PA Consulting Group Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

PA Consulting Group Reviews

Updated 19 October, 2017
346 reviews

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  1. Helpful (8)

    "It could be much better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - interesting diverse people
    - several opportunities for training
    - freedom to do what you want ...if it sells

    Cons

    - glorified body shop at best
    - lack of a long term strategy in favour of an opportunistic approach in chasing opportunities and clients.
    - current commission scheme does not promote collaborations resulting in a competitive enviroment which does not feel justified
    - relying too much on the pubblic sector and on existing clients

    Advice to Management

    They should address all above cons. However, given the recent aquisition, I have my doubts Pa has actually much freedom left.

    PA Consulting Group Response

    18 Apr, 2017 – Talent Acquisition Specialist

    We’re sorry to hear that you are disconnected with the PA strategy. We would very much like to encourage you to raise these concerns with your line manager or mentor in confidence so we can work with... More


  2. "Great place to stretch yourself"

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

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

    Pros

    Thrown in to tackle the challenges that clients can't do on their own
    Allowed to drive own career
    Great colleagues and support within the company

    Cons

    Reliance on networking for internal resourcing
    You're expected to push yourself to select training and assignments

    Advice to Management

    Work out the balance between utilisation and growth to keep people engaged and profitability at expected levels. The recent investment in growth should start to pay off.


  3. "Principle Consultant"

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

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

    Pros

    - The people
    - Interesting and varied work
    - Investment in development
    - Central London office
    - Competitive salary
    - Private healthcare

    Cons

    - Client location can vary significantly
    - Lack of routine
    - Working hours


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Aggressive and lost its way"

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

    I worked at PA Consulting Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Interesting to work with a company that is clearly operational focused rather than strategy focused. Some great technical expertise in Cambridge

    Good consultancy for local and central govt.

    Cons

    Aggressive culture driven by partner and senior staff reward model which is flawed after 25 years in use to is time for a refresh. Dreadful management culture with really bad senior leadership in the UK.

    No real concept of global business, the US business has shrunk from thousands to maybe a hundred as the UK has asset stripped and not understood the market (the CEO is a govt consultant who I doubt has ever had to travel more than a few miles from their office to reach a client and clearly does not understand global commercial industry

    Recent Audit office findings demonstrate lack of professionalism at multiple levels

    Currently owned by Carlyle - so I guess at some point will be split up and sold.

    Advice to Management

    Get a grip, get rid of the CEO who is a joke


  6. Helpful (3)

    "badly thought out reward scheme is the last bastion of feudalism in the country"

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

    Pros

    a few good people, and some practices have a familial atmosphere

    Cons

    profit is king. PArtners and MCs are directly in competition, but Partners get a slice of the MC's sales regardless of involvement. Lots of bad behaviours driven by chasing profits.

    Advice to Management

    rework the sales incentives so that Partners are responsible for the performance of the business/practice rather than it being "everyone for themselves"


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Needs a change for success"

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

    Pros

    Flexible; some pockets of interesting work; some very good people but you really have to seek them out

    Cons

    Very white, male middle class. Really changed since Carlyle takeover. Feels like old boys club.

    Advice to Management

    Needs a change and some new ideas.


  8. Helpful (12)

    "Not improving"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    * Good expenses policy
    * Good remuneration but heavily dependent on bonus
    * People on the whole are very nice.
    * Independence and empowerment to get your job done.

    Cons

    * Diversity is poor - very stale pale male. Recruit people with the same backgrounds and the same education and then wonder why those people are not able or willing to transition from delivery roles to sales/account mgmt roles. Hiring people of a different race or gender won't make a difference if they keep hiring the same personalities and capabilities.
    * Lack of identity - seems like there's a new strategic direction in some practices every 5 minutes. Most other management consultancies have a clearer identity.
    * Because the partners are so difficult and selfish to work with, they tend to articulate a strategy/vision which aligns with what they already have rather than create a little upheaval and initiate some change for the greater good by creating a proper strategy shaped by the market.
    * Claim to be innovative and make a big fuss about all their exciting cutting edge projects but 90% of the work is just body shopping for a client with a difficult and boring IT project that no one else wants/is able to do. It's fine - but the marketing and onboarding process leads you to believe its an innovative firm when in reality its the opposite. Manage expectations better here.
    * The work is boring. Unless youre lucky, you won't be able to tell your friends and family about what you do and have them be interested.
    * Heavy focus on revenue targets and they achieve this by repeating the same work over and over again for the same/similar clients. This is at the expense of doing the kind of work with the kind of clients they need to fulfil their marketing promises of being innovative and making a difference.
    * Partner group unwilling to take risks. Frequent change over the last few years has paralysed the leadership team - none of the Partners seem willing to stick their neck out and make the new strategies work. They're happy to sit back and milk their existing clients in the same way they have done for years.
    * London office telephony and IT infrastructure is bad. Clients complain about the quality of audio on tele conferences. Use horrible collaboration software by Cisco that doesn't integrate with any of the hardware and is not supported by any clients. At least 6-7 years behind here but new offices on the horizon so this may improve.
    * Big emphasis on internal work even if you're 100% utilised and on a client site 200 miles away. Leadership team too London focused despite a massive % of the work taking place outside London. i.e. social events or practice meetings in London in the middle of the week but you're criticised for not attending when you're working 12 hours a day in the middle of Yorkshire or something.
    * No one wants to do TL because of how painful the Partners make it. They'll take a good idea and spend 4 months turning it in to another boring article saying the same thing to the same audience - and nothing will come of it.

    Advice to Management

    * Bigger emphasis on securing new clients - a different team in the same client shouldn't count towards this target.
    * Partner group needs to focus on sales and account management. The implementation and definition of strategy/change/innovation needs to be removed from them and escalated higher up to someone without a personal financial interest in the way things currently work.
    * Higher junior ranks with a background in sales and business development. Don't keep thinking that someone who has spent their entire career in delivery will suddenly begin exhibiting business development behaviours when they're pushed towards MC.
    * Reward innovation. Encourage the partners to support people trying new things. Their bonus enourages them to behave and do the same things in the same way and despite it not being in the best interests of the team or firm, they won't change unless their bonus depends on it.


  9. "Great environment - but you do have to make the most of it"

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

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

    Pros

    - Interesting projects
    - Super smart people, with great expertise
    - You can define so much of what you do - job descriptions matter little vs what value you can offer the business
    - This means if you have a specific skill or expertise this is an amazing place to refine, commercialise and build on it

    Cons

    - If you want process driven, straight line, hierarchical orgs, this is not the place for you!
    - Helps if you have a clear idea of what you want to do with your career - there are so many resources and people here that can support you with that - but do not set others to set direction for you
    - Like many Consultancies it needs to work on its diversity, however it looks as though there are plans afoot to address this

    Advice to Management

    Try and think a bit more globally in terms of comms, events etc in what we do internally - we can be very UK/London focused.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Consulting with a technical edge"

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

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

    Pros

    Cambridge innovation centre and solid client base, with trusted relationships, there are some great Partners in some sectors and services. Plus you are given plenty of autonomy and responsibility if you want it

    Cons

    You are mainly given opportunity to operate on assignments in your service / sector alignment only. Greater opportunities or external training (MBAs etc) would be welcome.

    Advice to Management

    Achieve a greater balance between growth ambition and current work


  11. Helpful (5)

    "Sinking Ship"

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

    I worked at PA Consulting Group full-time

    Pros

    - You form great friendships here.
    - If you are looking to switch into the field and come back to PA, they are almost always open to taking you back as a consultant. This happens quite often.
    - When the company has a good year, you get a solid bonus.
    - Project work and clients can be fun and interesting.
    - If you do not like wearing jeans to work, this place is perfect for you.

    Cons

    - With the company getting acquired by a PE firm, many changes have occurred. The company let go what was deemed "non-essential" staff including those on sick leave battling illnesses and those with 15 - 30 years at the firm.
    - Healthcare benefits worsened drastically. It is far more expensive now (more out of pocket) especially if you have dependents.
    - They do not pay market rate and although some years you get a decent bonus, many you do not.
    - There is generally retaliation from the leadership team if you decline a role even if it is for a good reason (e.g. hard to travel for personal reasons, your level is beyond or does not match project work, etc.).
    - When you are going up for a promotion, the carrot stays the same size but the stick gets longer and longer. Bogus reasons can be given for not getting a promotion and you are asked to do extra work, like write articles or work on assignments you did not want to in order to attain the carrot and appease the leadership team.
    - Very top heavy model at the moment.

    Advice to Management

    - Be more considerate to those who do not have a say in selling work. If it were not for the folks who are working hard on the assignments, there would be no money at all to go around.
    - Let go of the employees who are not actually doing their job, like the senior consultants unable to sell work.
    - Change the business model as it is not working. Focusing on utilization does not work during a bad year - everyone fails. Allow senior consultants to sell beyond just the limited industries.
    - Asking everyone to sell does not help. Add an incentive such that all levels feel like they will be rewarded for selling work, not just the senior consultants who would get the credit.


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