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Its a great firm with a lot of intelligent and motivated employees

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

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

Pros

Amazing experiences at various client sites on varied projects. Few consulting firms or regular jobs may provide such experiences. Excellent teams to work with and clients are large corporations which makes problem solving interesting and forces you to think outside the box

Cons

No cons focus on growing the company and may be re merge with WCB

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Keep doing what you are doing...

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

Other Reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton

  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    Like others have said, not what it once was

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

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

    Pros

    Four years ago I posted a glowing review of the firm on this site. In those four years, most of the pros I had listed have steadily been withdrawn. But for now, if you were a new hire you can still feel some of the vestiges of what made the firm the firm: a desire to support its employees to make sure that the best and brightest came here instead of our competitors. It's on its way out, though.

    Cons

    The incident I feel most sums up where things have gone downhill: I'm not the only staff who noticed that they solicitied firm-wide input to spend time taking the employee survey--a large portion of which discussed our time off benefits--only to release a new policy on that issue within days of the survey closing changing our benefits. In other words, to early for them to have possibly had any time to review and actually care about the results. For a firm that markets strategic communications expertise to clients this was an epic fail.

    In addition, most of us have seen the ECAP phase-out writing-on-the-wall coming for a while. Mark my words, this is just the start of what eventually will turn into a vanilla 401(k)/matching system. Just like our competitors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I am truly upset to see the direction the firm is taking, and I am not the only one - every non-senior staff on my team has the same concerns. I've worked for our competitors, and what drew my resume to the firm was that we went the extra mile to hire the best talent, and did what it took to keep us here. It would be good to remember that the thing that has provided us the ability to beat our competitors has been the resumes we are staffing to the clients. If working here is no different than any other contracting company, we're going to lose that edge because our talent pool is going to go to the Lockheeds and General Dynamics that can rely on building actual products to compensate for work-replacement contracts. Right now the firm's leadership is trading off on our reputation with the clients...but that's not a limitless pool, and if things don't turn around we are going to lose that capital too.

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    Some Important Positives, But Questionable Direction And Dysfunctional Management

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

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -There are some really great and talented people who work there and I suspect they're attracted by the Booz Allen brand.
    - The benefits were very solid, particularly the ECAP, although I've heard this has changed since I left about two months ago and the ECAP is no longer around.
    - The online resources for training are outstanding and very accessible. The best I've seen at any employer so far. If anyone says that they weren't able to get training at Booz Allen, they simply weren't trying.

    Cons

    - While people are attracted to Booz Allen because of the brand (as I was), that brand is in sharp decline. As has been mentioned repeatedly, the company went public a few years ago and they're owned by a private equity group that demands quarterly returns that Booz Allen just isn't able to meet considering that sequestration and cuts are now hitting their biggest client. As a result, benefits are being curtailed, the company is not hiring people who want market level wages (I had three highly qualified people I recommended dropped from consideration because they wanted equivalent salaries to what they made elsewhere) and pay increases and promotions have dried up. The company is also putting a premium on finding new business over delivering quality results to the client. This will eventually ruin this company and its brand.
    - The assessment process and career development are a joke because your entire career development is bottlenecked through one person...your career manager. If he likes you, you're golden (unless he doesn't know how to write an assessment). If he doesn't like you, it doesn't matter if your peers, other supervisors, the clients and everyone else love you and write stellar feedback for you...your career is toast unless you can change career managers. This is particularly noticeable on client sites, where your team lead and career manager could end up being the same person. In many locations there's not enough outside involvement to gain perspective, so you are whatever your career manager says you are. You can get around this by finding a mentor (who is actually more of a patron) but don't expect help from anyone but HR in finding one if you're on client site(the Senior and Lead Associates in my chain were of no help). Most people on client site appear so cut off that they have no more idea how to find a mentor than you do, unless they've been around a lot longer than you do (which most probably haven't been, as Booz Allen has had a lot of turnover recently). Basically, if you're considering a client site job with Booz Allen and, during the interview process, find yourself with any reservations at all about the people who will be either your career manager or team lead, you should walk away unless you can't find anything better...it probably won't work out well for you.
    - In line with the last cons, Booz Allen has put a premium on expansion over quality over the last few years. This has led to them putting people of questionable ability and temperament into positions of authority largely on the basis of them being in positions of leadership in the military (often hired by someone they worked with in the military). The project I was on suffered greatly from this as many of these leaders were completely inept at dealing with personnel who didn't have the ability to quit their jobs and go elsewhere if they were mistreated. This was the most common gripe I heard across my project from different client sites...incompetent, self-serving leaders who had no idea how to develop or even retain personnel or how to manage client relationships. This led to a high attrition rate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Vet the people you hire to lead and have your Senior Associates check in on them more than once every couple of months. Just because someone has held a high position of responsibility in the military does not mean they are suited to be in charge of a civilian work environment because the dynamics are different. There will always be another company out there willing to pay more than you will and to treat them better. Hiring competent people means that they can leave when they're mistreated. People stay at or quit a job based on the boss...if your bosses are bad, your people will not stick around unless you're willing to pay them more than market value (which the situation with Carlyle Group will probably not allow).
    - When your "360 degree" assessment process is bottlenecked through the prism of one person's (the career manager) view, it's not a 360 degree process.
    - Pay attention to your metrics. If a team lead has over half of his team (all of whom he was involved in hiring) quit within the span of a year and most of them complained to HR about him on the way out, it probably means that it's not just a case of a few disgruntled employees. Some people simply aren't cut out for leadership in the civilian world just because they had leadership positions in the military...and when you identify those people you should aggressively look to either retrain them or remove them. Contracting is a small world and a reputation for habitually bad leadership gets around.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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