Booz Allen Hamilton Reviews

Updated October 31, 2014
Updated October 31, 2014
2,197 Reviews
3.3
2,197 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Booz Allen Hamilton Chairman and CEO Ralph W. Shrader
Ralph W. Shrader
1,329 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Computer Technician.

    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits and perks. Plenty of opportunity to move up. Excellent "mentoring" system to help you along your career path.

    Cons

    Make sure you always have billable hours coming in. If your contract ends and they can't find another spot for you, you will be let go. Peer review system is a big hassle.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Changing Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Technologist in California, MD
    Current Employee - Staff Technologist in California, MD

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Booz Allen is a good company to start your career out at. They great job mobility program and encourage their employees reach their educational goals. There is collaboration across teams to get things done and make Booz Allen and one voice.

    Cons

    Constant change in the company makes it hard to get use to how we are suppose to operate. It seems as if the company has shifted it focus from it employees to its stakeholders, since it went public, which has made it less desirable to work for.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 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
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  5. 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.

  6.  

    Diverse company with lots of opportunity

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

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

    Pros

    A wide variety of groups and projects to involve yourself in. Lots of flexibility in work location and schedule.

    Cons

    The Strategic Innovation Group can seem like it's struggling to find direction. Training hasn't quite been figured out for deep technical tracks.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Well organized and managed.

    • 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

    Pros

    Great benefits, training opportunities, and time-off policies. Very diverse!

    Cons

    Big business in a small-business world.

    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    A firm that treats it's employees like people and not numbers on a spreadsheet

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Diego, CA

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

    Pros

    Still considered to be "new" with the firm having been here only two years, however they have been a good two years. The managers I have been in contact with care about their staff and work to make sure you feel valued in the organization. In my two years I have worked with three separate clients making work always interesting with changing scenery. The benefits are better than what I was getting with my previous employer. Some other reviews might talk about how the firm isn't what it used to be, but being new I don't have a negative outlook on how the firm is changing. There are lots of opportunities to learn new skills and to enhance the skills you already have. They offer an annual training budget you can use for certifications or other professional courses.

    Cons

    In the two years i have worked here I have worked for three separate clients. Although this keeps the work interesting and new, it is also a little concerning at the end of each contract to see where you will be placed or if you will be laid off. I spend a couple months not working at a client site when my contract expired but the firm kept me on and got me placed with a new client.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Interesting work but remote locations.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Aberdeen, MD
    Former Employee - Intern in Aberdeen, MD

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    cool work and projects. Friendly people. Good work life balance, great for settling down with kids

    Cons

    cant discuss work like other jobs I've had in the past. Not great for young college graduates who want fun active lifestyles

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    not enough to attract young innovative types, very similar people hired

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Smart People, but an Erosion of Culture and Benefits

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

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

    Pros

    The firm has a lot of very smart people, and is very friendly to scientists and veterans. They have a large footprint across the federal government, so there are a good number of opportunities. The firm seems to do a better job of weathering events like the government shutdown than their peers (SAIC, BAE, etc...). There is a decent level of stability given the industry.

    There are high ethical standards, a focus on quality work, and opportunities to advance.

    Cons

    Since the Carlyle buyout and the IPO, there has been a series of cost cutting efforts that seem to focus on improving the P&L in time for each quarterly earnings announcement. Over the last few years, we've had:

    * a (poorly executed) move to hoteling that killed any sense of team cohesion.
    * reduction in the 401(k) (Actually, the previous program was a 10% profit share, now it is a 6% match that only pays out if you are still employed at the firm at the end of the year)
    * Reduction in health insurance (a switch to high-deductible plans)
    * Watering down the 360 degree assessment process to one that amounts to little more than a checklist.
    *(They even got rid of all plants in the offices as a way to save money)

    Every couple of years, management tries to dramatically shift the organization with the promise that This Time Is Different. There have been switches back and forth between functional and market aligned structures. There was the One Firm push to integrate the commercial and government businesses ("we are one firm, we can work together"), followed by the split of the two halves ("we were really two separate businesses, with different models and cultures"), and the attempt to recreate a commercial business ("This time will be different").

    When I started, the firm's culture, reputation as a premium brand, and benefits were the big draws. I don't think any of them are particularly notable anymore.

    Over the last year there have been a bunch of efforts that are hard to look at with an unjaded eye -- the "Ed talks" are the firm's take on Ted talks (having a senior vice president give a speech while walking around on a stage really doesn't capture the whole Ted experience); knock-offs of Shark Tank, and superficial talk of innovation fill our email boxes along with videos of our new president's "Connect Tour." Some employees are paid to try and build excitement on Yammer. A lot of effort goes into what one might call "influence operations" to convince employees that management is on their side.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look back to the basics that made the firm great. It probably isn't possible to undo the cost savings you've already imposed since the IPO, but you can staunch the bleeding.

    You've managed to erode the corporate culture through hoteling and a watered down assessment process. The email campaign about the new health care plans was tone deaf.

    We've got to rebuild the culture. Give Principals more autonomy. Figure out a way to get teams working in the same place.

    Perhaps the only thing you could do to hurt morale and team culture more than you have would be to move to open office plans. You made a mistake with hoteling -- don't amplify it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Booz Allen From the Inside

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA

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

    Pros

    Great collaborative culture with many tools at your disposal. Helpful colleagues with no fear of retaliation if you know what you are talking about.

    Cons

    Getting recognition if your management is not with you. Working lots of hours to get ahead. Very business based but they are trying to change that. Federal space is not what it once was an salaries are being squeezed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put your money where your mouth is. Pay technical SMEs to keep them without forcing them to develop business plans or spend too many hours on proposals or looking for proposals to participate in. Realign teams to help management focus on the people they lead. Make salaries of function of cost of living. Pay should be the same in Washington D.C. and San diego since cost of living is the same.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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