Slalom Reviews | Glassdoor

Slalom Reviews

Updated September 17, 2018
1,071 reviews

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4.4
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1,071 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "The work/life balance is definitely the best I've experienced" (in 239 reviews)

  • "I have a great people manager who cares about my success in this role & compensation" (in 67 reviews)

Cons
  • "Little work/life balance/flexibility - Slalom will claim that their focus on" (in 30 reviews)

  • "After all these years still so much staff aug work as an individual contributor with limited leadership support" (in 55 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (16)

    "Best experience of my career"

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

    I have been working at Slalom full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Leadership supports consultants and project teams
    - Awesome culture. Everyone I've worked with starts and ends the day with greetings.
    - Office perks. There are reoccurring Friday afternoon office social events, other holiday events, weekly brown bag meetings for learning.
    - Leadership has delivered on improving benefits like the 401k matching (as of now, 50% of the first 6% is matched)
    - Leadership and colleagues care about each other and the clients we serve
    - Opportunities and leadership support/visibility to work on innovative technologies through hackathons and sometimes client work.

    Cons

    - Unclear path for career progression at times
    - Clients and projects can be less than ideal at times
    - Benefits are average

    Advice to Management

    While it is a goal to grow rapidly, keep in mind the aspects of Slalom that really differentiates it from other consulting organizations. In my opinion these include making sure we sell the right types of projects to inspire and motivate our consultants; and maintaining our culture.

    Slalom Response

    Apr 2, 2018 – Communications Manager

    Thank you for your review. It's wonderful to hear that you feel supported by your local leadership, feel connected to your colleagues, and feel as though you have access to innovative technologies... More


  2. "Solution Architect"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great company with strong work-life balance.
    Hire smart creatives
    Opportunities to grow
    Strong learning
    No bureaucracy
    No politics
    Please here truly smile and love their jobs

    Cons

    None at the moment.
    A lot of pro's and very little con's

    Advice to Management

    Keep looking for top talent and continue to dig deeper into candidates individuality.

  3. Helpful (24)

    "Slalom = staff aug + revolving door for college grads + forced culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The consulting industry has been maturing for 100+ years; however, as private clients focus on optimizing business processes and rapidly building IT infrastructures, this historical consulting model is struggling at the fundamental level. Specially, the Big4 and other large consulting firms have built models that are subject to inflating rates - especially in the government - where you see entry level people trying to bill out at a 3x multiple, e.g., $150/hr for a recent college grad. These legacy consulting firms must keep pumping their multiples to offset the poor financial decisions being made by their aging executives, lack of billability at the mid-level, and the need for innovation to keep up with newer markets, like data science.

    This struggling model has paved the way for a new generation of consulting firms - enter Slalom - who are focused on providing lower rates, high output and adequate levels of technical skill. This forces a business model that is focused on identifying talent that is: (1) willing to work/bill extra hours, (2) billing at the lowest possible rate, and (3) up to date on the current technologies and industry tries. So, how does Slalom do this? It's simple: they predominantly hire college grads and manufacture a superficial culture that speaks directly to that demographic to consistently energize them to do work and/or take the necessary trainings to be minimally effective on projects. When you were interviewing with Slalom, did you notice how much time they spent showing off that wine fridge and keg while talking up the culture? And, did you primarily see desks of busy-looking junior staff sitting around?

    Cons

    The initial problem with this model is that it only really works when everyone is billing out 100% of their time and when the firm is willing to sign up for "any" type of work in exchange for adding staff to projects. This forces a flat organization within Slalom where there is some variance in rates and experience but minimal strategic work or opportunities for true career advancement. This is unlike the Big4 model which creates the opportunity for staff to grow at the expense of their aging business model. The side effect of this model at Slalom is that staff can oftentimes be aligned to projects that don't match their core skill set and, due to the flat nature of the organization, they will rarely have a manager/senior leader go to bat for them if they are unhappy with their project or drifting in their career.

    The only real way to get promoted and build a career is to find an entirely new client for Slalom and build an account from the ground up, which would provide Slalom with a new, ongoing revenue stream associated to you. This is certainly not impossible - and several junior Slalomers have climbed that chain - but rest assured that it's a huge dice roll. When you're spending 8 hours/day with a different client, doing staff aug work and then being asked to participate in seeming endless culture-building exercises for Slalom (happy hours), it becomes very difficult to gel into a true consulting role and proactively find new clients/work.

    Because Slalom is comprised of younger staff who have yet to develop the full range of management and consulting experience, most of Slalom's projects involve day-to-day services, like developing Tableau reports, testing, documenting requirements, taking meeting notes, etc. Did I mention testing? Further, projects typically only grow when clients proactively ask for additional staff vs. Slalom pitching new strategic services (like what you'd see with the Big4). Again, this is not a problem for Slalom because they are ok with staff leaving after a few years of their boring work because - in the next year - there will be new graduating college class with fresher technical skills who are ready to do technical work for 50-60 hours/week while only billing 40.

    The biggest problem that I - and many other people - have with Slalom is that it's not honest to its employees about what the company actually is - at all stages of recruitment and employment. They have armies of recruiters and a large social media presence to show future employees how much "fun" it is to work for the company. They beg employees to submit surveys to get the firm on "Top 100" lists for consulting publications and to provide online feedback on social sites so that they can provide hard statistics to further recruit young talent. But the benefit of using college grads/younger staff in this capacity is that they're new to their careers so they really don't have any baseline to compare their Slalom experience to. So, they stay until they realize that having an in-office keg does not truly provide that career-ROI they are looking for. Welcome to Slalom: the post college Frat.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest with new employees about what the company is: a revolving door that basically extends the college experience while paying a reasonable salary for a few years. Having recruiting team inflate your corporate image through social media will only work for so much longer as newer generations are getting smarter at spotting fakers.

    Slalom Response

    Aug 16, 2018 – President & Co-founder, North America

    This is John Tobin. The main thing which you wrote that is not quite accurate is that we mostly have recent college grads. This is just not true. The majority of our employees (probably... More


  4. "Sharing my experiences"

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

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

    Pros

    Great place to build a career. Talented and driven peers. Great projects with varied industry exposure. The projects are challenging but never a "mission impossible". Good work-life balance.

    Office culture is congenial and supportive. Mentoring and coaching support is easy to access and people are willing to give their time and attention. Lots of opportunities for blending work and community service. Creative approaches to comingle personal interests with the Slalom brand are actively encouraged.

    Leadership is committed and attentive to the growth of employees. The company vision and values truly drive the daily decision making on the ground. Over the last 5 years, I have seen them used often as guardrails in challenging situations, which allows me to make decisions with confidence

    Cons

    Sometimes there is a mismatch in the skills needed/staffed. Not surprising in the consulting industry. The good part is the Slalom leadership recognizes/acknowledges when it happens and tries to compensate as best as possible


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great Hiring Experience and Company"

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

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

    Pros

    Transparent in the process and never pushy or setting the wrong expectation. After joining the company, everything was expected from the discussions during the hiring process. Slalom is truly people first company.

    Cons

    No cons I can think of.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "It really is different than anywhere I've worked"

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

    I have been working at Slalom full-time

    Pros

    Culture comes from the top, and Slalom - unlike MANY other places I've worked - has leaders who aren't shy about leading and who are truly committed to growing their people, serving their community, and creating an environment that consultants actually WANT to work in. The pay is competitive (but not outrageous... you'll have to travel 24/7 and make many other compromises if that's your only goal). The benefits are decent/good but getting better (recent 401K enhancements pleased me). The office recognizes that, with few exceptions, we're experienced consultants and treats us as such (no stupid micromanagement from my boss or anyone else for that matter). Slalom creates an environment that tends to bring out the best in people, and it shows.

    Cons

    One of Slalom's core values is "celebrate authenticity", but it's clear that the company favors a certain type of personality: Outgoing/extroverted; loquacious; community-service-focused; kind, gentle, and understanding in all circumstances; conflict-averse; diplomatic. None of these things are necessarily objectionable, but that doesn't describe everyone (some people are introverted, some enjoy respectful conflict/disagreement as a constructive tool, etc.), and I worry that I (and others) sometimes lack the innate characteristics that are "expected" of a Slalomite. But I've never felt unwelcome, just a little pressured to conform.

    Advice to Management

    Thank you for having the courage to lead. It's difficult to walk the fine line between building a strong culture and encouraging diversity of thought, but you're doing admirably. On a completely different topic: I'd love to better understand the equity model here at the company, and I think it'd be wise to offer/encourage more widespread employee ownership. Financial results affect our bonuses, obviously, but I'd like to feel like I had a greater stake in actually growing the company and making it successful (to my knowledge, only Practice Area Leads and above have an equity component of their compensation).


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting Work in a Warm, Friendly and Relaxed Workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Solutions Architect in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Solutions Architect in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Slalom full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great work life balance
    Great work from home policy
    Amazing culture committee - opportunities to plan your own events, and find communities and join in on social events
    Tons of opportunity to develop on new technologies
    Ability to easily transfer across teams, and locations

    Cons

    Sometimes you can get on a project that can be a handful for a number of reasons including poorly estimated scope, over commitments, demanding clients, etc.

    That being said, management does a fantastic job at working with you to align you to projects that you both think with be a good fit and help put you in positions to succeed and grow professionally.

    Advice to Management

    Slalom is an amazing place to work, and I recommend it to friends, family, and peers frequently!

    Despite the great culture and work environment Slalom has built in Seattle, from talking to peers in my network, it is clear we are missing out on many top tier Engineers and Senior Engineers who are not considering Slalom due to some bigger tech companies in the Seattle Area commonly offering 50% more as a base salary.

  8. "Flexibility"

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

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

    Pros

    - The culture is authentic and people are sincerely nice and interested in helping each other out

    Cons

    - Benefits aren't the best

    Advice to Management

    - Thanks for creating an awesome culture and space


  9. "Great place to work"

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

    I have been working at Slalom full-time

    Pros

    Love the collaboration and mentoring. Get to work with new technology.

    Cons

    Hours can be longer depending on the client.


  10. "Great culture and talented team-members"

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

    I have been working at Slalom full-time

    Pros

    Surrounded by some of the most talented consultants in business advisory, software engineering, agile, cloud and more. Diverse team with support to align your work with your professional goals and interests, and excellent work-life balance

    Cons

    Could probably do better with inter-office collaboration & knowledge sharing


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