Chemonics International Reviews | Glassdoor

Chemonics International Reviews

Updated July 15, 2017
196 reviews

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3.6
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Susanna Mudge
91 Ratings

196 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Very high expectations which rarely lead to a work/life balance (in 41 reviews)

  • Long hours, demanding new business involvement (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Career-oriented, high level of professionalism"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Chemonics International full-time

    Pros

    Chemonics is a young, dynamic environment with a lot of great people passionate about making a difference in the world. Unlike a lot of smaller organizations in global development, Chemonics focuses a lot on career growth. That means major investment in training; most mid-, senior, and executive-level jobs are filled through internal promotion; and there is a strong culture of continual learning. The company is 100% employee-owned, and each year about 10% of your salary in company stock is put in your retirement plan at no charge. That is generous, but particularly amazing this year because the stock price doubled as the company grew so quickly.

    Cons

    The culture of continuous learning and has a downside, you need to be flexible and adapt to priorities, which means your job can be quite different from one year to the next. For some people this is a fantastic opportunity for personal and professional growth, but for others who prefer consistency and routine it it can be very frustrating.

    Advice to Management

    The CEO has a very calm, steady hand and stays the course even while similar organizations panic and change strategy constantly.


  2. "Good "for the industry""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Chemonics International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pro and con: there is no sick time--it's all Universal Leave, so people come in sick and get other people sick. But if you're there a long time, you end up with 20-25 days Universal Leave.
    As stated by other reviewers, the HMO is fully paid for (or very cheap). It's nice they do this because it helps young and/or low paid employees save.

    Cons

    They took away the 401K match when they went full ESOP. ESOP is great for the highest-paid people and should be *OK* for those of us who've left and can take distributions over the next few years, but with the industry in such flux, I can't say I'm confident the returns will be impressive.

    Absolutely no work-life balance, so there is no amount of paid time off that will cover the extra hours, blood, sweat, and tears.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Training was incomparable to any other USAID contractor but burn out is real"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Chemonics International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Train their employees well
    - The QMS is a wonderful thing (you might not love systems, but wait until you don't have one)
    - Opportunities for entry level employees to travel
    - $3000 education stipend and support for conferences (based on supervisor approval)

    Cons

    -Competition isn't just fierce, it's brutal
    -System for promotions is a tough pill to swallow- get a bad manager, you'll never move up, get a great manager, you'll move up quicker than your peers
    - salaries are much lower than industry average
    - There isn't room for technical growth, just project management

    Advice to Management

    Institute a more transparent system for promotions


  4. "Improving"

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

    I have been working at Chemonics International full-time

    Pros

    Great for opportunities if you are willing to dedicate yourself to international development, continuous improvement, and matrix management.

    Cons

    Improvements needed in IT tools, management accountability, human resources systems, and talent management.

    Advice to Management

    Keep improving talent management, human resources and IT systems while ensuring quality development results, and ability to communicate them.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Difficult but rewarding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Chemonics International part-time

    Pros

    Great opportunities and cool work, nice coworkers.

    Cons

    Not much work/life balance and deadlines are tough.

    Advice to Management

    Put less pressure on associates.


  6. "For Associate PMU"

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

    I have been working at Chemonics International full-time

    Pros

    HR folks generally very responsive, professional. 3-4 rounds of interviews

    Cons

    too professional (ie read the questions off a script), sometimes you don't interview with the people you're working with (ie manager or director) bc project teams constantly shift

    Advice to Management

    work samples would be more interesting in identifying talent (eg writing sections of the proposals, creating a gantt chart for a fake project etc)


  7. Helpful (2)

    "It Depends"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Director in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Program Director in Washington, DC
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Chemonics International (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Chemonics is an outstanding training ground for international development. You will get very broad technical, geographic, and administrative experience. Extremely transferrable skills that are sought after and highly regarded by other organizations throughout the industry.

    Cons

    Like with most jobs, your boss can make or break your experience. I had outstanding and horrible bosses at Chemonics and unfortunately ended on the latter. Overall, be prepared to work a lot and put in your hours. You will be stretched thin and there isn't much (if any) respect for your personal life. I also started questioning the values of the organization during the transition to the employee ownership scheme. Something fishy was going on here and it is unclear how this was really for the benefit of the employees and not just for the shareholders who were getting their quarterly installments regardless of Chemonics (at the time) poor performance. Left a very bad taste in the mouth.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Not bad in the field - Home office needs a restructure"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Chemonics International full-time

    Pros

    If you have USAID IP experience, and/or a technical skill in high demand for field projects like M&E, power generation, finance, COP/DCOP, then life in the field is not bad for the most part. Employees are treated well, there are great benefits if you are in the field, good structure, written procedures, and online support. In fact I would say Chemonics internal structure, and support systems outclass most IP's.

    Cons

    Home office needs a bottom up re-tooling. The organization has unfortunately not reconfigured to match the growth of the company. Top heavy structure has made bidding on new projects uncompetitive. Example: Director, Manager, Associate for every level. There only needs to be a Director/Manager, not all three. With the massive award at Supply Chain (new office in Crystal City), the company is straining to adapt. Very low wages for extremely talented and highly educated associates, in fact the pay rates are shameful. Directors, COP's have stagnated over the years. Small company mentality, with a very high revenue stream and growth cycle.

    Advice to Management

    First step: Stop the internal policy of rotation SVP and executive level personnel every seven years. Shop for outside talent from different industries. Realize that most former Peace Corp employees are too empathetic to employ a solid backbone of management, and fiscal responsibility. Cut layers of management to be more competitive when bidding. Employ bonuses for senior leaders based on stretch goals. Cure notice or loss of project due to management needs to lead to change out of executive level management. Company is too big to drag along dead weight. Stop the practice of bringing back failed managers to meet proposal specs for field assignments. Open up director level positions to outside the IP industry. Insist on PMP certification for promotion from Associate to Manager or Manager to Director. Processes are so conservative, and over the top, that it severely effects the field operations. Talent is being stolen by other IP's regularly. Example, underpaid associate with MBA from ivy league school is earning $45k, the competition will easily hire them away for $75k-$85k for doing the same job. Time to reshuffle the deck, bring in outside help, and poll field offices to find out wha the constraints are from home office support-policy, and fix it. Industry will shrink in the near future, as will funding. Chemonics is a GREAT company, that needs a hardcore reboot before it ends up several rungs down the ladder. Competitors are wining jobs based on paired down overhead, and lower operating costs in the field. Last item, Chemonics is probably one of the worst companies with start ups, and shut downs. Start ups are serious business, and this has been a constant issue. Most companies employ full time start up teams, with professional experience from the home office, not STTA's with little to no experience fresh out of college, this is a losing formula, and has cost Chemonics contracts.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Terrible work/life balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Chemonics International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some dedicated international development professionals, who want to do their jobs well.

    Cons

    Very bottom-line driven. Difficult to have a life outside of the company. Most employees are very young and mostly single/child-free. If you're a parent and/or have serious commitments outside of work, this is not a good fit.


  10. "USAID Contractor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Chemonics International full-time

    Pros

    Generally fair to staff overseas

    Cons

    More interested in telling clients what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear

    Advice to Management

    Fight for your overseas staff when it comes to equitable duty of care package with US Govt client staff


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