CPCS Reviews

Updated Feb 15, 2021

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4.4
89%
Recommend to a Friend
88%
Approve of CEO
CPCS Managing Partners Marc-Andre Roy and Jean-Francois Arsenault (no image)
Marc-Andre Roy and Jean-Francois Arsenault
25 Ratings
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work, but not for everyone."

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Background: I've done consulting work at CPCS for a number of years in a geographical division, not a global unit. This review largely reflects my experience doing client-facing consulting work, so may not be applicable to consulting staff that do not regularly engage with clients or corporate staff. 1) If you demonstrate competence, an ability to work in your divisional team and the ability to hit the deadlines, you'll be rewarded and given trust. At least in my team. Other teams seem more dysfunctional, but I don't have great insight into them, and this largely seems to be a function of the manager/staff dynamic. 2) Once you've achieved that level of trust, you manage projects from business development to project close. This provides fairly young people with excellent experience, especially if you aspire for more managerial roles. If you do not have that motivation, that trust and seniority can be translated into higher degrees of autonomy and the ability to choose interesting projects. 3) Generally, the administration and corporate processes are functional, if at times onerous and not particularly user friendly. However, the processes do work. 4) If you're the type of person who enjoys accomplishing things, working on diverse problems, and not doing rote white collar work, CPCS is probably more interesting than larger engineering, management and business consulting firms. However, any job has a degree of tedious work, and CPCS is no exception. 5) People I've interacted with are generally reasonable and supportive. Like any workplace, you'll get along really well with some of them, and others not so much. 6) If someone's around after a year or two, you can typically trust that they're competent at their job. 7) There are no strict rules about where, when and how you do your work.

    Cons

    1) Processes are not designed to be user friendly for the consulting staff that have to use them, but they work. Admin tasks that you would assume take a few minutes can take up to an hour if you're not 100% familiar with it. You get better at it over time, but it was particularly frustrating when I was a new employee. There seems to be a focus on training people to adhere to convoluted processes, rather than making the process easier. 2) At times the work-life balance an be bad. When you're newer you typically have less control over projects, and are handed work with predetermined timelines. There are strong incentives for the person managing the consulting project to keep costs down and adhere to timelines, so you can be given difficult tasks need to be done in unreasonable timelines. Fortunately, most people I've worked with at this company are reasonable, and are open to hearing feedback on whether or not the work can be done in amount of time. If you're looking for a job where you clock out at five, regardless of how productive you were that day, this isn't it. You won't succeed unless you can hit (I would argue) relatively high levels of productivity day in and day out, as otherwise you'll be working long hours or disappointing management/clients. After your first year, if you can manage a high level of productivity with regularity then it's not so bad, and you will have fairly regular hours (ignoring travel). This may not apply to other teams. 3) Moreso than other companies, it is crucial that client-facing consultant staff you have a good relationship with your manager. The work requires a high-level of trust, as the manager needs to be able to trust you to deliver and keep clients happy. This means you're not solely judged on your ability to accomplished a well-defined task, but also to be flexible and provide the client with what they are ultimately looking for. 4) I don't think this type of work is for everyone for the reasons I've already mentioned. Fundamentally, a lot of people who succeed at CPCS started young without many family commitments. Starting out, it would be difficult if you couldn't prioritize this job. This changes with experience, trust and seniority, and many people do balance both families and careers. I think this leads to a lack of diversity in experiences, knowledge and practice.

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    CPCS Response

    April 15, 2020Managing Partner

    Thank you for your input. You hit on some important points valued by people interested in CPCS. You outline some challenges of management consulting and key elements of success, which is to work smart, be productive and trustworthy. A big portion of our work happens overseas in dynamic and sometimes unstructured environments. This means building trust with our team members is key for our company’s success. CPCS provides constant opportunities for its employees to shine, and that involves a giving and earning a strong level of trust. We agree with you that it’s possible to have a work-life balance at CPCS. We’re also aware it can be challenging at times. I’d like to highlight that we’re constantly adapting with new family-oriented policies such as flex time arrangements, travel and allowing our employees to expense things like babysitting when work requirements create challenges for caring for dependents. We have also placed increased focus on diversity in our entire talent management chain. We made it a priority, and will continue to do so. Ultimately, you are right that CPCS is not for everyone. A real passion and commitment for the work we do is necessary to contribute to our culture centered on having fun with other like-minded people, to contribute positively to our mission and impact, and ultimately to thrive as an individual in your CPCS career. Without that, all these challenges just feel hard work! Modernizing our processes and tools is happening now and as fast as we can. We hired a Corporate Affairs Manager to do just that. It’s true that our processes work, and I recognize it takes time to transform, automate and simplified them. I’m accountable and actively involved in improving our operating platform.

  2. Helpful (1)

    "Up and coming place to work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate in Ottawa, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Amazing work-life balance Bi-monthly pay!! Flexible on site schedule Friendly people

    Cons

    You have to pay a lot for parking

    CPCS Response

    February 1, 2021Managing Partner

    We're pleased to have rolled out a transit fare policy to subsidize the cost of transit for staff commuting to offices. This is also consistent with our broader philosophy of reducing impacts and promoting greener means of transportation.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Recent interview and on-boarding experience"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    CPCS has a very unique approach when it comes to recruiting and retaining talents. Being the employee-owned company it is, CPCS makes sure to preserve work-life balance while developing and encouraging employees' high performance. A special combination that makes it very human development-focused and quite unique!

    Cons

    All consulting firms have room for improvement when it comes to their systems and efficiency. I can see one or two such areas and feel both comfortable and confident that management will receive and listen when I suggest ways to improve them.

  4. Helpful (1)

    "Principal Consultant"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great environment, cool culture, smart people, very entrepreneurial and lots of opportunity for growth

    Cons

    Working for a global company can sometimes be challenging not having your manager, team or colleagues in the same location. Not necessarily a con, but a challenge due to the nature of the work.

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  5. "Great place to do challenging work supported by collaborate co-workers"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Ottawa, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Flexibility in managing work schedule Each new project introduces new complexities that challenge conventional approaches Great co-workers

    Cons

    Travel program can be overwhelming

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  6. Helpful (1)

    "Made up of Top Notch People"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources in Ottawa, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Professional, yet relaxed and comfortable work environment - Accommodating attitude that is also supported by policy - Impactful work that is carried out by truly passionate people - A new, fresh leadership approach that values ideas and vision

    Cons

    - A fast growing company, it has outgrown some systems and processes - updates needed in some areas. - Employees located globally / remotely, so communication and collaboration can be a challenge. - While work / life balance may be of higher importance than in some consulting firms, this is still a deadline driven industry - urgent requirements can mean late nights.

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    CPCS Response

    October 28, 2019Managing Partner

    Indeed, we have been growing quickly. We have been working to ensure our processes and systems keep up. Watch for several announcements of improvements in the coming months.

  7. "CPCS is life"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance in Ottawa, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexible working environment, Diverse culture, friendly peers, overall would say Awesome place to work

    Cons

    Some processes are outdated and requires update.

    Continue reading

    CPCS Response

    October 28, 2019Managing Partner

    Thanks for your feedback. We love getting process and system improvement suggestions through our Continuous Improvement Program and Issue Tracker – keep them coming. We have already implemented many improvements and recognize the need to step this up. We triage and prioritize process and system changes based on urgency.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "A great opportunity for professional growth with amazing colleagues!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Vice President 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    -Opportunity for learning: varied and interesting project work - project work is constantly changing in response to new client needs, and tends not to be "cookie cutter." -Entrepreneurial culture: opportunity to take initiative in terms of driving particular areas of interest to grow CPCS services/domain areas, supported by robust corporate infrastructure. -Extremely collegial and professional colleagues: if you ask for something, it will get done at a high-quality. Informal discussions are also great. -Strive to promote a work-life balance: My experience is that the intent is to ensure good staff want to stay, though sometimes workload can be unpredictable (see con).

    Cons

    -Applicable to consultants only: Though as a team aim to avoid overloading individuals, consulting in general tends to be unpredictable so there are peaks in workload. - Work can be individual-driven a times: Again, though colleagues are always there to assist, there is a need to make individual decisions and be a self-starter at times. This may be a pro to some.

  9. Helpful (2)

    "Trust and autonomy"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Team Member in Ottawa, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time

    Pros

    Diverse and friendly team Modern office in a beautiful building downtown Ottawa Leadership team is trustworthy Global, growing reputable company

    Cons

    A global team deliberately takes more efforts to have face to face interactions

    Continue reading
  10. Helpful (1)

    "Just a very accommodating place to work"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Corporate 

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    -Highly accessible and responsive leaders -Results-driven rather than process-driven atmosphere -Extremely multicultural and inclusive -Imperceptible office drama -Can listen to music when focusing on individual work

    Cons

    -Not many opportunities to travel for non-consulting positions -Some may prefer bi-weekly pay over monthly pay -Have to use Skype very often as the company is truly global

    CPCS Response

    February 1, 2021Managing Partner

    Thank you for your feedback. We are pleased to have switched to bi-weekly pay for most staff. This was a long time coming. We are reviewing options to do this for staff based outside of North America.

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