I worked at Adfero full-time (More than 3 years)
Culture: Having been at a new company for some time now, I can say that Adfero has the best possible culture. Not only can every (good) employee recite the four core values, but they are employee-focused. It's very inclusive and open, making for happy and accountable employees.
Career Growth: Adfero focuses heavily on individual growth from quarter to quarter and year over year. Constructive feedback is helpful, so long as you take it. I saw plenty of people over time take it personally, but for those of us who took as an opportunity to grow, we succeeded. You have measurable goals and objectives so it's truly up to you to prove yourself.
Opportunity: Like anywhere else, opportunities are there; it's what you make of them that really define your experience at Adfero. I was constantly putting myself out there, and thus rewarded with new clients and awesome opportunities. The key was putting myself out there to prove I could keep doing more.
Senior Management: They've grown the business tremendously, so that's saying something (both in revenue and size of staff). The people are open to feedback and most importantly, they look to the entire staff to help shape the culture, processes and experiences.
I left the company because an amazing opportunity to work in-house somewhere popped up, and I couldn't pass it up. I left on great terms and still lean on some of the staff for mentoring, as well as keep in touch with my former mentees and supervisees.
Workload: It ebbs and flows just like any PR firm. Sometimes people are really overloaded, but as long as you ask for help (one of the core values is all working together in times like this), you should be fine.
Bad eggs: In my years there, there was always a person or two who wasn't bought into the culture or didn't care to perform well. It's a client services business and that can really weigh on your experience there. They are all eventually weeded out though.
Pay: Let me be clear - pay is on par with other PR firms. However, pay at PR firms isn't as high as other industries or for many in-house PR opportunities. It's marginal, though.
Advice to Management
Keep growing. Continue to focus on building a company of great people and great service. It has, and will continue to pay off.
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Adfero (Washington, DC).
Phone interview with Talent Director followed by an In-person interview with COO followed by and in-person interview with VP and Senior Account Supervisor. After these interviews, I submitted writing samples and references. The talent director handled all of the coordination and everything went smoothly from start to finish. Overall, the process took a few weeks because of the role that I was applying for.