but then one day I got an email from HR asking me to set up some time for a phone interview with the hiring manager. I was surprised to find that this call was very laid back and comfortable. I was asked typical questions about my background and capabilities but the manager seemed more interested in getting to know me than in grilling me which was a welcome change from most interviews. A few days after our conversation I was contacted by HR again and asked to set up time for another call with some tech leads from the team. This call was much more intense and some of the questions seemed a bit ridiculous but I guess I made a good impression because the next day HR contacted me and asked me to come to the campus for a series of interviews. As a side note here, I found it interesting that SAS took so long to start the interview process but once it gets going they want to move as quickly as possible.
For the on-site series, I began by meeting the hiring manager for a quick introduction and an overview of the day's events. From here I was led to the office of the executive overseeing the division for my first round and it was not a pleasant start. The executive clearly hadn't looked at my resume prior to the interview and when they'd ask a question they would either play on their phone or get up and grab a snack from their mini fridge while I answered. They also criticized my resume for not having particular coding languages or technical skills that weren't even required for the job. When this round was done I was brought to another room for a technical round with the same tech leads I spoke to on the phone as well as a few additional engineers. Once again I was left disappointed. Out of all the individuals in the room only one was friendly. The rest either clearly didn't want to be there or were intent on trying to make me sweat. One of the leads in particular asked most of the questions and for some reason they kept focusing on hardware questions, think computer or electrical engineering, instead of computer science or coding questions. I even asked if this job was strongly tied to hardware and though they confirmed that it was not they still continued to focus on hardware. When this round ended I was brought to yet another room for a conversation with a lower-level executive and was glad to find that this interaction was reminiscent of my phone call with the hiring manager. This executive was very nice and made a real effort to keep things relaxed . Once this round was over I was led to another room to meet the development team and much like the previous round I found them to be very accommodating. They seemed to actually be interested in what I had to say and in making a good impression. From here I was led to another room for a discussion with HR.
The purpose of this round is really to sell the candidate on SAS. The rep waxed poetically for over thirty minutes about all of the wonderful comforts I could enjoy if I got the job but I noticed that they hadn't once touched on core compensation so I began to ask specific questions on what I could expect should I get the job. As it turns out the offer, while competitive, would be far from the industry-leading package that HR would have you expect. The salary, health insurance, PTO, and 401k are all above the midpoint for the area but not by much and there was little room for negotiation. There was also a lack of common benefits for the industry like having the option to occasionally work from home or having flexibility in one's schedule. Perks like having free snacks or an on-site doctor are nice but they are also secondary to core compensation. Bear in mind that many perks also come with a catch. For example, the on-site daycare has a years-long waitlist based on seniority and unless you are fortunate enough to get an office with a window you'll be stuck in a grey-walled room with one fluorescent light. The simple fact is that SAS is trying to rely on their reputation from ten years ago instead of stepping up their game.
To wrap the day up I was brought back to the hiring manager's office for a quick recap then went home. I looked back on the interview process and realized that based on my experiences with the tech leads and division executive that they were not people I would want to work under. I also knew based on the potential package I would receive and the perks that were or were not offered that SAS was not the right fit for me. I called the HR contact, thanked them for their time, and let them know I would be pursuing other options.
It has come to our attention that people posing online as recruiters are attempting to get personal and financial information from candidates who believe they are applying for jobs at SAS. To protect the privacy of our candidates, all valid SAS job openings are located on the Careers page at http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQH2p. Additionally, SAS only sends emails from verified “http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQH21” email addresses and never asks for sensitive information or money. Job offers are never made without a formal interview process. If you have concerns about the authenticity of any communication from or on behalf of SAS, please contact us at Recruitingsupport@sas.com before taking any further action.
SAS has reported this scam to the appropriate federal, state and local authorities. If you have been targeted, we encourage you to report the incident to your local authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crimes Unit. To file the complaint, use the form located on the FBI’s website at http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQH2G.
SAS CEO Jim Goodnight explains how treating people like they matter makes a difference. http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQRLY