Prudential Reviews

Updated 20 October, 2014
Updated 20 October, 2014
656 Reviews
3.3
656 Reviews
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Prudential Chairman and CEO John R. Strangfeld
John R. Strangfeld
342 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work/Life balance is good but still depends on what team you belong (in 88 reviews)

  • Good benefits package - new employees are still eligible for a pension (in 41 reviews)


Cons
  • The work/life balance of sales will drive most to leave within the first few years (in 25 reviews)

  • 15 appoiuntments unless is is your personal friends and family (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Part time work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Global Realty in Atlanta, GA (US)
    Former Employee - Global Realty in Atlanta, GA (US)

    I worked at Prudential full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great agency and leadership in metro Atlanta.

    Cons

    Not understand my global focus Also in mid of real estate crisis, closed office in my area.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at global business opportunity

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Learning Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newark, NJ (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newark, NJ (US)

    I worked at Prudential full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Ability to work on a vast amount of high level projects

    Cons

    Limited resources, haste project requests

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    An Excellent Employer

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

    I worked at Prudential full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Prudential was an excellent place to work. They value diversity. They respect all employees. They place ethical behavior & practices in high regard. They instill in you the importance and value in respecting Customers. I worked there for 15 years and grew to understand, respect, and appreciate them as a company. I would highly recommend seeking them out if you feel you would be a good fit.

    Cons

    Things sometimes take time to change. Think of the analogy of the time and effort it takes to take a huge ocean liner to change course. Certain things can and must get done quickly. However many things take a fair amount of time to come around and change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue being open to creative and even divergent thinkers and their opinions. Genius was never found standing in line - following the pack. Genius contributions are often found in places (people) with the rough edges. "It's the grain of sand, the irritant, that stimulates the pearl." Keep that in mind.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Down To Earth, Great Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Credit Research Analyst in Newark, NJ (US)
    Former Employee - Credit Research Analyst in Newark, NJ (US)

    I worked at Prudential as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    The people are so welcoming, intelligent and motivated. They are so helpful in explaining things and taking the time to share their knowledge and expertise with interns. They are very focused on balancing work and life for interns by limiting hours to 40 a week (can work over if need be).

    Cons

    Office is moving further away from the train station in the next year (will no longer be connected)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great

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

    I have been working at Prudential (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great Place to Work and good management

    Cons

    Need more attention to detail

    Recommends
  7.  

    One of the most difficult careers to succeed, but can also be one of the most rewarding.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Springfield, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Financial Advisor in Springfield, IL (US)

    I have been working at Prudential full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    One of the best life experiences, career development and training programs are a major plus. Benefits, both retirement and current employee benefits a plus. Helping clients reach their goals, retirement, and protecting their families is by far the best part of the job.

    Cons

    Extremely long hours, very little pay in first 4-5 years. Company says 20% make it 4 years, personal experience showed its less than 5%, it might be more like 20% who make it 4 years survive the career.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward and compensate local management and staff more for keeping employees 2+ years instead of giving the majority or their pay and bonuses for recruitment of new reps and for their 1st years production. All it's done is increased the turnover and given the company a reputation for throwing their sales reps to the wolves the day their 1st year is over.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    OK

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Prudential

    Pros

    Provided great benefits and a nice work environment

    Cons

    Promotions were non-existent without a degree

  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great if you're either amazing at sales or you already have a book of clients.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Professional Associate in Shelton, CT (US)
    Current Employee - Financial Professional Associate in Shelton, CT (US)

    I have been working at Prudential full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very good benefits once you become a full time employee.
    Franchise Model - I knew a number of agents who were able to achieve success and essentially had their own business after a relatively short amount of time with the company (2-3 years)
    If you can achieve a certain level of success the compensation model is excellent.
    You basically make your own schedule.
    If you've a fairly active client base and comfortable selling to them you will do very well.
    If you're talented or well versed at cold call sales you can do very well.

    Person experience and pros: I wanted to transition from a career I was very unsatisfied with and I Interviewed for a few sales job and accepted this one with no pay until I made 5 sales within six months. I also had to complete 3 licenses and the company training. Seems easy enough, right? Nearly bankrupted myself until I had a number of sales hit weeks before the 6 months was up. I was pretty good at selling life insurance, however LI doesn't pay very well unless you're selling massive, expensive policies. I had a few great months and a few horrible ones. I decided I didn't have nearly enough money in my coffers to succeed at this job with risking financial ruin and used my experience to get a more stable sales position.

    Cons

    No base salary and you're spending your own money for gas with no reimbursements.
    Difficult job if you don't know many people with money or in the need of your services.
    You'll end up hustling your friends.
    If a sale falls through at the wrong time you'll end up in the hole for your pay.

    Life insurance is something people are not willing to spend a lot of money on so I didn't make too much. The real money in this job is in investments and annuities. I was able to partner up with some very talented agents and make some decent sales with decent commission checks. I ended up taking a few weeks off for personal reasons (totally scheduled and expected) and I was unable to recover and was not willing to work for zero compensation and still be expected to pay for my gas to go on appointments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I can't say I blame management for running the business this way. Sales is ALWAYS a high turnover field with a small number making a successful career out of the job. I don't see why they'd pay a base salary to someone unless they're able to drive results. It just sucks when you're on your own and trying to make ends meet when you don't have a paycheck coming in.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Overall excellent experience, although I was laid off after more than 10 years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President, Relationship Manager in Newark, NJ (US)
    Former Employee - Vice President, Relationship Manager in Newark, NJ (US)

    I worked at Prudential full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The benefits and work/life balance. Management is very supportive of work/life balance including telecommuting, occasional work from home, varied schedule, work in an alternate location, etc. Senior Management is very strong, as evidenced by Prudential's journey through the 2008 financial crisis.

    Cons

    Quick to hire and quick to fire. Prudential is very overfunded in their pension, so they are not hesitant to do lay offs and pay out severance. Most of the time, this occurs because you happen to be in the wrong business unit, or organization. Or.... your work is outsourced. What they don't do, is try to get you placed in anticipation of a lay off. Recently over 100 were laid off, yet there were over 600 jobs advertised internally. This is clearly an opportunity for HR.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 15 people found this helpful  

    Tough starting out as an agent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Professional Associate
    Former Employee - Financial Professional Associate

    I worked at Prudential full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Prudential is a well-oiled machine. They are compliance driven and anything having to do with processes is managed with timeliness and efficiency. They have some of the best benefits in the industry. Health, dental, vision, life, LTC, 401K, company sponsored retirement plans, and more. The have online and in person training 24/7. If you have the ability to hang in with them for the first four years, you should enjoy a lucrative and satisfying career.

    This is a great job for recent graduates who have minimal overhead, anyone with a strong desire to enter in to the lucrative financial industry,or an energetic well-connected retiree who wants to start up a second career (although it's grueling the first two years).

    Prudential is a well known and respected company and most people already know and trust 'The Rock'. For the most part they have remained above the fray and are on a seriously strong growth track financially. They have great products, and agents have access to numerous non-Prudential products so you can represent a wide range of options. The good thing about that is you have vast resources, the bad thing about that is you have endless options which can be overwhelming until you learn how to access the right people and resources to help you provide the right solution for your client. It's all available to you, you just need to be able to sort through the endless amount of information quickly and tirelessly.

    Cons

    To get hired with Pru you have 26 weeks to acquire your Life & Health, Series 6 & 63 licenses and you must sell $5000 of GDR (policy totals and at least 5 sales) before you are considered an employee and this will be at your own expense.

    There is an initial Intelligence Profile test which is extremely challenging and takes over an hour. Depending on how you score, they can apparently determine how well you'll do with passing your exams and succeeding in the business in general. I scored 87% which was considered high but many score in the 50%. Anything less than 50% is generally not acceptable.

    The exam process is brutal, with Life & Health being the 'easiest' to pass, and the 6 & 63 the toughest. Many people do not pass the first time, and they will only reimburse you the first one. You are responsible for paying for all exam materials and all other costs until you finish your requirements and at that point they reimburse you quickly. Many people do not make it through this process especially if they have financial pressure or work full time. It is extremely time consuming so be prepared to sacrifice a few months of your life.

    After filling out a detailed application listing every possible job and place you've lived and disclosing anything negative in your financial or personal history, they will do a thorough background check before the SEC does a criminal check and fingerprinting. To hold a securities license you must bare your soul. But the good news is, they understand life happens, so just be honest and communicate and hope for the best.

    While you're doing all of this they have what are called 'PLN's' which are endless and can feel overwhelming. They are basically online education about everything having to do with the highly scrutinized securities industry. Some are quick and easy to get through and many are not. You will read about products and ethics and on and on, finish with a short test and then it's filed in your information. It's a way for them to protect themselves and to provide intensive training. You won't learn much from them because you need to get through them so quickly and there are always hundreds more no matter how many you manage to do and time is always of the essence with Pru (good time management skills are imperative).

    After you've finished all of this and graduate to a full time employee, you are paid on commission. You start out with your $5000 GDR (usually 45% of GDR depending on the product you sold) and they put all commissions in a 'bucket' to be dispersed in equal amounts ($1200 every two weeks) unless you go over the $4800 minimum in you bucket. They give you quotas which are very high but do-able, and if you reach your quotas they have very generous bonuses.

    Pru will give you 'orphan ' leads in return for certain expecttions. These are people who haven't had an agent in years, have probably already been called, and are generally far away, but they are warm bodies with some potential for a sale. You are expected to make hundreds of phone calls every week and you should have 12 to 15 appointments per week. They also want you to brand yourself in your community so it means going to network meetings, church involvement, charity work, etc. They teach you to have an 'elevator speech' and so every person you meet is a potential 'client'. You need to be able to talk to strangers and try to sit down with them for coffee and put them in your ever growing pipeline for follow up.

    They are in the process of switching to SalesForce which is free, but any regular contact like newsletters, advertising, marketing, etc. is paid for by the agent.

    They have lead programs where you can buy leads from them but you may or may not ever get any leads. A good way to find people wanting to buy insurance right away is by purchasing leads from independent companies. The cheapest leads ($10) will be shared with 3 to 5 other agents so everyone is calling the client who just went online for a quote, or exclusive leads which are upwards of $25 per lead. They have a higher closing ratio and can get you to your bonus goals which theoretically pay you back your investment.

    In a nut shell, you need to determine if this kind of job is a good fit for you. It will be probably the hardest job entry you'll ever experience, but that alone can be rewarding. It's a good long term career, or a good stepping stone if you have the fortitude.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They have a laser focus on recruiting and while they have tightened their requirements they will say things like "you can manage this like your own business" (yes, after at least 2 years of being in a very high pressure, high expectation W-2 position), you can work part time (also not true because the expectations are cookie cutter and based on full time quotas), you can brand yourself however you want (they want you to dress extremely professional as in suit and tie at all times as you represent them 24/7 and they want you be rigorous in your outside community involvement), anyone can do it (they say you don't need ANY financial background or knowledge which obviously makes the job that much harder without it), and you should be able to make 60 to 150K your first year. That is not realistic although it depends on how many people you know and where you live (Boston vs Vermont) and it is achievable.

    I would have liked to have seen a more systematic approach to learning the products. Starting with Life Insurance and working up to variable products. I would have liked to have more of an 'intern' period where I could watch seasoned agents and help with the paperwork (which is like an avalanche and no one teaches you how to fill out the online applications, etc) without the constant pressure of selling. I would have preferred a slower entry and maybe to be allowed to land on one thing (such as Life or P&C only) at least for a while but they want you to sell as much as you can of anything you can and the higher commission products are more desirable.

    They should provide you with high quality leads for free or at the very least to purchase. They should assign a mentor to each new agent. They should take each agent and understand their individual strengths and allow them to succeed in their own way, rather than require everyone to operate at the same level.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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