Vanguard Reviews | Glassdoor

Vanguard Reviews

Updated December 14, 2017
1,812 reviews

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1,812 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance, excellent benefits (in 326 reviews)

  • Great Benefits (401k match, plus bonus pension) (in 211 reviews)

Cons
  • Also there is a high turnover rate because it is more of a call center position once you get through training (in 138 reviews)

  • Pay is lower then the average but it is a trade off for the work life/balance (in 49 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Client Relationship Administrator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Scottsdale, AZ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Scottsdale, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work life balance is important

    Cons

    Cost pressure increasing work load

    Advice to Management

    Find the balance point and stay there.


  2. "Flagship Client Service Specialist"

    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

    Great company with a lot of room for growth. Benefits offered are very good, and you get plenty of paid time off days.

    Cons

    Micromanaged inbound call center phone role for business purposes. Client interactions can be be demeaning at times.

    Advice to Management

    Improve investing process so call volumes can decrease.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Don’t drink the Vanguard cool aid"

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

    I worked at Vanguard (More than a year)

    Pros

    It was a starting point that gives exposure to the finance world. And the name will help you move to a company more worthwhile.

    Cons

    There is no consistency and they misrepresent themselves. There were several times where promises were made that they had no intention of keeping large scale to get results they wanted.


  4. "PRA"

    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

    Good benefits and decent pay

    Cons

    Not competitive enough pay
    Can


  5. Helpful (4)

    "Operations Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Associate in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Operations Associate in Malvern, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good benefits, successful company, great co-workers, healthy breakfast and lunch menus, nice landscaping,

    Cons

    Working under a "mentally pressured" environment i.e. must process a minimum of 30-40 work objects/day no matter how complicated or difficult the work objects are...Not enough training on new processes. too many daily updates/changes on the processes, too many manuals to review.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on providing the clients with assistance in opening new accounts, making financial transactions/transfers and completing the lengthy forms.


  6. "Review"

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

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

    Pros

    Great PTO and company culture

    Cons

    Low pay but a great place to start your career

    Advice to Management

    Spend more money on your employees to increase engagement.


  7. Helpful (10)

    "What I wish I knew before going into vanguard"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Brokerage Investment Professional in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Brokerage Investment Professional in Malvern, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The hours aren't bad and people are really friendly. Also give you a lot of support throughout licensing. If you want to get into the financial industry and don't get an offer anywhere else it's a good place to get your series 7 and 63 and then get out.

    Cons

    The job itself. I was not aware during my interview what it would actually be like. The job description is entirely misleading- the actual job is only 25% of the description the other 75% of the time you are getting yelled at by clients for vanguards disorganization/incompetence or trying to walk them through the website. I was also not aware that bathroom times would be monitored. They actually track the time you take to go to the bathroom. It's absolutely insane. If they told me that when I went on my interview I would walk right out. Your supervisor cares about how long you take too. Each week mine would send out and excel spreadsheet that had the exact time you clocked in how long you took for your "break" (bathroom) time and how long you took for lunch. If you were over your given amount by even 2 mins it would be in red and my supervisor would sit us down to "make us aware so it doesn't become an issue".

    Besides the bathroom timing and micromanagement my main issue was that it wasn't the job they made it out to be. A majority of my training was investment guidance which is what I thought the main job would be and all the angry clients yelling at you and cursing at you on the phone because vanguard has some ridiculous policy or something didn't go right would be a rare occurrence in your day. I was wrong it's completely flipped. 80% of the 50 calls I took each day were angry clients. I was out of there no way did I go to college for that crap.

    Also your manager is probably not going to be helpful at all. They say if you have an angry client yelling and cursing (literally cursing not an exaggeration) then you can give the call to your supervisor. That's wrong. Your supervisor will just tell you to try to "de-elevated" aka calm down the client so they don't have to deal with it. I found most of the supervisors or "team leaders" in my department incompetent. Honestly I don't think any of them went to school for finance or have even have an interest in finance. All they pretty much do is track your bathroom time.

    Final warning: the funds are so cheap for a reason. They hire poor quality management due to poor pay for employees. They are way below industry standard in employee compensation than any other competitive firm. They are an "at cost firm" meaning employees are treated like crap hence the bathroom timing because apparently bodily functions take away from company time aka cost vanguard money (keep harping on the bathroom timing but I'm just still traumatized)

    Advice to Management

    Honestly vanguard itself needs a restructuring. They need an actual customer service center. They need to split the job into different roles and be less transparent about what you're actually going to be doing. They need to tell people exactly what the job is like.

    They need to start treating employees better. Yes clients are important but you can't have happy clients when they are receiving poor service because your employees are underpaid overworked and miserable.

    My favorite quote someone that worked at vanguard with me said (who left shortly after I did): "vanguard pays Walmart prices and expects Nordstrom quality"

  8. Helpful (15)

    "Honest and ACCURATE review - Beware!"

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

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

    Pros

    - Very friendly on-boarding experience
    - some of the friendliest people you'll meet. Some serious twats, too.
    - Strong Series licensing training
    - Semi-competitive PTO and medicare benefits
    - some days you aren't yelled at by clients whove received crap service, so that's a plus.

    Cons

    Where do I even begin... Ill try to keep this straight.

    The Role:
     1) firstly, dont drink the koolaid. If it smells like **** its probably ****. Ive never witnessed a company try SO hard to convince potential employees that what they have to offer is just an out-of-this-world opportunity. its not. smells like Red Venture!
    2.) secondly, don't drink the koolaid! its a call center where they've started hiring anyone they could get through the door. (Im not some highly intelligent person, but the investment industry isnt for everyone). This is a call center role where you are bound to your cubical by a wireless chain so you're always ready to take one of the 50-60 calls a day. during training, they really avoid giving you the real answers and information about the job. my entire class went through training without really being fully trained on how to take calls to the standard of the 98% call quality they demand.
    3.) Metrics - IF you need to pee, you're timed. if you need to answer a personal phone call, you're timed. if you need to get a drink of water, you're timed. if you clock in 15 seconds late, your metrics suffer and reflect poorly on your overall performance. everything you do is tracked down to the second and it will weigh heavily on your "end of year review". DONT EVEN get me started on what "Defects" are... you can accidentally sneeze on the phone with a client and get a defect which can instantaneously take you out of a promotion depending on your Team Leader. you have to handle calls in a specific amount of time, you have to be on time with lunch, meetings, in and out of work, training, and other things by the exact time or it messes with your "client availability" metric.
    4.) if you're an avid investor or thoroughly enjoy discussing topics about the market or trading, you wont find fulfillment here. 95% of your calls will be walking a client through the process of opening their internet browser, opening an account online or changing their password (some of which take close to an hour sometimes, its maddening). most roles here aren't allowed to transact on anything but mutual funds and most of the calls relating to purchasing, is putting a few hundred in a indexing fund anyway. there is no sustenance in this roll. you rarely use your Series training on the job. if management even catches a whiff that you arent drinking the koolaid, YOU ARE blackballed.
    -----------
    "Management":
    1.) most "leaders" here are in it for themselves and their scores. they only really care about the individuals that act the exact way they want them to. this company is riddled with bosses that dont understand what a leader does. so many individuals fade out after being beat down by the system or their "leaders". management likes to kick you when youre down.
    2.) TL's arent even needed because they only regurgitate the metrics given to them by the computer and there is absolutely no human element to their leadership or guidance. if you have a defect, are a few minutes late, and have one salty customer submit a negative review... YOURE THE PROBLEM. not the role, not the training, not the leadership. YOU. ive never been in a roll where ive been made to feel completely sub-par. the TLs are almost never around and when you are trying your best to assist a client in a timely manner, they act like a middle school substitute teacher that tell you to "look in the book". (which angers clients many times because you haven't memorized one of the 1 millions rules or policies).
    3.) at the end of the day, if management doesnt think you'll make them look perfect, you wont see any progression or opportunity. the teachers favorites often get every opportunity to stay off the phones while others slave away. the difference between slave and favorite is how good you are at faking interest in being an obedient robot.
    -----------
    Benefits: semi competitive, most companies offer what vanguard offers. BUT, Vanguard has an incredible 6 YEAR VESTING PERIOD. which means they dont expect you to stay unless youre delusional (they are literally betting against you, welcoming right????). with a vesting period that long, your pension and 401k matching benefits dont really exist.
    ------------------
    Campus:
    1.) Cubical.
    2.) mediocre amenities and everything is barren, most people don't have anything in their cubicles and its depressing.
    3.) their is a clear difference between the peasants on the phones and the advisors, flagship staff, or any other department when it comes to how nice the building is.
    ------------------
    Culture:
    1.) most of the time, people in slightly higher positions are incredible pretentious and condescending. they dont even really sit in an ivory tower either. like, "oooooooh wow, you make 2% more than me as your hard earned promotion, wow congrats dude!". its a joke. they often dont want to take over calls even when you arent allowed to do what needs to be done for the client.
    2.) youre ignored by higher-ups and looked down upon. dont know if i made that clear.

    Advice to Management

    STOP trying to brainwash potential employees to think its a good opportunity, and actually make it one. change everything and make it about the employee. if you take care of the employee, the employee with take care of the client. its common sense.
    - stop lying about the "opportunity" at vanguard. your "promotions" at VG are really just letting employees do what they are already trained and licensed to do, just years down the road after you've lost your career path. (Vanguard departmentalizes its basic duties so they can pay everyone less for each position.)

    Management: learn to lead, because you wont find it in your VG seminars or vanguard leadership booklets. Your people are human and hard working, remember that when you want results.

    just change the whole dang job. pay your people their worth to learn, execute and perfect all those crap rules and policies. do that instead of running off everyone that starts to catch on to the bs.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Low Pay, Strict Hours"

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

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

    Pros

    Coworkers were great; the culture was open and accepting of diversity

    Cons

    Starting salary was $18...and didn’t get much higher, even having a Master’s Degree

    Advice to Management

    Pay employees a livable wage. Don’t set the bar so high to perfection where people are smoking and drinking to handle the speed and the stress and getting in accidents to get to work on time.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Java Developer (entry level)"

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

    I worked at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Work-life balance
    Gain experience working closely with business analysts/non-technical team members

    Cons

    From the perspective of an aspiring software professional, you shouldn't desire to work here.

    The company neglects its software infrastructure in general -- you will likely spend a considerable amount of time troubleshooting issues with the overwhelmed build pipeline, if not waiting hours to deploy your changes. Because the infrastructure problems are the responsibility of an understaffed team of technicians who own the privileged accounts (you can't install any unapproved software, not even a text editor), you're forced to escalate all of your problems to them.

    There's a number of other obstacles you may run into, the least of which being that *most* systems in use are quite outdated at best, and horrifyingly archaic at their worst. The process to bring in updated versions of software is long, tedious and bureaucratic; you will spend your time on a workaround that will eventually be thrown out instead. Projects are poorly documented, and it's not uncommon for teams to repeat a lot of the same work. Company policies and the status-quo create an environment that is poor for software engineering.

    Your colleagues, particularly the more experienced ones, have their hand in perpetuating this environment that will undoubtedly keep causing trouble for Vanguard in the future. Your project managers will prioritize the time-to-market at the expense of quality. The senior developers and project leads can be a bit shaky in their knowledge, at times not understanding the important details of how major portions of their systems operate. This is to say that "problems" that linger are not solely the fault of the enterprise architects/technicians, but also senior leads and developers who start working with stacks that they don't fully grasp.

    These factors will take away from the time that you get to spend creating good software and enhancing your skills, and they create the common mentality of delegating problems to others and producing systems that are inherently ridden with technical debt.

    To boot, the compensation is relatively low.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in the proper tools and expertise to create an environment where developers can spend most of their time solving actual problems.


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