The Best Consulting Firms To Work For


Facing a perennial disadvantage in prestige, Bain makes up this gap with more satisfied employees. Bain ranks #1, for example, when it comes to six key measures: Compensation, firm culture, leadership, formal training, informal training, and the ability to challenge. In company reviews on Vault’s site, Bain employees have recently praised the firm for being “incredibly supportive and not zero-sum” and commended it for its “commitment to PERSONAL as well as professional development.” One employee summed up his experience this way: “Terrific culture. Terrific mission. Terrific people.” These Vault reviews also reflect a higher satisfaction among Bain staffers, where 73.5% give it a five star rating (compared to 62.3% among McKinsey employees).

And such sentiments were also prevalent in the consulting survey. One respondent touted the firm’s team-first culture. “I think Bain has the best culture and people in the consulting industry, hands down, period. It is not about having the single smartest individual, but our ability to work as a team and to be truly collaborative and supportive of each other is unparalleled. I also believe that what differentiates us is our people – and the genuine humility, entrepreneurship and empathy we bring to all our clients, so that together we are accomplishing great things in a great way.” Another employee valued how Bain empowered people like himself. “I can honestly say that after 16+ years with Bain, I am still learning and feeling challenged. I have worked across multiple offices/countries and multiple practice areas. I have been able to chart a path over time that provides me with the optimal platform to grow and make an impact. The degree of flexibility and support that Bain provides in enabling you to chart that path has been invaluable.”

Across the consulting survey, in fact, Bain’s scores were stellar. Among the 23 “Best to Work For” categories, Bain ranked first in six categories, second in eight categories, and third in four categories. Their lowest rankings were connected to the normal demands of working for a leading consulting firm: Vacation policies (11th), hours in the office (12th), and travel requirements (25th).



Like Bain, McKinsey also notched high scores across the board, ranking first in eight categories: Benefits, exit opportunities, innovation, internal mobility, international opportunities, promotion policies, relationships with supervisors, and selectivity. It also earned second place in five categories and third place in one. Like Bain, McKinsey’s weakest areas mirror the drawbacks of working for a large and world-renowned consulting firm: Hours in the office (10th), work/life balance (10th), and travel requirements (21st).

However, according to survey respondents, McKinsey is working to turn these weak spots into strengths. “McKinsey has done SO much to take a tough industry and make it accessible, via take time programs and emphasizing work-life balance, team discussions on lifestyle, and alternate travel programs,” writes one McKinsey staffer. “Consulting is a demanding industry, but they’ve done a great job with it.” Another clicks off the many perks that McKinsey offers to make life easier on its people. “Working from home, traveling less, extended vacations, accommodation for personal reasons, etc. You are treated with respect and love and the Firm does everything to accommodate you.”

  • See next page for the Top 25 consulting firms in the Vault 50 ranking.

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