PA Consulting

  www.paconsulting.com
  www.paconsulting.com

PA Consulting Reviews

Updated October 29, 2014
Updated October 29, 2014
160 Reviews
3.7
160 Reviews
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PA Consulting CEO and Director Alan Middleton
Alan Middleton
64 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • good work life balance if you are a PA Partner and in the club (in 20 reviews)

  • Variety of work, progressive pay, very employee share plan, great people to work with (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • the work life balance can be terrible (depending on the job) (in 13 reviews)

  • No international travel, very public sector UK focussed (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    An exciting range of client assignments and opportunity to effect change and influence management decisions.

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

    I worked at PA Consulting full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The PA team draws from a variety of backgrounds and works well globally, so a multinational client, for example, can be served cross-border.

    Cons

    Sometimes longer assignments can become tiresome, especially if extensive travel is involved to remote locations.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    A great consulting career if you can stomach the corporate aspects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Principal Consultant in New York, NY

    I have been working at PA Consulting full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Intelligent, motivated and friendly colleagues
    Good variety of projects
    Flat hierarchy enables access to all levels of consulting
    Excellent training and development courses delivered by active consultants and partners

    Cons

    Bonuses poor for non-partners
    Performance management is inconsistent, subjective and obsessed with utilisation vs. other measures
    Expense reimbursment is complex, manual and not arcane

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change business model to remove barriers to collaboration and investment in growth
    Knowledge worker productivity...?
    Be more visible and open with staff - C-level is often invisible and detached

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Amazing people, operations lean more towards the archaic, old-white-guy paternalism.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Principal Consultant in New York, NY

    I have been working at PA Consulting full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people I work with are truly brilliant and experienced professionals. I continuously find myself building both sector and service knowledge and skills. It's a fun place to work and has an office that is much more collegial than I'd expect in a consulting firm.

    Cons

    Operationally, PA takes a command and control approach. New tools are developed, for example, but the company doesn't apply basic change management techniques and wonder why staff don't use their new tools. The operations group VERY RARELY asks for user input. Regular consultants aren't even informed that major projects are under way that will affect day-to-day activities. Changes are announced, but with little reason as to why or how the decision came about.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seek out consultants opinions and expertise for operational aspects. We are all shareholders, yet we are only indirectly asked for help to improve how it's run. Be sensitive that the US business is very different from the UK. Applying the same business model to both will inevitably lead to inefficiency, disgruntled staff, and missed commercial opportunities. The truth is that people love PA and want to make it the best company it can, but are not included nor asked to participate in that process.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Management Consultant

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

    I worked at PA Consulting full-time

    Pros

    Opportunity to work across in the Europe if you like. Opportunity to work in energy/utilities, pharma ; If you are inexperienced, this is a good place to start - as you quickly get pulled into everything, all kinds of proposals and analysis

    Cons

    Struggling brand, no depth, very limited IP, low pay, bad place to join at a mid-career level

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Partner with an established brand to build market reputation in the US; Focus on delivery quality - though you may be tempted to focus entirely on sales, recognize that you are not growing even after being around for several decades because your delivery is mediocre

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Pretentious

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Consultant in New York, NY

    I have been working at PA Consulting full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Aura of self importance comes with the job

    Cons

    Aura of self importance translates to smugness

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    A great consulting firm with a conservative culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal Consultant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Principal Consultant in New York, NY

    I worked at PA Consulting full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Many PA projects were Global 100 clienteles with substantial senior management interaction.

    Excellent training opportunities (outside project works).

    Most peers and partners were very nice and helpful.

    Cons

    The firm culture was generally less aggressive than others and overly focused on bottom line.

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

    This company is a joke!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Managing Consultant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Managing Consultant in New York, NY

    I worked at PA Consulting full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Compensation is ok but model benefits senior partners
    Some level of transparency

    Cons

    Zero intellectual capital
    Territorial partners with some of the worst values you'll ever encounter
    Passive aggressive culture

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great if you are British and a partner

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Partner in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Partner in New York, NY

    I worked at PA Consulting full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Midsize consultancy, fair HR policies, and some very smart people (heavy MIT recruiting). Leeway to be innovative. Good compensation.

    Cons

    The whole company is based on elaborate financials that essentially boil down to ever-growing annuities for the partners. If someones leaves their PA shares revert back to the partner body -- so the best get-rich path is to make partner and hang on. You are better served by having your buddies fail and get a piece of their shares than you are by helping them to sell. New US partners don't have a chance and the attrition rate is very high here -- that's because the managers and lower ranks are heavily indebted to partners for assignments and they reciprocate by selling on behalf of their "feudal lords". If you don't have such a team below you there is very little chance of competing.

    Note that people don't care if new partners and sellers churn out as they leave profits behind to be divvied up. Its a good company with a very cut-throat bonus/equity scheme. Be warned.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire professional management with knowledge of the local customs and leave the consultants to do consulting.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Great place to work, global culture, and interesting projects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Consultant in New York, NY

    I have been working at PA Consulting full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting projects, great people, chances to travel globally, variety of opportunities, great office location, training is available to those that want it

    Cons

    Not all projects are exciting, sometimes travel can be exhausting, heavy emphasis on utilization

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    US management feels a bit disconnected from the UK management and improve the proposal process

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Some interesting opportunities but depend on industry and location

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Managing Consultant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Managing Consultant in New York, NY

    I worked at PA Consulting full-time

    Pros

    - Medium size firm with real international work / transfer opportunities, especially good for someone starting a career
    - Good interview process with rather professional recruiting manager that appears to be well organized, albeit an often long process
    - Very cost conscious management which serves them well in slow times

    Cons

    - Management: most of its management decisions made in the UK; many layers with line management structure - more like corporate environment than a professional services firm
    - IP: limited intellectual capital despite its long history; often using very generic methodologies that affects win rates on bids; mostly 2nd tier consulting firm with a few exceptions
    - Projects: lack of brand awareness and senior relationships in clients' organizations, as a result, projects are generally small and mostly in execution roles
    - Travel: office locations are not aligned with client jobs; coast-to-coast travel are very common
    - Leadership: sales-driven culture and poor /no leadership skills at junior partner levels
    - Talent: hard time hiring and retaining talent in the US, especially at senior levels; junior levels pay 20% below market; for senior hires, its tricky to master the sales credit sharing system to grab shares on project by project basis

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The firm needs vision, flexibility and ability to attract top talent to grow; a less UK-centric approach should serve the market, like the US, better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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