I have been working at Freedom House full-time (Less than a year)
The organization's human capital is its greatest asset. The core/junior staff are mostly great, and there are a few gems of directors. Intelligent, competent, and compassionate people both in the DC and NY offices who really care about their work.
Great place for early or middle career people with a passion for human rights and democracy. Easy to rise within the organization. Dirt cheap insurance. A lot of flexibility to work from home or remotely if you need, plus not a lot of stringent hierarchy.
Very low pay, especially for junior staff. This and the current funding/mission crises make for a stressful work environment and are a big contributor to the high turnover.
Big management and leadership issues. A revolving door of presidents, who have come in an out failing to set the organization on the right financial and strategic track. This has led to major mission confusion and a sense of displacement and it makes undergoing a period of change under the current president very tough. A lot of staff have just lost energy and faith that positive change change is sustainable. High turnover means constant leaks in capacity and knowledge, so projects and structures get disjointed regularly.
Lack of functioning hierarchy means that things like internal communications and change management are wildly neglected, so morale issues tend to sink in and stay.
A lot of outdated and malfunctioning tech and procedures. An HR department that employees avoid, rather than turn to for help.
Advice to Management
Modernize and strategize to pull this organization to the current century. Train your managers to actually manage. And stop under-compensating and under-appreciating your junior staff. They're full of dedication and energy and they keep leaving to organizations that can better invest in them.
I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at Freedom House.
The interview was fairly straightforward after submitting my resume and cover letter. They asked about personal strengths and weaknesses and went over the structure of the organization. Also discussed the department's goals and direction.
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