Catholic Relief Services Reviews | Glassdoor

Catholic Relief Services Reviews

Updated February 23, 2017
112 reviews

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3.5
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Sean Callahan
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112 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great mission, great people, and good compensation for the nonprofit sector (in 6 reviews)

  • Great benefits, especially for those with families (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Inconsistent care of employees, specifically on promoting healthy work-life balance and providing adequate resources to meet job expectations (in 10 reviews)

  • The Kenya country program used to be very nice with wonderful benefits (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "CRS is an Amazing Place to Work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Human Resources Benefits in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - Human Resources Benefits in Baltimore, MD
    Recommends

    Pros

    I worked for CRS for less than 3 years. It was always an honor and a privilege to work for this organization. I liked the fact that it wasn't perfect. You have to climb through some unpleasant things just to get to work. Once inside, it was truly an urban oasis, full of life and purpose.
    I will truly miss CRS and will carry all of the wonderful memories with me forever.

    Cons

    Please embrace your differences and understand how differences make CRS a special place to work. Besides, it would be so boring if everyone thought the same and acted the same. My dear colleagues, be grateful for the gift that you have been given.

    Advice to Management

    Build on your strengths and be aware of your presence. You have special powers.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Miserable place to work, but noble mission"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Director in Baltimore, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Catholic Relief Services full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    CRS works in about 100 countries. Some of the staff people in the field are amazingly selfless and devoted to helping so many in great need. Remembering the mission keeps me going.

    Cons

    The culture in Baltimore - and in remote US offices - is horrendously depressing and petty. I've never experienced anything like it. Lots of employee turnover, and when people leave sometimes they're traumatized by the backstabbing. No one is safe, and management as well as HR doesn't seem to care at all about abusive, exploitive, disincentivizing behavior among staff. Gossip is rampant and entire employee reviews can be written up by a supervisor based on innuendo or falsehood and the staff member is powerless. Smart, talented, good hearted people aren't appreciated, and bullies and sycophants run the place.

    Advice to Management

    Empower everyone to succeed and feel good about their work. Stop obsessing over supposed rules and open yourselves up to new ideas. Recognize that many staff are miserable! Raise salaries. Market yourself. Stress mutual respect! Train HR to deal with personnel problems and give them better tools to do it. Empower the board to fundraise.


  3. "Interns are loved"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    CRS is a great company to intern at, you get real world corporate experience and get to work at an international nonprofit

    Cons

    Pay is low but it is a nonprofit so you should expect that


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "Program Officer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Relationship Manager in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Relationship Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Catholic Relief Services full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great Mission! Colleagues are dedicated, hard working, open to learning together; International travel/learning; the environment is justice orientated and respectful of other faiths.

    Cons

    Because of its "Catholic Church" ties Catholic Relief Services is under tremendous attack by many "limited thinking" Catholics; the leadership of CRS handles the criticism well but the attacks are a drain on energy;

    Advice to Management

    Continue to bring in both young and older workers; both age groups have a lot to offer each other: the young are technologically savy but the older worker has more patience and savy when communicating with parishes;


  6. "IT Staff"

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

    I have been working at Catholic Relief Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Opportunities to travel in support of relief projects
    Positive values drive organizations
    Friendly and emotionally generous coworkers

    Cons

    More work to do than staff (but which NGO doesn't have that issue?)
    Sometimes goals get organized or fall off track


  7. "CRS"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Housing Assistance Volunteer in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - Housing Assistance Volunteer in Baltimore, MD

    I worked at Catholic Relief Services (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Brings great satisfaction ton help people in need and is a great way to meet new people from every social status.

    Cons

    Volunteering doesn't pay at all.


  8. Helpful (5)

    "very poor culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Catholic Relief Services full-time

    Pros

    Many great people work here and the mission of helping poor is commendable. Benefits are fairly good and the physical work environment is also good. A nice renovation of an old building was done.

    Cons

    The overall culture of the organization is dismal. People are overworked, often asked to do two jobs for the pay of one. Very little respect is given to employees who do a good job or to older workers who have a depth of experience. It has become a place where the more you do, the more gets piled on you. Promotion depends not on what you know and do but who you know. People are brought in for interviews but management already knows who they are going to give the open position to, usually one of their buddies!!! Older employees are "encouraged" to retire as there is definitely a youth culture. Political correctness is overblown to the point of being restrictive! Management is not supportive of people they direct. The HR staff is inflated to the point of no one takes responsibility to actually support existing staff and questions are handed off to others - often 4 or 5 times - before an employee can get an answer...and often that answer is "go to the self help section on the intranet and you will find your answers." I worked at CRS for more than 15 years and saw the culture deteriorate from a warm friendly place to work to a cut-throat corporate culture where very little value was placed on employees with depth of experience. Sad as it used to be a good place to work. The way it is now, I would never recommend it to anyone as a good place to work. Too much stress, too little recognition for a job well done.

    Advice to Management

    Hire people for what they can do, not for who they know or for how many degrees they have. So many people at CRS have high degrees of education but don't have a lick of common sense - and they pass off the work to others who DO work! Be supportive of your staff. Stop asking people to do two jobs without giving them any extra compensation. Morale is at a very low point because of work loads and lack of recognition. You can do better!


  9. Helpful (7)

    "You deserve better"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Baltimore, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    None - CRS pushes deeply conservative Catholic ideas, in it's work abroad, and in it's culture for employees. It's oppressive.

    Cons

    One of the more dysfunctional places I've ever worked. Management is a mess, and teams/roles/missions/department goals are constantly being reinvented, resulting in employees, managers, and department leaders all being on different pages. Staffers are overworked and do not get the support they need. The HR team is particularly unhelpful, and their training is a smorgasbord of disorganized bureaucracy. Turnover in my department was very high, and judging by the way I saw people treated, it's clear that staffers were seen as disposable. Management does not act with integrity, which is ironic considering how much they preach their ethics. Employee culture here is toxic. Whatever you want to do at CRS-- there are better places out there to do it.

    Advice to Management

    Practice what you preach and treat people with dignity. Get more organized and on the same page, and fix the bureaucracy.


  10. "Domestic Staff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Baltimore, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Catholic Relief Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very strong culture, mission driven organization. Excellent salary and benefits; different departments have different rules and working conditions

    Cons

    Unequal work loads; lack of respect for Human Resource staff; favoritism in promotions

    Advice to Management

    Stop reinventing yourselves every 2 years


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Specialist in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Specialist in Baltimore, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Catholic Relief Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful place to work. Family oriented and understanding of the personal responsibilities everyone has in their lives.

    Cons

    Unless you are of the Catholic faith, opportunities in Management are very limited.

    Advice to Management

    Salaries need to be more competitive with the current market.



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