Booz Allen Hamilton

www.boozallen.com
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Booz Allen Hamilton Reviews

Updated 5 March, 2015
Updated 5 March, 2015
2,342 Reviews
3.3
2,342 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Booz Allen Hamilton Chairman and CEO Ralph W. Shrader
Ralph W. Shrader
1,394 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is generally pretty good but also depends on the client you support (in 295 reviews)

  • High opportunity ceiling; great benefits; worthwhile challenges; ability to influence work that matters (in 106 reviews)


Cons
  • The Work Life Balance that it promises is often not the reality (in 114 reviews)

  • It is not uncommon for a person to be hired and then let go in a few months for "lack of work" (in 49 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Just OK.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton

    Pros

    --Good training ops.
    --Salary/Benefits/Social activities that are swanky.

    Cons

    --Top-heavy whereby too many managers are doing admin and not the actual work of the "practice" (Booz-speak for the individual tech team or group of teams which serve one client or one sector such as the US Navy).
    --The company is overally "balkanized." It's harder than expected to move from one practice to another. It's almost like there are several small B-A&Hs instead of one company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    --Lose some of the bureaucracy and operate with more agile teams.

  2. 18 people found this helpful  

    Preponderance of client work is nothing like the projects the leadership thinks the firm is doing.

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

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton

    Pros

    Generally speaking, Booz is still the premier government contracting firm. The firm has a lot of highly talented and motivated people, and they do a wide variety of work for a wide variety of clients. Compensation is mostly competitive, and there is marginally more stability working for Booz than other firms.

    Cons

    Corporate culture has changed dramatically in the past five years, and by all indications the firm is repositioning itself to be a data sciences firm, NOT a consulting company. If you truly want to be a consultant, you should look somewhere else, because the firm is not focused on its traditional management consulting. Changes to corporate structure have all been targeted towards improving the bottom line, and employee development and the opportunities to do different types of work for different types of clients have decreased dramatically. Changes have also put significantly more burden on the employee to manage their own careers, with no clear advocates or mentors, and very little way to find or connect to opportunities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maybe becoming a data sciences and other high-end analytics firm is the way to compete in the market of the future, but most of the people who work for you know don't have the skills or the interest in doing that kind of work. The experiences and projects highlighted in firm marketing materials are so far removed from the experience of the average employee stuck on client site. Communications about the direction of the firm and the reasons behind strategic acquisitions are opaque and unhelpful. Employees feel like they have suddenly discovered they are in a totally foreign land, and have no idea how they got there, or where all the people they know have gone.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 16 people found this helpful  

    Once Great, Now Declining

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in Charlottesville, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Associate in Charlottesville, VA (US)

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton

    Pros

    Work-life flexibility, talented colleagues, big and resilient, variance of work, secure employment. Booz Allen is a large and established consulting firm, where it's easy to work there for your whole career if you chose to. Environment is energetic and smart, and the company is big enough that it's easy to find new work and/or new clients while retaining your current position.

    Cons

    For the past 5 years, Booz Allen has been focused more on shareholders and bottom line than on employees and clients. Our emails from upper management tout increasing profits despite declining revenue - like it's a good thing. It is a good thing, for the shareholders, but the slashing that's taken place to make it possible have all directly affected the employees.

    First came small and pretty inconsequential changes - no more biannual laptop upgrades, then our first big change: from everyone having their own office to "hoteling," where each employee reserves an office each day and checks into and out of it like a hotel room. This allowed Booz Allen (BAH) to eliminate empty offices (employees who were on client sites always or almost always) and consolidate employees. A reasonable change, and understandable.

    Next came compensation changes we were told that our compensation actions (read: raises) were to no longer be tied solely to performance, but rather a host of new criteria, one of which was "bid-ability on contracts," meaning "will your salary make it easy or hard to bid you on contracts?" Of course, proposals compete largely on cost, so it's always easier to bid a cheaper employee on a proposal, so this gave leadership a way to freeze salaries or give paltry or in some cases insulting raises with a black and white justification, and the deniability of "it came from upstairs." Lots of talented employees jumped ship at this stage, because raises are the #1 tangible retention tool, and many took these paltry raises as writing on the wall that they were no longer appreciated at BAH.

    More recently, BAH is selling real estate - closing offices. That's a magic trick that can prop up the bottom line, but you can only use that trick once.

    The most recent change has been to our benefits - in short, more expensive healthcare with high deductibles. For example, my plan cost increases $150 a month, and my deductible went from $0 to $2600. Healthcare will cost me $4400 more this year than it did last year; or if I got a $4400 raise, that would put me at zero.

    Booz Allen used to be a high line product at a high line price. We used to be able to command a high price - from clients who wanted more than simply getting the job done, they wanted it done well - and thoroughly, by the brightest and best. Clients would choose Booz Allen for the same reason someone might choose a Mercedes-Benz over a Toyota. In our recent years, this race to the bottom of how cheap we can possibly make operations, how little can we pay our staff, has caused a loss of top talent, and hiring just-good talent as opposed to the sharpest and most impressive applicants. I'm imagining management wanted to cut operating costs, but retain the Firm's reputation - that's just not possible. They got their wish - they made the Firm cheaper. We're just another contracting firm now - a glorified staffing agency.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I don't believe it's possible to reclaim our former reputation - not in 10 years, not in 20 - I believe it's gone. I suppose the only move now is to abandon the high-line-product, high-line-price model of yore and just get down with the rest of them and try to bid cheap.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    I was an IT Strategy and Enterprise Architecture Sr. Consultant at Booz Allen.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Enterprise Architect in Washington, DC (US)
    Former Employee - Enterprise Architect in Washington, DC (US)

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

    Pros

    Great co-workers, available leadership, open to innovation

    Cons

    compensation grows slower than the rate of advancement

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward employees for loyalty (through compensation). A Lead Associate who started as a consultant and worked his/her way up makes significantly less than a Lead Associate hired from another firm because the low incremental pay increases don't keep up with the market.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6.  

    Excellent opportunity to explore diverse areas and gain valuable leadership and business skills

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Associate in Lexington Park, MD (US)
    Former Employee - Lead Associate in Lexington Park, MD (US)

    I worked at Booz Allen Hamilton

    Pros

    Work life balance far exceeds other comparable companies. Outstanding benefit package despite the Government Fiscal Budget. Equal opportunity employer; performance based recognition.

    Cons

    Poor integration of acquired companies. Strong hierarchy of retired military officers difficult to navigate and often impeded progress with key clients.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in better business development tools and practices. Bid and proposal work inhibited by a lack of usable database.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Hired just before the company went public and was part of a mass hire with no project assigned at time of hire.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in McLean, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Consultant in McLean, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    Dedicated professionals. Teams are talented and strong and inspire one another to strive for excellence.

    Cons

    It's management consulting. Have no expectation that you can't be replaced and that there are never any guarantees when a contract ends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Transparency is key to the success of the business. Make it a value and the employees will never doubt the organization.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great company that takes seriously the quality of it's workforce

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

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

    Pros

    Worked with a great team of people focused on the mission and delivering great results for the clients. Lots of opportunities to grow professionally, including skills training and management experience. A strong culture of knowledge sharing and cooperation across the company.

    Cons

    It's a large company spread all over the world and sometimes decisions tend to be overly bureaucratic. They move as fast as possible in the world of government contracting, but it can be frustrating at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maintain the focus on quality of service to the client and continue developing the people as a resource more important than quarterly profits. Long-term investments in people and relationships are more important than short-term gains in productivity and earnings.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Five years working here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in Boston, MA (US)
    Current Employee - Associate in Boston, MA (US)

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good pay. Even though you are part of a large company, your team feels small and friendly. Supportive management and professional coworkers. I have been working remotely for the past two years, and my managers have been very happy to work with me to allow me to do this.

    Cons

    Some groups can get stove-piped, not allowing you to develop a wide variety of skills easily. Performance and promotion goals change frequently, leaving some staff in the lurch for a few years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There needs to be more effort made to allow teams to be able to determine promotion opportunities. Break down walls to allow junior staff to begin developing the skills they will need when they get to a higher level.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    Working here has helped me gain great experience, as well and opened my eyes to management consulting and government.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Washington, DC (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Washington, DC (US)

    I have been working at Booz Allen Hamilton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very interesting culture I never was a management consultant before, so I didn't know what to expect. Love the salary, experience gained, and interacting with co-workers as well as clients. Depending on the project, there is never a routine day.

    Cons

    When a project ends, it ca be nerve-racking trying to find a new project. There's always the fear of being let go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less strenuous review assessment process.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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