Boston Consulting Group
Cutting edge. Out of the box. Push the envelope.
That’s the philosophy at BCG. Call it the home of the curious and the creative. It is a consulting firm that likes to start from the beginning, relishing the opportunity to tear things up and flush out the possibilities. You won’t find BCG consultants lounging in the c-suite. Somehow, they find their way to every corner of an operation, always listening, debating, and testing – never satisfied with band-aids and always formulating solutions custom-built for their clients.
No wonder the firm has been growing like crazy – a mini-McKinsey with 90 offices in over 50 countries. Yes, BCG consultants love to tackle the complex and the daunting. For that, they are paid handsomely. In the Vault Consulting 50 ranking, BCG topped all competitors for Compensation and Benefits. It is an area that produced plenty of praise from anonymous survey respondents from BCG.
“Compensation is very attractive and merit-based while allowing everyone to participate in the firm’s success,” writes one survey-taker. “We have regularly had special bonuses / additional vacation time awarded to all staff in most successful years.”
LEADERSHIP AND LONG-TERM OUTLOOK ARE STRENGTHS
The firm’s benefits package was also touted by respondents – though one participant added a caveat. “Health insurance is truly second to none – it equals essentially free healthcare anywhere except for the most exotic and experimental procedures. Vacation days are below par for competition.”
Overall, BCG earned its highest marks in Employee Selectivity (9.883), Business Outlook (9.829), Exit Opportunities (9.807), and Firm Leadership (9.729). Translation: BCG consultants are bullish on their prospects. That said, the firm’s weakest areas, according to survey respondents, fell in the areas where the MBB traditionally struggles: Hours Worked (79.51), Work-Life Balance (8.711), and Internal Mobility (8.717). However, from the surveys, there is one area where BCG stands tall: Transparency. Several respondents noted that the firm maintains defined metrics to track employment development as well as supplying ongoing and timely feedback to help consultants raise their performance.
“BCG is very transparent on how you get promoted. The criteria are shared at the outset and are the basis for all of your reviews. Promotion decisions are made by a committee of people within your office, who may not even know you personally, ensuring fairness & that politics stay out of the decision.”
The firm also operates off of a deeply-held “Respect for the Individual” philosophy according to one survey-taker. Notably, the program maintains a “PTO” (Predictability, Teaming, and Open Communication) program – one designed to help consultants carve out more personal time while supporting their long-term growth goals. In fact, structured training is often cited as one of the firm’s strengths in Vault Consulting 50 surveys.
“I love our extensive Learning & Development resources,” writes one respondent. “I feel that continuous learning is not only expected but also supported in many different ways. I use a personal communications coach to work on improving my interpersonal communication. Additionally, I feel that we have adapted well to the digital environment. I miss being in person, but I still feel connected to my colleagues.”
So why did BCG finish 2nd to Bain in 2021 – especially after besting Bain by .14 of a point in Prestige (which accounts for 30% of the ranking’s weight? Simple: Bain topped the MBB in 13 categories – and BCG in 15 categories overall. That includes Firm Culture and Satisfaction – which combined make up another 30% of the ranking. Bain & Company also notched higher scores in Work-Life Balance, Level of Challenge, and Promotion Policy – or another 25%. Advantage: Bain.
However, don’t be surprised if BCG makes a run at the crown next year. After all, the firm is focused on the fundamentals and dedicated to bringing out the best in their staff. “Having worked at a competitor, I can confidently say BCG puts more effort behind supporting their employees,” adds another survey respondent. “BCG hands down invests more in its employees than anyone else.”
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