There are newer employer reviews for American Institutes for Research

2 people found this helpful  

Okay place to work

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Washington, DC (US)
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC (US)

I worked at American Institutes for Research

Pros

People are friendly and very social
Managers were positive and always willing to give feedback.
Diverse staff

Cons

Not too much respect for personal time. Expect employees to work all hours (come in in the middle of the night; every weekend) for little pay. Hurry up and wait mentality. While a diverse staff is great, much of the staff spoke very little English making it difficult to communicate.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Focus on better communication amongst staff

Doesn't Recommend
Approves of CEO

95 Other Employee Reviews for American Institutes for Research (View Most Recent)

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  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    Think twice before accepting a job at AIR

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Test Development Specialist  in  Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Test Development Specialist in Washington, DC (US)

    I worked at American Institutes for Research

    Pros

    The location of their HQ--Georgetown--can't be beat. Salaries are competitive, and there are many bright, engaging people there. Those in the In-Crowd are well rewarded.

    Cons

    I don't know about other divisions (I've heard they're much better), but the assessment division has a well-deserved reputation for being extremely oppressive and unfair to employees. (Turnover is very high.) There is a definite "in-crowd" mentality, overtly stated as, "if you want to be successful here, you have to know how to / be willing to socialize appropriately" (i.e., you will be rewarded for your ability to endure and enjoy late-night gatherings with management). Those whose first obligation is to family or to a good night's sleep are penalized accordingly. Good performance is rewarded only for those in this in-crowd. With very few exceptions, excellent performance evaluations do not translate into raises or promotions for those unwilling to conform. And like many other places with an academic bent, pedigree is paramount. A degree from a top college or university carries much more weight than years of experience and good work, even when the over-pedigreed are under-performing.

    Unrealistic timelines and very tight budgets contribute to the high levels of frustration.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn from the turnover, the lawsuits, the pervasive anger. It's not a big mystery that so many employees at every level are unhappy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 9 people found this helpful  

    Interesting Work but Serious Organizational Problems

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Analyst  in  Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Washington, DC (US)

    I worked at American Institutes for Research

    Pros

    You get to work on interesting issues (applied research) with real policy implications. The majority of people at AIR are very professional and try to do the best work possible under tight time and budget constraints.

    Cons

    Information sharing is a problem resulting in people not having opportunities to work on projects (not knowing about projects or intentionally being excluded from them). Some of the information shared among people who actually have access to information is really misinformation. This misinformation has resulted in a kind of internal blackballing where people have been labeled "incompetent" by one person (often by an incompetent or unprofessional project director who yields a certain amount of political and economic clout) and then they find themselves unable to find any project work.

    Another problem is the rampant favoritism in the promotion process. AIR tries hard to perpetuate the "illusion of transparency" with regard to the promotion process. However, beyond the obvious (and very tedious) performance review process that takes place between an employee and his/her immediate supervisor, the real decision making remains a mystery.

    Although most people at AIR exhibit professional behavior, AIR does not adequately address employees (with clout) who have shown a pattern of unprofessional behavior (complaints by more than one employee at different points in time). AIR's Human Resource (HR) Department protects the organization and ends up penalizing the wrong party. Even when HR receives repeated complaints about an employee (e.g., unprofessional behavior, incompetence, sexual harassment), they protect those in power.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There needs to be better communication and information sharing between upper management and the employees. Secondly, there needs to be a better process in place for the assignment of work. It is rather ironic that a research organization filled with researchers fall prey to rumors regarding employees without "researching" what actually happened. Thirdly, the performance appraisal and promotion process needs to be changed to avoid the rampant favoritism currently in place. Lastly, the organization must deal effectively with employees who demonstrate unprofessional behavior regardless of their clout or level in the organization.

    Doesn't Recommend
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