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PA Consulting Group Principal Consultant Reviews

Updated 22 May 2018
65 reviews

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Principal Consultant

3.9
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PA Consulting Group CEO and Director Alan Middleton
Alan Middleton
27 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "If you look for work -life balance, this is the place" (in 44 reviews)

  • "Great people and excellent work environment" (in 43 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Pa"

    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

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

    Pros

    Great company to work for.

    Cons

    There is some travel involved for assignments.


  2. "Good company with opportunities"

    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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    Gives you a lot of opportunities to grow and try things. Freedom basically. If you up to it, you can advance rapidly.

    Cons

    Not that much support and sometimes the company lacks a good vision and understanding of who it is

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on treating your employees better. Improve the offices.

  3. "Good could be better"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to progress quickly up the ranks, huge variety of assignments, decent expenses policy, IT pretty good, new offices impressive

    Cons

    Requirement to undertake corporate overhead work in own time if you want to progress, undisclosed pay bands so unclear where you rank against peers, siloed approach to business development, constant reframing of internal teams.

    Advice to Management

    Implement stable internal teams, publish pay bands, provide corporate code to 'charge' internal work.


  4. "Good structure and a wealth of talent & knowledge, but the corporate message can seem disingenuous"

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

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

    Pros

    Extensive internal training programmes, big budgets, opportunity to progress. Relaxed working environment and flexible approach are great. Good salaries compared to smaller consultancies.

    Cons

    Fractured projects, odd approach to resourcing, and a general suspicion of the corporate direction amongst the staff. General lack of direction and most tasks are motivated solely by profit.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest with the staff, the consulting BS from management is very rarely genuine and people see through it immediately. It simply erodes confidence in the company. Being up front and plain speaking would speak volumes.


  5. Helpful (8)

    "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.


  6. 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


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great company"

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

    I worked at PA Consulting Group full-time

    Pros

    Great company, employee ownership creates collegiate atmosphere. Smart, commercial but also ethical people.

    Cons

    Sometimes reluctant to invest where it is needed to grow the business.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Remember what made you great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Consultant in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Former Employee - Principal Consultant in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people,
    Great clients with some superb projects
    Did I mention great people?

    Cons

    Work-life balance is poor if you want to make it too the top
    No care for employees health - HR non existent when it goes wrong
    Going backwards since the new investors arrived

    Advice to Management

    Be brave - in hiring the right people and not being scared to have them out of work - use this time to develop the culture and new IP.
    Reward the staff by improving the work conditions - keep your employees happy day to day


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Interesting projects - Great talent - Strange Internal Management Practices"

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

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

    Pros

    The variety of interesting new product development jobs are brilliant - across FMCG, consumer electronics, healthcare, and defence.
    The package offered is competitive within the Cambridge area, but with a lot of emphasis put on bonus remuneration.
    PA attracts the best software, mechanical, electronic engineers, applied scientists and industrial designers all under one roof in Cambridge.

    Cons

    The outright emphasis on "utilisation" is forced in to consultants at all ranks across the business. This leads to very strange behaviours at all ranks within the company. Front end work seems to take the largest hit, with junior consultants not being rewarded for efforts that lead on to large projects for others later on.

    The appraisal system is flawed. Bad feedback is frowned upon - not used to help people.

    Senior staff seem disconnected from the day-to-day project work going on.

    If you want to succeed you need to sell sell sell...

    Advice to Management

    Reduce the emphasis on "utilisation" - concentrate on our people doing the best job possible!

    Be strategic with front end projects - allow more time to focus on pitching and selling great work and then opening up projects properly.

    Put less emphasis on bonus remuneration. Employees don't want this - raise salaries and be more fair with remuneration across the ranks. This is not the 1980's.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to stretch yourself"

    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 (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.