Top 50 Consulting Firms To Work For In 2022

It doesn’t get any closer than this.

.001 of a point.

It’s insignificant, a rounding error. And yet it was all that separated Bain and McKinsey in this year’s Vault Consulting 50. Call in every cliché: Margins are slim and you lose by inches. In the end, all that separated Big Red from True Blue was a thousandth of a point.

Advantage: Bain & Company.

Yes, winners are remembered and revered. They are treated as standard bearers who personify the values and traditions of their profession. Finish second? Your mind endlessly loops those tiny mistakes. Worse, every well-wisher encourages you to “build on the positives.” For McKinsey, the Vault Consulting 50 represents a bevy of positives. It remains the envy of the industry — by a wider margin than ever according to survey respondents. The firm’s scores improved in nearly measure — and even eclipsed Bain in several categories. Despite closing the gap, McKinsey fell just short, a result that could’ve easily been altered by a few tweaks to its scores (or Vault’s methodology).

HOW FIRMS ARE EVALUATED

Lost amid this tight margin is the Boston Consulting Group, which slipped a spot to 3rd despite across-the-board improvements. At the same time, the Bridgespan Group vaulted (pun) eight spots into the Top 5 — a feat nearly matched by Kearney. Their advances came at the expense of Deloitte Consulting, which has plunged from 11th to 4th in just two years. And Clearview Partners, once a darling to its employees, tumbled 10 spots to 17th.

In the end, you could say the MBB — or BMB — stuck together at the top of the Vault Consulting 50, while 26 firms are clustered within a point of each other below. How does that happen? It helps to look at the methodology. First, the Vault Consulting 50 is treated as the “gold standard” for evaluating consulting firms. Here, survey respondents — North American consultants at over 130 firms — assess their employers on 20 measures. They include areas like Pay and Benefits, Outlook and Leadership, Health and Work-Life Balance, and Training and Promotion Opportunities. From there, these survey-takers turn around and grade rival firms on their Prestige. Beyond that, they rate competitors in over a dozen practice areas, ranging from Energy to Strategy Consulting. In the cases of Prestige and Practice, respondents may not score their own firms.

The ranking was started in 2007 by Vault Career Intelligence. This firm has since emerged as Firsthand, an Infobase company that gathers market intelligence to produce employer ratings, reviews, and employment opportunities in industries like banking, consulting, and law. Overall, 17,000 consultants completed this year’s Vault Consulting 50 survey, which was released on February 15th. This represents over a thousand more participants from the year before. To complete the survey, respondents rate firms on a 10-point scale, where 10 is the highest possible score. In Vault’s formula, Prestige accounts for 30% of the ranking weight. Firm Culture and Satisfaction each account for 15% of a firm’s overall score, followed by Compensation, Work-Life Balance, and Level of Challenge at 10% a piece. Business Outlook and Promotion Policy scores were divvied up equally at 5%. These weights remain consistent from the previous year.

In the end, the Vault Consulting 50 provides an inside look at how employees view the strengths of their firms — and how firms view their rivals’ capabilities and positioning, Even more, Vault historical data, which is collected by P&Q, reflects how firm scores have shifted over the past five years. In the process, readers can get beyond reputations to see quantitatively where firms are surging and stagnating.

Click on the links below for in-depth analysis and ranking tables for each area of the Vault Consulting 50.

WHY BAIN & COMPANY RANKED #1 (Analysis)

WHY MCKINSEY & COMPANY RANKED #2 (Analysis)

WHY THE BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP RANKED #3 (Analysis)

VAULT CONSULTING 50 RANKING (Analysis Plus Table)

FIRM PRESTIGE RANKING (Analysis Plus Table)

BOUTIQUE FIRM RANKING (Analysis Plus Table)

BAIN-MCKINSEY-BCG HISTORICAL COMPARISON (Compensation, Training, Management, Outlook, etc.)

QUALITY OF LIFE AND EMPLOYMENT RANKINGS (Compensation, Training, Management, Outlook, etc.)

PRACTICE AREA RANKINGS (ESG, Management, Strategy, etc.)

Next Page: Why Bain & Company Ranked #1

Once again, the top consulting firm according to the employees in the industry: Bain & Company. Bain photo

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” according to Peter Drucker. What happens when you have both?

You have Bain.

Bain & Company is known as a culture center, the place for fun-lovers who work hard and play hard too. Deeply connected and collaborative, the people are the differentiator at Bain. That camaraderie doesn’t just end in the home office, according to one anonymous Vault survey-taker.

“Clients always say to us ‘having Bain here is like you are part of the team.’ ‘I can’t tell where your work ends and my team’s begins.’”

“A VIRTUOUS CYCLE”

Not surprisingly, Firm Culture is consistently a Bain strength in the Vault Consulting 50 survey. The firm’s 9.781 average score (on a 10-point scale) ranks 2nd among all consulting firms, besting McKinsey and BCG in the process. Keith Bevans, a Bain partner and global head of consultant recruiting, prefers to use “supportive culture” to describe the Bain difference. For Bevans, the culture starts with people who are carefully selected for their passion and potential to make a huge impact with clients.

“We support everyone we hire to be the best versions of themselves as both a person and a professional,” Bevans told P&Q on February 16th. “You can hire people who are already stars, but not every team of stars works well together. We hire people who have tremendous potential and build them as a team…that’s the secret sauce. We’re not competing with each other but we’re supporting each other and that’s a part of our culture. That’s when great things happen for our clients.”

Indeed, Bain acts as a true partner to their clients, never content to just follow directions or refrain from asking the tough question. Instead, Bain views itself as a co-creator who is as accountable for results as their clients. This translates to a “Results not reports” mindset. Hence, you’ll find Bainies sticking around past the slide deck to ensure stakeholders know how to properly use the tools they create through implementation…and beyond. This approach — and the success stories it has produced —is one reason why Bevans is so bullish on Bain’s future.

Keith Bevans, Bain Partner and Global Head of Consulting Recruiting

“When I look at our client net promoter score, when I look at the advocacy that our clients have for Bain, that’s what gets me excited. Success feeds success. That’s our goal: to create success stories for our people and our clients. They self-perpetuate. Our clients do amazing things powered by Bain case teams and our people on those teams feel a tremendous amount of pride through the success that their clients have. And then they tell other clients and the clients bring us back for more and you start a real virtuous cycle. For me, that’s the story of Bain.”

BIG RISE IN PRESTIGE

Vault survey results tell an equally compelling story. Overall, Bain earned the highest survey marks for Relationships with Supervisors and Informal Training (and the 2-best average for Formal Training), a clear indicator of the firm’s feedback-focused culture.

“Bain offers the best training out of any consulting firm – bar none,” writes another Vault survey respondent. “The formal training is meticulously planned and has the perfect balance of content, knowledge/experience sharing, and teambuilding. I walk away from every training a better consultant. The on-the-job training is even better – Bain constantly puts you in situations that are outside of your comfort zone, but with the right support to ensure that you’re successful.”

By the same token, Bain & Company generated the 2nd-highest scores for Employee Satisfaction, Promotion Policies, and Health and Wellness, all while ranking 3rd among all firms in five employment factors: Benefits, Compensation, Firm Leadership, Internal Mobility, and Level of Challenge. In other words, Bain ranked among the elite in 55% of the measures. When it comes to Prestige, which makes up 30% of Vault’s weight, Bain finished 3rd to McKinsey and BCG. However, the firm’s 8.755 score here is actually a .125 of a point uptick over the previous year (and better than the .118 and .60 of a point improvements posted by McKinsey and BCG in Prestige this year).

IN A HIRING MODE

Still, there are clouds on the horizon for Bain. For one, the firm lost ground in 12 of 20 Employment Factors, notably Compensation (-.284), Benefits (-.176), and Selectivity (-.151). Not surprisingly, the overall gap between Bain and McKinsey narrowed from .116 to .001. Still, Bain’s ongoing efforts in DEI have been producing results, as the firm’s average rose by .337 of a point — moving Bain up to 4th out of 130 firms in this area.

How is Bain expecting to stay ahead of peer firms? Bevans hails the firm’s recent acquisitions, including Optics Engine and Spike as a way to build the firm’s world-class expertise and provide consultants with the tools to do great things.

“That’s real exciting because we hire people who are super passionate about having a huge impact with their clients and understand that they want to go someplace where they’re going to learn how to be best in class and learn from world class experts,” he adds. “We’re bringing that expertise in house [and] we’re building the team. Bain & Company had a record growth year last year. We’re actively hiring right now because when you hire super passionate, talented, and driven individuals. When you’re as busy as we are, the risk over the long-term is high. So we’re making sure we add to the team so we have the capacity to do things in a sustainable way. That’s a huge priority for the firm now.”

Next Page: Why McKinsey & Company Ranked #2

Colleagues at McKinsey Robot Lab

2nd place?

Sure, but for how long?

That’s the question being asked at McKinsey. If Vault’s history reflects anything, it is that the top spot is like a hot potato between Bain and McKinsey with regularity. After all, McKinsey ranked #1 from 2018-2020…after Bain held the top spot five times from 2011-2017. Considering McKinsey’s resources, reach, and renown, it is difficult to picture McKinsey being a runner-up next year.

That’s because McKinsey represents the biggest stage with the biggest challenges. The oldest management consulting firm, with roots stretching back to 1926, McKinsey is also the largest firm: home to over 30,000 employees in 130 locations and 65 countries. For many, McKinsey is a place where “the world is at your fingertips.” By that, the firm means that consultants can access any sort of expertise from anywhere across the globe.

A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE

“I was immediately drawn to McKinsey because of its diversity in industries, geographies, and people,” writes Kaleigh Killoran, an HBS grad who joined the firm in 2020. “Specifically, McKinsey was the most global of the firms I was interested in, both from a client base and employee perspective. It was the most diverse firms in terms of industries it serves, ranging from significant public and global health contributions to private sector product design and transformations.”

This diversity also exposes consultants to something more profound: the future. “In many ways, we get a unique perspective on where change is going to happen before rest of the market. That is something that is pretty distinctive we get from our clients,” explains Danielle Bozarth, a McKinsey partner. “There are a lot of areas where we have not only built real capabilities where we see the growth happening and also concurrently see the growth before it happens because we have colleagues who are immersed in that part of that world where there is that growth and innovation.”

The firm also carries a certain mystique with its client secrecy. Being everywhere and seemingly working with everyone makes it the proverbial hidden hand behind every political or organizational shift. Alas, the reality is far less imposing. Yes, “knowledge is king” at McKinsey — but so too are systems and strategy. That’s because being a McKinseyite involves taking apart a problem in a consistent, step-by-step process. More than that, it is an approach for communicating to CEOs, always telling stories behind data and communicating regularly so there are no surprises when the findings are presented. That requires a flat structure and consensus-driven philosophy where everyone — even newbies — have the obligation to dissent if something seems off. That’s why, as the joke goes, the McKinseyite often assumes the leadership role in any room.

“A lot of people talk a lot of smack about McKinsey,” writes one Vault consultant. “I’d challenge anyone to find a private sector organization of our scale and impact that is as fundamentally committed to its purpose as McKinsey. We’re not perfect, but it’s the only organization of its kind that I have ever seen which actually does aspire to be perfect and refuses to simply ‘settle.’”

McKinsey Black Network celebration

IMPROVEMENT EVERYWHERE

Settle? Not if you look at 2022 Vault data. This year, McKinsey boosted its scores in 19 of 20 employment factors measured by Vault. That includes a .220 of a point bump for Compensation. The same could be said for Hours Worked (+.627), Internal Mobility (+.425), Work-Life Balance (+.276), and Health and Wellness (+.429). These changes are reflected in feedback given by McKinsey survey respondents.

“McKinsey is investing heavily in employee mental health and well-being,” observes one anonymous employee surveyed by Vault. “The leadership is focused on it and there are meaningful conversations about supporting people who have or are in recovery from mental health challenges. I have noticed a marked shift in a short period of time regarding the firm’s culture around these issues. Also, there are great programs like Take Time that allow you to go to 90 or 95% time and go do fun things like go on a trek or take extra time with your family. There’s also a [Ramp Off Ramp On] program for people who go out for parental or other extended leave. I have personally found the flexibility offered by these programs very helpful.”

Overall, McKinsey notched the highest scores of any firm in four areas. One was Internal Mobility, which aligns with the “Make your own McKinsey” philosophy that enables consultants to move around to gain experience and pursue passions.

“McKinsey is great about offering new opportunities for development and advancement that allow me to stay and grow inside the firm,” writes one Vault survey respondent. There’s so much flexibility that I’ve reached almost 20 years of tenure and have always been able to find or create the role that fits me best. I’ve worked in other consulting and investment banking firms where you really had to leave if you wanted any advancement at all.”

A BRIGHT FUTURE

Another survey-taker lauds the firm’s commitment to its employees. “Literally no other company (in consulting or even tech) invests as much in people development as McKinsey, either in terms of protected time or resources available for learning or the on-the-job mentorship/apprenticeship from experienced practitioners, then it’s combined with a strong culture of regular actionable feedback. When things get off-track in your development, everyone swoops in to help course-correct and give you actionable steps to get back on track.”

McKinsey also produced the highest scores for Innovation, International Opportunities, and Selectivity. The firm also finished 2nd overall in five categories: Benefits, Diversity, Informal Training, Level of Challenge, and Supervisors. Not surprisingly, the firm (again) ranked #1 for Prestige considering its legacy for nurturing top CEO talent like Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman. As McKinsey nears its hundredth year, the future continues to look bright thanks to its careful curation of its culture and proactive approach to serving the marketplace.

“I’m encouraged by the outlook of the firm and consulting in general,” notes one survey respondent. “The seriousness of client challenges to solve and McKinsey’s focus on digital and tech are two reasons I am positive about the firm and being here. McKinsey is almost 100 years old and I’m interested in, and generally positive about, how Bob Sternfels and other partners will lead in the next few years.”

“McKinsey is thriving and will continue to do so, because of its people and the passion each brings as well as because of our approach to innovation and investing in new and exciting ways of working,” adds another survey taker. “The breadth of colleagues we hire with diversity of capabilities is unmatched and gives me confidence in our ability to serve our clients in a distinctive and unmatched way.”

Next Page: Why The Boston Consulting Group Ranked #3

Extensive training for BCG Summer Consultants complements their immersive “on-the-job” learning and mentorship

The well-behaved never make history as the cliché goes. Let’s just say those who play it safe don’t make great consultants either.

That’s why the Boston Consultant seeks team members with a little something different. Like their peers, BCG loves brainpower — and a client-centric mindset too. When it comes to problem-solving, they aren’t looking to hit singles or grab long-hanging fruit. They bet big, looking for fresh takes that push the envelope. Here, every situation is unique, every option is nuanced, and every solution is custom. And you won’t find BCG consultants lounging around the c-suite. They roll up their sleeves and head out to the rank-and-file to see for themselves what the end users experience.

THE INNOVATORS

No company, issue, or approach is ever the same at BCG. They’re not re-inventing the wheel. Instead, they understand that every organization features a unique operational structure, history, value system, client base, and brand expectations. Expanding their capabilities and mitigating their limits often requires out-of-the-box solutions in fast-moving and ever-shifting environments.

“BCG does some of the most cutting-edge work in the industry,” notes one Vault survey respondent. “We’re able to do that because we are committed to developing custom solutions for each of our clients by putting incredibly smart teams together to solve those challenges together. The supportive learning environment fuels all of this.”

Yes, BCGers view themselves as pioneers out to disrupt the status quo. Rather than filling frames, they look to decorate a canvas. For that, they are the highest-paid consultants according to the Vault survey. Here, they posted a 9.664 average. To put that number in context, the numbers for Bain and McKinsey came out to 9.150 and 9.161 respectively. At the same time, BCG’s 9.852 score for Benefits bested the rest of the industry too. One survey-taker observes that the industry has followed BCG’s lead in increasing compensation over the past five years.

“BCG’s package is among the best anywhere,” adds another respondent. “The firm recognizes the value of its people and compensates us accordingly. Medical coverage is not just premium-free for employees, it’s extremely comprehensive. My physicians and their office support staff are often floored by what it covers.”

They aren’t alone, adds Brian Myerholtz, a managing director and partner at the firm. “BCG, in general, has a philosophy of taking care of the people who work here,” Myerholtz told P&Q in 2021. “It comes through in compensation and benefits. The one thing I tell recruits that no one seems to fully appreciate is that the healthcare benefits are amazing. I’ll say that to an MBA coming out of school and they’ll say, “Yeah, whatever.” Two years later, they’re having their first child and they’ll email me and say, “This is amazing. I was fully supported and it cost very little. It’s world class healthcare.”

BCG’s New York office at 10 Hudson Yards – overlooking the Hudson River. Photo by Anthony Collins

A “GROWTH MINDSET”

Overall, BCG racked up six first-place finishes in the Vault Consulting 50 study. Aside from Compensation, the firm also ranked #1 for Promotion Policies. Some of this stems from what BCGers call a “growth mindset” — an embrace of fast learning curves and high expectations that can sometimes be painful.

“BCG has unlocked a comfort with discomfort,” explains Varun Hippalgaonkar, who joined the firm in 2020. “As BCG consultants, we often get to work on a variety of the most complex and challenging problems facing our clients across industries, topic areas, and geographies. This means that we are often solving problems where don’t have a playbook. Admittedly, it can be nerve-racking to ramp up on what feel like completely foreign topics and be tasked with developing high quality solutions. However, BCG has helped me realize that, with a supportive team, this discomfort and anxiety can transform into excitement and fun.”

This is coupled with a transparency, where there is a “clear understanding of what is required” for promotion in the words of one Vault respondent.

A COACHING CULTURE

Another survey respondent ticked off several other benefits to BCG’s system: “Very structured performance review process, clear intentions of making it objective, and always tied to clear actions to take for any areas for development. Promotions every 18-24 months can be highly rewarding.”

Like Bain and McKinsey, BCG can be called a coaching culture where even senior leaders like Brian Myerholtz have their own coach. “BCG launched an ‘embedded coaching’ program where they pair new hires with tenured consultants,” notes another survey respondent. “[It] was like having a personal tutor and has been a game-changer! Really helped the transition from school to work when I first started.”

Beyond upward mobility, the firm beat its peers in Health and Wellness. According to one survey taker, the firm flags consultants who have a high average number of hours worked, along with mental health programs and structured leaves. In addition, BCG staff ranked Firm Leadership as the best in the industry, while also holding the best outlook for the future according to the survey.

“[We are a] “leader in innovation,” writes an additional survey respondent. “When nobody was thinking about Climate Change, for us it was a core business area. When nobody thought Digital and Analytics had a future, we were already developing our Gamma team. It is in the firm’s DNA and in the way we operate. And innovation goes beyond creative ideas. We are committed to making innovation happen at our clients: we are always ranked #1 in Change Mgmt. because of that.”

Next Page: Vault Consulting 50 Ranking

A.T. Kearney consultant meeting in the New York office

There is just something about the #4 spot in the Vault Consulting 50. Last year, Booz Allen Hamilton knocked Deloitte out of it — a place it had held for three consecutive years. Now, The Bridgespan Group has returned the favor, swiping the #4 spot after ranking 15th just two years ago.

What’s behind the surge? Among employment factors, the firm ranked #1 for Diversity. On top of that, it enjoyed the 3rd-highest marks in Overall Business Outlook and Satisfaction. While the latter two only make up a combined 20% weight, The Bridgespan Group’s Prestige score — which carries a 30% weight — jumped from 39th to 18th. And it didn’t hurt that it ranked 5th for Promotion Policies either.

THE RISE OF BRIDGESPAN AND KEARNEY

Alas The Bridgespan Group is a nonprofit operating in the philanthropy space. Still, consultants tout competitive pay and access to Bain formal training as benefits. One Vault respondent positioned the firm’s appeal this way: “Smart people, grateful clients, working to maximize impact—and tons of great learning for new consultants along the way.” However, another boiled it down to perhaps its essence: shared mission.

“It is a privilege to be able to do work that I care deeply about, with colleague who also care deeply about social change.”

Another big winner was Kearney, which climbed seven spots to 8th. Strangely, Prestige had little to do with the firm’s success in this year’s Vault Consulting Year. Despite boosting its Prestige average from 5.115 to 6.093, Kearney only improved one spot to 15th in this measure. Instead, the firm’s workplace scores improved incrementally, led by being 6th for Internal Mobility and 9th for Level of Challenge. According to survey respondents, Kearney’s respectful atmosphere makes it a great place to work.

“The firm culture is the main reason I joined and have stayed for the past seven years,” explains one anonymous employee. “The firm creates a very collegial culture, and we treat each other like a family.”

Another factor is the firm’s flexibility. “Kearney really shines in the attention and level of support to consider life events (e.g., parenthood, personal time to recharge) in the career progression and timing,” adds another respondent. “I have five kids, so balancing work with family obligations is challenging at times. I continue to be amazed how the firm accommodates and helps me balance work and personal obligations.”

Deloitte was named the No. 2 accounting firm to work for in 2021 by Vault. Deloitte photo

CLEARVIEW FACES UNCERTAINTY

L.E.K. Consulting also made a splash in this year’s ranking. After not participating last year, the firm returned to the 9th, spot, after ranking 18th and 14th the previous two years. Like Kearney, L.E.K. Consulting advanced just one spot in the Prestige ranking despite a .682 improvement in its score here. Overall, the firm ranked in the Top 10 in the all-important Compensation and Level of Challenge measures. In the consultant survey, one respondent noted that L.E.K. may be the only firm that considers its weeks to be six days long. Translation: “We almost never work on weekends.” Another appeal of L.E.K. is the work in general

“I joined seven years ago never expecting to stay this long. The teams, the clients, and the problems we work on in biopharma are second to none. I have worked on nearly all of the biggest biopharma issues of this century and find so much meaning in my work. The hours can be tough, but are worth it, and for my colleagues who disagreed they have all landed happily in biopharma and VC. Great opportunity and would take it again any day.”

The MBB weren’t the only mainstays in the Vault Consulting 50 this year. EY Parthenon, Oliver Wyman, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Putnam Associates kept their grip on elite status, even as Deloitte Consulting, Alvarez & Marsal, and Clearview Healthcare Partners all tumbled out of the Top 10. The latter’s downfall was particularly stunning.

Last year, Clearview Healthcare Partners ranked #1 in six categories (Firm Leadership, Innovation, Internal Mobility, Overall Business Outlook, Promotion Policies, and Travel Requirements) and #2 in 5 other categories (Formal Training, Informal Training, Interaction with Clients, Level of Challenge, and Relationships With Supervisors). It even cracked the Top 5 in 7 more categories. Chances are, it would’ve ranked among the MBB if it wasn’t unranked for Prestige. This year, it only ranked among the Top 5 in four categories (Firm Leadership, Formal Training, Innovation, and Overall Business Outlook). To add insult to injury, rivals finally gave it the 38th-best score for Prestige. One reason for Clearview’s stumbles involves growing pains as it adjusts to increasing demands.

“Employee morale is low among those in the analyst to senior consultant career stages who have at least 1 year of experience with the firm due to workload issues,” writes one respondent.

For the most part, this year’s Vault Consulting 50 represented progress for most consulting firms. Charles River Associates rose from 38th to 22nd, with Triangle Insights Group moving from 43rd to 29th and NERA Economic Consulting going from 41st to 31st. At the same time, the list contains several strong debuts and returns, including Arthur D. Little (19th), Analysis Group (21st), Back Bay Life Science Advisors (24th), and Kx Advisors (38th). By the same token, PwC dropped out of the Vault Consulting 50 altogether after ranking 9th last year, a phenomenon usually stemming from a lack of employee participation in the survey. GE Healthcare, which plummeted from 10th to 24th last year, is also missing from the 50-best.

Next Page: Firm Prestige Ranking

McKinsey at ROMBA 2019

It can be difficult to dislodge popular opinion. Outside of public relations fiascos, the forces of branding, shaping daily discourse and media coverage, wins out in the end. That’s what you find in the Prestige ranking: the large incumbents hog the spotlight, leaving little room for movement.

Like the workplace measures, Prestige follows the same 1 to 10 scale. Here, practicing consultants score rivals with which they were familiar. Here, the MBB hold court, led by McKinsey & Company with a 9.100 score, representing ongoing improvement since bottoming out at 8.894. BCG scored an 8.828, edging out Bain & Company at 8.755. In fact, the Top 5 remained the same as last year with Deloitte Consulting and PwC bringing up the rear.

Beyond that, there was a shakeup in the status quo. EY Parthenon boosted its prestige score by .564 of a point, enabling it to move from 10th to 6th. Oliver Wyman actually improved by .292…and still lost a spot, remaining behind EY, which lost three places. The Bridgespan Group actually moved up 21 spots by gaining 1.873 points. The Korn Ferry Hay Group and Gallup Group also improved by over a point, enabling them to move up seven and spots respectively.

Indeed, most firms watched their Prestige scores go up in the latest survey. That meant little movement in some cases. Case in point: Northrop Grumman, which held steady at #17…despite raising its score from 5.014 to 6.011. More notably, Prestige rose by a point or more for nearly every firm ranked between 20 and 30, a group that includes Charles River Associates, Raytheon Professional Services, AZ Associates, and General Dynamics Information Technology. And the pattern continues to a lesser extent through the rest of the Vault Consulting 50.

Next Page: Boutique Firm Ranking

Small but Mighty

Smaller in size and scope, boutique firms can provide specialized expertise that can compete with any generalist firm. For consultants, they provide a platform to focus exclusively on their passions with clients who share their interests and values. At the same time, boutiques often require fewer hours and less travel.

Such differences also demand a different methodology to measure their effectiveness. That’s why Vault has tweaked the weights for its boutique-specific ranking. One big difference: it removes Prestige altogether, as this tends to measure awareness as much as quality. In its place, it boosts the weight of Firm Culture ad Satisfaction. Previously 15%, their weights climb to 25% and 20% respectively. Work-Life Balance’s weight doubles to 20%, as does Business Outlook to 10%. Compensation (10%), Level of Challenge (10%), and Promotion Policies (5%) carry the same weight.

This year, ghSMART & Company held onto the top spot for boutiques. A Chicago-based firm specializing in management assessment, ghSMART actually outpointed all consulting firms in two workforce measures: Interaction with Clients and Level of Challenge. It also finished as the runner-up in Compensation and Work-Life Balance (and 3rd for Hours and Selectivity).

“We are a virtual firm so all work from home,” writes one survey-taker. “After well over a decade in a large consulting firm where we worked in office, coming to ghSMART shows me that we can do higher quality, meaningful work, all while being able to have a healthy home life. It’s been life changing. I get to work with some of the largest companies in the world, offering a tremendous amount of impact, from home.”

In a bit of a surprise, The Bridgespan Group finished 2nd to ghSMART despite ranking 4th in the Vault Consulting 50. The reason is simple: Prestige was taken out of the equation, where Bridgespan ranked 18th and ghSMART didn’t crack the Top 50. The Potomac Point Group jumped four spots to #3, followed by DeciBio Consulting and Putnam Associates (which ranked 1st just three years ago). By the same token, several firms dropped substantially, led by Clearview Healthcare Partners. Ranked 2nd last year, Clearview tumbled to 19th. Blue Matter Consulting, last year’s #5, plunged all the way to #28.

Next Page: Historical Comparison – Bain, McKinsey, and BCG

Here is a look at how the big three compare head-to-head…and how their scores have changed over the past four years.

Next Page: Quality of Employment and Life Rankings

Here are the companies that earned the three highest survey scores for various employment categories measured by Vault.

Benefits

1) Boston Consulting Group

2) McKinsey & Company

3) Bain & Company

Compensation

1) Boston Consulting Group

2) ghSmart

3) Bain & Company

Diversity

1) The Bridgespan Group

2) McKinsey & Company

3) Boston Consulting Group

Firm Culture

1) The Keystone Group

2) Bain & Company

3) DeciBio Consulting

Firm Leadership

1) Boston Consulting Group

2) Kx Advisors

3) Bain & Company

Formal Training

1) Health Advances

2) Bain & Company

3) McKinsey & Company

Health & Wellness

1) Boston Consulting Group

2) Bain & Company

3) McKinsey & Company

Hours in the Office

1) Ignyte Group

2) Eagle Hill Consulting

3) ghSmart

Informal Training

1) Bain & Company

2) McKinsey & Company

3) The Key Stone Group

Innovation

1) McKinsey & Company

2) Boston Consulting Group

3) DeciBio Consulting

Interaction with Clients

1) ghSMART

2) Kx Advisors

3) McKinsey & Company

Internal Mobility

1) McKinsey & Company

2) Boston Consulting Group

3) Bain & Company

International Opportunities

1) McKinsey & Company

2) Applied Value

3) Roland Berger

Level of Challenge

1) ghSMART

2) McKinsey & Company

3) Bain & Company

Overall Business Outlook

1) Boston Consulting Group

2) Kx Advisors

3) The Bridgespan Group

Promotion Policies

1) Boston Consulting Group

2) Triangle Insights Group

3) Bain & Company

Relationships with Supervisors

1) Bain & Company

2) McKinsey & Company

3) DeciBio Consulting

Satisfaction

1) ghSMART

2) Bain & Company

3) The Bridgespan Group

Selectivity

1) McKinsey & Company

2) Bain & Company

3) ghSmart

Work/Life Balance

1) Eagle Hill Consulting

2) ghSmart

3) Ignyte Group

Next Page: Practice Area Rankings

It isn’t part of the ranking, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. That’s what you could say about Vault Consulting 50’s assessment of how firms perform in various practice areas. To do this, Vault asks survey respondents to list up to three firms in each practice area where they work, with the caveat that they couldn’t vote for their own firm.

Among the 17 practices, McKinsey earned the highest percentage of votes in eight practice areas: Economics, Energy, Healthcare, Management, Operations, Pricing, Sales & Marketing, Retail, and Technology, Media, and Communications. Technically, this is a down year for McKinsey, which racked up the most votes in 10 areas last year, with BCG replacing them as the top firm for Environmental Sustainability and Strategy consulting.

Accenture also earned plenty of respect from consultants, holding the top spot for the areas of Data Analytics, IT Operations, and IT Strategy. The same is true of Deloitte Consulting, the top performer in Financial, Human Resources, and Public Sector consulting. As always, Lockheed Martin remained the big name for Defense consulting.

Data Analytics Consulting

1) Accenture

2) IBM Global Business Services

3) McKinsey & Company

Defense Consulting

1) Lockheed Martin Corporation (IT Consulting)

2) Northrop Grumman (IT Consulting)

3) Raytheon Professional Services

Economic Consulting

1) McKinsey & Company

2) Boston Consulting Group

3) Bain & Company

Energy Consulting

1) McKinsey & Company

2) Boston Consulting Group

3) Bain & Company

Environmental Sustainability Consulting

1) Boston Consulting Group

2) McKinsey & Company

3) Bain & Company

Financial Consulting

1) Deloitte Consulting LLP

2) Ernst & Young

3) McKinsey & Company

Health Care Consulting

1) McKinsey & Company

2) Boston Consulting Group

3) ZS Associates

Human Resources Consulting

1) Deloitte Consulting LLP

2) McKinsey & Company

3) Willis Towers Watson

IT Operations Consulting

1) Accenture

2) IBM Global Business Services

3) Deloitte Consulting

IT Strategy Consulting

1) Accenture

2) IBM Global Business Services

3) Deloitte Consulting

Management Consulting

1) McKinsey & Company

2) Boston Consulting Group

3) Bain & Company

Operations Consulting

1) McKinsey & Company

2) Boston Consulting Group

3) Deloitte Consulting

Pricing, Sales & Marketing Consulting

1) McKinsey & Company

2) Boston Consulting Group

3) Bain & Company

Public Sector Consulting

1) Deloitte Consulting LLP

2) Booz Allen Hamilton

3) Accenture

Retail Consulting

1) McKinsey & Company

2) Boston Consulting Group

3) Bain & Company

Strategy Consulting

1) Boston Consulting Group

2) McKinsey & Company

3) Bain & Company

Technology, Media & Telecommunications Consulting

1) McKinsey & Company

2) Boston Consulting Group

3) Accenture

DON’T MISS: CONSULTING PAY: WHAT MBAS EARNED IN 2021

The post Top 50 Consulting Firms To Work For In 2022 appeared first on Poets&Quants.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/top-50-consulting-firms-2022-222624806.html

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