Booz Allen Hamilton

  www.boozallen.com
  www.boozallen.com

Booz Allen Hamilton Reviews

Updated November 18, 2014
Updated November 18, 2014
2,219 Reviews
3.3
2,219 Reviews
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Booz Allen Hamilton Chairman and CEO Ralph W. Shrader
Ralph W. Shrader
1,338 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

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  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    No longer above market average

    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible work times
    Ability to travel
    Interesting work

    Cons

    Hotelling
    Constant cut backs on benefits and other perks (Insurance, transit, 401K)
    Dwindling salaries
    Seems like stakeholders are valued more than employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop wasting money on HR overhauls and stop making insane benefits cuts to be "in line with the industry average". The point of working at BAH is that the firm is supposed to be above the industry average.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Great employer, reacting to recent market changes

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

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

    Pros

    Booz Allen has been a terrific company to work for. Lots of opportunity, good management and great benefits.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, since splitting off the commercial side and focusing exclusively on government contracting they've been under pressure to offer benefits that are 'comparable' to other government contractors, resulting in unfortunate cultural and benefits changes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go back to being the Booz Allen of about 4 years ago. We were uniquely principled in advising the client and had amazing talent. In the quest to grow, too many incompatible changes were made in order to be competitive. You can't stand out in value by copying other companies.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    Ever notice most SA's and Principals are unmarried or divorced? Ask yourself why?

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

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

    Pros

    --Young people are quite talented.
    --Great coffee--seriously, it was a little thing that was appreciated.
    --Reputation from years ago still carries some weight.
    --There are some good managers still around. If you can find one, get on their programs.
    --The good projects are interesting. They won't pay well, but nice people.
    --People dress professionally.
    --Good 401(k) match.

    Cons

    --Like "Lord of the Flies"? Then you'll love watching senior management undercut each other. This was depressing to see. Unfortunately, we underlings were treated like pawns in their squabbles.
    --Training? That's your own problem on your own dime.
    --Want a raise? Go somewhere else.
    --Enjoy 65-hour work weeks months at a time? Like work calls on Sunday AM? Perhaps this explains all the divorces!
    --Like bonuses only for executives (i.e. not the 65 hour work week people)? If you are not an executive (i.e. SA and above), you are not going to get anything other than a couple hundred bucks for a couple hundred extra hours worked--and not that's not an exaggeration. Ask around to confirm this.
    --Like work calls at home at 10:30 PM?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    --Look at what your competitors are offering, and think about what you need to do in order to retain your key people. Why is your turnover so high and morale so low? Somebody needs to analyze this to stop the loss of talent. This trend can be fixed, but it is going to cost you something to do it.
    --Yes, 24-year-olds can do 70% of the work of 52-year-olds at 40% of the cost, but the epic fails of the 30% of the stuff they can't do, is highly damaging. The government is quickly realizing that the expensive bloat of top-heavy management, means there are cheaper and better companies to work with than Booz.
    --Discourage the in-fighting among SA's and Principals. This was such a turnoff to witness, that I had no interest in ever seeking to rise to that level at this company. I left.
    --You guys are being really cheap on training. Smaller companies know this and are snatching our best and brightest staff by offering this. Someone at 1-Dulles needs to figure this out.
    --I saw great young workers around me who made great impacts for the customer. Management took all the credit, took their bonuses, and the people who did the heavy lift got no bonus, no promotion, and no verbal accolades. Those guys left shortly after this.
    --Respect work/life balance. Occasional long hours are okay, but this should not be the norm. Expecting regular 10-12 hour days (without a dime of bonus) is a fast way to burn out your people, and wreck their family lives, if they put up with this longer than a year or two.
    --Rebuild Booz to what it was 10+ years ago. It can be done. You have some great people within, so don't burn them out or chase them off to greener pastures elsewhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 7 people found this helpful  

    The prestige is nice, but that's about it.

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

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Many of my coworkers became close, personal friends. Honestly, I probably stayed a couple of years too long just because of that. There are also lots of resources available to you that you don't get at smaller companies. For the most part, walking into a room and saying "I'm from Booz Allen" still gets you instant credibility in a whole lot of places.

    Cons

    Despite being a seasoned professional in my field when hired, I quickly realized that I was brought on to be a very expensive intern for my vice president. My days consisted of making power point presentations, excel spreadsheets, scheduling meetings, and listening to other people brief my material. It took me a couple of years to be given even a modicum of the responsibility I had for years prior to joining the firm. Once I had it-- and excelled-- I was repeatedly promised promotions that never materialized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior leadership has created an organization that is so internally focused and political that it lets a lot of talent and good ideas slip through the cracks. Formal recognition of good workers is needed as well as a thorough house cleaning of the enormous amount of dead weight walking the halls.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Terrible Experience on a Terrible Team

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

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

    Pros

    The firm pays competitively and supports teleworking if allowed per your contract. If you're lucky to be assigned to a good team then you will flourish, and people look out for one another. They offer good health insurance (which is becoming increasingly harder to come by) with plenty of options to fit your needs. 401K % matched was just lowered but still a good benefit.

    Cons

    Team was greedy and project lead only looked out for himself....I was picked up and used by a team to gain more business from client site, whom I had fostered a good relationship with but once they were finessed two extra billets I became dispensable and treated like a plague from entire team to include HR/recruiting. Lip service central and disappointing to colleagues I knew on different teams who were apologetic on my own teams.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Actually be about the people and not the money because in the end its your reputation and just because you have legacy with clients doesn't mean you're guaranteed to future business/contracts.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    Still a Good Old Boy Network

    • 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 (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Booz Allen offer a attractive 401K plan. Another benefit is the opportunity to lead a team of smart, talented people.

    Cons

    There are too many cons to list so I will try my best to narrow my comments. I worked in Booz Allen for 4 years, I was at the Senior Leadership in the Federal Government before being hired by Booz. When I accepted to work for Booz, I came to the firm with a roledex full of potential clients and years of experience as a client myself who had hired many of Booz Allen employees in the past. I was brought into the company at the high end Associate level and was made Team Lead within 6 months.With my level of experience, I should have come into the firm at the Senior Associate level or higher but that was not the case. After being in the firm for a while, I observed employees with not even a fraction of my experience or who had held the high visibility positions asiI had previously held either come in at the Senior Associate level or quickly be promoted simply because of the good old boy network. Because I was prior government and most of my clients were my former peers, they would mentioned to me on numerous occasions that their assessment of Booz Allen Senior Associate was very poor and that they didn't have a lot of confidence in their ability to support the client, this is a huge con for Booz Allen. Another con is that if you are not placed on a capability team/market that is in high demand, your chances of being fired for "Lack of work" is very high. I watch this happen to many of my colleagues simply because they were on the wrong team. Now that I am back in the government in a Senior Leaders position, the chances of me wanting to hire Booz Allen to support any of my high Acquisition contracts is slim to none!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to Booz Allen is to pay attention to who you are hiring, especially if they are prior government at the Senior Leadership level. Know your employees worth and stop hiring new employees at the catch all Associate level no matter how much experience the potential candidate may have. Your employees today could be your potential clients in the future so get rid of the unspoken "Good old Boys" system and recognize true leaders. There is no "Secret Sauce" in Booz Allen anymore, the firm is just another ambulance chaser!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Good On The Outside, Stale on the Inside

    • 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 5 years)

    Pros

    Was almost fully a telecommuter which was a great pro. The money was great for the small amount of work I did. The work was easy to me because I was basically occupying my old military position but paid 3 times the amount of money. Benefits were good at the beginning but dwindled down slowly in the 6 years I was at the firm. Most people were helpful and wanted you to success. Travel was great for some positions like mine. Definite resume shiner for the future!

    Cons

    Lots of hot air from upper management. When you're being told how good you are everyday you go with that. But when the project started drilling down, no one was anywhere to be found to help you find another project. Senior Associates could care less about those underneath them in most cases. Veterans like myself come to the table helping the firm make a LOT of money but you once they realize you aren't useful anymore you're out. Seems like, "Lack of Work" letters were more and more popular when I left. With the drill down of govt money and contracts, BAH is in trouble!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to those who got you to your level! Listen to what they have to say and let those under you make some decisions instead of making the wrong decisions just because you can.

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 8 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
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Your supervisor is your best f(r)iend

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

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time

    Pros

    Respected consulting firm widely known for public sector expertise. You will find colleagues with solid knowledge, experience, and skills; many will come from the DMV area.

    Cons

    1. Quality of leadership is quite varied at the Lead Associate and Senior Associate levels; performance at this level strongly favors functional competence rather than managerial competence although they are expected to be the manager class. Lead Associates and Senior Associates do not receive adequate training on how to manage or mentor people, or, if they did, they did not put it into practice and senior management does not reinforce the requirement for such.

    2. Your supervisor has a large, perhaps outsized, say in your rating and promotion decisions - making a mockery of the supposed 360 degree annual performance review. Those supervising your supervisor will allow wide permission to your supervisor to decide your rating/compensation/bonus - even in the presence of objective factors contrary to the rating your supervisor decides upon. In short, playing favorites is tolerated and common.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 25 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

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