PA Consulting Group Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

PA Consulting Group Reviews

Updated 18 September, 2018
408 reviews

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3.6
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PA Consulting Group CEO and Director Alan Middleton
Alan Middleton
180 Ratings

408 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "If you look for work -life balance, this is the place" (in 45 reviews)

  • "Great people and excellent work environment" (in 45 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Highly dynamic and fast paced | PA Consulting"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Consultant in Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)
    Current Employee - IT Consultant in Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PA Consulting Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You are in full control of the direction your career goes.
    Compensation is a lot better than other companies
    Exciting work
    Decisions and input is valued and trusted by peers and management.
    Being part of a new venture within PA to build a place that we would like to work and given the opportunity to provide input at nearly every level is by far one of the biggest pros.

    Cons

    Assignment Managers can at times be unaware of what each other are doing leading to slight resource time issues, so far this seems to work itself out.

    Advice to Management

    It's early days but it would be nice to have some time focused per employee to really help them with goal setting.


  2. "Exciting opportunities and a great culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant Analyst in Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)
    Current Employee - Consultant Analyst in Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PA Consulting Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    As someone who is new to consulting but experienced in software engineering, PA has been a breath of fresh air. I have had opportunities in my first months here that I never had after years elsewhere. Some of the unique pros for me are:
    - Collaborative culture
    - Ability to influence the working environment
    - Transparent career path
    - Management are hands on and approachable
    - Travel opportunities (depending on project)
    - Communication from senior management is frequent and transparent
    - Variable technology stack and ability for teams to decide on their own technologies to use

    Cons

    - Some projects can be a bit hectic
    - Some projects are not as exciting as others

    Advice to Management

    As Digital grows, try to preserve the current culture. In my experience, communication has been excellent and the collaborative culture across all of PA is something i've never come across before.

  3. "Great up and coming Digital venture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consulting Analyst in Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)
    Current Employee - Consulting Analyst in Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at PA Consulting Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Very flexible working environment
    - Challenging work
    - Very flat structure
    - Co-workers experts in their fields
    - Great opportunities to get involved in company development
    - Good opportunities to travel

    Cons

    - Workload can be stressful
    - Managers on projects can be unaware of day to day goings on
    - Team is relatively new so one or two growing pains

    Advice to Management

    - Focus on ensuring that workloads are manageable for the staff available
    - Ensure there is time allocated for the company development, as this eats into programming time


  4. "Great people, fantastic future!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Consultant in Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)
    Current Employee - Principal Consultant in Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PA Consulting Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I've been working in Consulting for over 18 years (4 with PA) and can honestly say that I could not recommend anywhere higher than PA. Main pros for me:
    - fantastic opportunities to grow and develop your skills both technically and in business development
    - great range of projects and clients with real opportunities to develop innovative solutions
    - travel is an option although having a young family 90% of my work has been in Belfast
    - Great staff with a real emphasis on camaraderie and in supporting each other

    Cons

    Not always a 9-5 but that reflects both the challenge and the excitement of contributing to a vibrant business!

    Advice to Management

    Keep investing in top talent and in supporting us develop and enhance our culture


  5. "PA Consulting"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at PA Consulting Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    PA is full of fantastic and inspiring people, who really care about making a difference. As an employee you have a lot of freedom and are empowered/encouraged to start new initiatives, try new things, and learn and develop all the time.

    Cons

    The lack of women in senior positions is disappointing.


  6. "Good company but quickly growing"

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

    I have been working at PA Consulting Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great opportunity to develop yourself if you are on the right assignment
    Good opportunity to travel if interested

    Cons

    Losing the culture due to fast growth
    Increasing pressure to travel makes it difficult for work life balance with families


  7. Helpful (2)

    "good and bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Managing Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Managing Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at PA Consulting Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    some great people, and really interesting work in the Technology Innovation practice in particular.

    Cons

    i worked within a team with little direction or sense of purpose, everything driven by near term goals of utilisation . Senior hire largely left to just get on and sell with little collaboration or support.

    Advice to Management

    fix the disparity in culture and practice across the firm, and recognise the difference between building something new and simply farming a very big client for years and years. Both necessary, but need to be incentivised and rewarded differently.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Dull, Uninspiring, Uninformed, Unintentional"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at PA Consulting Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nothing immediately springs to mind.

    Cons

    Culture: Expect to be used without any meaningful reward, recognition or remuneration. People barely talk in the office, and definitely no one smiles. New joiners are barely acknowledged. This is a meat grinder. Having worked in other consultancies and high performing companies, it is really the worst culture I have experienced.
    There is supposed to be a relaxed dress code in the main office, however the atmosphere is so 1950s that I have seen people give up and revert to the “shiny suit” look very quickly. This is an old boys club, with lots of insecure types around every corner. I have overheard conversations that would make a diversity and inclusion officer’s skin crawl…
    Some partners walk around with an arrogance that can only mean one thing – they have never left PA and seen the wider business world. PA partners are roughly equivalent to director level at the Big 4, or in some cases, high level senior manager. They lack charisma, leadership and people skills, and definitely don’t give a damn about your career.
    I only came across one person who I found genuinely inspiring during my time at PA, and they were ex Big 4.
    Career management: Training is mainly performed internally, to a corresponding standard. I paid for my own training course in the end, for a certification that was needed for promotion. Promotion depends largely on who you know as opposed to being “meritocratic”.
    They will explain that utilisation is king, however it is only a metric used to manage people out of the business (which happens regularly, mainly due to the relaxed hiring policy - see below). If you are good, and are utilised it is subsequently a case of making sure you get on with your line manager (who will have no people skills to speak of, and no interest in your career) and making sure that you find a "home" i.e. a group of likeminded people clustered around someone with some sort of sales role. Particularly difficult to do as everyone is always fighting over any project that looks like it may not bore them to death, and the need to be utilised. These things do not always correspond with your skill sets, or intended career direction. People are assigned the first project that is available, no matter your skills or interests. Some long running projects may be the only one that you see in your time at PA.
    People: Currently the trend is to grow as much as possible by hiring as many as possible. The staff turnover is high, so growth is really quite difficult to achieve... unless you can get volume.... this requires new hire standards to drop. New joiners are of uncertain experience or suitability, and even worse, can be managed out of the business pretty quickly, or leave of their own accord pretty sharpish if they are good.
    It seems that tenure is a key marker for success at PA. If you are here long enough, all your competitors will have left, either to move on upwards elsewhere (if they are good enough), or into to the non-descript, low responsibility, low autonomy, industry roles that PA prepares people for.
    Projects: Projects are uninteresting, with PA mainly performing resource augmentation tasks or project management. There is no need for expertise, this is by the numbers stuff.
    Remuneration: Recruitment low-balled me, but promised "the bonus". The mythical bonus is rarely seen, even if you really are doing very well; for example overachieving my utilisation target (well over 90%), and getting excellent reviews (top grades) will not get you either a case for promotion, or even 60% of your original bonus, let alone an overachievement bonus. Pay rises are pitiful. You will be sold a grade or two above your current grade regularly, with no recognition of your true capabilities.
    There is an air of Kindergarten about the place – real responsibility is rare, trust is rarer.
    In summary; For me, PA was akin to being in a pool of resources (not people), being assigned to the projects that could be sold by anyone with sales responsibilities. The projects were dull, mainly resource augmentation type.
    Oh yes, the interior of the new office doesn’t seem to have enough working space, leaving people to camp out in the informal meeting areas all day. I still don’t understand how people don’t know how to make use of an office space properly... but then again this is PA.
    Not recommended, unless you are desperate.

    Advice to Management

    Take a leadership course or two.
    Consider changing the resourcing model.
    Improve employee incentives, talent management, remuneration, benefits.
    Complete culture change.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "A company that's so close to being phenomenal"

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

    I worked at PA Consulting Group full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    PA has all of the right pieces of a top-class consulting firm: smart people, a world-class research and technology division, and fancy PowerPoint templates. There's often plenty of work to be done, and internal networking can prove to be a fruitful use of one's time. In the UK, the name brand recognition is on par with Big-4 consulting firms. Projects are as rewarding/cutting-edge as you can find in consulting.

    Cons

    Incoherent branding and strategy execution. Very rigid partner model which discourages risk taking. Moves a lot more slowly and un-sexy than it appears from the outside. Carlyle's ownership means costs will be cut and work environments will be less than pleasant. Buzzwords everywhere. Management is very hush hush and inaccessible.

    Advice to Management

    Actually act upon your company-wide survey :)


  10. "Good Company, Great People, Erratic Long Term Strategy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at PA Consulting Group full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great People, Interesting Work, A Lot of Autonomy

    Cons

    Hidebound Performance Structure, Linked Solely to In-Year Performance Factors That May Be Outside Your Control


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