Booz Allen Hamilton - Slow Drift to Mediocre Government Contractor | Glassdoor
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Helpful (14)

"Slow Drift to Mediocre Government Contractor"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Lead Associate in Washington, DC
Former Employee - Lead Associate in Washington, DC
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (More than 5 years)

Pros

I joined Booz Allen 6+ years ago and left in 2012. At the outset, it was a great company to work for with a myriad of opportunity to learn and grow from smart and talented people and from a company with a 95+ year tradition in consulting. I worked primarily in the public sector and day-to-day the client-work coudl be so-so (it is government, so I wasn't always working with the most talented people operating in a high-performing environment), but I took pride in working for Booz and found it to live up to its ideals as a "great place to work" and learned a lot. UNTIL.....

Cons

Just about everything changed with the Carlyle private equity firm investment and subsequent public offering. Booz's reputation in the marketplace is pretty at odds with the internal reality. Booz Allen Hamilton is no longer a consulting company, but a large Federal contractor. In the past 2-3 years the company culture has slowly gone adrift as we focused on short-term financial results, cost-cutting, and rewarding senior management and Carlyle for their "performance" (e.g. see $1B "special" dividend paid for with junk debt and cash we should be conserving in this uncertain gov't market). At the same time, training, benefits, awards, salary increases, team all-hands, and holiday parties are all being cut or trimmed. But, don't worry, you'll be expected to be available for early AM, evening, and weekend work anyway.

By the end it was a very disillusioning environment with little upward mobility thanks to extreme politics and a misguided desire to hire "talent" externally, as is reflected in the 30-40% turnover in some teams (those are actual metrics, no exaggeration). The best and brightest who have other opportunities are sadly fleeing for the exits while a lot who are left describe their career as "at least it's a paycheck".

SO....if you're looking for a stable job as a Federal contractor, Booz isn't a bad place to land. If you're looking for what Booz is trying to sell a lot of people on...an opportunity for challenging and strategic consulting work where you'll be rewarded, I'd recommend Accenture, Deloitte, or a lot of other mid-size actual consulting firms.

Advice to Management

-Reward great work and commitment with internal promotions
-Start firing the senior leaders you brought in with core values issues
-Cut out the non-value added overhead at the Senior Associate and above level who add little to no value to client work and still delegate much of the marketing/business development to Leads and Associates.

Other Employee Reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Booz Allen is a decent place to work, but you must be on the right team"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Lead Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Solid reputation with government clients

    Cons

    Average to below average compensation
    Slow to move and bureaucratic

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to 360 reviews of Sr. Associates and Principals and remove people who aren't truly living the firm's values and treating people with respect.


  2. "Reputable company, but at luck of the draw of what project/task they assign you."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant Level II in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant Level II in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very reputable company. It is a "people" company where they care about the person first. If you are between tasks (BAH calls, "On the beach") they will try to find new a new one. Not always successful in that regard, but at least you know they are trying to look out for you when you are done with a project unlike other places I worked.

    Cons

    Some of the projects they assign are on thin ice. Some you go to and do not really work. I understand that you need to take the initiative, but when your client has nothing for you, you begin to stray away from what you were hired for. We had to see if other sections of our client (from our assigned one) had anything we can help with. Some did, some did not. Also, you may have the credentials to work for this company when you apply, but it is fifty-fifty whether they will call you for that first interview.

    Advice to Management

    So far, so good on treating the employee with respect and trying to find a new assignment for those "on the beach." But it seems bueracracy is starting to show its ugly head. Try to minumize that. Also, check out some of the projects BAH has, some employees are just "collecting a check" through no fault of their own.

There are newer employer reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton
There are newer employer reviews for Booz Allen Hamilton

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