Slalom Consulting Reviews

Updated April 25, 2015
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  1. Helpful (4)

    Great people but sub-par assignments and 2nd tier management issues

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

    I have been working at Slalom Consulting full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    The people are wonderful and very sharp. The culture is amazing. The company hosts great quarterly reviews and the annual retreat with significant others is awesome. The GM is top notch at what he does, personable, humble and remembers everyone.

    Cons

    Assignments won't necessarily be within your professional expertise and staff aug assignments aren't out of the realm of possibility. Resisting a staff aug assignment or one that is not close to your profession is highly frowned upon. You take what you're given. Too many members of the 2nd tier of management seem to be more concerned with selling anything that they don't take the time to think whether it's a good fit for the company or the consultants. You're at their mercy. Top management talks about meaningful work for us but it's just talk due to some of their direct reports. They need to review the motivation and work of their 2nd tier managers.

    Volunteering for internal projects seems more like a mandate than an option. If you're not active internally then it can be looked upon negatively. Internal contributions outside of your full-time assignment are expected. Doesn't seem to matter if you have a family or long commute, it is in your best interest to volunteer when it comes to raise and bonus time.

    3 weeks of PTO is sub-par.

    Advice to Management

    Take a step back and really look at the assignments being handed out against the skill set of the consultant. It's not fair to bring in people who are seasoned professionals then place them in a staff aug assignment or an assignment that is outside of their profession. Making record numbers feels good but at what cost are they being met?

  2. Helpful (4)

    Overall positive but not sure how long I'll stay due to the weight of the cons

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

    I have been working at Slalom Consulting

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Work life balance, most of the time at least
    Professional development
    Local model
    Challenging work most of the time and local market is growing
    Entrepreneurial feel
    Smart and experienced colleagues who care about the client and performance
    Good direct boss
    Culture is casual and fun. At least it is on the off chance you’re in the office or get to make it to a happy hour, retreat, or the other many hosted events. The events are fun and the effort is appreciated but it is just hard to get to them when you’re working long hours at a client site. It seems the internal staff benefit from these more than consultants.

    Cons

    PTO is pretty awful and sabbatical is kind of a joke because it takes too long to earn, especially when a consultant ends up on the bench and it is not their fault. And consultants lose sabbatical if they promote to even the first level of management.
    401k match is pitiful. Many of us talk about how we plan to stay only a few years as a reprieve from the intensity of our previous firms or employers but will need to go to a new company to focus on retirement planning.
    Promotion requires selling and there is no insight offered into what your new pay could be so you can decide if the extra time and energy investment would be worth it.
    It is tough that the local area is so large so it can mean a long commute depending on where your client is.
    Culture is good, but a lot of it is just good branding or applies if you are an internal employee. The people in the office seem close and very 'Slalom' because they can go to all of this stuff regularly.
    Some members of the leadership team have reputations that make consultants avoid their projects or team or even leave the company.

    Advice to Management

    Improve the 401k and PTO. It makes no sense to see how these have been ongoing issues for many years and still no improvement. Give up some happy hours and events for better vacation and retirement.

    Look closer at the management team feedback and their feedback. Some are amazing to use Slalom’s words and some are not. What is the point of the manager delivering on numbers if people avoid working for them. That can be a successful model for only so long. It also erodes the company culture and employee base desire to stay long term.

    Don’t focus too much on the new cross practice goals so much that you lose meaningful and deep work in the specific practices. Consultants will not be happy if it comes to mean watered down work in areas they aren’t passionate about just to show we worked across practices and meet the goals so the management team is rewarded. These goals could have unintended consequences.

    Keep trying and keep doing the things in the PRO list. The positive intention of the founders and top management team is appreciated. There are many good things about the company but the negative things must be addressed, especially when we are growing so much, or we will lose what makes the company special - and the employees that make it both special and successful.

    Slalom Consulting Response

    Apr 24, 2015Communications Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to leave your in-depth thoughts here. You’ve obviously put a great deal of thought into your review and it’s appreciated. I’m glad to hear that some aspects of the ... More

  3. Great Company!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Accountant in West Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Accountant in West Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Slalom Consulting full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Slalom Consulting strives to better each and every one of their employees, not only for the growth of the company, but for the growth of each individual. While the employees here work hard to better Slalom, Slalom works hard to create better lives and opportunities for each employee. Slalom has an amazing culture, that really feels like a team.

    Cons

    I have no cons!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work, and never lose sight of who we are!

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  5. Love Your Future!

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

    I have been working at Slalom Consulting

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great culture, amazing talent, growing firm and great work life balance

    Cons

    Growing firms lacks the formal structure of a big 4 firm. While this is not necessarily a bad thing it may be a challenge for those from that background to adapt.

  6. Helpful (2)

    Good people, struggling to find their niche in Southern California

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

    I worked at Slalom Consulting full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The corporate culture is very employee-eccentric and they diligently tried to be one of the best places to work.

    Cons

    In the Southern California market, the company struggled to find the service offerings to produce consistent revenues. High turnover and some executive friction prevented the company from replicating its success in other markets.

    Advice to Management

    Need to decide what you want to be: Microsoft VAR (SharePoint/CRM), Staff Aug PMs, Business Intelligence, Java Developers, .NET developers, Digital Marketing, or Technology Organizational Design Shop. You can't be all things to all people and being too small to gain critical mass in any one area will continue to frustrate consultants and clients.

    Slalom Consulting Response

    Apr 3, 2015President & Co-founder, North America

    This is John Tobin. Thanks for the review and your 3 years working at Slalom. Southern California has been an interesting ride for us and I can appreciate the consistency comment. I feel as we ... More

  7. Helpful (1)

    Internal Nightmare

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Slalom Consulting

    Pros

    Great location and facility - The branding and image are impressive at first glance, but as you dig a little deeper it's a facade.

    Cons

    Very harsh and dishonest management - I'm not sure if it's insecurity or just emotional damage, but the management brings forward false allegations in an attempt to harm employees. It becomes difficult to continue to defend yourself.

    Advice to Management

    Mix lower level management between women and men.

  8. Helpful (12)

    Safe and predictable

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

    I worked at Slalom Consulting full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The local model is very attractive and consultants do have quite a bit of "power" in deciding what they want to do. If you don't want to sell and/or simply want to focus on domain knowledge, skill development, and delivery, then it could be a good place for you.

    Cons

    In reality the model is no different from traditional "Big 4" consulting...the only way to get into leadership is to sell. At the end of the day, selling takes priority over all else including delivery. By not participating in selling, there is an eventual cap on compensation. The focus continues to shift to technology consulting (e.g. digital development, BI) and away from industry, process, etc., so that limits opportunities for "business consultants". Lastly, there is WAY YOO MUCH focus on "the culture"...feels like a cult!

    Advice to Management

    Compensation continues to be a challenge. The model continues to put unrealistic pressure on margin, etc. which impacts consultant compensation. There are way too many "managing directors" and "client service partners" who do nothing. There are some good people and good leaders...they need to figure out a way to thin the herd at the top.

    Slalom Consulting Response

    Mar 26, 2015President & Co-founder, North America

    This is John Tobin. Thanks for your response. I have to admit that I love our culture. I talk about it and evangelize about it quite a bit mainly to make sure it sustains. I feel that if I ... More

  9. Helpful (5)

    DO NOT FALL FOR THE GLASSDOOR/RECRUITING HYPE! STAFF AUG BODY SHOP AT ITS FINEST.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Consultant in Dallas, TX

    I worked at Slalom Consulting full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with some pretty sharp consultants.

    There are office events however if you are a billable consultant, you won't have time to participate. Otherwise, your client owns you pretty much.

    Cons

    Slalom employs a large team of recruiters, all of whom blast social media with a lot of hype about company culture and the "awesomeness" of the company. I was approached by a recruiter on LinkedIn to have an initial "conversation" to be a part of their Technology Practice. Pretty standard experience questions, nothing technical. Additional "conversations" took place and I go on to meet other members of the team and then eventually the Practice Area Director to assess if I am a "fit" for the team and the culture. Slalom makes me an offer which in retrospect, I regretfully accept. The company was sold to me as being generally "awesome" and NO STAFF AUG. It can't be that bad right?

    Onto my first "local" client (conveniently 40+ miles away). In this role, I was essentially thrown/augmented onto an already failing project which was already a few weeks over deadline (margins cut, etc). After a few weeks of working in this sweatshop like a good little sheep, project is finally completed however at the expense of the quality of the work and deployment.

    From what I've heard it's commonplace here for projects to be underestimated which results in extremely stressful deliverables for the technical resources actually working on the projects. What a great way to start you new career at Slalom!

    It gets better....

    Onto my next project. For this one, I was essentially staffed (augmented) to build an application using technologies that I had no experience ever using (or ever claimed to have the experience) with no ramp up time or training. Long story short, I got out of the project early and they found some other sheep to do the job. At this point, I realize that staff aug is a recurring theme across all projects from what I've seen, with work being assigned to resources with very little regard to their skill sets (despite what the recruiter will tell you how Slalom does not staff augment, it's very much a body shop). Truly not much learning on the job and opportunities to do so are scarce due to the aggressive deadlines around which all projects are sold. Slalom is a small shop with limited resources, so you will find that all project deliverables are "urgent".

    It can't all be bad though right? I see the light at the end of the tunnel and it looks like an exit sign!

    This is a life lesson. If something sounds too good to be true it absolutely is. I know when to cut my losses and only a few months in and I am headed for the exit. Slalom has taken from me months of my life which I will never get back. Never again.

    Advice to Management

    Work on more competitive benefits for employees, specifically around 401K - they deserve better.

    Other than that, just glad to be out.

  10. Helpful (19)

    Good company for consultants that don't want to travel

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

    I worked at Slalom Consulting full-time

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Senior (Seattle/National) leadership cares about creating a great company. As a billable consultant, you will most likely be assigned a local client. Salaries are competitive+. Smart people who focus on delighting the client will thrive. You will be allowed work-life balance provided you don't want to grow into leadership. There is currently a big emphasis on empowering and promoting women in a male-dominated industry. The senior leadership is approachable and inclusive. There are a lot of really great, caring people at Slalom, and some very smart ones too. Financially, the company is stable and is big enough to weather ups and downs - if you are competent, you will have job security. The company spends a lot of money promoting culture and their brand as a good place to work.

    Cons

    Slalom prioritizes hiring from big consultancies, in particular Accenture and Deloitte. Two effects of this are that they frequently hire for that culture fit vs. competence; and there are a lot of fair-to-middling Big-X consultants that get managed out of those firms that land at Slalom. A lot of the work is staff augmentation, non-strategic. Getting people billable takes precedent over meaningful work. Senior leadership is overwhelmingly from Accenture/Deloitte/EY etc., so if you are not from one of those firms you will most likely cap out if you want a career vs. a job. Slalom preaches diversity and inclusion from a background perspective, but currently their diversity initiatives are "for Women." Most Slalom leaders expect you to buy into the Slalom Kool-Aid, so if you are looking for cool work but not a religious experience, your career path will be hindered. Over the last 24 months, it felt like priority had shifted away from being the best consulting firm in the world to a quest to expand internationally and hit $1B in revenue, and if things have to be sacrificed to get there, so be it.

    Oh - and benefits are far below industry average. 7 holidays, and 2 weeks leave which is inclusive of sick, vacation, whatever you need it for. Recruiting will dazzle you with alternative models and funny math. It often feels like you are working for a cheap accountant (for example, new consultants often get recycled laptops that are years into their depreciation cycle).

    In summary - if you are an ex-Big X consultant that doesn't want to travel, it's a great place. If you are from a niche tech firm, industry, etc., you will most likely find it very hard to advance beyond jr. leadership.

    Advice to Management

    Re-commit to the values that made Slalom a great company in the beginning, and balance the quest for $1B in revenue with staying true to your values - that veil is translucent and the consulting staff sees through it. If a Big-X background is critical to obtaining senior leadership positions, develop a learning program to teach those skills. Diversity shouldn't be "for women only."

    Slalom Consulting Response

    Feb 18, 2015President & Co-founder, North America

    This is John Tobin - Thanks for your thoughtful review. I appreciate the feedback especially about how going Global and being a $1B company seem to be more of the important driving forces at Slalom ... More

  11. Helpful (14)

    don't fall for the glassdoor reviews

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Practice Area Lead in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Practice Area Lead in New York, NY

    I have been working at Slalom Consulting full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There is really nothing i can think of honestly...they have a few too many social events i guess? (mainly for HR and other office staff....consultants are too busy for such social events)

    Cons

    when something is too good to be true WATCH OUT! There is always a catch. Here is the catch with Slalom.

    >Potential employee falls for the glassdoor reviews and constant bombardment of slalom BS on linkedin and constant HR follow ups on linkedin.
    >Potential employee(who has never ever heard of slalom) does his "research" on internet which is bombarded by HR with all the "awesomeness" of slalom.
    >Potential employee takes leap of faith of those glorious internet reviews and joins slalom.
    >Welcome to slalom new sheep! Baaaaaaaaaa now you find projects and start working
    >New sheep soon realizes the "slalom way of doing things, slalom culture" is all just a eye wash and there is nothing inside.
    >At this point you have 2 choices 1) realize your mistake and run for exit (smart choice)
    2) Pretend to drink the slalom koolaid and keep on chanting the slalom mantra and pretend to part of the slalom culture.
    >The companies sucks blood out of new employees until they run for exits, and the cycle repeats!

    Advice to Management

    >Stop pretending to be something you are not, the CEO must spend more time growing the company than reviewing glassdoor reviews.
    >Have more diversity in senior management. Majority of the women seem to be in HR and other office administrative roles.
    >Have more women in Leads and Director levels (and other ethnicity as well)
    >Improve your compensation and benefits! you are almost on par with outsourcing giants....thats a shame

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