ICF Reviews | Glassdoor

ICF Reviews

Updated August 17, 2017
790 reviews

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3.6
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ICF Chairman and CEO Sudhakar Kesavan
Sudhakar Kesavan
383 Ratings

790 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • We work really hard on a variety of challenging topics but also have good work-life balance (in 82 reviews)

  • flexible schedule and some work from home possibilities (in 48 reviews)

Cons
  • Not always good work life balance (in 44 reviews)

  • If ICF wants to recruit the best and the brightest, rename junior staff titles to describe the actual work we do (in 26 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Great company if you want to work with a purpose."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The company is fully of extremely mission-oriented people who are working to make a positive social difference. There is a sense that everyone is coming to work to get down to business with their own part of savings the world. This sense of purpose engenders a strong team spirit and collegial atmosphere that focuses on cooperation over competition. Unlike some other firms in this industry there is not a sense of different offices as "dueling profit centers." Instead there is a general recognition that we all benefit from working together and that getting the job done is more important than whose budget something accrues to.

    I also appreciate the deep technical expertise here in so many areas. At some firms in the consulting industry there is a poker-faced game of "we've never done that before and don't know much about it, but just tell the client that we'll do it, and we'll figure out 'how' later." At ICF I am consistently impressed by the expertise present at all levels in many practices - usually there is someone who *has* done it before and *does* know a lot about it. This earns my respect and makes me feel like there is leadership I can trust.

    At the same time there is a trust in staff and a willingness to appreciate innovation wherever it arises. I think this allows junior staff to grow quickly, and motivates them to do their best work. This is not a formulaic place and there is a lot of room for younger employees to put their own mark on the work that comes out of ICF.

    Cons

    ICF is in a phase of rapid growth after its IPO as a public company in 2007. This has its upsides of course, but it is also engendering a shift to a more investor-profits-driven mentality at the top. While this may be appropriate business practice, it may put some strain on the organizational culture to meet these growth goals. The company's culture of excellence and expertise may be challenged by the requirement to rapidly expand successful groups beyond their current size.

    Advice to Management

    Look for ways to guard the company's core values and the caliber of its technical expertise as it grows quickly.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Able to Work with Smart People and Make a Difference on Issues that Matter"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The People. The depth and breadth of knowledge among the staff is a great reason to work at ICF. When you face a challenge, you can often walk down the hall and get 3 practical suggestions about how to begin to tackle it. Also, many of the staff come to ICF with direct field experience in environment, energy, human services, or community programs. This frontline experience helps project teams come up with good, practical results.

    The Work. Many of the projects I work on have an impact. They shape policy, or make a difference for organizations working in communities and the environment. Don't get me wrong. Like all professional services and consulting firms, there are a number of projects that don't. But I have found that many that I work on do make a difference.

    The Opportunity to Learn. I have learned a lot from both my work on projects, and from several of the training courses offered by the company. Some of the training courses are duds, but I have found several that were quite helpful.

    Cons

    Company needs to do a better job of integrating aquisitions. Over time, staff from aquired companies seem to find their way. But, initially, they seem to struggle.

    Advice to Management

    Strengthen communications to managers and staff.
    Improve performance review process, and strengthen communications of goals and expectations for staff.
    Improve rewards for staff.

  3. "Working for ICF"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Accountant in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Accountant in Sacramento, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ICF full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Overall a good company with good opportunities for growth

    Cons

    Having to pay for parking. Many layers of management.

    Advice to Management

    Don't let newly acquired companies lose their corporate cultures


  4. "ICF as a place to grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Development in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Business Development in Fairfax, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ICF full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    For a publically traded company, amazingly focused on work that matters; get to work with folks who are passionate about their work; expected to work hard but it is apprecitated

    Cons

    Communication is not always timely; need to be self motivated to move forward so some folks get overlooked; some managers who are too focused on control

    Advice to Management

    Listen to all channels of communication and don't be bureaucratic; maintain open door policies and don't let control freaks get into high levels of management


  5. "Smart, collaborative people who work on good causes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smart people, real attention to following and improving processes, great work on good and important projects.

    Cons

    There are no cons in particular. :-)


  6. "Rewarding most of the time."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Fairfax, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good work-life balance, culture promotes good quality work, reasonable workload and diversity of projects, flexible to family and student life

    Cons

    Motivation of the staff varies greatly, few opportunities or incentives for junior staff to gain management or business development experience, mission and culture keeps staff more than compensation and benefits

    Advice to Management

    Overly reliant on specific contracts; culture and structure restricts flow of ideas, skills, and skews compensation based on talent and workload across service areas at all levels


  7. "Very Rewarding!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Manager in Baltimore, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ICF full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Strong and supportive corporate culture.

    Cons

    If you are not interested in hard work and long hours (although you will be well compensated) this isn't a company for you.

    Advice to Management

    None at this time

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Take very good care of their people."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President
    Former Employee - Vice President
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ICF full-time

    Pros

    40 hour work week, excellent compensation package, upward mobility, interesting work, open and transparent upper management

    Cons

    The culture depends on the manager, and I left when I got a new one who was not qualified. He is still there, successfully managing up (darned Peter Principle). For higher level positions, the bonus structure is top down, not bottom up (every year my team got screwed).

    Advice to Management

    Try to make more employees shareholders... overhaul the AIP system... it is currently an anti-incentive program.


  9. "Great experience, environment and future"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate
    Current Employee - Associate
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ICF full-time

    Pros

    Great base pay
    Benefits are on par with industry
    Very diverse company with growth in multiple industries and countries

    Cons

    Dental insurance from MetLife sucks


  10. "Really good, diverse company!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ICF full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people, office space, range of work.

    Cons

    Better range than depth in some areas.


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