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  • Writer's pictureREI

Expanding Our Recruitment Efforts

Updated: May 20

by Maryellen Morgan, Director of Recruiting, REI HQ


Hannah Berstein - REI's new recruiter

Our recruiting team is growing! There was a big push to finance this role in REI’s 2023 year-end appeal, and after a few months of searching, we have found the right person. It is exciting that we are bringing on Hannah Bernstein, a former REI apprentice in Laos, to be a recruiter along with me. She will travel to different universities and events to recruit for REI, as well as respond to initial inquiries and collaborate with me on projects and planning. Growing the department allows REI to not only double our capacity to attend events, but also opens up further partnership opportunities. Hannah is already a valued asset to the REI team.


Over the nearly three years that I’ve served in this role, I have learned much about what works and what doesn’t with recruiting for REI – what types of events to attend, what information to share with a candidate, strategic leaders to connect with, etc. One thing is clear. It is more strategic to attend targeted conferences, where there may be students and professionals alike who are already aligned with REI’s mission and don’t need to be convinced of the value of building people to build nations – they already know it!


Recruiting at a student conference

Another strategic objective to prioritize is direct involvement on college/university campuses, making contacts with faculty and staff members who can help connect REI with their students. These faculty and staff are extremely valuable partners for REI since they know their students well and are already trusted by the students for the guidance and recommendations they give.

I was reminded recently that no job is insignificant and no contribution meaningless. Though I may not see the fruits of my labor immediately (or even in my lifetime), I can rest assured that somewhere in the world the work I’m doing has an impact. Deep down I knew this to be true, but this reminder renewed my spirit for the job I have in recruiting, diminishing the challenges that come with it and making the exciting things all the more joyful. Two years ago, the vision for REI’s recruitment seemed a bit unclear and just out of reach. Now though, it’s become clearly formulated.


The work that we do globally is a team effort, and recruiting is no different. One person cannot do this job alone; instead, involving others brings the many different strengths necessary for best results. I envision involving all the members of REI, whatever their contribution, in the recruitment of new staff. And so, I invite headquarters staff members to be involved in engaging with candidates from the early stages of their application process. I invite current overseas staff members to keep in mind the open positions we have and consider friends, family, and any others they may cross paths with for those.

Maryellen and Hannah recruiting at a student conference


As the work of REI expands, recruiting does as well. And I’m eager to watch these plans unfold. There are countless ways to be involved in this growth, so wherever you may be reading this in the world, you’re welcome to the beautiful team effort of recruiting for REI. And I encourage you to remember that no contribution is meaningless.

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