Protiviti Reviews

Updated March 18, 2015
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Protiviti President and CEO Joseph A. Tarantino
Joseph A. Tarantino
37 Ratings

78 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Not so great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Process Consultant in Houston, TX
    Former Intern - Process Consultant in Houston, TX

    I worked at Protiviti as an intern (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people are very friendly and young. If you are starting out, you might be tempted by the friendliness of the staff and coworkers.

    Cons

    The work is incredibly simple. Somebody from any major can come in and do the work. It's more admin-related work. I spoke with many people working there who agreed with me on that end.

    Protiviti Response

    Feb 26, 2015U.S. Campus Recruiting Lead

    Thank you for your commentary around your experience as an intern. Here at Protiviti, we take great pride in our intern program, and we strive to show every intern the value that he or she delivers ... More

  2. Great People..... CHEAP company with unrealistic expectations for development of core ITC capabilities.

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

    I have been working at Protiviti full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people and work/ life balance are what make Protiviti a great place to work.

    Cons

    Cheap company: Will only pay for two certifications per their HR rules and reimburse up to $1,000 dollars for training materials.

    Be careful because ITC here means internal audit and you will not necessarily be working on projects you were hired for.

    Advice to Management

    If you want to develop a true IT consulting arm you need to be willing to pay for top training. Don't be cheap. Develop a plan with a rational behind it.

    If a an employee is willing to pay for certifications just reimburse that person 100% for training expenses when they pass the test and increase their value.

    Do not put non-technical managers and above in charge of technical experienced hires. Management tends to get "Lost" when the technical issues come up.

  3. Consulting

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Protiviti

    Pros

    Very good group of people. It is a company that focuses on people and making sure they are taken care of.

    Cons

    The work is not the most intersting. Can get a bit repetitive, can try to ask to be on different projects, but may not happen.

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  5. It is an okay place to work but they don't provide incentives to stick around.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Associate in McLean, VA
    Current Contractor - Associate in McLean, VA

    I have been working at Protiviti as a contractor (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    They pay you money weakly.

    Cons

    No vacation time, no matching with the 401k, no sick leave.

    Advice to Management

    Share the wealth.

  6. Helpful (11)

    Great people, empty promises, boring work.

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

    I have been working at Protiviti full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    -People
    -Work life balance is solid.

    Cons

    -Compensation is low compared to the brutally boring nature of the work.

    -Perks are becoming less and less (i.e. In-flight wifi perk is gone, etc.)

    -The work is unbelievably BORING in the internal audit practice. New consultants (internal auditors) are misinformed at the Consultant Challenge in that they work on a mock project with a management consulting objective (i.e. turnaround a company with declining sales which is very interesting). Want to know what I really do? I pick up a red pencil and test SOX controls the same as last year. Absolutely horrid and DYING. Companies are beginning to build up in-house internal audit groups.

    -No motivation to work hard. Despite being given a 'Distinguished' rating on a performance review, I was held back from promotion because I was 3 months shy of the 2 year unwritten minimum. What's my incentive to work hard when i'm going to just be held back in order to be promoted the same time as my peers who don't work nearly as hard? I also was not given any constructive criticism to explain why I was held back.

    -I voiced my opinion numerous times about my interest in moving into a specific practice, but that request was not honored. I got lost in the weeds so to speak. Why? Because there is a constant battle among management for resources since numbers are dwindling. What happens is if you tell your career and executive advisors you'd like experience in a specific area, they are reluctant to give you what you want since they won't be able to use you on their projects. It's a farce and in turn, people leave.

    Advice to Management

    -My advice is to silo your practices. Do not recruit people for the Internal Audit & Financial Advisory practice and label them as "Consultants" because they aren't. They are internal auditors. By using the term consultant, you attract a specific type of person. You attract the A-type personalities who have watched too many episodes of House of Lies. Then after a while they hate ticking and tying and leave. Then the MDs are left wondering why. Everyone in the firm knows the Risk & Compliance practice is the bread winner. They get paid more and work on more interesting projects, but that comes at a cost: nearly 100% travel and getting pigeonholed on one long-term project.

    -The Big 4 model works. Advisory practice = consultants. Audit practice = staff/associate. Be transparent up front in explaining the work you do and you will see those turnover numbers decrease.

    -Stop stifling the wishes of your younger employees. Protiviti is growing, but because of this they are attracting go-getters and A-types. Don't be naive in thinking these individuals are stupid, because they aren't. They can understand when something is the truth and when it is plain BS. And when they are being fed BS disguised as truth, they get upset and leave.

  7. Helpful (4)

    Job Title (what you're told): Consultant; Job Description (What you actually do): Auditor

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

    I worked at Protiviti full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Relocation opportunities, cool people that you work with.

    Cons

    Don't pay high enough for the work you do. You have to drive A LOT, prepare to be in traffic sometimes 4 hours a day because the clients aren't in San Francisco.

    You aren't a consultant, you most likely are just going to work on SOX Audits

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent with the work people are going to have to do.

    Protiviti Response

    Dec 1, 2014

    Thank you for taking the time to post this review. I am pleased to read that you enjoyed working with the team in the Bay Area. I agree there are fantastic opportunities to relocate domestically and ... More

  8. Helpful (4)

    Best of times, worst of times.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Managing Director in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Managing Director in New York, NY

    I worked at Protiviti full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    A limited number of professionals with market standing reside in the firm. For junior folks, utilization is probably equal to big 4, but on a lower base. You will have more of a life here than there, but turnover was significant.

    Cons

    The rest are Arthur Andersen. It's a club reserved for Andersonites. Very few stars (just baby consultants with no hands on operational expertise, limiting moral authority in the marketplace), deliverables are average at best, which tend to be churned to juice final client bills. Projects are generally average, with interesting projects landing in larger firms. Remember...this is an internal audit based firm, meaning lower bill rates (reflective of low grade body shop "consulting" firms) than consulting/advisory work, of which there is little. Not sure where the pay scale resides, probably average, but the bonus structure is just awful (you can see it on the Ladders currently under regulatory consulting firm) and tends to evaporate to near 0 if you are not in the club, and that is done by whim (so think about the potential for long hours, weekends, and red eyes: is this really worth it?). MD comp packages are quite large, everybody else is limited and dedicated to perhaps out of market MD packages.

    Maybe this is just "consulting," but better models (projects, quality of colleagues, remuneration, progression, etc.) exist than this one.

    Advice to Management

    Can't give advice to the Andersen crowd. Blood is thicker than water.

  9. Helpful (2)

    Executive Assistant

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

    I have been working at Protiviti full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people are great to work and we are treated with respect.

    Cons

    If you are executive assistant forget about moving pass the level of coordinator. They have an EA career model that shows the levels where you can grow but you will never move past being a coordinator, they want us to do more but yet won’t acknowledge that some of us should be a specialist. The only high internal level is “lead EA” and they are still coordinators, not even a title of Senior Coordinator. The only way to advance if you move out of being an EA and move to operations and if you have a degree or if you are lucky and know someone in the right places, they will overlook the degree requirement to get promoted but then why include a career model which shows potential growth. It just reinforces that the EA group is not important to the firm.

    Advice to Management

    If you have a career model, you should use it. You asked the EA group to take on more responsibility but won't promote anyone in this group so no one in this group will ever get included in the ICP/Prop points that everyone else may be eligible for. We get gift cards instead.

    Protiviti Response

    Sep 25, 2014Global Talent Management Lead

    Thank you for your feedback. We strive to set clear career paths for our executive assistants that provide growth opportunities both within the traditional function and also expanding into a broader ... More

  10. Helpful (2)

    Good people, however easy to find bad middle management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Business Process Intern
    Former Intern - Business Process Intern

    I worked at Protiviti as an intern (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Entry level people I worked with were great, as well as immediate managers.

    Cons

    Did not develop people very well and the work was not fulfilling at all.

  11. Helpful (9)

    Experience that I would like to completely forget

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant II in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Consultant II in New York, NY

    I have been working at Protiviti full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Choosing to work at Protiviti was probably the worst decision I've ever made. I think it has more to do with my complete disinterest in auditing but I don't think Protiviti handles things the correct way either.

    First, they really lie to you during the interview process. You CANNOT choose how often and where you travel. You CANNOT choose your projects/clients based on your interests. You CANNOT even choose what solution you are grouped into.

    I selected Protiviti over advisory groups at the Big 4 because I thought, being a smaller company, they would be more sensitive to their employees wants/needs. They also seemed somewhat cooler, more creative and definitely more "consulting" focused.

    On my first day of work I learned, because of my accounting background, I was automatically placed (they did not ask me at all) in the internal audit group. I knew people with engineering and computer science degrees being placed in IT Audit. Why would you waste such talent and potential by throwing someone into an audit group when they literally know nothing about audit at all? It's actually quite insulting. They have people who can code and build software and instead they're ticking and tying out work papers and checking employee access for clients. By the way- most of their projects are audit based- not consulting. Don't be fooled.

    I understand as a company, it's first come first serve and they need to add staff where most needed. In fact, this is how it works for projects too. You live in NJ? Well we need someone for an LI project and you're available- spend 4 hours a day commuting or live in a hotel for 4 months. That's how Protiviti approaches staffing. Literally no consideration of geographical preferences, family obligations, work life balance. In my almost 1.5 years spent working there, I had a grand total of about 4 weeks working in NYC. Be prepared to get very cozy with NJ Transit, LI Expressway, the Whitestone Bridge and the Metro North. Get used to spending 2+ hours commuting every day.

    Once you're placed into a group, you are completely stuck there unless by some miracle, a a senior manager+ intervenes on your behalf or you leave the firm. You are pigeonholed from day one. I was very lucky (kidding) to have a SOX client first, so guess who all my subsequent clients were? I couldn't even get on a straight internal audit project let alone do some real consulting, I was bounced around from SOX engagement to SOX engagement. I felt like my brain was literally atrophying from the lack of thought provoking or creative work. You don't even get to work on a variety of clients. Once a client likes you, you're stuck on that project every year. My 2nd year at Protiviti was looking identical to my first. How is that good for employees to do the same thing every day, every year. I wasn't learning or feeling productive or fulfilled. It was just awful.

    I attempted to find interesting clients/projects/teams/groups to work with. I emailed MDs in other solutions asking for work, talked to my seniors, managers, senior managers, advisors, etc about switching groups. What I found out is that nobody really cares. No one cares about you being interested in your work, being happy at your job, having a decent commute, etc. All Protiviti cares about is their clients. I think that is the biggest mistake they can make, although they certainly aren't the only company doing it.

    I think it's telling that all the managers who interviewed me, had quit in the short time I worked at Protiviti. Every single consultant I started with resented Protiviti after a few months and fantasized about the day they left. I didn't know anyone who actually liked working there. People got anxiety from the place. People are sad to be working there. People quit left and right. What a terribly unproductive environment.

    To add salt to the wound, when I started looking for a new job, not one person knew what Protiviti was when they looked at my resume. If you want to work in audit for the rest of your life, working at Protiviti is fine. If you don't, do yourself a favor and at least work at the Big 4 to get a recognizable and impressive name on your resume.

    Cons

    See above for general comments but here's a pros/cons list:

    Pros:
    Good starting salary- for coming right out of college, starting with 58k was really great. People always complain but I truly believe that for an entry level position, that is very generous and fair. Also, its on par with Big 4 (actually 1k more but that's pretty insignificant)

    Generous vacation time- starts at 20 days off. I also appreciated how easy it was to take that time. No hoops to jump through, no approval process. You just took time as you needed it, no questions really asked.

    Option for a sabbatical- this is a recent addition (and pretty progressive if you ask me). You can take a month or 2 off in Q1 if you want to travel, study for an exam, or search for a new job ha ha.

    Training: The Consultant Challenge was actually a ton of fun and they did a good job teaching you useful skills. You get pretty close to all the people you start with which is really nice.

    Cons:
    The people: So obviously there are a few gems, some genuinely nice or intelligent people. Mostly, I really disliked everyone. Everyone was pretty bland- your typical party hard, boozy brunch girl or sport obsessed, bar hopping guy. I really had no desire to hang out with any of these people during or after work. The managers are okay but mostly really really bland or they think they're gods gift to the world, swanning around the office in their suit acting like they're running a multi-billion dollar company.

    Travel: Like I said before, it doesn't matter who you are or where you live, get used to filling out tax forms for 4+ states every year.

    Hours: Hours start at 45 hours a week. Whatever happened to the good ol' 40 hour work week? If you work 45 hours a week, consider yourself lucky. Busier times on projects will easily net you 50-65 hour workweeks. Don't forget about that 1+ hour commute too! Work-life balance is a farce here. Sure its better than a bank or external audit at a Big 4 but it's still crap and no way to live life. Expect to work weekends, holidays too if your client gets really busy. Forgot about working from home too- I didn't have the ability to do that at all when I worked for Protiviti.

    Lack of flexibility: No option to switch groups, clients, gain new skills, work with new people. Promotional ladder is very rigid and almost completely dependent on amount of time worked.

    The whole structure of the firm: I just get bad vibes from the whole thing. The CEO is so dull and uninspiring. HR is very unhelpful, uncaring and curt. Like I said, it's all about the client and not about the employees being happy. They pretend to care by organizing stupid community service or after work events that are just so contrived and forced. There is also an insane amount of politics, back stabbing, red tape, gossiping, in-fighting and hurt feelings that go on behind the scenes. Very unprofessional and pretty ridiculous and the employees just get caught up in all of it. Also the whole buddy system, advisor, mentor, goal setting, review process is such a waste of time and no one really benefits from it.

    Advice to Management

    Use your size and relative newness as an advantage. Stop acting like the little sibling to the Big 4, mimicking everything they do. You are small and young and more nimble- enact innovative policies in the office. Stop being so corporate and stuffy- its unappealing to clients and to employees. Pretend that you're a tech company. Maybe have a looser dress code, allow telecommuting, cap hours at 50 per week, show compassion, hire different types of people with unique skills, offer increased vacation days, continue and expand sabbatical program, ask new hires where they want to be placed and their interests before assigning them a group, be sensitive, encourage creativity, be unique, foster happiness, do away with the all the time-wasting and narrow goal setting/buddy/mentor/advisor processes, compensate for travel time, stop treating consultants as cattle by using them and shifting them around as you please. The most impactful and realistic suggestion I have though is to offer a rotational program. Let new consultants try new things, learn as much as possible and see what they like best. Then give them the power to choose their group. You will get the most informed, happiest and productive employees that way. Forget about building out your services and adding new half-assed solutions. Focus on your employees first and they will take care of the rest and make Protiviti an innovative and profitable consulting firm. You will be completely distinguished from all other firms and will attract top talent. What you invest now will be returned 10-fold. One more thing, BE a consulting firm, don't just SAY you're a consulting firm.

    Protiviti Response

    Aug 28, 2014HR Leader

    Thank you for this valuable feedback. We have shared your feedback with our New York staffing and HR team, as well as our Managing Directors, and are using it, along with other employee feedback to ... More

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