ICF International

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ICF International Reviews

Updated August 20, 2014
Updated August 20, 2014
257 Reviews

3.0
257 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
ICF International Chairman and CEO Sudhakar Kesavan
Sudhakar Kesavan
140 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The company does let you have a work life balance, but only if you consistently defend it (in 26 reviews)

  • Knowledgable and friendly co-workers; ability to work from home is a huge plus (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • There can be demands on time so work-life balance can be a challenge (in 22 reviews)

  • Furthermore the entire company is geared towards benefiting upper management (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Decent place to work

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

    Pros

    This varies from division to division, but my experience at ICF has been mostly a positive one. It is a big company and comes with both the benefits and disadvantages of a big company, but I have found that if you do a good job you're pretty well taken care of in terms of personal and professional growth.

    Cons

    Again, in such a big company this varies from division to division. I have found the overall benefits to be okay. Being ineligible for overtime or comp time can be a drag when you get busy, that sort of thing (but this is nothing new to the corporate or NGO world).

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Hypocrites

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

    Pros

    They are a well-oiled machine and you will learn a great deal. Effective in winning contracts especially in the Energy sector. Most of my colleagues were very intelligent and care about the quality of their work.

    Cons

    poor work-life balance. Upper management does not like the military---although they covet DoD contracts. Office culture - great deal of competition over who will get credit for contracts and profits. This discourages individuals from working together across lines of business within he company. Some dishonest tactics used as a result.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lots of autonomy, Terrible Pay!

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

    Pros

    Autonomy
    Ownership of projects
    Get tons of experience
    Lots of flexibility

    Great for building experience and knowledge to start your career. Think of this place as your cocoon. All the growth is internal and you have to do it yourself.

    Cons

    With autonomy comes endless responsibilities, which you are not compensated for
    Long hours - 50+ a week = no work life balance
    Promotion is based on longevity with company and not experience and results
    Pay raise is ONLY a 3% increase (and that's if you're at the top of your job)
    Oh... Did I say pay is terrible? Well so are the benefits.

    If you want to break you back and gain tons of weight from stress, not get properly compensated, and experience the impact of turnovers... But need the autonomy to work and build beyond the parameters of your position, then this is the place for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more present.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Run away if you are offered an on-site opportunity at a government client.

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

    Pros

    None. This is just a horrible employer where a large part of their business is augmenting the staff of the government with positions nobody wants for long.

    Cons

    ICF government services business model means they are powerless to improve your client-site situation (even if it's a simple matter of office work-space). All they try to get you to do is believe the lies they push on the client as well as work both ends against the middle. It's a real downward spiral for ICF because they can rarely keep higher-educated people at the government client sites. If you are in government, in some cases all you need is time on the job and a heartbeat to take on management responsibilities (and they love to throw their weight around with contractors). ICF is right behind them. The benefit to you is that you get TWO boneheads to work for! If you like both a day-to-day client bonehead to work for as well as a useless ICF "manager," then this is the place for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have a spine and figure out how to properly deal with the bad govie apples that your ICF employees have to work for or you will keep that revolving door spinning.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    ICF has lost its loyalty to its loyal hardworking employees.

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

    Pros

    Great people to work with

    Cons

    No career growth opportunity within the company. The management is more focused on bringing in expertise from outside than looking into what already exists within the company. Sometimes friends and neighbors are hired who block the growth of existing employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look into maintaining clients' trust by trusting the growth in your loyal employees.

  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Supportive culture, but low compensation and growth opportunities

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

    Pros

    Company culture is supportive of work/life balance with flexible work hours and teleworking arrangements; opportunities to work on a wide variety of projects in both public and private sector

    Cons

    Compensation is lower than competition; bonus program only benefits senior leadership, not the rank and file; growth opportunities limited

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop and share the strategic vision for the company, including how that vision will be achieved

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good place

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

    Pros

    People are nice. Time is flexiable

    Cons

    The commuter benefit could be improved

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Hmmmmm...Really???

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

    Pros

    People are really, really nice

    Cons

    No organic growth for 3 years = death

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Exercise your options now

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Great opportunity to grow professionally.

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

    Pros

    Good pay with regular promotions for quality staff. The leadership seems committed to families.

    Cons

    Annual increases are mediocre, so get in with a wage you can live with for a while. Also, there is a huge focus on utilization. If you're not billing 100%, you're likely to be let go.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 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

    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

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