50 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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Exceptional!

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  College Park, MD
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in College Park, MD

I have been working at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC

Pros

We do important and very challenging work on public policy. I have an opportunity to help develop and implement policy research that has the potential (and often does) make a difference in improving policy makers' decisions.

Cons

Many experienced and new researchers are not up to the challenge of working in an environment that demands excellence. As a result, turnover was a challenge a few years ago.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Continue to emphasize and invest in innovative practices that ultimately improve Optimal's policy work and ability to provide real-time data and analysis to decision makers. In addition, continue to hire employees who have strong technical and subject matter expertise and are up to the challenge of continuously improving their skills.

Recommends
Approves of CEO

Other Reviews for Optimal Solutions Group, LLC

  1. 10 people found this helpful  

    Not What I Wanted

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Hyattsville, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hyattsville, MD

    I worked at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC

    Pros

    Management is supportive of young professionals going back to school, especially in business fields.

    Cons

    Management by the business owners tends to be primarily reactive rather than planned. At best, they plan three to five months ahead, when their competition is planning 12 to 18 months ahead in bidding on contracts. Optimal lacks serious contract intelligence and the will to obtain it. They fully believe that quality, succesful proposals can and should be written in 10-20 days, and they expect their staff to work a lot of overtime to do it.

    The turnover is phenomenal. Beyond a core set of a few employees, a large proportion stay for less than 18 months. The Optimal model is to hire new graduates at low salaries, work them to death (some actually sleep overnight in the office sometimes), and then they either move on after a year or go back to school. Few of these people make enough money to live on their own in DC. Senior employees are expected to have 100 percent billable hours -- not including business development, required staff meetings or training work -- and are subject at any time to unpredictable public beratings from the owners. The result is continuous 60-80 hour work weeks.

    They subconctract to other research firms, and I frequently was (and have been) embarrassed by my association with them and the substandard work product they produce due to frequent underbidding of their projects (they underbid to gaurantee contract award, but they lack the funds to put experienced people on the project).

    I wouldn't recommend this company as an employer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Expand your contract intelligence so that you can increase your bid response time.
    2. Pay your younger workers a living salary that your senior workers can be proud of.
    3. Don't underbid at the expense of quality. Plan for unexpected things to go wrong on projects.

    Doesn't Recommend
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    Better opportunities elsewhere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Analyst  in  College Park, MD
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in College Park, MD

    I worked at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC

    Pros

    - High level of responsibility given to junior staffers
     - High level of autonomy and independence
     - Management and senior researchers are accessible since it is a small company
     - Opportunity to meet contacts at a variety of govt. agencies

    Cons

    - Work, company, culture, and opportunities were NOT as described in the interview
     - Abysmal culture... unhappy, unmotivated employees, badmouth/gossip atmosphere
     - Bitter, frequent, and petty arguments between management and employees
     - Little hope for change... turnover rate is high because people realize things won't change so they find other opportunities

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Always treat employees with respect
     - Do not try to deflect Optimal's problems on to employees when it is not their fault
     - Refrain from micromanaging
     - Be honest with yourselves and your employees about the reasons for the high, persistent turnover rate

    Doesn't Recommend
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