ICF International Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated June 9, 2014
Updated June 9, 2014
263 Reviews
3.0
263 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
ICF International Chairman and CEO Sudhakar Kesavan
Sudhakar Kesavan
139 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

25 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Technical Specialist supporting Gov't Client...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Acquisition Specialist  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Acquisition Specialist in Washington, DC

    I have been working at ICF International as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Very good work-life balance is good..room for growth is available. Senior management has an open door policy which makes me comfortable in voicing my concerns and/or issues.

    Cons

    If you're permanetly supporting a client on site, it makes it difficult to build outside relationships with other co-workers at corporate. Need more time to interact and build relationships in order to explore other internal opportunities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Professional growth needs to be alloted for every employee regardless of whether you work at the client site or other ICF offices..

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Laid-back but low-pay and no-culture

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

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

    Pros

    People are easy to work with, good work-life balance, lots of different areas to gain experience in, telecommuting

    Cons

    Zero office culture, no career advancement opportunities (esp. for junior staff), major emphasis on "billable hours," very little in the way of training/career development, pay is relatively low....basically, senior management doesn't care about their workers enough to motivate them to do good work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your junior staff and make an effort to keep them there! (And at very least, by the time you don't want them anymore they'll have the skills to get hired elsewhere...)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Very Good place to work, but hard to advance career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Specialist  in  Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Technical Specialist in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Once main thing about this company is that it really hires the best and brightest. While intelligent, the culture is not stuffy and pretty laid back. Assignments can be challenging, but in a good way. They allow creativity and empower you to contribute meaningfully. Benefits and compensation coming into the door is very good. They try to communicate business and overall company business information effectively - at least within your given line of business. They try to do their best to keep their good employees, even in bad times; and if they have to make hard decisions, they try to do so as professionally as possible. Great holiday parties (in HQ-DC area)!

    Cons

    Career advancement can be difficult. They have very specific career paths which is difficult to move into a certain direction because of unclear criteria or changes in management. (They are mainly a project-based company so your "manager" can change with each assignment.) Annual reviews are difficult too. In the years I've been there, the review process has changed every year, sometimes being more lengthy or subjective than it should. Being in one line of business over another can be competitive as well. They don't seem to want to easily let you go to another LOB because that may mean lost business for them. You also need to be a go-getter and be expected to be a valued contributor. This can be viewed positively or negatively by some, but I didn't have problems with this unspoken view and found it rewarding. However, if you expect easy assignments or don't contribute, you will struggle here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Project Managers need more training, not just on the business side of how to do things but some newcomers need to be vetted for their interpersonal skills. It seems too often that PMs are just thrown in without getting the tools to effectively manage their business.

    Also review and change the career path plan, it can be confusing and limiting to some skilled employees who don't quite fit one of your 'boxes'.

    Lastly, simplify the review process and stick with it. Too many changes and the numerous criteria that employees have to meet can make them apathetic to the process.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Comparable to industry average

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Immediate vesting of 401K. Decent healthcare package. Training/Skill development program is decent

    Cons

    Too many acquisitions dilute the company culture. The culture experienced by the employees changes by the business unit within ICF.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    If you're brown...run!! Supremacy at its beat. No growth, no support, no happiness..just a job

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

    I worked at ICF International full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Flexible work schedules and working from home

    Cons

    Where do I begin. Upper management is a joke. Almost eveyone in the office is racist and I'd you're brown you're on your own and left to dry. No one cares about your professional growth, pay is ok, but nothing makes sense. Many of the senior staff are so self absorbed and feed off making staff feel like crap. While I was able to work from home it did not make up for the constant stares, being ignored and disrespected. Many of the projects are failing because the senior staff are out dated mentally. They want to do things as they did the 80s and it's just not effective in 2014. Just get the experience and check. If you're black be prepared to serve or be served. I worked there for 5 year and there were only 5 other black people and they made sure we stayed in our place. They have huge extravagant happy hours and holiday functions in which upper management is horribly drunk and ready for sex afterwarda. I wish I had more positive things to say but I've seen them brutally let go of good staff...dedicated staff because eveyone is out to save their own tail.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pull your head out of your tail and appreciate your staff. Also be mindful about your racial remarks as everything is not funny. I would also change the overly detailed review process as its useless because no one is hardly ever promoted or able to make forward. There are research assistants who've had to wait 7 years to be a basic analyst.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Generally interesting work for generally low compensation

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

    I have been working at ICF International full-time

    Pros

    Depending on what projects you are pulled into, you can work on some pretty interesting stuff with a group of very passionate people. Junior staff tend to organize sports teams and various happy hours outside of work, which is nice.
    Work often provides a great learning experience for people interested in getting into government work. Junior staff can get their hands on very technical work if they push for it.
    Generally good work life balance, if you make it clear to managers that you will only work 40-45 hours per week.

    Cons

    Compensation is far below industry standard unless you are an engineer.

    There is a very present corporate structure to many things in the office - lots of hierarchy in compensation, promotions, and decision making. Though ICF denies it, promotions are generally based on how much time you have spent with the company (or whether you have a graduate degree) instead of how well you do your job. Annual salary increases are a joke. Decision-making processes generally need to go up the chain of command. Junior staff generally are not allowed to participate in budgeting conversations.

    Some managers are too consumed in their own work that they forget to foster the growth of junior staff.

    Merit bonuses are 1/4th of referral bonuses. Why?!

    Company seems to care more about shareholders than their employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop being all talk and DO the things you say you'll do. Acknowledge the high turnover rate by recognizing and rewarding good work, actively developing junior staff, and revisit compensation and benefits.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Leader in EPA and Environment Consulting; large growth potential

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

    I have been working at ICF International full-time

    Pros

    Great for grads interested in environment, energy, and professional consulting related to those fields. In all other fields, ICF is still establishing its presence and this means less depth and less high profile work. Overall, each Division has its own work style, but company wide they want results. Yes- some will be expecting perfection, so be prepared to deliver, and have enough experience to avoid office politics.

    Cons

    Growth by adding new companies is making it hard to have a unified direction. Management is too top heavy which often causes them to stick around for too long; typically they don't retire.Also salaries are way below industry averages for associates and doesn't provide overtime pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cultivate leadership in associates not just Vice Presidents. Increase salary to match industry, provide a clear direction in each division.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Poor management of young talent

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

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

    Pros

    There is a lot of flexibility, offering a nice work-life balance

    Cons

    The organization is very top-heavy, no mentoring or honing of young talent, pay is low

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't waste your young talent and stop trying to grow too fast.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good place to gain experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    A good resume builder. Interesting projects.

    Cons

    No company culture, no investment in its people, mostly junior level people, not willing to pay to build in-house expertise, non-competitive pay

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start actually caring about retention by building a culture and paying well.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    OK for engineers

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

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

    Pros

    Good salary for engineers undergrads, not so for BA undergrads. Very structured promotion system.

    Cons

    Contract work from the government is unreliable

    No opinion of CEO

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