Best Consulting Firms To Work For In 2018

BCG’s new New York office at 10 Hudson Yards – overlooking the Hudson River. Photo by Anthony Collins.

BCG MAKE STRIDES THANKS TO LONG-TERM INVESTMENTS IN CONSULTANTS

Guggenheim also touts BCG’s FlexTime program. “It gives consultants considerable flexibility reduce weekly work hours. The program is unique in that we compensate staff and give them credit toward promotion in conjunction with their full BCG experience, not solely based on their external staffing allocation.  For example, if someone is staffed at 50% on a client case, they are paid at 60% and they accumulate credit toward promotion at 70%. In addition, we offer one-on-one coaching to all FlexTimers to help them build communication and work-planning skills so they can find personal balance on a reduced schedule.”

Such benefits are only part of BCG’s equation. “A second area where we’ve enhanced quality of life is through our personalization of the BCG experience,” Guggenheim adds. “The goal is to encourage consultants to take full advantage of everything the firm has to offer in order to pursue their individual interests. This occurs through our approach to staffing, global mobility programs and client secondments, among other programs. Third, we’ve worked to improve the case team experience from a work-life balance perspective while continuing to deliver maximum value to clients. Our PTO program – which stands for predictability, teaming and open communication – has been instrumental for this, and employee satisfaction scores reflect its positive impact.”

This satisfaction is reflected in the 27 employee reviews published by Vault in 2017, where the firm’s lowest score was 4.5 stars on a 5 star scale. “If you’re looking for personal and professional growth, there are few better places to start your career than at BCG,” wrote one Los Angeles-based media and telecommunications consultant. “You will be stretched across multiple dimensions: from analytical skills, communication, to management. The heavy feedback culture and emphasis on mentorship and training will make you grow immeasurably.”

Bain consultants gathered to talk about solutions

CULTURE AND FLEXIBILITY REMAIN BAIN’S CALLING CARDS

In contrast, Bain & Company slipped from 1st to 3rd after its overall score slid from .027 of a point to 9.129. Bain’s prestige score also lost some cache, falling by .026 — though only a third of what McKinsey suffered. Bain consultants also gave their employer higher marks in 11 categories, with the biggest jump coming in Compensation (+.146).  To put that in perspective, Bain improved in just eight categories in 2016 when it ascended to the top spot. In addition, Bain produced the highest overall scores in the areas of Culture and Informal Training.

“I should stress that there’s no negative connotation there for Bain,” adds Vault’s Stott. “They still do an amazing job as an employer — all of the Big Three do, or they wouldn’t be at the top of the list. It’s just that they had a minor fall-off this year, while BCG maintained and McKinsey surged ahead.”

Looking ahead, Bain’s fall from its perch may just be a one-year anomaly. In the 2018 employee surveys, Bain consultants lauded their peers for their devotion, energy, intelligence, and teamwork. How satisfied are Bain employees? Among Vault’s 822 verified reviews of Bain, 76.8% of respondents gave the firm a perfect 5-star rating, with 99.1% scoring it with 4 stars or better — higher percentages than either McKinsey or BCG achieved. Long known as a serious but freewheeling bunch, Bain consultants heaped praise on the company’s culture, particularly its deeply-entrenched mentorship model.

“OUR CONSULTANTS DON’T JUST WORK AT BAIN — THEY THRIVE AT BAIN”

“You will learn constantly and will be surrounded by peers and managers who will support and challenge you both personally and professionally,” writes one strategy consultant in the San Francisco office. “The training is the best in the industry and the people are down to earth and fun! You’ll come out of Bain ready to tackle any business problem handed to you, having made a major impact on the most influential companies around the world.”

Keith Bevans heads up global consultant recruiting for Bain

“Impact” is a key word here, as Bain emphasizes a deeply hands-on and customized approach to crafting client solutions, explains Keith Bevans, a partner and head of global recruiting. “At Bain & Company, our consultants show up to work energized and engaged for a demanding job with clients who have high expectations for the caliber of results we’re known to deliver,” he tells Poets&Quants. “It starts with the type of work that we do with our clients, whether it’s developing a digital transformation strategy for a tech company, helping a retailer better understand customer behavior using advanced analytics, or identifying smart investment opportunities for a private equity fund, Our consultants can see the fruits of their efforts in the success stories of their clients.”

This intensive focus on individual development is the foundation of Bain’s appeal, Bevans adds. “We support them with heavy investments in their professional development because we need them to become the future leaders in the firm. We realize that not everyone will stay for 20 years, but we invest in everyone as if they will. The support they feel from us in terms of apprenticeship on their case teams, mentorship and sponsorship from senior leaders and industry-leading benefits program, have allowed us to build a high-performing global team. Our consultants don’t just work at Bain — they thrive at Bain.”

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