There are newer employer reviews for ICF International

Helpful (5)

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)

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
No opinion of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
No opinion of CEO

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 Management

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.

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Typical large corporate government contracting firm

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

    I worked at ICF International full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    decent pay and benefits, flexibility and ability to maintain a good personal life, many offices throughout the world, fun holiday parties

    Cons

    Some impersonal, hands-off managers that make getting work done difficult, and it is difficult to advance despite the size of the company. In my office at least, the overwhelming majority of those in executive positions were men.

    Advice to Management

    Allow workers more flexibility and lighten up on the 'corporate rebranding' and forced adaptation of the corporate culture.

  2. Helpful (1)

    Hardworking family

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

    I have been working at ICF International full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    *Free coffee, tea and snacks - coming from places that had neither you would be surprised how much those little things help get you through the day
    *Company social clubs organized by employees are cool - really welcoming folks
    *Recent push for employees to develop career goals and company wide support from managers to actually help staff follow through with achieving those crafted goals
    *Growth opportunities for those willing to do the work
    * Tuition reimbursement, matching 401k contribution
    *Flexible hours (depends on manager)
    *Great co-workers - a lot of people really care. It's a family.
    * Holiday parties and company happy hours almost quarterly it seems now - depends on which group you are with
    *Upgrading of processes to meet the exploding growth of this company. They are making an effort and it is noticed and appreciated.

    Cons

    *Work-life balance is kind of non-existent. If you come here, your life may literally become work. You get used to it and it isn't too bad. The balance for some seem to be the opportunity to work from home and do work in other locations besides the office.... However, this isn't true work-life balance...it is moreso flexibility in working locations
    *Some managers expect tons of work but don't give you the project hours for it.
    *Pointless tasks assigned to staff by certain managers. If it doesn't really help us with our deliverable in any way, shape, or form - why do it?
    *Too much client butt kissing and not enough true advice - the client hired us for the expertise! Let's not promise them the world when they paid for a country!
    *Hard to grow relationships with staff sitting off site at certain client locations. Even harder to connect with different lines of business and groups....we are getting better but we still have a ways to go
    *Conference room infrastructure is starting to age and no one seems to care. This affects meetings.
    *One on site tech support for computers and aging equipment - and he isn't even dedicated to our office! We are supposed to call some help desk just to talk to him. It's all very red tape and extra bureaucratic.
    *Disconnect between headquarters and our location at times
    *Switch from vacation and sick time to standard PTO - resulted in lost sick time for employees.

    Advice to Management

    The best managers have a hands off approach and understand that their employees are there to do a job that they have been well trained to do. Let's support these employees and avoid micromanaging. New managers don't always understand this. Also, the company has a very supportive atmosphere among colleagues. New managers should understand this and adjust accordingly. We should nurture this culture of support. The last thing we want to turn this place into is one unhappy micromanaging environment.

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