First American Reviews | Glassdoor

First American Reviews

Updated July 7, 2017
102 reviews

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First American CEO and Director Dennis J. Gilmore
Dennis J. Gilmore
19 Ratings

102 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • maintaining work life balance is a problem (in 16 reviews)

  • Upper management cares more for money than people (in 21 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Mixed Feelings"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Project Manager in Santa Ana, CA
    Current Employee - IT Project Manager in Santa Ana, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at First American full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    First American has a familial culture; it doesn't matter what group you're in, the people who work there genuinely want to help each other to achieve success. It's really a unique and precious experience. The work is interesting and challenging; in my position, I had many opportunities to interface with various groups and with people of all levels in the organization. The company also supports internal career advancement; if you see an opportunity, you're welcome to go for it (promotions in your current position may take a long time since FA likes to have people doing the job for years before officially giving that person the title and pay bump).

    The pay is OK. Benefits are standard. Nothing to brag about.

    The campus is beautiful and the cafe serves scrumptious breakfast and lunch!

    Cons

    In a nut shell, there is no management support; leaders provide corporate kool-aid and lip service. You can't trust them.

    In the last 3-4 years, First American began heavily outsourcing work to India. At first this was fine since onshore still outnumbered offshore, but they are now at a point where it is nearly 100% offshore (there have been many layoffs; at least once per year). Offshoring IT work has its challenges, and is not for everyone. Early mornings and late nights are required in order for you to be successful. You'll also need to work long hours during US business hours to support the business.

    Management will tell you that they don't want you to work beyond the mandatory 8 hrs per day, however, you will not be successful if you don't put in the extra time to interface with your offshore team during their business hours.

    Additionally, leadership has trimmed teams so slim that there are not enough people to keep up with business demands. As a result, business is unhappy since they are unable to compete & make clients happy; the business will take out their frustrations on the team. There is no support from management on this; it really puts people who actually do the work between a rock and a hard place.

    Advice to Management

    Be realistic and be transparent. Communicate frequently; it is better that you over communicate than what you are doing now (severe lack of communication, and when you do communicate, you're confusing). Have integrity -- don't communicate one message and execute another. When you make decisions that impact your team, think thoroughly on the impact and have answers before executing on your choices. You don't do any of these today and as a result, your people do not trust you. You will lose star talent (you already have).


  2. Helpful (4)

    "A stodgy sclerotic corporation doing its best to pretend it's a hip new startup."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Santa Ana, CA
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Santa Ana, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at First American full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Exposed to some interesting technology and worked with some good people.

    Cons

    Ended up with a poorly qualified and vindictive manager who actively sabotaged my career by lying about my contributions and regular badmouthing me to superiors and other team managers to cover his own failures and insecurity. But, hey, HR was there to back him up.

    Advice to Management

    You technical staff regularly and knowingly evades security policies and mandated compliance requirements. As a regulated financial institution, you may want to look into this.

  3. "Good co-workers, bad managers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Escrow and Title Officer in Chattanooga, TN
    Current Employee - Escrow and Title Officer in Chattanooga, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at First American (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefit package. Stable company.

    Cons

    Poor salaries. Poor employee development.

    Advice to Management

    Lead more, manage less.


  4. Helpful (8)

    "Go Along or Get Out"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous (In Fear Or Retaliation) in Santa Ana, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous (In Fear Or Retaliation) in Santa Ana, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at First American full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice corporate environment, company pays for numerous events on campus and lets employees take paid days off for community volunteer activities like Habitat for Humanity builds.

    Cons

    Although some management state that they want employee input, it's a very political environment. People who do not like what you say, will ostracize you and you might as well leave. They will never forget, will make your workdays miserable and you will never get ahead. A select few people seem to have a great deal of influence and they flaunt it.

    Advice to Management

    Don't ask employees to share their thoughts if you're going to penalize them. Quash those who would retaliate against innovative thinkers whose only goal is to help the company succeed. These negative people are bringing down moral and the entire company.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Operations Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Hills, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Hills, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at First American (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Established co and it's affiliation to it's parent co First American Title.
    Benefits

    Cons

    Salary is lower compared to the industry averages.
    Treatment of women and minorities and lack of opportunity for women to move up in the co.
    Upper management is disconnected from the business and its employees

    Advice to Management

    Really take a good look at the employees that work for you, listen to them they do have something to contribute if you care enough to listen.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Very difficult company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources in Santa Ana, CA
    Former Employee - Human Resources in Santa Ana, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at First American (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Established with processes because they've been around forever
    Cafe is good and cheap

    Cons

    First of all, cockroaches can be found scattered around and they are HUGE.
    Office environment is old and out dated . Equipment is also very old and not up to date.
    My first day there I had to clean my desk because it was disgusting and dusty. My keyboard was so nasty and I barely wanted to touch it. Office supplies were scarce too. I had to purchase my own supplies because I was tired of asking. But the worst part of working for this company was the culture! Make NO mistakes and work fast! I came to work everyday in fear of making a minor mistake. My direct boss was a tyrant and never had one good thing to say and only focused on the negative. She admitted they lead by fear and she was a total stress case. Who wants to work with that? What a relief to be away from that environment full of negativity and fear! Think twice before working here. And just because they've been around since 1889 doesn't mean they are a great work place. They are old school and non progressive.

    Advice to Management

    Get new equipment and chairs. The office needs a total make over. I felt like I was back in 1995. First American is not a fun place to work and lead by stress. It starts at the top.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Not a great place for women who want to advance careers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Attorney in Santa Ana, CA
    Former Employee - Attorney in Santa Ana, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at First American (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    First American has a great work/life balance. If all you care about is collecting a paycheck, without putting in much effort, this is a great place to work.

    Cons

    First American's entire company culture does not promote women's advancement in leadership positions. Although the company likes to boast that the majority of their employees are women, the fact is that hardly any of those are in executive positions. The company is an old-boys' network stuck in the underwriting male-dominated prejudices of the past. I even witnessed the women in current executive leadership positions struggle with prejudices, and they had a Women in Leadership growth to try and combat that. (Didn't seem to produce any actual results, other than awareness of the need to promote women, which didn't do very much.) If you are a man, this is great place to advance your career. If you are a woman, get out as soon as you can find a better job.

    Another con is salary--First American consistently pays less in every job field than industry standard.

    Also, healthcare "benefits," if you can call them that, are terrible. Extremely high deductibles. Management tried to justified it by iterating the changing regulatory environment, aka ObamaCare, but the fact is that every other person I knew working for other companies had better healthcare benefits than I did. And, all those companies had the same regulatory environment as First American. This just indicates that First American decided to cut corners on costs, and decided to do so in the area of healthcare.

    Finally, the company has a difficult time budgeting for and maintaining consistent employment--they have massive hiring and layoffs sprees once year, instead of having slow and steady job growth. Every November/December, around the holidays, they have massive layoffs so their year end books look better. In the new year, they have a massive hiring. Happened all three years I was there, without fail.

    Advice to Management

    Don't have massive hirings, so there doesn't need to be massive layoffs every year. Also, make aggressive efforts to promote women in executive positions.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Not escrow assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Escrow and Loan Closer in Santa Ana, CA
    Current Employee - Escrow and Loan Closer in Santa Ana, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at First American full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Reliable job with plenty of work to keep you busy. Good co-workers but not enough team building. Nice office. Nice cafeteria.

    Cons

    Department is understaffed and overworked. Motto is faster and better, but if you're not either you're scolded. Process is completely inefficient and negates productivity. Position hired for is not position given.

    Advice to Management

    Guide your team, don't belittle them. Train by training. Lead by example not by fear mongering. Work with employee's strengths and listen to their concerns.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Don't go"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Scottsdale, AZ
    Former Employee - Financial Analyst in Scottsdale, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at First American (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people to work with and they do a good job of team building with things like Office Olympics.

    Cons

    Drama and title insurance is a boring industry no one really cares much about it.


  10. "Good company"

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

    Pros

    Great job nice work environment

    Cons

    Not anything out of the normal

    Advice to Management

    n/a


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