FHI 360 Reviews | Glassdoor

FHI 360 Reviews

Updated August 9, 2017
203 reviews

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3.5
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Patrick C. Fine
61 Ratings

203 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work/Life Balance has been outstanding (in 12 reviews)

  • Great place to work with good benefits (in 16 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "An Excellent Organization"

    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 FHI 360 full-time

    Pros

    Friendly people, highly effective, strong M&E measures in place

    Cons

    Too soft on letting incompetent people go


  2. "Program Officer"

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

    I worked at FHI 360 full-time

    Pros

    Good Work, Interesting Projects, Stated Mission is Good

    Cons

    Disorganized Management, Execution of Projects is Not Great, Weird Office Politics

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Not great"

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

    I worked at FHI 360 full-time

    Pros

    Good place to start out if you are looking for a job in international development. Provides you with a helpful foundation for how the development industry operates in the current climate. Great place to start if you want to be a technical expert.

    Cons

    Very little engagement/autonomy with the field teams, and much of the project design and implementation is driven by technical experts in DC, not from the teams operating in the field. Strategic planning is supposed to come from HQ in DC, and not from the teams on the ground. Priorities are mostly around revenue generation and around people keeping their jobs, and not on genuine, good development practice.

    Very toxic organizational culture, including lots of division and internal competition between departments. Old conflicts from the acquisition still remain. Results in a lot of lost efforts and burn-out. Constant turnover and restructuring (I was there for 2 years and my team restructured 3 times). Lots of egos and competition for work, making it really difficult for young professionals to advance and learn the skills they need to be a strong development professional.

    Senior leadership does not seem to be aware of these issues, or if they are, they are not doing anything constructive about it.

    Advice to Management

    Focus should be on field teams driving the strategy and program design, not the other way around. There's not nearly enough of an emphasis on community-driven development, community autonomy, or sustainability, and it's just poor development practice.

    There also need to be better incentives for business units to work together, and greater pride in the organization as a whole. Give junior-level employees the opportunity to travel and do challenging and interesting work - even if they make mistakes, it's an investment in your human resources and will have long-term payoff.

    Do something about the lack of trust between the business units, and that means working on the organizational culture in an intentional way. So much opportunity, money, and good intentions are lost when your teams cannot work together or actively work against each other, and a lot of this culture/attitude is coming from the top. Restructuring is not a solution to long-term problems - it only causes more upheaval and job insecurity, which does not make people want to collaborate more.

    Walk the halls and LISTEN to employees at all levels (including calls and visits with field teams). There are far too many closed-door meetings with senior leadership, and leadership really doesn't understand the challenges, inefficiencies, and wasted efforts that most employees face. You'd learn a lot from asking and engaging with employees.

    Also, PLEASE be sure that when you promote someone, that the person has earned it because of the quality and integrity of their work. There is far too much nepotism/favoritism, which results in a top-heavy, ego-driven culture, which means your teams suffer and are far less able to do their jobs.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work, but...."

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

    I have been working at FHI 360 full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Caring community of like-minded, mission-oriented professionals

    Cons

    Company's mission has become more diffuse and revenue-driven over the years. Navigating the ponderous bureaucracy is becoming ever more difficult, making us less nimble.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on great performance towards a well-defined mission, and the bottom line will take care of itself.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Not what it used to be"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FHI 360 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good benefits, flexible schedules, nice people.

    Cons

    Agency lacks strong systems and accountability. Attempts to control risk by micro-managing procedures, which leads to unnecessarily complicated processes that slow down implementation.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to what is going on in projects. Invest in teams that focus on project start up and close out. If FHI spent the money on these things, it would save much headache and money in the long run. Penny wise, pound foolish.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Program Officer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC

    I have been working at FHI 360 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    good projects, supportive teams, good work-life balance

    Cons

    disorganized, poor support for end of contract transitions


  7. "Good place to be"

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

    I have been working at FHI 360 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work/Life Balance has been outstanding. Fair treatment, respectful colleagues. Great facility in North Carolina. Interesting work. Dedicated leadership.

    Cons

    Disparity in rules between HQ managed staff and regional staff makes it hard to get everyone on same page.

    Advice to Management

    Continue seeking and developing ideas to bring the company into the new world, focus on using resources to retain jobs in the event that funding decreases.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great company!"

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

    I have been working at FHI 360 full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Incredible team, passionate staff, mission driven, excellent benefits, challenging work, flexibility, work from home options

    Cons

    Decisions can take too long due to too many decision makers. Some policies are unclear

    Advice to Management

    Continue to focus on professional development so staff can grow and increase their knowledge and experience.


  9. Helpful (11)

    "Only Work Here if You Do Your Homework First..."

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at FHI 360 full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    FHI 360 is a very large organization, with many levels of management and various semi-autonomous teams, which can be a blessing or a curse. On the plus side, this means that if you find yourself on a well-managed team with smart, hard-working colleagues and never have to interact with senior leadership or overhead departments, you will likely have a wonderful experience. The roles matching this description would generally be non-administrative project-funded positions such as technical officers, scientists, and other program staff.

    Depending on the team, you may have great work-life balance (or terrible work-life balance) and career growth opportunities. Since the organization is so large, there are many opportunities to move across teams and departments, which is a plus.

    In short, if you are considering a job at FHI 360, there is a chance it could be a great opportunity, but find people who know the team on which you will work and get the inside scoop from them first! I know more people having bad experiences at FHI 360 than good experiences.

    Cons

    On the negative side...

    The pay and benefits are average (similar to other organizations, with some areas being better than others), but there is no individual professional development benefit.

    The biggest shame is the massive waste of resources. The organization is fortunate to have a foundation that supports its work, but I never saw a penny of that money well spent in ways that would strategically position the organization to be a 21st century INGO. There are many of highly paid C-Suite members and layers of management under them, which is both expensive and leads to slow (and poor) decision-making. The roll-out of the organization's financial system was a disaster due to poor management and resourcing.

    In short, with its many talented and diverse technical and program staff this could be an industry-leading, innovative, 21st century INGO, but instead, because of inefficient and ineffective resource allocation and poor senior management, it is nothing but a mediocre government contractor.

    Advice to Management

    Just because someone worked for a long time at USAID, doesn't mean they have the experience or expertise to manage a private organization -- they are entirely different skill sets.

    So, my advice is as follows: When the Board or C-Suite is considering hiring new C-Suite members, look beyond the usual USAID suspects. And the current CEO should re-think his management and leadership style, which I found to be simply awful and set the tone for poor management across the organization.


  10. "Work-Life Balance, Collegial Atmosphere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at FHI 360 full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits, emphasis on work-life balance, team atmosphere

    Cons

    Been here less than a year, none so far...


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