Protiviti

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Protiviti Reviews in New York City, NY

Updated Jul 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.2 37 reviews

82% Approve of the CEO

Protiviti President and CEO Joseph A. Tarantino

Joseph A. Tarantino

(26 ratings)

81% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work / life balance (40-45 hours / week is normal; lots of vacation days) (in 75 reviews)

  • Great place to start a career or grow (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • Recruiting promises not kept (work-life balance, limited travel if needed) (in 32 reviews)

  • Pay is lower than Big 4 accounting firms, however you typically work 40-50 hours a week, much less than (in 21 reviews)

More Highlights
37 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Good impression for new hires

    Internal Audit Consultant (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsOverall a great impression so far. The NY campus recruiters conducted a smooth and quick operation, so much that it played a deciding factor on choosing Protiviti while considering other offers. The company has created a great experience for us new hires so far at the consultant challenge in Chicago.

    ConsNothing negative to say at this moment.

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

    Protiviti Response

    Jul 27, 2014Director of Recruiting

    Thank you for sharing your feedback! I am so glad that you had a great recruiting and onboarding experience with us. Good luck on your upcoming projects and we look forward to teaming with you to ... More

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    Great experience here so far.

    Consultant (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsThe facilitators and mentors are very welcoming and accommodating. I feel as if I'm appreciated and can bring something to the team.

    ConsA lot of travel, but reasonable expectations thereafter. The atmosphere borderlines on fratty, but many of the consultants don't buy in.

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

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Experience that I would like to completely forget

    Consultant II (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsChoosing to work at Protiviti was probably the worst decision I've ever made. I think it has more to do with my complete disinterest in auditing but I don't think Protiviti handles things the correct way either.

    First, they really lie to you during the interview process. You CANNOT choose how often and where you travel. You CANNOT choose your projects/clients based on your interests. You CANNOT even choose what solution you are grouped into.

    I selected Protiviti over advisory groups at the Big 4 because I thought, being a smaller company, they would be more sensitive to their employees wants/needs. They also seemed somewhat cooler, more creative and definitely more "consulting" focused.

    On my first day of work I learned, because of my accounting background, I was automatically placed (they did not ask me at all) in the internal audit group. I knew people with engineering and computer science degrees being placed in IT Audit. Why would you waste such talent and potential by throwing someone into an audit group when they literally know nothing about audit at all? It's actually quite insulting. They have people who can code and build software and instead they're ticking and tying out work papers and checking employee access for clients. By the way- most of their projects are audit based- not consulting. Don't be fooled.

    I understand as a company, it's first come first serve and they need to add staff where most needed. In fact, this is how it works for projects too. You live in NJ? Well we need someone for an LI project and you're available- spend 4 hours a day commuting or live in a hotel for 4 months. That's how Protiviti approaches staffing. Literally no consideration of geographical preferences, family obligations, work life balance. In my almost 1.5 years spent working there, I had a grand total of about 4 weeks working in NYC. Be prepared to get very cozy with NJ Transit, LI Expressway, the Whitestone Bridge and the Metro North. Get used to spending 2+ hours commuting every day.

    Once you're placed into a group, you are completely stuck there unless by some miracle, a a senior manager+ intervenes on your behalf or you leave the firm. You are pigeonholed from day one. I was very lucky (kidding) to have a SOX client first, so guess who all my subsequent clients were? I couldn't even get on a straight internal audit project let alone do some real consulting, I was bounced around from SOX engagement to SOX engagement. I felt like my brain was literally atrophying from the lack of thought provoking or creative work. You don't even get to work on a variety of clients. Once a client likes you, you're stuck on that project every year. My 2nd year at Protiviti was looking identical to my first. How is that good for employees to do the same thing every day, every year. I wasn't learning or feeling productive or fulfilled. It was just awful.

    I attempted to find interesting clients/projects/teams/groups to work with. I emailed MDs in other solutions asking for work, talked to my seniors, managers, senior managers, advisors, etc about switching groups. What I found out is that nobody really cares. No one cares about you being interested in your work, being happy at your job, having a decent commute, etc. All Protiviti cares about is their clients. I think that is the biggest mistake they can make, although they certainly aren't the only company doing it.

    I think it's telling that all the managers who interviewed me, had quit in the short time I worked at Protiviti. Every single consultant I started with resented Protiviti after a few months and fantasized about the day they left. I didn't know anyone who actually liked working there. People got anxiety from the place. People are sad to be working there. People quit left and right. What a terribly unproductive environment.

    To add salt to the wound, when I started looking for a new job, not one person knew what Protiviti was when they looked at my resume. If you want to work in audit for the rest of your life, working at Protiviti is fine. If you don't, do yourself a favor and at least work at the Big 4 to get a recognizable and impressive name on your resume.

    ConsSee above for general comments but here's a pros/cons list:

    Pros:
    Good starting salary- for coming right out of college, starting with 58k was really great. People always complain but I truly believe that for an entry level position, that is very generous and fair. Also, its on par with Big 4 (actually 1k more but that's pretty insignificant)

    Generous vacation time- starts at 20 days off. I also appreciated how easy it was to take that time. No hoops to jump through, no approval process. You just took time as you needed it, no questions really asked.

    Option for a sabbatical- this is a recent addition (and pretty progressive if you ask me). You can take a month or 2 off in Q1 if you want to travel, study for an exam, or search for a new job ha ha.

    Training: The Consultant Challenge was actually a ton of fun and they did a good job teaching you useful skills. You get pretty close to all the people you start with which is really nice.

    Cons:
    The people: So obviously there are a few gems, some genuinely nice or intelligent people. Mostly, I really disliked everyone. Everyone was pretty bland- your typical party hard, boozy brunch girl or sport obsessed, bar hopping guy. I really had no desire to hang out with any of these people during or after work. The managers are okay but mostly really really bland or they think they're gods gift to the world, swanning around the office in their suit acting like they're running a multi-billion dollar company.

    Travel: Like I said before, it doesn't matter who you are or where you live, get used to filling out tax forms for 4+ states every year.

    Hours: Hours start at 45 hours a week. Whatever happened to the good ol' 40 hour work week? If you work 45 hours a week, consider yourself lucky. Busier times on projects will easily net you 50-65 hour workweeks. Don't forget about that 1+ hour commute too! Work-life balance is a farce here. Sure its better than a bank or external audit at a Big 4 but it's still crap and no way to live life. Expect to work weekends, holidays too if your client gets really busy. Forgot about working from home too- I didn't have the ability to do that at all when I worked for Protiviti.

    Lack of flexibility: No option to switch groups, clients, gain new skills, work with new people. Promotional ladder is very rigid and almost completely dependent on amount of time worked.

    The whole structure of the firm: I just get bad vibes from the whole thing. The CEO is so dull and uninspiring. HR is very unhelpful, uncaring and curt. Like I said, it's all about the client and not about the employees being happy. They pretend to care by organizing stupid community service or after work events that are just so contrived and forced. There is also an insane amount of politics, back stabbing, red tape, gossiping, in-fighting and hurt feelings that go on behind the scenes. Very unprofessional and pretty ridiculous and the employees just get caught up in all of it. Also the whole buddy system, advisor, mentor, goal setting, review process is such a waste of time and no one really benefits from it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementUse your size and relative newness as an advantage. Stop acting like the little sibling to the Big 4, mimicking everything they do. You are small and young and more nimble- enact innovative policies in the office. Stop being so corporate and stuffy- its unappealing to clients and to employees. Pretend that you're a tech company. Maybe have a looser dress code, allow telecommuting, cap hours at 50 per week, show compassion, hire different types of people with unique skills, offer increased vacation days, continue and expand sabbatical program, ask new hires where they want to be placed and their interests before assigning them a group, be sensitive, encourage creativity, be unique, foster happiness, do away with the all the time-wasting and narrow goal setting/buddy/mentor/advisor processes, compensate for travel time, stop treating consultants as cattle by using them and shifting them around as you please. The most impactful and realistic suggestion I have though is to offer a rotational program. Let new consultants try new things, learn as much as possible and see what they like best. Then give them the power to choose their group. You will get the most informed, happiest and productive employees that way. Forget about building out your services and adding new half-assed solutions. Focus on your employees first and they will take care of the rest and make Protiviti an innovative and profitable consulting firm. You will be completely distinguished from all other firms and will attract top talent. What you invest now will be returned 10-fold. One more thing, BE a consulting firm, don't just SAY you're a consulting firm.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Worked here for almost 2 years.

    Consultant II (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsThe people at Protiviti are Great to work with. When it comes to work/life balance I found that Protiviti was very flexible with that.

    ConsThere isn'tmuch to say except that depending on what project you are staffed on in the beginning, you may remain there for a very long time with little chance for change.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAllow for more flexibility with different clients and jobs would greatly help morale of employees.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    It is probably like other consulting firms. Whatever project we sell is staffed first come first serve.

    IT Manager (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsThe people are the best part about Protiviti. Senior management seem like people who genuinely want the company to succeed.

    ConsBudget for the most basic elements of the job is tight. Many elements of the business runs like a startup-which can be good and bad. The small budget is one of the downsides.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCreate incentives which are not based on firm performance for example, saving the company time and resources.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Quick Turnaround

    Technology Consultant (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsThe part of the company I worked for was clearly geared towards a younger crowd and mentality. If you are looking for a job that pays very well with folks who are eager or at least amicable towards the idea of drinking at happy hour, on the weekends and generally anytime they have free time you will be a good fit. Lunches are a communal thing, with group decisions the norm. You have the chance to work on engagements at a variety (somewhat) of firms and work with a bunch of different people. The people are generally easy going, out going and talkative. The hours are generally not excessive and can be potentially forgone in terms of being in the office (work from home opportunities). The expenses (mileage/food) you can deduct tact on to your salary, provided you are tactful. Promotion is fairly quick, with fast-track opportunities if you 'know how to play the game'. Pretty smart folks, if on the younger scale who form the grunt workers with middling ages above.

    ConsThe skills are inherently limited. Do not expect to transfer them beyond the world of Internal technology controls auditing. (Lots of Excel work though) From a project management and engagement perspective you will be able to spin them well if you are adept at this. The culture is essentially an extension of a college 'dorm', with drinking, 'crazy' stories (not really that crazy) and weekend escapades earning you badges of merit, and useful promotional indicators. Most jobs have circles and cliches; this one requires it. Assignments and engagements are based on who the managers want to work with- and hence your billable hours are based on literally who you know and who likes you. If you keep to yourself, are un-liked, generally different, etc, expect to be hard pressed to keep moving forward, or even sent on engagements. Though if you do show enthusiasm for the work, you will be valued regardless. The engagements can be short-term, and incredibly tedious, with conversational skills the determining factor as to the actual stars tagged to your lapel on the performance reviews.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNone. For what the work entails and the generous salary, they are doing a fine job. For the type of work folks do here, and the pay that they provide, if you are of the 'frat- boy' or 'sorority-girl' mentality, you will fit in and like this company and the management; a lot.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Excellent company to begin your career with

    Intern/Co-op (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsGreat culture, people, projects, and clients; great opportunities to travel and work on an array of projects, even as an intern. Very satisfied with my experience. Was offered a job but turned down in order to further my education.

    ConsI struggle to find anything negative to say about my experience with Protiviti. The only slight downside would be that the arrangement for longer term client engagements could be a bit smoother (i.e. consistency of hotels) but that is a very minor detail.

    Advice to Senior ManagementN/A

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

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    Hard work gets rewarded

    Consultant II (Current Employee) New York, NY

    Prosgood work life balance for consulting, acknowledgement of hard work and quick advancement, opportunity to be proactive about the types of work you are interested in, great office culture, strong internship program, structured training at all levels

    Conscompetitors have better compensation, mentoring from executives is lacking

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

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    Good place to start a career and get experience across different industries.

    Manager (Current Employee) Woodbridge, NJ

    ProsOpportunities for upward career growth is there, just need to watch out for the pitfalls of things you will never learn during formal training that they provide.

    ConsMuch of the learning is trial and error since some management don't know themselves. Training they provide is formal but doesn't give info of the nuances that can cause you the crash and burn.

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

    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Limited potential to grow your career

    Former Employee (Former Employee) New York, NY

    Pros-Good work/life balance
    -Smaller size of project teams allow you to see bigger picture on engagements

    Cons-Lack of engaging projects
    -Incompetent management
    -Low employee morale
    -Top performers wind up leaving

    Advice to Senior ManagementBring in fresh new upper management and put more effort into developing lower level employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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