Booz Allen Hamilton Reviews

Updated October 31, 2014
Updated October 31, 2014
2,195 Reviews
3.3
2,195 Reviews
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Booz Allen Hamilton Chairman and CEO Ralph W. Shrader
Ralph W. Shrader
1,327 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is generally pretty good but also depends on the client you support (in 294 reviews)

  • High opportunity ceiling; great benefits; worthwhile challenges; ability to influence work that matters (in 105 reviews)


Cons
  • The Work Life Balance that it promises is often not the reality (in 112 reviews)

  • It is not uncommon for a person to be hired and then let go in a few months for "lack of work" (in 47 reviews)

More Highlights

340 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 21 people found this helpful  

    Once great company that has lost its way - be careful about coming here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Company's reputation, based on past, still looks good on a resume; but that is changing, so if you are joining Booz for that reason, realize that it is a wasting resource.

    Cons

    Top level management has no idea what business the company is really in; Chairman talks about how we do top level management consulting when all most of us provide government, fill the seat jobs - including low end jobs like help desk. Lower level management is completely driven by thin indirect budgets. It is not uncommon for a person to be hired and then let go in a few months for "lack of work". Turnover is very high and job security is essentially zero. Health benefits in 2015 are now on the chopping block..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Booz has a become a weaker, paler imitation of an aerospace company, but without the strengths of an aerospace company. The whole strategy appears to be cost cutting - hard to reconcile in a company which used to justify its rates based on quality. And, of course, our clients and competitors see this.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 14 people found this helpful  

    Downhill since Carlyle acquisition.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Associate in Annapolis Junction, MD
    Current Employee - Lead Associate in Annapolis Junction, MD

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Flexible work arrangements, name still considered 'prestigious' in the market.

    Cons

    Benefits cut (medical slashed in 2015, ECAP gone), training hours have to be made up/paid back, promotion opportunities cut.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your line of business is selling human capital to clients. Since the IPO and takeover by the Carlyle group, benefits have been cut - ECAP eliminated, training cut, all staff at 100% direct labor, no time or money for innovation (you may claim otherwise, making me work extra to work on projects that benefit the firm is bs). Cutting benefits and training pushes your best and most valuable workers to competitors or government jobs. Following low budget competitors like LM, SAIC, and Ledios in a 'race to the bottom' will only hurt the firm long term. The firm has completely changed from the past - it used to be the employer of choice for high end consulting. Not any more.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 11 people found this helpful  

    Once-Prestigious Firm Now Slashing Benefits

    Current Employee - Lead Technologist/Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Lead Technologist/Associate in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The firm has built a good reputation over its many years of existence. For my market, people at the Principal level and below are good, upstanding. Meeting with your manager is usually license for a free lunch (at least in my management chain). Quarterly management meetings are a restaurant have been fun and good for network. The firm really came through and covered client-side people during the government shutdown in Fall 2013. The firm finally offers a career map for technologists and engineers, although it remains to be seen whether that will increase upward mobility. Internal social network is active and informative.

    Cons

    Benefits are being slashed on annual basis:
    - The retirement contribution, which was above average (10% of pay, but vested) when I joined, is at or below average now (6% of pay with 100% vesting at SIX YEARS).
    - The 2015 health insurance choices have been unveiled and they are OUTRAGEOUSLY BAD. The lowest plan is far worse (higher premium, higher OOP max, higher deductible) than the cheapest (and only) high-deductible plan last year. The only Aetna plans left are high-deductible, and the deductibles are way too high when compared to the premiums.) Pharmacy benefits also are subject to the same deductible now. I'm curious how many people the firm will lose over this.

    There is an expectation that you make up non-billable hours (e.g. firm-mandatory training). You are expected to do an annual self-review, even though it's not required and you can't charge it. (None of this is particularly new.)

    Lead associates and senior associates get overworked. They (especially lead associates) are expected to do management basically for free after putting in a full week being billable to the client.

    You used to be able to count on job security at a big firm, but that is no longer the case. The lack-of-work notice comes as soon as you end your work on a contract and you have precious little time to find a new position before being shown the door. What is the point of working for such a large firm?

    Sick time included in paid time off (which is four weeks for new Associates).

    Attrition seems to be high.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Beef up your benefits before you lose all your top talent to better (especially smaller) companies.

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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    It's All About the Money (Billable Hours)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The pay scale is ok although on the low side for my industry. The benefits package is about average compared to other companies where I've worked.

    Cons

    It's all about the money. If you don't have billable hours, you are out the door within a couple of weeks (see other posts about Lack of Work Letters). My so-called Career Manager didn't do squat to help me find another position within the company and a lot of positions require an existing secret or higher security clearance. All the promos I saw were political, not based on skill. And woe unto you if you have a goofball client - they can make your life hell if your manager doesn't have the stones to protect their people. This is a good place to get some experience in a federal contract house (butts in the seats); BAH is NOT a consulting firm in any sense of the definition. You can survive for awhile if you blather corporate speak and play the cheerleader, but plan on finding another job within 2-3 years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    I expected more......

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate
    Former Employee - Associate

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time

    Pros

    Flexibility. You can work remotely if you want and if your assignment permits it. It’s well known company in the DC area and there is the perception that everyone who works there is super smart and that it is a well run organization. The missions of the clients supported are interesting and many coworkers are nice.

    Cons

    No work life balance. Working at Booz is a series of fire drills and poorly run projects. Its not uncommon to spend long hours working on something that is 'high priority' and later learn that what was asked for was never even looked at.

    Lots of arrogance, pretention, and ego at the senior associate and higher level. There is an unspoken dynamic that people at this level know everything and that pretty much no one below that level knows anything….so you end up indulging the senior staff by nodding and smiling – which makes their egos even bigger. And you do this even when it is obvious that they don’t know what they are talking about - and yes, there are people in Booz who have no clue as to what they are doing.

    Career paths are limited. Raises, promotions, and bonuses are generously sprinkled across ‘leadership’ while the majority of employees – the ones actually doing the work – get very little for their contributions. Lower level employees are just supposed to be happy to get the honor of being deemed good enough to work at Booz. It’s definitely a culture of haves and have nots. The average employee could get the same job somewhere else, earn the same salary if not higher, be appreciated more, and not have to deal with the weird organizational dynamics at Booz.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company’s culture is in need of a massive overhaul from the top down. Trim the fat at the top levels - there’s too many people up there - and it's not obvious what they are doing to move the company forward. Bring in some fresh leadership from the outside so they can provide a new perspective. Listen to employees. Treat all employees as though they are valuable and that they also contribute to the organization's success. Hold poor and disorganized leaders accountable….starting with the ones in the SIG.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Good Work; Bad Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible work hours, manageable travel, and good pay - but that's just the current contract with the client enabling these "pros". I have never worked at the Booz Allen Hamilton corporate locations to know how company policies affect its employees.

    Cons

    Client-facing work = no career management, apparently. Complete lack of guidance on career development, strong push on NOT asking for any promotions or expecting a fair assessment of work quality. Common reason to deny any kind of a promotion or pay raise, is "you cannot bring in any new business, so don't expect any career advancement."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't let your client-facing staff just become cogs in the client's machinery to the point where they become just a temporary staffing solution for the client. They are YOUR employees, treat them as such! Client-facing staff shouldn't be ignored and forgotten, especially when they work in areas far from corporate HQ. Career managers need to get involved with their remote client-facing employees and well, manage careers and not just approve time-sheets and expense reports..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    The Titanic of the DC Metro Area

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Technologist in Herndon, VA
    Current Employee - Lead Technologist in Herndon, VA

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Big, shiny object on your resume
    - Lots of firm-wide emails meant to boost your morale about the latest benefit cut
    - Hoteling implementation has led to lots of Working From Home (avoiding the treacherous DC area commute)
    - Still buys out Kings Dominion once a year for Employee Appreciation Day (amazingly this perk has outlived quality health care plans)

    Cons

    - A sinking giant in Federal "Consulting" in full cost-cutting mode after recent IPO. The stock is doing well b/c the employees aren't.
    - Extremely poor raises (promotion and non-promotion) in the last 2+ years
    - Reduction of once amazing 401k program to slightly above average 401k program
    - Change to all high deductible health plans (with super high premiums) and emails from management about how this is a good thing
    - Switched to the full Federal holiday schedule which resulted in zero floating holidays (was 2), no Black Friday holiday, and a reduction in PTO.
    - Ability to switch projects not on par with other true consulting firms (lots of boring staff augmentation type roles with little mobility)
    - Top talent leaving the firm to work at better places.
    - Changes structure/organization/quirky catch phrase ALL the time - seriously why even try any more?
    - All of the above is resulting in the firm losing its prestige and sinking QUICKLY. Booz Allen used to be a very respected place to to build your career, now its just...a place to work until you find something else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sell the company now and cash out while you can - this sucker is going down with you "titans of industry" at the wheel!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    It is an alright company.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant Developer in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Consultant Developer in Rockville, MD

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The pros are that salary and benefits. You may be on a small team, so you can get to know everyone. Free coffee and water.

    Cons

    Unstable. Your team may lose the contract. No training for fresh graduates.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Add training for new employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great in pockets, but not the same all over.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in Washington, DC

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    You can say you work there and revel in the "good old days" with others. Good people, honest and hard working. Do things right, for the most part.

    Cons

    It's just a staff augmentation company now, except her you have to wear a suit. People think they are more important than they really are, talent gets overlooked at times; slave to some govy a majority of the time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get back to what made the company special, remember what made it special, try to become private again. Won't happen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Strong brand but needs to refocus its mission

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in Washington, DC

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Big name brand, lots of training available, good middle management, pretty good benefits, and very good work/life balance unlike many other consulting firms.

    Cons

    Organizational restructuring constantly, weak connection between leadership and staff, shifting towards staff augmentation/contracting from traditional consulting, and salaries are trending toward which is good for the bottom line but bad for staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get back to your core, focus on making staff happy which will flow down to better performance and happier clients. Focus on providing world class consulting rather providing staff augmentation or "contracting".

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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