ICF International

  www.icfi.com
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ICF International Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated Jun 9, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.7 25 reviews

54% Approve of the CEO

ICF International Chairman and CEO Sudhakar Kesavan

Sudhakar Kesavan

(13 ratings)

57% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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)

25 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Technical Specialist supporting Gov't Client...

    Acquisition Specialist (Current Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsVery 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.

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

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Laid-back but low-pay and no-culture

    Consultant/Analyst (Current Employee) Washington, DC

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

    ConsZero 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 Senior ManagementTrain 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...)

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

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

    Technical Specialist (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsOnce 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)!

    ConsCareer 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 Senior ManagementProject 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Generally interesting work for generally low compensation

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsDepending 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.

    ConsCompensation 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 Senior ManagementStop 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Comparable to industry average

    Project Manager (Current Employee) Washington, DC

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

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

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Leader in EPA and Environment Consulting; large growth potential

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsGreat 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.

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

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

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

    Research Assistant (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsFlexible work schedules and working from home

    ConsWhere 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 Senior ManagementPull 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Good place to gain experience

    Senior Associate (Current Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsA good resume builder. Interesting projects.

    ConsNo 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 Senior ManagementStart actually caring about retention by building a culture and paying well.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    OK for engineers

    Research Assistant (Former Employee) Washington, DC

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

    ConsContract work from the government is unreliable

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    Poor management of young talent

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Washington, DC

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

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

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't waste your young talent and stop trying to grow too fast.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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