There are newer employer reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton
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Helpful (24)

Reputation Doesn't Mesh with Current Company Dynamic. This company is a Used to Be....

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

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

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

Pros

Lots of opportunity for training. Learned great new skills in the first 2 years - then placed training on-hold. Very educated work-force. Peers are great to work with for the most part. Challenging projects with interesting work. Lots of variety (had 12+ projects in 5 years). Full shift from “consulting” to “staff augmentation” is underway. Met a handful of truly remarkable people in tenure at firm.

Cons

Corporate culture: Gone downhill rapidly & created a toxic environment. High-overhead to keep hundreds of Sr. managers has impacted ability to compete for viable contracts & higher talented mid-level people. Leadership: Firm maintains managers, not leaders. Few career managers are actually interested in supporting YOUR career path/interests. Complete disconnect between leadership & workers. Prides itself on ethics, yet ethics violations are consistent. Back-stabbing, "passive-aggressive" managers are commonplace. Poor corporate communications from leadership to HR to the Help-less Desk. Firm still tries to promote itself, based on benefits and corporate culture from pre-IPO days. Internal programs: Poorly conceived internal programs have eroded Booz culture. For example -- “Work Where You Live” – became “The Way We Work” after enough new hires complained that they weren’t working anywhere near where they lived, and some where commuting more than a hour each way. “Take Share”, a program to hire up the best talent, basically was done to pull talent from other firms and into employment for a ‘trial’ period. This was evident when the memo defending "Take Share" came out to say that it wasn't done for this purpose. Many left good jobs to come to Booz only to find out that after their project ended they were given lack of work notices. Retirement: New “retirement plan” pay-in has firm only paying into your retirement AFTER you’ve served the full year (Dec 31st). As expected, a lot of Lack Of Work notices went out in Nov / Dec. Saves the firm millions. Also, it’s decreased from the 10% when I started to around 6% for incoming employees. New program to hire up to 500 “junior” level employees on a temp basis (3 mo.) is being initiated (2014). If project continues they may stay on, if not they’ll be shown the door. Part-time labor w/o the benefits – a bonafide consulting sweatshop. Leadership: Expect leadership via absentia or via e-mail. “Career managers” have little experience or incentive to assist in finding projects for those on their ‘team’. Career managers come and go in rapid succession – I had 10 in 5 years. The higher you move up in the firm – you aren’t paid more (1.5% promotion raise) or valued more; you’re just given more work, the firm can bill more for you and it’s more difficult for YOU find a new project b/c of your higher billing rate. This leads to very high turn-over at the Associate and below level, but those in Lead Associate and above tend to stay for a long period because they’ve found their niche and are now in-charge of making the Booz “Kool-Aid”. Maintaining a CYA file for each project / person has become the norm. Work/Life Balance: Though they tout it, they depend on your to believe it exists, but it depends on your client(s), project team and career team. Tele-work is client dependent. If you want to get promoted expect to work at least 2-weekends per month, a lot of nights and on various ‘internal projects’ – and even then you might not get promoted. I heard of one person who met 24 of 25 promotion criteria and wasn’t promoted! You're EXPECTED to attend a fair-share of extra-curricular events (brown-bags, happy hours, etc...) which are all 'volunteer' time. This is in addition to any proposal / business development work - which is in additional to your daily client work. This isn't fully explained during the hiring process. Once on a contract you cling to it for dear life – even if you can’t stand the client / the work / the team. You’re stuck. Because the minute you ask your career manager to see if you can get on / find something different – you’re labeled as a “problem”. Benefits: Are being eroded daily. Retirement 401(k), training, ability for advancement, time-off, etc. For example: in 2013 - the firm did a policy revision for time-off -- which finally gave us 4 Federal holidays that we hadn't receive before (Presidents, MLK, Columbus, Veterans). Sounds good right?! But in exchange they took - the "free" day after Thanksgiving, two "floating holidays" and one day of Paid Time Off. Sounds like an even swap - 4 for 4, BUT -- they made it retroactive and wouldn't be implemented until the Booz fiscal year in April. Therefore they took the 4, but we only got 2 of the 4 holidays in return. When I asked a career manager about the 'bait & switch' they stated that it was 'bad communications.' Huh? This is just one of many examples of what's going on behind the curtain. Promotions: Promotions are based on ‘good-ole’ boy network. Assessments are a joke & written by someone that you’ve probably never worked with or even met. No recourse to challenge anything in an assessment. Assessments USED to have a section called, “Motivations/Frustrations” but this was taken out recently. Probably because front-line managers scripted “Frustrations” to shield senior management from what was really going on / being said by employees.

Advice to Management

Get out of your offices!! Stop trying to manage grown adults, and try leading. There are a few talented people who are still there, but a majority are actively job-hunting whether you want to believe this or not. Create pay rates more in sync with employees billing rate. Get non-repercussion input from Associates and below, not just the Principal/Senior Associate “Yes” men. Promote based on skill and client work (which we say is important) and not all the extra-BS. But leaders in management positions not based on their level in the firm, but based on their abilities. Conduct actual ‘out-process’ debriefs – a lot of talent is / has left; and a lot won’t be singing Booz’s praise once they leave. VALUING employees means more than an annual holiday party (where spouses have to pay to attend). Stop forcing employees to refer to it as a "firm" - it's not a law firm, it's a contracting/staffing company. Whether you want to believe this or not, Booz’s once lauded reputation is now openly laughed at by employees, clients and competitors. Case in point, at a conference in 2012, I was asked who I worked for, when I said “Booz Allen Hamilton”, their response was, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.”

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  1. Helpful (5)

    Flexible work environment, nice PTO, but shareholders are deteriorating the Booz Allen advantage over its competitors

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Extremely flexible with schedule, nice PTO structure with government holidays off,work can be challenging and there is a lot of room to advance your career with certifications and tuition reimbursement, additionally the health care is phenomenal

    Cons

    Since the company became public, there are more political barriers preventing promotion/raises/appropriate compensation, each year more benefits are scaled back or removed entirely, eventually Booz Allen will not have the competitive edge they once had over industry rivals which is unfortunate and in my opinion can be tied back to shareholders

    Advice to Management

    Don't let shareholders ruin what used to be a wonderful company when it was private, at some point in the near future, there will not be much differentiation between Booz Allen and it's competitors...the Booz Allen upper hand will become obsolete. My advice to upper management is to stand up for what is right.


  2. Helpful (3)

    Leaves so much more to be desired

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

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

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

    Pros

    The name "Booz Allen Hamilton" is on your resume. Many offices across the country. "Work where you live" for GO Team is nice, should it be approved.

    Cons

    Salary for GO Team (internal staff) is far below other competitors. "Work/life" balance that they promise is almost nonexistent. Promotion from Consultant to Senior Consultant actually ends up causing you to make much less money due to no longer being able to collect overtime, while still being expected to work the extra hours. Not taking laptop with you on vacation makes you "not willing to go the extra mile". Hoteling. Not easy to grow or move into different positions within the company. Training (both internal and requests for external) near nonexistent.

    Advice to Management

    There needs to be a new survey on salaries across the board for internal staff if you wish to keep your employees happy. With so many of the great things that once made this company worth working for being taken away the lower salaries add to the lower morale.


There are newer employer reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton
There are newer employer reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton

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