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Interviewing at REACH Strategies

Thank you for applying to REACH Strategies! We know the interviewing process can be stressful and time-consuming. With that in mind, we want to make sure you have a clear idea of what to expect throughout the process with REACH (Note: we write our name in all caps. Why? Um, not sure…We like it?).

We offer fully-benefitted, remote positions in a mission-driven setting that are quite attractive to folks, as evidenced by the global pool of applicants that we see as we hire. Since we work remotely, our interview process is designed to ensure that we have a strong fit on culture, values and performance with prospective candidates before we make an offer.

The Process

First, you’ll have an introductory call (likely pretty short) just to gauge fit/interest. During that call we’ll ask you to share a bit about yourself, why our role appeals to you, and get a sense of how your skills match our needs. You’ll be asked to share your salary needs.

If subsequent conversations make sense, you’ll go through additional interviews with members of our team (typically 3 to 4). Some will be 1-1, others may be in a group setting. Our goal throughout will be to give you a progressively deeper understanding about us, our work, and our culture/values while we get to know you better. Each of those conversations will include performance-based questions related to how your specific work experience relates to our needs.

Finally, if there appears to be a potential fit, we will ask you to complete two skills-based tasks:

  • a short writing assignment in a time-limited setting;
  • a skills test specific to the needs/requirements of the specific role you seek.

 

We anticipate that you will spend no more than 8 hours preparing and completing the skills-based tasks. We’ll select a time that works best for your schedule, anticipating that you may not be able to accommodate anything during normal work hours. We’ll also compensate you $300 for that effort, regardless of whether or not we ultimately offer you a position.

Though most of these conversations will happen virtually, we will try to create an opportunity for us to meet you, too, which could entail travel on your part. If you travel for an interview REACH will cover all travel expenses. Finally, we always check references for candidates and there may be a background check.

Working at REACH

As we’ve grown over the past years we have also seen turnover at REACH. We’re working to assess more deeply the drivers behind that, but it appears at least one aspect reflects a conflict between the ideas folks have about remote work versus the reality of working here.

Even though we are remote, in the daily delivery of work we demonstrate the kind of transparency about our work life and the sustained productivity/delivery that you’d find in a normal office setting. That has served us well as we’ve delivered strong growth and programs over the past twelve years, is highly valued by our clients, and is highly valued by the folks who work here (some for all of those twelve years!). We strongly value feedback – which we provide weekly through individual and team check-ins (supported with written docs) and through quarterly and annual performance reviews. We publish salary bands, have clear performance/growth paths for those that work here, provide raises/bonuses, and deeply value equity related to performance and roles. We offer excellent benefits, including comp time when circumstances cause work hours to stretch, which for most of us are in the 40 hour per week window most of the time.

Our work includes being able to manage multiple projects, work remotely in an agency setting, be accountable for hours for billing purposes, consistently deliver high quality work over a sustained period, work in what can be a fast-paced environment, function as a service-based organization that consistently meets and exceeds the needs of our clients, engage at times technical topics, and willingness to pioneer novel approaches, which allows for creativity but can also be challenging. And we even do manual labor working events from time to time (senior leaders, and CEO, included). Throughout it all, we are all willing and committed learners.

Personality and culture fit are also important. We all take feedback, are willing collaborators, and place a high value on our work, our mission, and our deliverables. We want to do (and do do…if that makes sense?) this work at a high level. We are inspired by it, even the small and, at times menial tasks that can confront us all.

So, please, if you would like to work with us, know that we hold each other to high standards for meeting and exceeding the needs of the folks we work with – internally and externally. We are a mission-driven organization aiming to make the world a better place by providing the highest quality work in support of our partners/clients. Everybody who works here meets that standard.

Final Thoughts, and Feedback from the REACH Team

We’ve also found that working in such a serious and sustained way can come as a surprise and even shock for folks who are attracted to a remote role but aren’t prepared to meet our standards for high work performance on behalf of our clients. For instance, if you look at Glassdoor you can find positive reviews, but also reviews from folks that didn’t like working here (and apparently didn’t like us!). Whether positive or negative, at least the reviews universally agree that we offer strong benefits! (Hint…and we do that because we value…people).

Some folks assign high significance to what they see on Glassdoor. If you aren’t inclined to move forward based on seeing that feedback, please know that we wish you well! But if you’d like to keep talking, we encourage you to read what’s there and come with questions. We’d love to talk about it.

Beyond describing anonymous feedback, we are able to go on record with our actual experiences working at REACH. Following are comments from some colleagues who work here (and some even from Glassdoor), with their name and contact info included so you can follow up directly with any of them if you’d like.

And, if you’d like to proceed, we look forward to getting to know you!

REACH Strategies

Kirk Brown, CEO

CEO

Kirk Brown

REACH Strategies has been growing for over 12 years as a result of our unfailing commitment to deliver high quality work on behalf of clients involved with some of the most important topics you can imagine – reducing greenhouse gas emissions and securing a better future for us all. We get to do great work as long as we do great work.

People who sign up for that mission find this place reflects their shared passion for creating that better future and are happy to do just that – deliver great work. It’s been an honor and privilege for me to work with and around people like that, and I’m really gratified that over 75% of our workforce in one way or another reflects a protected employee class. That said, we keep learning new approaches to better manage our work processes, and this guide to interviewing here is one of those experiments. I’d love to hear what you make of all of this, regardless of where you land in terms of a potential role here.

Thanks for your interest in us!

Amanda Scarborough

Director, Program Strategy and Development

July, 2013

Pros

Clearly something is working if I have been at REACH for a decade! Over that time, I have had the opportunity to grow from a Communications Specialist to a Director, continually growing and expanding my skill set. 

In my first year as a Director (2023), I have had the opportunity to grow my team, develop team member’s skills, and most importantly recognize team members for their contributions. Over this period of time I had the pleasure of providing promotions, raises, bonuses, and other perks to the amazing members of my team.

  • A team made up of genuinely good people who are a pleasure to work with
  • Great benefits and compensation
  • Room for growth and professional development
  • Strong leadership support
  • Dedication to work-life balance and employee wellbeing
  • Employee autonomy

Cons

  • There are times when employees are asked to stretch to meet client demands
  • Event work can require manual labor and long hours
  • With autonomy comes a strong need for accountability
  • Remote work and a smaller team are not the right fit for everyone

Stephanie Dorman

National Program Director

November, 2022

Pros

I have a work/life balance for the first time in years. Although we’re a small team, I feel supported in all we do. I also feel heard, and as if my opinions matter. Anywhere you go, you’re going to wear multiple hats, but this is the first time I feel supported in that and not overwhelmed.

Cons

I’d like to see our time spent traveling to events be included in our comp time, but that’s minor. (EDITOR’S NOTE – this is REACH policy, and change made after the team made this request)

Michelle Davis

Lead Communications Strategist

April, 2023

Pros

Working at REACH has been one of the best employment experiences I’ve ever had.


Not only does leadership set you up for success, but they support you along the way. There are opportunities for career advancement and skill building. I find the work fulfilling and enjoy getting to work on different types of projects.

Cons

We do see turnover, however, it isn’t by fault of the company. Employees come and go because the job isn’t a fit for them for one reason or another.

Advice to Management

Continue supporting your team and showing your appreciation. It is a great feeling knowing that hard work is noticed and rewarded.

Tiara Brown

Assistant Director – Finance, Operations & HR

September, 2023

Pros

Since joining the company in September, I’ve found it to be an incredibly rewarding environment. From day one, I’ve felt fully supported by not only the leadership team, but the team as a whole. What particularly impresses me is how they handle tough conversations; there’s a remarkable level of respect and grace in every interaction.

The company sets high expectations, but it’s understandable when the goal is delivering quality work. Unlike previous experiences where feedback was like pulling teeth, here it’s actively encouraged. I greatly appreciate the weekly check-ins, providing an opportunity to discuss any obstacles I’m facing and receive the necessary support.

Overall, my time here has been characterized by a supportive atmosphere, clear communication, and a genuine commitment to employee development. It’s a place where hard work is recognized and rewarded, making it a truly fun and fulfilling place to work.

Cons

While this isn’t necessarily a con, it’s important to recognize that agency work isn’t for everyone. The fast-paced environment and high expectations may not align with everyone’s preferences. However, for those like myself who thrive on challenges, every day being a little different and enjoy dynamic settings, it’s been an incredibly fulfilling journey.

Also, it’s crucial to understand that REACH operates as a true virtual office, which is different from what some may expect from the typical remote work setup. This means there are occasions when long working sessions are essential for effective collaboration and project success.

Madeleine Blum

State Program and Events Manager

April, 2023

Pros

My role has great work life balance. The full time work from home makes my schedule more flexible; I still work a full day, but can run that errand if I need to. Comp days (a day off for each weekend day) are given for any weekend event staffing, which I always know about well in advance.

It’s a small company so I have say in the direction of my program and have responsibility (and have to be accountable for) tasks that do make a difference. I do have some say in which projects I work on and the work itself is interesting.

The people are genuine and work together in good faith. I can depend on my coworkers to pull their weight. Between weekly check ins with my manager, team, and the entire company, I feel connected and know my coworkers even though the entire company is remote all over the US.

Cons

When I was interviewing, I too looked at the Glassdoor reviews and was a bit wary. However, recently some senior management changed and while that spurred some attrition, it also helped solve a lot of the underlying issues talked about in previous reviews as it took out the root of the problems. Overall, I’m glad I joined.

Fernanda Estrada

Communications Program Strategist I

November 2023

Pros

Working as a Communications Program Strategist for REACH has been a game-changer for me. Being able to work from home has ensured a perfect work-life balance and boosted my productivity and creativity. I really enjoy the freedom we have to be creative in our projects. It feels like our ideas are always welcome and can make a real difference. The team is supportive, and working together on projects is rewarding. It’s a friendly place where everyone helps each other to succeed.

Meeting client deadlines is crucial in our line of work, and the structure we have in place for tracking hours has been surprisingly beneficial. It has helped me refine my time management skills, ensuring we always deliver top-notch work on time, which in turn solidifies our reliability and reputation in the industry.

The support and guidance from my director have been key to making my experience here rewarding.I receive feedback periodically, which means I am focusing on my areas of improvement. This allows me to continue growing, learning, and further developing my skills.

When I first considered joining REACH, I’ll admit I was a bit put off by some negative reviews I saw. But now, I can honestly say that my experience has been nothing short of positive, completely contradicting those initial impressions. The teamwork, support, and the opportunity to be creative, along with the recognition of individual contributions and the appreciation of new ideas, have all made me feel positive about my decision to work here.

Cons

Some people might find the way we need to track our working hours a bit unusual, especially if they’re not used to working in an agency setting. However, to my surprise, I’ve found that it actually helps me be more productive. It keeps me focused and ensures I’m managing my time well, which is important for our projects to be of high quality and delivered on time.