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Vault’s Verdict

NOTE: IMS Consulting did not participate in our survey in 2015. The following data is from 2013, the last time the firm did participate.

With a business model that is primed for growth in the coming years, it seems like a good time to get on board at IMS Consulting. The firm is one of very few in the healthcare and life sciences space that operates on a global basis—and thanks to its position as a unit of IMS Health, its data-gathering and analytic capabilities place it in an even more rarefied pool of competitors.

As an employer, the firm enjoys a good reputation with insiders, who cite the ability to make international transfers and gain global experience as a major plus. Additionally, IMS consultants enjoy a more relaxed approach to work-life balance than is common elsewhere in the industry. For those interested in pursuing a life sciences-related consulting career—and particularly those with an itch to do so in an international environment—this firm is definitely one to consider. 

Firm Culture

"IMS Consulting Group offers the best first job within the healthcare industry and a lifetime of diverse career opportunities."

"When people leave, the one common thing they miss the most is the people."

"Satisfying international life journey."

"Ideal starting point of a career in life sciences."

"Company has consultants with a variety of experiences."

"IMS Consulting Group does not have to borrow the client's watch to tell the time as it both singularly focused and evidence driven within the healthcare sector giving it a unique competitive advantage for both client and employee advantage."

"If you have a strong inclination for healthcare and life sciences, IMS is the best place for you. You will get to immerse yourself in the industry." 

Quality of Life 

"Good quality of life."

"Given the IMS evidence-based business model there is less of a need for long term client side working."

"Premier office environments and locations."

"Work-life balance is good in terms of hours to pay versus other consultancies."

"Hoteling style pressures on desk capacity."

"Among the consulting firms I have worked in, this company provides a bit more balance, perhaps because it is smaller and focuses on only one industry. While there is an expectation that you do need to put in the hours when needed, there is still a genuine concern that people do not burn themselves out. Also, the industry that we provide our services for does not work on long hours and do not expect their consultants to do so."

"Quality of life is definitely a plus at IMS Consulting Group. 40 to 50 hour work weeks are the norm, although this may change based on project/client demands. There is a culture of collaboration and integrity, which is generally pervasive from management downwards. Compared to other consulting firms, travel requirements are a minimum—usually only for initial, interim and final meetings and any primary market research."


Career Development

"Company is flexible and tailors career to [the] individual."

"[Could] be more competitive as a consulting firm in terms branding and company image."

"Best aspects include: 1) Merit/performance based career opportunities with robust and transparent global standardized process. 2) Both consulting and GM track career opportunities within the same firm. 3) No aggressive up or out policies.  Worst aspects include: Level of tolerance with average performers."

"Best aspect is that with one industry focus, you get to develop and implement various types of solutions for the clients that then provide you with a very in-depth view into the industry. Worst aspects: the company, as a consulting firm, is way behind in terms of the structure and rigor that other leading firms have placed in terms of on-boarding, training and development and deployment of methodologies and offerings."

"IMS Consulting Group promotes development in different areas—consultants are not assigned to an area, and within their career may work e.g. on market access, brand strategy, etc."

"The company is open to develop careers worldwide. There is an exchange program between offices. Also, company supports internal moves between offices."

"International opportunities are aplenty, although the secondment policy is very selective. Internal moves between departments are possible—although this is largely on an ad hoc/request basis, and not a structured part of career development." 


"As a healthcare consulting company, should have better medical coverage and gym/lifestyle reimbursements."

"Best aspects: Where benefits are in place these are considerable, including medical, pension plans, long term incentives, social/lifestyle activities and funding. Worst aspects: These benefits are not evenly available—particularly in Asia."

"The flexible reimbursement for healthcare expenses is good, it allows for reimbursement for different lifestyles and personal situations. You are allowed to reimburse for doctor visits, OTC purchases, eye care, gym membership, health insurance, dental, traditional Chinese medicine among others, and on top of hospitalization expenses. There are a variety of leaves offered including study leave, childcare leave, and bereavement leave. The off-in-lieu discretionary leave approved by managers is also good as a way to compensate for the long hours worked. There could be better and more firm policies on telecommuting, work-from-home and flexible hours. There are none at the moment."

"Compensation rates are competitive, although there is a large range between employees at the same level." 


"We're reliant on one industry so if they are not in a buying mode, we are especially vulnerable. However, it has been a relatively stable industry that does not necessarily feel the full impact of any global financial crises. As a privately held company, the leadership's focus is on operational efficiency. It is difficult to be innovative when you do not have the budget for it."

"IMSCG is well positioned, due to the strength of our parent company's data assets, as well as our firm's strong background within the life sciences. Moving forward, developments to account for are integrating the firms many consulting practices and the move toward more Big Data opportunities." 

Hiring Process

"Professional and open interview and callback process.  Ideal candidate profile: fit with culture and core values, clear motivation to work in consulting and within the life-science vertical, potential to advance and long term loyalty commitment."

"In the past year, we have applied more structure and rigor in the process. However we still take too much time to make decisions. The ideal candidate for us has to have very strong data analysis skills and ability to convert that analysis into something meaningful for the client. We often see the former but not the latter given that many of the candidates also need to have either knowledge of or interest in the healthcare industry. A medical/ science background is definitely a plus, but they are not [always] the most client-centric people or business savvy people. We also have very few people that came from a consulting background." 

Interview Tips and Questions

"Practice and industry specific case studies."

"Case questions are about calculation of potential market size, revenues, returns, and providing qualitative perspective on challenges and recommendations."

"Case studies usually involve some sort of pharmaceutical market entry or manufacturing example." 

Diversity and Social Responsibility

"Very little in terms of green or philanthropy initiatives.  Up to individual to be philanthropic."

"IMS is one of the most international of firms and as a result is more multicultural and diverse in composition than almost any international firm I know."

"There are no specific rules/policies on these. That said, this means the firm is pretty non-discriminatory in terms of hiring practices. The firm is also quick to respond to charitable giving especially for catastrophic events, and each country is encouraged to be involved in the community."

"I work in a truly diversified team—e.g. in a team of 20, there are people of almost 10 nationalities, nearly half men and women."

"IMS is a very diverse organization, especially within the consulting group."


485 Lexington Avenue
26th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: +1 (917) 542-5800

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
Senior Vice President, Global Services: Jose Luis Fernandez
2014 Employees (All Locations): 475

Major Office Locations

New York, NY (HQ)
New York
San Francisco

Major Departments & Practices

Brand & Commercial Strategy

Competitive Intelligence

Pricing & Market Access

Strategy & Portfolio Analysis