20 Great Workplaces Consult/Prof. Services — The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Photograph by Tory Williams

20 great workplaces in consulting and professional services

Apr 21, 2015

Consulting and professional services firms have a reputation as venerable companies that produce careers—accountant, consultant, lawyer—that are marked by good pay and steady advancement. But don't let that fool you into thinking these are sleepy places to work. These two industries have their fair share of companies with enviable offices and plush on-site perks. We asked the employee engagement experts at Great Rated!, the workplace review site from Great Place to Work, to name some of the best-in-class employers in consulting, auditing, and professional services. Here are 20 companies that made the cut:

Photograph by Tory Williams

1. The Boston Consulting Group

Revenue: $3.95 billion
Headquarters: Boston
Employees: 9,700
100 Best Companies rank: 2
Great Rated! review
Consultants are known for travel, but at the Boston Consulting Group, jet setting is not always such a grind. The company’s regional offices host company retreats in different locations every year—and have included San Diego, Las Vegas, Austin, and Mackinac Island in Michigan—with the goal of deepening bonds between coworkers and giving employees access to senior leaders. That said, the company isn’t afraid to poke fun at consulting’s living-out-of-a-suitcase reputation. In the past the company has given out the Best Use of Travel Points internal award.

Coolley LLP
Photograph by Jason O. Watson — Getty Images

2. Cooley

Revenue: $674.1 million
Headquarters: Palo Alo, Calif.
Employees: 1,700
100 Best Companies rank: 42
Great Rated! review
Thursday evenings in Cooley’s offices mean it’s beer night for the law firm’s employees—one of the regular social events the firm sponsors. The law firm also marks team and individual success with Dancing with the Stars competitions, karaoke, and table tennis tournaments. It’s no wonder that 92% of employees say they often or almost always enjoy their colleagues and find their workplace fun and cooperative, which isn’t necessarily what you’d expect from a high-powered law firm. As one employee put it: "Cooley is a very relaxed place given the stressful nature of the job.”

Kimley-Horn and Associates photographed for Fortune Magazine on February 24, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Cooper Neill)
Photograph by Cooper Neill

3. Kimley-Horn and Associates

Revenue: $434.97 million
Headquarters: Cary, N.C.
Employees: 2,300
100 Best Companies rank: 25
Great Rated! review
The design consulting firm has 70 offices in the United States and they all have at least one unique thing in common: a designated “VP of Fun.” No joke. The holder of this title is responsible for planning activities like Halloween parties, ice cream days, Thanksgiving feasts, and Chia Pet competitions. Communication also ties together the company’s broad office footprint. More than nine out of ten employees reported feeling as though their leaders make expectations clear, and another 90 percent reported that they can ask management any reasonable question and get a straight answer. ”There is a strong sense of unity here in that everyone works together towards one ultimate goal,” one employee said.

Photograph by Jean-Marc Giboux — Getty Images

4. Plante Moran

Revenue: $404 million
Headquarters: Southfield, Mich.
Employees: 1,936
100 Best Companies rank: 29
Great Rated! review
The capital-B Busy season in accounting is notorious for grueling work and long hours. At certified public accounting and business-advisory firm Plante Moran, company-sponsored massages during busy season make it a little more bearable as do visits from an ice cream truck. Year-round, the company provides health insurance benefits that cover 70% of employees’ health care premium and services like mental health care, fertility treatments, acupuncture and homeopathy.

Courtesy of CHG Healthcare Services, Inc.

5. CHG Healthcare Services

Revenue: $849 million
Headquarters: Salt Lake City
Employees: 1,783
100 Best Companies rank: 16
Great Rated! review
The medical staffing firm encourages its employees’ advancement by providing part-time workers with an average of 73 hours of training per year. Full-time employees receive 125. Employees also support one another. The company has a paid-time-off gifting program that allows employees to donate a portion of their PTO to co-workers who need it to address difficult circumstances like serious medical issues. “This company is just a large, extended family,” one employee said.

Photograph by Rachel Smith for Tracey Brown Photography

6. TEKsystems

Revenue: $3.5 billion
Headquarters: Hanover, M.D.
Employees: 4,054
100 Best Companies rank: 43
Great Rated! review
Yes, trampoline dodge ball is a sport and it’s one way employees at TEKsystems let loose. The provider of IT staffing, IT talent management, and IT services also rewards high-performing employees by sending them—all-expenses-paid—to Cancun, Mexico with their significant others where they enjoy snorkeling excursions, golf outings, and massages. "I think it's great how the company aims to promote great personal and professional relationships,” one employee said. “I also think it's great that they celebrate people's successes often.”

Images of the Baker Donelson logo at their Washington DC office on February 25, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for  Fortune)
Photograph by Kris Connor — Getty Images

7. Baker Donelson

Revenue: $296.91 million
Headquarters: Memphis
Employees: 1,289
100 Best Companies rank: 30
Great Rated! review
The law firm offers employees—on a case-by-case basis—compressed schedules that allow them to log a 40-hour work week in four days instead of five. Sabbaticals also let employees take time away from work to pursue personal goals or travel. The result? Nearly 9 in 10 employees say people who work at Baker Donelson are encouraged to balance their work life and personal life. When employees are in the office, there are perks-a-plenty: dry cleaning pickup and delivery, gyms, yoga and Pilates, massage services, a lending library stocked with DVDs and books, and even on-site car detailing.

Courtesy of Ryan

8. Ryan

Revenue: $406.6 million
Headquarters: Dallas
Employees: 1,930
100 Best Companies rank: 92
Great Rated! review
Eighty-five percent of employees at the global tax services firm often or almost always find the company compensates them fairly, provides special and unique benefits, supports their work-life balance and shows genuine appreciation for their contributions. Indeed, 100% of employees take advantage of the company’s flexible schedule, 90% choose to telecommute, and 10% use the compressed workweek program. One employee said, “The flexible work hours are awesome! To be able to juggle your work and home life and actually make both run smooth is a dream come true!”

Photograph by Tory Williams

9. Protiviti

Revenue: $624.2 million
Headquarters: Menlo Park, Calif.
Employees: 2,900
100 Best Companies rank: 100
Great Rated! review

Just over 90% of employees at the global consulting firm say they are proud to tell others that they work at Protiviti. Why? It probably has to do with the firm’s office outings like scavenger hunts, days in the park, geocaching excursions, and charity bike rides. The company also offers 60 days of job-protected maternity leave, 20 days paid leave for adoptive parents, and a sabbatical with stipend.

Courtesy of Perkins Coie

10. Perkins Coie

Revenue: $635.4 million
Headquarters: Seattle
Employees: 1,649
100 Best Companies rank: 46
Great Rated! review
With clients like Google, Honeywell, Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing and General Mills the law firm knows big business, but its workplace cultures is—in part—marked by small gestures. Its so-called Happiness Committees perform anonymous acts of kindness, such as leaving gifts at workstations. The law firm’s 16 offices also host monthly birthday parties and regular happy hours. The year’s main event is the firm’s annual holiday party that features skits from new attorneys and appearances by the firm's managing partner, who has appeared as characters like a Vegas showgirl, Dolly Parton and an Oompa Loompa.

Small and Medium-Size Companies

Courtesy of ALKU

1. ALKU

Revenue: $38.2 million
Headquarters: Andover, Mass.
Employees: 43
Great Rated! review
The consulting firm encourages employees to “want their boss’s job” and tries to help them reach that goal. The company provides part-time hourly employees with an average of 700 hours of training each year. Full-time salaried workers receive 550. Employees are also rewarded when that training pays off. If the firm's revenue goals are met, ALKU takes the entire company, plus guests, on an all-expenses-paid tropical vacation.

Courtesy of Visionist, Inc.

2. Visionist

Revenue: $14.8 million
Headquarters: Columbia, M.D.
Employees: 67
Great Rated! review
Even though Visionist has a pretty important primary client—The United States Department of Defense—“everything about [Visionist] is employee-focused,” says one person who works there. The firm that provides engineering services to the defense industry offers subsidized offsite gym memberships, unpaid sabbaticals, a personal concierge service, and an employee stock ownership plan. Another unexpected perk: take-out meals that the company provides to new parents during the three months following the birth of a child.

Courtesy of Convergence Consulting Group

3. Convergence Consulting Group

Revenue: $7.47 million
Headquarters: Tampa, Fla.
Employees: 36
Great Rated! review
The free in-office snacks and complimentary breakfast and beverages the CCG employees receive is nothing to scoff at. Neither is company’s all-window office that overlooks Tampa Bay. But the benefit that really helps CCG stand out is its willingness to pay 100% of its workers' employer-paid health care coverage. The company also matches 100% of a workers’ 401(k) contributions up to 6%. “The company is very family-oriented,” one employee said. “You feel at home while at work and the company provides a whole bunch of little things that go above and beyond what most organizations provide.”

Courtesy of XPLANE Corp.

4. XPLANE

Headquarters: Portland, Ore.
Employees: 29
Great Rated! review
One employee at the business design consultancy said Xplane “has an incredible culture that balances extremely high performance expectations for creative quality with a close-knit ‘we’re all in it together’ family atmosphere.” The company also prioritizes employees’ own families, as evidenced by its perks. Xplane offers 180 days job-protected maternity leave and childcare reimbursement during business travel. The firm also reimburses workers up to $200 per month for health and wellness services and products, house cleaning, pet sitting, and babysitting to help support their overall balance during periods of heavy work or travel.

Courtesy of The Energy Project

5. The Energy Project

Headquarters: Yonkers, N.Y.
Employees: 54
Great Rated! review
The management consultancy offers unlimited sick and person days. If a member of an employee's immediate family dies, he or she receives a minimum of four paid weeks off. Those benefits have really impressed employees. One commented, “I’ve never before seen a company so focused on caring about their employees.” The Energy Project also has a open-concept office aimed at fostering communication. Even the CEO has open-office hours.

Courtesy of Talent Plus

6. Talent Plus

Headquarters: Lincoln, N.E.
Employees: 115
Great Rated! review
As a global human resources consulting firm that counts culture as one of its four areas of expertise, Talent Plus better have its own stellar work environment. And it does. A big factor? Its unlimited vacation policy. One employee said, “The vacation policy is by far my favorite aspect. Associates here put in a lot of hours and I love the fact that we have a flexible work schedule and no vacation policy.” The company also offers long three- or four-day weekends that piggyback off of holidays like Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter.

Photograph by Kim Raker

7. Professional Placement Resources

Headquarters: Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
Employees: 88
Great Rated! review
At PPR, going to work is a day at the beach. Seriously. The company’s offices are located directly on a beach, which means employees can go on a walk or eat their lunch while taking in the surf. The firm that recruits and hires doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals for hospitals, schools, and skilled nursing facilities also offers employees “Early Days Off,” which lets them leave early on several Fridays throughout the year, on their birthdays, and on days preceding a holiday.

Courtesy of Integrated Project Management Company, Inc.

8. Integrated Project Management

Revenue: $23.07 million
Headquarters: Burr Ridge, Ill.
Employees: 113
Great Rated! review
One employee of the consulting firm said IPM “[puts] their money where their mouth is.” Case in point: The company says they care about their employees and families and it actually pays 100% of the cost for the company-paid heath coverage for employees and dependents. The company also offers free health screenings to workers and their families.

Courtesy of AnswerLab

9. Answer Lab

Revenue: $9.59 million
Headquarters: San Francisco
Employees: 44
Great Rated! review
Employees of the consulting firm that focuses on user experience research provide pro bono work to aid nonprofits with their digital efforts. They do that on top of the volunteering at local charitable organizations. (The company gives workers about 48 hours per year in paid time to volunteer.) It’s no surprise then that more than nine in ten employees say they feel good about the ways Answer Lab contributes to the community.

Courtesy of Studer Group

10. Studer Group

Headquarters: Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Employees: 194
Great Rated! review
You can often find employees of the healthcare consulting company on the office’s patio, which is frequently used as the site of holiday parties and special occasion celebrations like worker engagements and promotions. As tempting as it might be to lounge on the patio, employees also have good motivation to work hard: spot bonuses of $50 to $10,000 are presented to individuals who achieve excellent results or have taken on extra work.

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