Vanguard Reviews | Glassdoor

Vanguard Reviews

Updated August 16, 2018
1,986 reviews

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3.3
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Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley
Tim Buckley
88 Ratings

1,986 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "work-life balance for all positions" (in 346 reviews)

  • "Great benefits, culture, work-life balance" (in 229 reviews)

Cons
  • "The hiring process was not transparent of how this role is truly a call center" (in 156 reviews)

  • "Ridiculous long work hours are expected so work/life balance lines are very blurry" (in 53 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (6)

    "Excellent Company!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Personal Investor in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Personal Investor in Charlotte, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Highly ethical, caring environment.
    Excellent benefits and PTO
    Professional, well-run teams
    Skilled managerial staff

    Cons

    High volume phone center
    Have to be flexible to stay late if on calls.
    Must be able to adapt to new job responsibilities and changing processes


  2. "Vanguard in Arizona"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Work life balance, benefits, positive work environment, great employees

    Cons

    Lower wages than competition. Highly political environment

  3. Helpful (35)

    "An honest review of Vanguard's entry level phone role"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Brokerage Investment Professional in Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Brokerage Investment Professional in Scottsdale, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I've read some very accurate reviews of this role on Glassdoor. I'm going to try my best to build on those, and be as objective as possible. I can only speak for my experiences in Personal Investor, and I understand the experiences may be different depending on which office you are located in.

    Pros:

    The people - The vast majority of people that I've met at Vanguard have been extremely kind, and easy to get along with. Vanguard hires a lot of fresh out of college graduates for their entry level roles so it's easy to find common interests and build friendships within your new hire class. My team leader has also been a tremendously positive influence, but I understand that this is going to depend a bit on luck. I have heard some horror stories about some bad TLs.

    The mission - Vanguard is a company that claims to put the client first. And boy, do they put the client first. That is not just a catchphrase. The entire company is built on making sure our clients prosper, and you can go to sleep at night knowing you aren't ripping anyone off.

    Cons

    There aren't a lot of positives in this role, so time to move on to the cons.

    The job - Vanguard does an extremely poor job of communicating what the actual role is going to be like. You will be slamming 40-50 calls a day. That is every day. Aside from a couple weeks after tax season, it has been calls back to back with no break. While this may initially sound doable, it quickly drains your soul. These calls can range from an elderly client trying to gain web access to being yelled at because an incorrect form was sent out by another representatives. 99% of the calls will be clerical. Like many other reviews have pointed out, if you are interested in finance or investing or the markets or pretty much anything that isn't customer service, find something else. You will not be happy here. I can guarantee you that.

    Vanguard claims to care about employees but churning and burning talented, motivated college graduates through 40-50 calls a day really shows they don't care about you as an individual. If you don't like it, they'll replace you with some other poor fellow out of college who doesn't know any better than not to take this job.

    The pay - The pay is sub par to say the least in Arizona. God only knows how my Vanguard brothers and sisters over on the east coast are getting by on 43k. You cannot expect to retain talent, or even keep anyone that is proficient at their job while paying this salary. For a financial services firm, the salary is an absolute joke. In a recent town hall meeting, one of the senior executives said that they were having trouble hiring in AZ. Well, I'm not exactly Einstein but I wonder why. Then they wonder why everyone who continues to work at Vanguard are mediocre, and clients aren't happy with the service they're receiving. It's because all the competent people have left for a salary that they can actually afford to feed their families on.

    No opportunities to move beyond a phone role - For anyone looking to move out of this phone role, it will be an absolute dogfight. Any department that isn't on the phones will have hundreds of applicants per open role. You have a better chance of being accepted to Harvard. Vanguard doesn't care to give talent a chance to prove themselves or even better themselves. The most qualified candidates don't usually get the job. Vanguard is super heavy into networking. It's like you have two jobs. Crush phone calls all day, while somehow finding time to bother people in other departments. It's absolutely ridiculous. For the unlucky 99.9% that don't get these roles off the phones, they're happy to string you along to another crappy phone job where they can churn and burn you for more calls for a tiny raise.

    Everything else is also a mess - Literally everything in the Scottsdale office is broken. The water fountain was broken for weeks. The coffee machines are broken. People get stuck in elevators. Vanguard is a 5 trillion+ company, yet people are getting stuck in elevators because we are too cheap to spend money to fix anything. Our technology is eons behind anywhere else. We're still using monitors and laptops from the early 2000s. We use software that looks like it was created in the 60s. It's an absolute mess. There's being at-cost, and then there is being plain cheap. Times are changing. Firms are moving toward being technologically focused, and not only are we behind; we're pretty much not even in the race at this point.

    Advice to Management

    Yahoo, Enron, AOL. All these companies were once at the top of the food chain. But competitors are always looking to crush you. There are companies that are innovating, coming out with fresh ideas to retain talent. Vanguard is large, and successful now; but the current course is a course towards failure. I can only speak to what I have seen in Personal Investor, but it says a lot about what Vanguard values. Vanguard uses nautical analogies a lot so I'll use one. We're about to hit an iceberg once our base of loyal elderly clients are gone; and we're left with picky millennials that have more options.

    Do better to retain talent. You are churning and burning a lot of smart people that want to work for you. Those people could be assets for you in the future, but are leaving to become assets for someone else; all because you were too stupid to see that maybe you should have them doing something else rather than change passwords for 7 hours a day.


  4. "Stable Job"

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

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Good work life balance/ benefits

    Cons

    The pay is low for industry standard


  5. "manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    everything was good there was good

    Cons

    nothing was bad everything was tq

    Advice to Management

    tq


  6. Helpful (6)

    "Its ok but hard to do long term"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Personal Investors in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Personal Investors in Charlotte, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Its not too challenging after your first month or two. If you are in Charlotte you can work 8-430

    Cons

    Its a call center and you will be taking calls all the time. Or trying to find an "Initiative" to waste time doing so you do not have to answer the phone. For Personal Investors it is back to back calls. You are monitored constantly and coached to do it the vanguard way. One instructor said the role was similar to the Disney princesses that work in the parks. "No matter what Cinderella is feeling she always makes the experience special for the kids and family that visit" Yeah When I heard that I cringed a little. You'll learn though and if you make the best of it you'll be moving on to better things. Best of Luck

    Advice to Management

    Avoid working here long term or at all if possible. Unless you are doing something like software development. Otherwise you'll be speaking with often grumpy or elderly clients


  7. Helpful (14)

    "Not a good culture fit"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Malvern, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great PTO, ok healthcare plan, some jobs with a lot of flexibility, others with absolutely none such as the call center. Partnership pay out is usually pretty large but this only makes up for the low base salary paid in the first place

    Cons

    Red tape is everywhere; culture where participating in weekly breakfast club gets you promoted before producing good work and holding yourself accountable for your job; Credentials such as CFA MBA don't matter if you can suck up to the right people; performance review process is really vague and doesn't reward the people who actually do their jobs; not much accountability has created an environment of mediocrity; Time in job requirements hinder career development; It will take you forever to move up if you can keep your sanity for that person of time; either you give in to the culture and drink the kool aide but don't work here if you question things and have original thoughts

    Advice to Management

    Cut the dead weight, become more progressive and less old school it's 2018

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Another Cog in the Machine"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investment Professional
    Former Employee - Investment Professional
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent benefits package, paid time off, and can pay for schooling.
    You get to leave work at work
    Had great relationships with many coworkers and leaders
    Brand recognition

    Cons

    Being in a call center environment can be extremely stressful. You never know whether the next inbound call will be a simple transaction or a client screaming about an issue. Tough call? Doesn’t matter, your metrics are more important. It can be very difficult to move up, it’s more about who you know than your job performance. Many people get burnt out... turnover rate is extremely high. Vanguard knows this and they realize that there will always be someone else willing to take their place. Calls are back to back throughout 90% of the year. Technology is extremely slow and when something new does come out it doesn’t work properly. Compensation is lacking.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management has lost touch with frontline crew. Value employees appropriately by compensating appropriately.


  9. Helpful (36)

    "Welcome to the machine"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Information Technology in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Information Technology in Malvern, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Retirement plan, paid time off, profit sharing

    Cons

    Antiquated organizational practices, disingenuous management, discriminatory labor practices (google it), outdated performance management model, toxic work environment, horrific system infrastructure, zero innovation, obsessive budget cutting. As a VGI employee, you’re nothing more than a cog in the Vanguard profit machine.

    Advice to Management

    Your obsession with the bottom line has crushed morale. The practice of continuous crew calibration creates a toxic, cutthroat work environment. Vanguard’s never ending public relations spin of “highly engaged crew”, “the changes you asked for” and a “best place to work” is mocked by nearly everyone outside of the management chain. Senior management defines and controls its own success measures and cooks the books to achieve goals which increase their own performance incentives. Fiscally responsible for investors, ethically despicable for crew. That’s Vanguarding.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    generous contribution to defined contribution plan

    Cons

    bias against experienced workers, several discrimination suits


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