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National Opinion Research Center (NORC)
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8 reviews

National Opinion Research Center (NORC) Employer Reviews

Company Attributes

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Compensation/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
  • Management
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Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Glorified Sweatshop
8.5 hr (Current Employee), ChicagoDecember 21, 2013
Pros: the name university of chicago on your resume
Cons: everything else
I worked in the TSSO department. It is essentially a big call center to collect information on behalf of government agencies. It is run like a sweat shop. There is an incredible amount of micromanagement. You have to clock to break when you step away from your station even to use the bathroom. You cannot talk to the person next to you. You cannot eat – more... while working. You are expected to work as fast as humanly possible all the time, and statistics are taken to measure your "production" There is no job security and HIGH job turnover. About the bottom %10 is fired and replaced monthly. They don't want you to think. They want robots. – less
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Not a Long-Term Company Position
Professional Telephone Interviwer (Former Employee), Chicago, ILJanuary 18, 2013
Pros: flexible, make your own hours
Cons: short breaks, too many unnecessary rules
For me this place thee pits!! I took it as a means to generate some income after being unemployed for some time but after being there for a short time I knew my time there was coming to an end. I worked as a professional telephone interviewer for minimum wage, most people you call don't want to be bothered and others can be nasty and mean. There are – more... production goals so you have to do somewhat well and also reading verbatim is crucial. Attendance is what can get you axed but they have a system where you create your schedule and trade hours, so it is possible to pick up more hours. Some people from management are nice, but the rest seem to be angry about life! Team leads walk the call center floor to watch you which made me feel uncomfortable - you can't read anything besides your own notes and no phones are allowed on the floor-of course people do. You get 6 minutes for every hour worked and there is 4 hour shift requirement. Minimum of 16 hours for each work week is required. Not much time to do anything considering it is on the 14th and 16th floor, and it takes like 3 minutes to get to the lower level in the elevator to get food/drink.

Bottom line, if you are a student and need a flexible work schedule, then this is it. If you are looking for second job, this could work.

There are other opportunities for you to do other things within the company, most still require for you to be on the phone. – less
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NORC not as "rewarding" as it was made out to be
Production Clerk (Former Employee), Chicago, ILJanuary 18, 2013
Pros: schedule flexibility, the location really is great
Cons: mediocre/flawed management, mundane work, minimal pay, very few chances for real advancement
The promises in the ads NORC puts out sure knows how to reel you in. The big problem though is that this company falls very short on the delivery. I wouldn't take their ad for face value, if you know what I mean.
Don't expect much in the salary department. Their "competitive pay" is merely fancy wording for minimum wage. The environment is very controlled – more... indeed, they put all of their energy in the wrong place. It seems as if management goes out of their way to see if you're committing any office crime, such as forgetting to punch time, barely overshooting on breaks or working a little too loudly(whatever that means.)
Speaking of management, they are a most conflicting bunch. It seems as though the different levels of management don't communicate with each other as well as they probably should. They do not make their guidelines for call production crystal clear. In fact, it sometimes seems as if their guidelines change on any given day. As a clerk, that makes it pretty difficult to know how to do your job, know when you're on top and when you're falling flat. They do offer the chance to have a 1-on-1 sit down to go over your stats. Unfortunately that turns out to be quite unproductive, as the person you meet with usually has no idea about the role of a production clerk, meaning they can't offer much in the way of advice or answer most questions you might have.
As for the actual work itself, in my opinion things can get a little tedious. There is little variety in regard to the kinds of tasks you perform; you're either on the phone, on the computer, or both. On the off-chance that there is another type of task available, you can pretty much forget about being considered for it if they already have you working the phones. Plus, I really didn't see many chances for true advancement during my time there. They only seemed to offer a handful of temporary projects, and once completed, it's right back to square one.
On the upside, alot of the other employees there are pretty pleasant, scheduling is quite flexible, and NORC really does have a great, easily accessible location. Just wanted to say that this was not intended as a bashing rant, so I hope it wasn't taken as such. I just wanted to try to paint a very honest picture about what kind of company this is so people would really know what they were walking into if considering employment here. – less
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A good, interesting, temporary part-time position
Field interviewer (Former Employee), Western U.S.January 4, 2013
Pros: norc is a very reputable organization that treats its employees fairly
Cons: no benefits and only temporary work for field interviewers
I worked as a field interviewer. My main duties included planning and making trips into the field and/or telephoning respondents from my home office. Initial contact with respondents was with a cold visit or cold phone call; then explaining the study, persuading respondents to participate, and conducting the interview according to protocol. Also had – more... to follow up (either in person or by phone) with respondents who had made appointments to be interviewed, or prompt and persuade resistant respondents to participate.

My direct supervisor (field manager) was very easy to work with and very helpful and supportive.

Being a field interviewer in not difficult, but one must be very organized and a self-starter, since you are working independently out of your home office. You also must not be shy about making a cold call or visit; and must be articulate enough to explain the study and why a respondent should participate in it.

For me, the least enjoyable part of the job--which I didn't have to do too often--was doing occasional in-person visits with another field interviewer. I'd rather work independently than to have to put up with another field interviewer's quirks.

Most enjoyable aspects: working out of my home independently, being able to by and large set my own schedule, doing a variety of tasks, and doing in-person interviewing in different areas of the region where I live. – less
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Controled Enviroment
Production Clerk (Former Employee), Chicago, ILSeptember 28, 2012
Cons: low wages not a full time job
For one thing these are temporary jobs not permanent. They dock you for any bathroom time over 6 minutes. I never heard of such a thing the wages are minumum and you are expected to reach a quota this is more like a sweatshop than a job. Run away from this place it not worth it.
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VERY PRODUCTIVE
Telephone Interviewer (Current Employee), Chicago, ILSeptember 11, 2012
Cons: no benefits at all
LIKE THE OFFICE SETTING, NOT LOUD AND FRIENDLY COWORKERS. I LIKE THE ABILITY OF WORKING FOR DIFFERENT GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND HANDLING DIFFERENT TASKS LIKE DATA ENTRY AND TELEPHONE INTERVIEWING AND CLERICAL TASKS.
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Not Challenging
Phone Interviewer (Former Employee), Chicago, ILJuly 16, 2012
Pros: enjoyed people i worked with.
Cons: was not using skills which i gained in college.
Sat at a computer cold calling individuals to complete the National Immunization Survey on behalf of the CDC.