Institute of Reading Development
3.4 of 5 64 reviews
www.readingprograms.org Novato, CA 150 to 499 Employees

Institute of Reading Development Reviews

Updated Jul 1, 2014

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3.4 64 reviews

                             

86% Approve of the CEO

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Dave Soloway

(14 ratings)

64% of employees recommend this company to a friend
64 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "If you want to work from home the company does offer positions where you can do that"
    in 13 reviews
  • "Can help you become a better teacher or give you initial teaching experience"
    in 5 reviews
Cons:
  • "The lesson plans are more like scripts"
    in 4 reviews
  • "Almost no support after training"
    in 3 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    Great Work From Home Opportunity, Fun Job, Excellent Pay

    Enrollment Coordinator (Current Employee)
    South San Francisco, CA

    ProsI enjoy talking with parents that are fully engaged in the success of their children. This is an excellent work from home opportunity if you like helping others. Initially the pay is low because you're only making hourly as you're going through training and just getting started. Once the commissions start coming in, the pay is excellent (after aprox 3-4 weeks). You do have an opportunity to work beyond the June 15th season if you are reliable and doing well. The hours are flexible as long as you're available to either open or close.

    ConsYou will occasionally get parents that are RUDE but that comes with any job. I am not bilingual so that can be a challenge as a large number of callers are Spanish speaking.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt would be nice if the callers had the option to choose English or Spanish when calling in. There are a LARGE number of Spanish speaking callers. Giving them the option to speak to a Spanish speaking EC would benefit both the company and the caller.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great fulfilling work and great pay!

    Enrollment Coordinator (Current Employee)
    Charlotte, NC

    ProsThe pay is great. You get to work from home. They provide everything you need to be successful. A great job with very, supporting supervisors.

    ConsIt's a seasonal position but full-time during the season. You must make quick decisions because you are working by yourself.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Top-Notch Sales Job for People who Want to Make a Positive Difference for Kids

    Enrollment Coordinator (Current Employee)
    Austin, TX

    ProsI love this sales job! Every day, I feel like I'm making a positive difference not only in a child's life, but in a family's life as well!

    I was looking for a job that would allow me to work from home and that would be highly flexible schedule-wise. I found the institute to be perfect in that regard: you can work part-time, full-time, and split your shifts. While the job is seasonal, top performers are often offered other opportunities in the company.

    The training was fantastic: well-organized, and highly detailed allowing for success. It was, in fact, the best company-organized sales training I've had in the last 10+ years of selling. Leads are provided as inbound calls (you never have to call out to sell.) Plus, the product we sell is top notch. For 40 years, the institute has been recognized as a leader in reading education. Universities all over the country are partnering with the institute to use its curriculum and to subsidize the program cost, to make it affordable for most families. If you sell here, you will have a long history of company credibility to back you up.

    To succeed in this job, you have to ask good, in-depth questions, and drill deep into family dynamics to discover why a child is not reading well. (All of this is taught in training.) Handling objections and asking for the credit card is all part of sales. You will not be asked to do anything that is not "typical" of a professional selling environment.

    I closed my first 2 calls after graduating from training, so immediate success is possible. To continue to succeed, I listened to my coaches' advice whenever it was offered. I was fearless about changing my selling style to do well.

    So if you are teachable, if you are excited to help each new family that calls, if you retain a positive attitude, and if you deliver a FUN and ENTERTAINING presentation, (as opposed to reading the script like a boring robot), then you will do well here.

    ConsThis is a full-commission sales job. Therefore, I would not recommend this job to someone who does not already have solid phone sales experience.

    If you want to succeed here, you have to ramp up FAST. And I do mean fast. You must balance a consultative sales style with the ability to "close on the first call". If you have a customer service mentality --in other words, if you just want to take names and addresses and hope that the parent will call back with a credit card -- you will not do well here.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    So glad I had the opportunity to work here! Invaluable experience!

    Summer Reading Instructor (Former Employee)
    Oklahoma City, OK

    Pros-Very thorough training program
    -Plenty of managerial support
    -Feels wonderful to make such a difference in people's lives
    -Great pay
    -Opportunities for advancement
    -Perfect for someone needing only summer employment (like adjuncts or grad students)
    --The experience I gained from this job helped me to find a full time job in academia after graduating from grad school. I really enjoyed teaching for IRD. I always felt like I had the full support of my supervisor. If you love reading, have a heart for teaching, and really want to make a difference, then apply for a teaching position with IRD.

    ConsSometimes have to transport several boxes of materials

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Best sales training I've ever had!

    Enrollment Coordinator (Former Employee)
    Saint Louis, MO

    ProsI love working from home. There training is excellent. Absolutely excellent. They set you up for success. And it was so nice to have only inbound calls. In over a couple hundred calls, I can say that five or less were from rude or angry people. Both the sales and IT help desks were very responsive when I ran into odd situations that needed special handling. In addition to all of the above, because I believe so much in education, the job was fun. Demanding, but a lot of fun. I enjoyed talking with parents about their children and laughing with them, and knowing that the program would help! I wouldn't call this a sales position. And the compensation is more than fair, especially if you do well.

    ConsThe job as an enrollment coordinator is seasonal. I wish I could do it part time for the rest of the year. Or work remotely for this company in other areas that I am qualified for. I really like what they stand for. Every child deserves to be at their highest potential.

    Advice to Senior ManagementImpress upon new EC's the importance of capturing ALL of the prospect's information. Possibly think about a way to change how calls are tracked? Suggestion would be if an EC gets a call from a paid client and can answer the question w/o having to transfer to customer service, let them do that and not penalize them for not capturing anything. Another suggestion would be dropped calls or hang ups. So many people use cell phones (while they are driving which I am opposed to) and get to an area where reception is bad and the call drops, before their information is captured. There are also calls that hang up within the first minute - or even seconds. Overall, though, my advice is to keep up the good work. I was compensated fairly, expectations for the length of the job were set, training was awesome. I would recommend this position, but not to anyone. Someone in this position needs to have empathy, charisma, think on their feet and patience. I did check off that the business outlook for the next few months is getting worse - only because it actually is. Over the next year or so - I would think it would improve with the Distance classes you are now offering.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    On the job for 4 years

    Enrollment Coordinator (Current Employee)
    New York, NY

    ProsWork from home
    Better than average pay (if you earn it)
    Year-round pay (if you earn it)

    You need to be the right person to work for this company. If you lack in any of these areas: Sales aptitude, creativity, compassion for customers, flexibility, adaptability--you will have a hard time surviving here (or in any sales job).

    Liking this job has nothing to do with the company, it's all about you. If you are willing to constantly improve your skills, this is a good place for you.

    2014-15 expect to make between 20-30k --less if this type of work is not suitable for your skill set.
    Expect great training, throughout the season.

    Training is paid.

    There is a base pay--commission is much higher than base pay--nice to have a safety net, however--the company is fair and honest when it comes to compensation.

    ConsFairly demanding--be prepared to talk all day and get rejected 70% of the time.
    Technology is sometimes finicky--use a great computer with max upload and download speeds--it pays off.
    Customers can get on your nerves--though it might be you getting on their nerves!
    The pay can fluctuate quite a bit.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement is constantly tweaking the system to make things better for both the customers and the employees. Perhaps developing a forum where both customers and employees could provide written suggestions for specific improvements would be beneficial for all.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Pleasant company to work for.

    Teacher (Former Employee)
    Charleston, SC

    ProsTraining was excellent; they sent us all to train together in Georgia.

    ConsNo room for advancement. I would have liked to move forward with this company but for the most part only summer positions.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great Seasonal Job

    Enrollment Coordinator (Former Employee)

    ProsFlexible schedule, work from home, great support and training and great potential to make money. Its a wonderful product that I could really get behind and I really appreciated the support and training that I received.

    ConsIt's a seasonal position and there is pressure to meet sales quotas.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the great work. I think you do a great job making seasonal employees feel valued and supported and I can't wait to come back next season.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Excellent Training, Great Pay - Feel good about your job!

    Enrollment Coordinator (Current Employee)

    ProsYou can pretty much pick your own hours, usually a lot of overtime opportunities. Commission is great. INbound calls only. It is really hard to find a job, a sales job, where at the end of the day you don't feel like a bad person...I worked in telemarketing for many years prior to working for IRD and let me tell you, I felt horrible at the end of every shift. At IRD you can make a lot of money AND have integrity. Qualified inbound lead coming to you, helping students and their parents find a solution to their reading struggles. Working from home is a plus as well...although the Novato office is great too! The supervisors listen and help you to reach your full potential. The training was great my first season and the retraining every season since has helped me to do my best at the job. Enrolling and coordinating students into summer/fall and university reading and speed reading classes. Every time I have requested a day or several off (within the time restraints) it has been approved with no issue. They are very understanding. When my sister passed I was allowed to take time off and let them know when I was ok to come back, it helped greatly. When you work a certain amount of hours you can take the speed reading course for no charge and a family member can take the course at no charge. In my experience, IRD has good morals.

    ConsThere are no health benefits and the work is seasonal. (The better you sell, the longer you stay)
    Pay structure typically changes every season.
    Some callers can be quite rude - but that goes with EVERY phone based job.
    Call flow can be inconsistent.
    Hourly guarantee is pointless if you sell good than you are pretty much only getting paid commission, however, if you do not sell well, than it is a blessing.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI would say the best thing they could do is offer some form of benefits to long term seasonal employees.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    This is a good job if you want a seasonal position

    Customer Service Representative (Former Employee)
    Remote, OR

    Prosyou can work from home

    Cons2 weeks of hard core training and testing

    Advice to Senior Managementmight take some time

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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