Unmatched employee development. Exceptional company culture. Seemingly endless opportunities to work from over 50 global locations. And the highest hiring goals in decades.
These are just a few of the reasons why Bain & Company just might be home to your best job ever. Oh, and did we mention that it has been named the #1 Best Place to Work in the U.S. for 2019? That’s right, the consulting firm has taken the top spot among over 800,000 employers as the best place to work in the U.S. With this win, the Boston-based company has earned a spot on the Best Places to Work list every year since the award’s inception — it also marks the fourth time that the company has been ranked #1 on the list (2012, 2014, 2017, 2019), giving Bain more #1 Best Places to Work wins than any other employer.
But it’s not all about the awards.
According to Manny Maceda, Worldwide Managing Partner at Bain, this year’s win boils down to transparency and nurturing best-in-class team members. “This year, our leadership has invested in more frequent communication to share our vision and strategic ambitions for our firm, including a reaffirmation of our company mission. The level of transparency and engagement from firm leadership translates directly to employee enthusiasm and excitement about our business outlook and firm journey.”
Want to learn more about how Bain beat out tech giants, healthcare hubs and industry unicorns? We caught up with Maceda to dig into the secret ingredients of their Best Places to Work win and find out, “Why should job seekers apply to an open role at Bain?” Here’s what he had to say.
Glassdoor: Congratulations on winning the #1 spot! What does it mean to have your employees honor Bain as a 2019 Best Place to Work?
Manny Maceda: It feels fantastic for all of us at Bain & Company to win this top spot. Since our founding, we’ve sought to deliver outstanding results for our clients, to provide incredible opportunities for everyone at Bain and to redefine the consulting industry. This validation signals that every member of our team is delivering on our mission and ambition.
Glassdoor: What are two or three steps your company has taken within the last year to double down on company culture, employee engagement and employee feedback that may have led to this win?
Manny Maceda: Bain & Company has an exceptional company culture, and it is important to our global leadership team that we enhance the culture.
This year our leadership has invested in more frequent communication to share our vision and strategic ambitions for our firm, including a reaffirmation of our company mission. The level of transparency and engagement from firm leadership translates directly to employee enthusiasm and excitement about our business outlook and firm journey.
We have long been committed to diversity and inclusion. This year we have expanded those efforts to create and engage formal allies for all affinity groups, building on our long-standing and successful LGBTQ ally network, who act as important champions for our Diversity and Inclusion efforts.
We also continued our successful diversity forums this year. The Global Women’s Leadership Forum brought over 300 of our senior women from around the globe together (along with a number of our senior male allies) to advance our global ambitions for gender parity and what we need to do — collectively and individually — to ensure that every woman is thriving in her Bain career. Thriving was also a key component of our BGLAD, Blacks at Bain & Latinos at Bain conferences, along with strengthening cross-office connectivity within these groups.
Finally, we remain committed to ensuring that our employees have multiple channels to provide us with feedback. In addition to our annual employee engagement survey, every other week, our teams complete a pulse survey. The teams own these results and use them to identify how to create a better team experience for themselves and better results for our clients.
Glassdoor: This award speaks volumes about the company, but also signals to job seekers that this is an amazing place to work. Why should job seekers apply for an open role at Bain?
Manny Maceda: People who want to work at Bain tend to have a few common characteristics. They want to be a part of a winning team that creates outstanding client success stories. They like seeing that their work makes a difference in the world. They want to learn and grow every day.
We currently have 8,000 employees in 57 offices worldwide. This provides enriching international opportunities for those who want them. This year, about 50% of consulting staff worked outside their home country and about 35% of consulting employees transferred to another country.
We value personal and professional development, so we invest significant time and energy into our people. Bain & Company’s home office model is unique in the industry, creating a genuine community focused on developing our consulting staff, while helping consultants find the case experiences to thrive. That investment makes it feel different to work at Bain.
Finally, our “Be Well. Be Bain” holistic well-being program supports our employees and their families in a variety of ways, including offering exceptional health and dental benefits, adoption/surrogacy benefits, fitness benefits, generous parental leave programs, financial well-being tools, mindfulness support and much more.
Glassdoor: What roles is Bain prioritizing right now? Any specific departments seeing significant growth and innovation?
Manny Maceda: Our general management consultant hiring goals are larger than they have been in our 45+ years. That includes the size of our intern classes. That pool of people includes bachelor’s degree students, MBA students, other advanced degrees and industry hiring.
We continue to innovate on our analytics and technology delivery capabilities to drive client solutions. We are enhancing team structures with new talent combinations including design, development and analytics talent blended with our traditional consulting staff. This is creating opportunities for people with backgrounds in marketing science, data science, software engineering, human-centered design, digital marketing, product design, product management and more.
Glassdoor: Glassdoor is all about transparency and helping people everywhere find a job and company they love. What insights can you share about the interview process at Bain? What types of questions do you ask, and what kind of soft skills do you look for?
Manny Maceda: We believe that interviews are an opportunity for us to meet great candidates, learn about their backgrounds and understand why working at Bain & Company is the right next step in their career. Interview formats will vary based on the specific position and skill set that is required. Every candidate should expect one or more interviews that focus on their experience and technical skills that are important to the specific position. We also use case interview techniques for some positions. Case interviews are, at their essence, discussions about a business problem.
Given our highly collaborative environment, we look for individuals with strong communication skills and who thrive working in teams.
Great candidates are open to new possibilities. They approach problem-solving with creativity and with rigor. They are open-minded and think outside the box.
Glassdoor: How do you screen candidates to ensure that they will be engaged and thrive within your culture?
Manny Maceda: We look for candidates who are bright and curious. We want people who communicate in an open, honest, direct way. We look for individuals who work well in diverse teams and are inclusive of others. We want people who are excited to join us as we create the Bain & Company of the future.
Glassdoor: How are you using Glassdoor to attract the types of candidates you’re looking for?
Manny Maceda: We value Glassdoor for giving job seekers access to unfiltered commentary from a wide variety of people. Glassdoor is a great platform for job candidates to hear directly from all of us about what it is like to learn, grow and thrive at Bain. They can also learn from other job seekers about the interview process. We believe this transparency — combined with the integrated jobs feed — helps candidates make informed choices when applying to roles at Bain. We are confident that we have the best employee value proposition. The recognition from Glassdoor as the Best Place to Work (again!) is another point of confirmation.
Glassdoor: What keeps you at Bain for the long haul? What advice would you give to companies focused on retention?
Manny Maceda: For nearly three decades, I have had the privilege of serving some of the most incredible clients and creating impactful results. I have chosen to stay at Bain because I am able to build strong and enduring client relationships based on exceptional work and results. At the same time, I have created a set of lifelong friends and colleagues who are my second family.
We know our employees want to be challenged, enjoy a steep learning curve and desire a lot of responsibility. Once they are here, they find a global network of brilliant, supportive colleagues and that is why they stay.
I advise other companies focused on retention to communicate the company’s mission and purpose. Connect employees’ work to that greater purpose — how their engagement and development will make a difference, not only in the company but also in the world. Give them a compelling reason to stay.
Glassdoor: Besides celebrating your 2019 Best Places to Work win, what’s next for Bain? How are you looking to innovate and up-level in 2019?
Manny Maceda: In 2019, we will continue to rapidly innovate the ways we help our clients in every industry and region to achieve higher performance and full potential results by leveraging leading-edge IQ and EQ techniques. It will include expanding high-powered, unique business thought leadership like Elements of Value. It will also include applying artificial intelligence, software and data to our clients’ problems.
Lastly, we will be deploying an even wider array of diverse talent, along with our unique and expanding techniques for high-performance collaboration with our teams and our clients and external partners. This will be true in our consulting with for-profit enterprises and with our nonprofit clients where we are supporting path-breaking innovation. Bain & Company was founded as a results-oriented innovator and every year we set a high standard for ourselves to innovate further in how we deliver results.
Job seekers should have strong collaboration skills, an ability to work effectively with people from a wide range of technical backgrounds on cross-functional teams, and an eagerness to continually develop their own skills in order to meet the evolving needs of our clients.
Glassdoor: Looking ahead to 2019, what are two or three trends you’re seeing in your industry that job seekers need to understand or be aware of as it pertains to innovation? How can job seekers get prepared for the future of work in your industry?
Manny Maceda: Trends in the consulting industry emphasize the importance of new approaches to problem-solving and the speed to implement solutions.
We will continue to see advanced analytics incorporated into a wide range of diagnoses and problem-solving. New ways of working will include more design thinking and working in an agile environment. The rapid development and creative application of new technologies will be applied across the business spectrum, from blockchain to supply chain.
Job seekers can prepare by committing to ongoing, self-directed learning. Job seekers need to be comfortable working collaboratively with a broader range of people — data scientists, software developers and design thinkers — to deliver results. The new norm is being able to work in new ways and with a more diverse set of talent.
Glassdoor: What are one or two recruiting and hiring trends you predict will really take hold in 2019?
Manny Maceda: We are living and working in an era of rapidly changing technology, new business models and digital disruption. While certainly there is a vast appetite for advanced technical skills, companies will also place a premium on candidates that have the ability to learn and build new skills. Characteristics like adaptability, comfort with ambiguity and the ability to be effective in rapidly changing circumstances will become increasingly important. Pattern recognition, critical thinking and creativity that can help organizations chart a path forward in an uncertain environment is essential. Strong communication skills and empathy are essential to building buy-in to a vision for the future and gaining the buy-in and support of a globally diverse workforce.