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PA Consulting Group Consultant Reviews

Updated 30 January 2018
195 reviews

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Consultant

3.4
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PA Consulting Group CEO and Director Alan Middleton
Alan Middleton
80 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great company that strives for a work-life balance while promoting an extreme merit-based culture (in 40 reviews)

  • Great people, interesting work, good offices (in 41 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Consultant Analyst"

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

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

    Pros

    people, work, partners, access and advise from senior consultants

    Cons

    corporate, enjoyment and success depends on which sector/service you are in


  2. "No london-based work for consultants"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consulting Analyst in London, England
    Current Employee - Consulting Analyst in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Decent compensation + travel allowance
    Friendly people
    beautiful new office (if you ever go in)

    Cons

    Very few London based clients so lots of travel
    Still very male dominated


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Struggling to keep pace with the market"

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

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

    Pros

    Good expenses policy
    Fair amount of autonomy
    No "up or out" culture
    Good bonus
    Most people friendly and helpful

    Cons

    Excessive travel - most work outside London but all social and community focus is mid-week and London focussed. Waste of time.
    Stagnant and uninspiring pipeline of work
    Most Partners useless - bonus mechanisms encourage self-preservation over the best interests of the firm
    Prohibitively expensive - you'll take home circa 10% of what you bill with Partners taking a large chunk of the rest
    Not innovative at all. They really advertise themselves as this but its utter nonsense.
    Limited account support beyond pressure to sell more work.
    Lots of internal work - you'll lose lots of weekends and evenings to pointless internal work. If you do it, no one cares - but if you don't do it, youll get criticised and financially penalised at bonus time.
    Strategy changes every year - Partners just squabble about CEO driven changes for a year before anything actually happens - and by then, another strategy gets wheeled out.

    Advice to Management

    Remove Partners from the internal roles of driving forward PA's strategy. They have a vested financial interest in the status quo rather than embracing potentially disruptive change. Get them out of the office and on the road winning new work. They need to find new clients and not just squeeze the ones they've got. This just produces an uninteresting portfolio of work with ever decreasing opportunities for the consultants on the ground.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Exciting company"

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

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

    Pros

    Exciting projects shaping future technologies, products and business models. Entrepreneurial and network based organisation. Brilliant people, often world class. The global technology centre is truly unique - we really create unique inventions shaping entire industries, develop and build world first devices and machines.

    Cons

    Innovation culture concentrated in one area of the business, suboptimal travel policy for international flights, relatively low salaries, relatively unknown brand. Uncertainty for future developments and strategy.

    Advice to Management

    Truly integrate technology and innovation cross all services and sectors. This is a key differentiator which could be developed and used more across the company. Reduce the amount and increase the quality of the internal change initiatives. Clarify future strategy and direction.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Interesting Work, Great Colleagues, Funny Business Model"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people here are generally legitimate experts in their fields. At most levels the employees need to work collaboratively, so there is a collegial atmosphere. Also, there is a fair degree of autonomy, so it's possible to migrate to projects that one might find interesting.

    Cons

    The "partner-as-business-unit" model creates a number of perverse incentives. Unlike law firms where billable hours are the target, here it's project profitability. As a result, there can be pressure not to bill hours, but to do the work anyway.

    Advice to Management

    Rethink the metrics that are used to judge people to capture the true costs of a project (and of selling a project!). Also, recognise that current incentives do not encourage employees to stretch to new (risky) business areas or to large projects for which extensive time may be spent on bids.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Great individuals to work with, not so great culture and not developer friendly"

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

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

    Pros

    - People are great, you learn a lot from people who come from different backgrounds and how you can work together to succeed.

    - You learn the meaning of true patience when you have to jump through many hoops just go get one thing.

    - Some opportunities for training.

    - Great way to expose yourself to different sectors if you want to learn more about setting up your career path.

    Cons

    - Not developer friendly, the IT systems there are dinosaur age systems. IT services treat you like a complete idiot and you are locked down to a system that you have to fight to get approval to do something. No administrator rights for a developer.

    - When a lot of people were leaving, management just mishandled the whole situation.

    - No exit interview, HR decided to send over a "survey monkey" form instead of taking initiative to organise a 1 on 1 interview.

    - You are given mediocre hardware, as well as when requesting a license for software, you have to send several emails just so management will say yes. (Even though we pride ourselves on innovation)

    - Mostly public sector jobs, if you get stuck in a certain public sector job, you're probably going to stay there until you hand in your resignation.

    - To get promoted you need to brown nose a lot and show off as possible, doing a good job and going over and beyond doesn't just cut it.

    - Company tends to play catch up instead of trying to lead.

    Advice to Management

    -Consider treating your employees as people and not the same way you treat a laptop.

    -In order to promote people look for the defining factors that make a person good, not just use a general framework.

    -When an employee asks for something, you just give it to them, not ask a million questions and try make their life hard.


  8. Helpful (5)

    "Don't Believe The Hype"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Current Employee - Consultant in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fair pay for sector but relies heavily on bonus which can be difficult to achieve if unutilised due to no fault of your own.

    Cons

    Top level managers are almost unknown to staff. Work is very much on a feed and famine basis. Utilisation does not encourage fairness.

    Advice to Management

    Need to totally rethink how the company operates, and review why people are leaving in droves.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Old School but solid"

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

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

    Pros

    Solid pipeline of contracts, due to 70 years' history in business
    R&D and Tech center, unusually advanced for a consulting company

    Cons

    Old school when it comes to managerial practices

    Advice to Management

    Break the rule that only Partners and MCs can sell new projects. Everybody should be taught to sell new projects from the beginning of their careers.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Lots of potential to make your own career"

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

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

    Pros

    Implicit trust to make your own career, with support from a range of people. The firm is very open and introductions can be made in your behalf or you can do it yourself.

    Cons

    It can feel like you are left alone, which can be hard if new to consulting. There could be more structure around post on boarding.

    Advice to Management

    As the firm grows, it is vital to focus on growing a strong community of consultants for the future senior roles


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Excellent firm with some niggles"

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

    Pros

    Autonomy of work, broad, interesting projects with real impact to our clients. Every employee has a really interesting back story, they are of the highest caliber and genuinely excellent people to work with

    Cons

    too mechanical in performance reviews, only based on mathematical calculation of utilisaiton with business development (sales), Thought Leadership, soft skills only playing a minuscule proportion of performance. You are higher rewarded for doing a long, tedious low profit job over smaller, more profitable pieces of work until you are at MC rank

    Advice to Management

    Push back to the new owners over the mechanical calculation of grading. Partners should have freedom to issue their genuine feedback. Targeting utilization is old hat and isn't working!