ICF International

www.icfi.com
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5 people found this helpful  

Its all about billable hours..forget professional development/advancement...mistrust, lack of cooperation abound!

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

I worked at ICF International full-time (more than 3 years)

Pros

Loved the autonomy I was given to do my job. Pay was more than typical for my skill and location. Working from home was great and this company strives for net zero carbon as a company. Seems that people hired are very experienced in their field. You are working with some fine professionals, for the time that they stay with the company before they leave.

Cons

I was hired to work on a contract project and was promised opportunities to learn and develop/advance in the company. Brought on as a senior associate. It was clear after a year, this company had some very big problems, namely:
1. Poor leadership fails to inspire/motivate employees, recognize/reward hard work
2. Bad communication and lack of openness creates mistrust and lack of cooperation among groups
3. They make it clear billable hours are all they care about...they do NOT invest in developing/nurturing talent....development/training/mentoring is not happening at ICF.

From the very beginning, they were cagey about questions regarding retention in the company and rightly so. It seems the only way to move up is to get out of ICF and apply for another position elsewhere. This became increasingly more apparent as I saw more and more people leave after 1-2 years only with the company. This is not a company people stay with long tenure, as advancing in the company into higher management is nearly impossible. You are basically told to stay in your lane and keep plugging along, don't get inventive or try to suggest ideas....and as long as you do your job, provided the contract is renewed, you will have a job. This is all contract work, so the day your contract is not renewed, you'll be let go, don't expect the company to try to find you work somewhere else in the company, and you are made very aware of this fact very early on. Also don't try to diversify and work extra hours in other contracts to learn more about the company outside your area, since there is no interest for managers to help other contracts out. No teamwork mentality here, you are on your own and camaraderie and cooperation is dead. (Unless you can bill the client, no one is interested in you putting forth the extra effort.)

Salary increases, forget it...its not in the budget and you "already make more than you should." so again and again, you are made to feel as though you are not valued in the company. Training and conferences, not going to happen since "its not in the budget." I was a speaker at a conference presenting about the work we were doing and I still had to use vacation time and pay out of pocket for it.

Managers were picked based on age and not competence or ability to lead. We had two managers lead our group (in 3 years due to turnover) and both were poor at communicating, tact and leadership skills. It was very evident when they were stressed, because it was passed onto our group in the form of poor communication that was strained, amiss and below tactful. Many business processes (proposal development, overall project management, budgets) remained very secretive due to the high turnover in the company. Not a lot of communication downwards and very little opportunity to communicate upward. All in all, the group I worked in, EE&T, was very dysfunctional and it shows with the drove of people leaving the company. There is no mentoring or motivating either, which is sad in a company filled with such a large number of smart and bright professionals.

 I left on my own accord after finding another job that pays less working for a company that made it clear to me at the beginning that its employees are its #1 asset and they are treated as such. I left primarily because it became clear that ICF does not care about its employees or nurturing their development and career.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Reverse your priorities to reflect that you value your employees. Fail to do that and you'll continue to see employees leaving for greener pastures...pastures your competitor is cultivating with leadership training for managers, mentoring for younger employees, career progression and development opportunities, and a culture that is cooperative and synergistic, rather than competitive and distrustful of other LOB atmosphere that is so ingrained at ICF.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
No opinion of CEO

315 Other Employee Reviews for ICF International (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great team of contractors, management only looks out for the bottom line.

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

    I worked at ICF International full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I worked on a team project for the two and a half years I was there. Everyone assigned to the project was professional and we worked well together. It was a great experience.

    Cons

    During the last six months of the contract, we were told to "hang in there" until the end of the project because other work was available for us upon completion of the contract. A few of us did remain, others found employment elsewhere. I received my layoff notice one week before the contract end date. If other work is not available, don't lie and say it is. Yes, it's a for-profit business but that's no reason for deceit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't lie. You had a great group of employees who worked hard and impressed the clients. If there isn't other work available, do not say there is. We have personal responsibilities and families to support.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Doing good work, company has great resources, provides good training opportunities and incentives

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

    I have been working at ICF International full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I work at a remote location on site with a client as a consultant and I do not have the full day to day experience in ICF HQ but there is a strong company culture that can easily be tapped into online and at remote office locations, a nearby office held an Earth Day park cleanup and I was able to participate in that. They reimburse for education. Overall the experience has been good.

    Cons

    The rating system for personnel review used to be more fair, now you have to go way above and beyond to get a good score which equals a raise but I have been satisfied with my cost of living increases over the years. I would prefer to still get a good score but not receive a raise if that is the tradeoff. The current way I get neither.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We could be more proactive with our client

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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