A name that carries a LOT of cachet in the consulting industry—including across the APAC region—Arthur D. Little represents an extremely solid choice, whether you’re seeking to begin a consulting career, or make a lateral move.
As an employer, the firm has some challenges across the region at present—notably around compensation, which insiders estimate to be some 20% behind competitors in specific markets. Combine that with long hours—which are definitely the case right now—and you have a recipe for some dissatisfaction, which certainly came across in our survey responses this year. Fortunately, both of those issues have relatively simple fixes—increase one, while reducing the other—and there are no other major red flags. Culture, opportunities and career progression all seem to be in a good place, meaning that a salary adjustment—should the firm opt for it—would go a long way towards improving overall morale.
“ADL Japan has been growing a lot, especially these three years, and still growing and improving in many aspects; more diversified project portfolio, a better place to work, more focus on corporate transformation, better rewards, and so on.”
“Every farm has different experiences depending on the project, but our farm is no different.
However, I think that strategic discussions based on technology and discussions with clients are particularly attractive. In particular, there are more opportunities for discussions with engineers than at other companies, so if you want to gain experience in consulting services in this area, I think it is a very attractive environment.
In addition, since it naturally includes not only technology strategy but also how to think about the impact on business, the experience of consistent strategy construction from business strategy to technology strategy is good for those who are highly interested. I think it will be useful in my future career.”
“If the candidate likes exploring new ideas and approaches, enjoys the flexibility both in terms of workstyle and work content, and seizing growth opportunities, this firm can provide a very good environment.”
“Takes an innovative and ecosystem approach to consulting, always pursuing what is best for the client. Technical expertise and willingness to dig deep are positive factors for differentiation.”
“Your work style would be very flexible, and managers/partners understand employers' family affairs well.”
Quality of Life
“Although it depends on the project and cannot be said uniformly, there is not a lot of business travel (especially now with COVID-19). In addition, coming to work and staying at home are free.
Working hours are long. Management are announcing measures to improve, but so far, I don't think they are improving dramatically.”
“Best: Projects are interesting and you have the flexibility to pursue your own interests, which is crucial for the high job satisfaction.
Worst: Due to its relatively small size, understaffing is not a rare event, thus leading to more demanding workplans and longer hours. However, this also leads to significant growth opportunities for willing individuals. Also, the firm has been working hard to improve this aspect in recent years.”
“Improving but not best in class mainly due to project type.”
“The Best is that various work styles (workplace, working hour) are allowed.
The worst might be that ‘Everyone believes more than 12 hours should be worked in a day and performance should be the prioritized first’.”
“Very easy to take time off. Hours fluctuate greatly depending on project.”
“Best part: The compensation package is beyond other similar firms.
Worst part: The package is fixed, not so related to projects.”
“Best: Competitive salary package with reasonably fast promotion policy.
Worst: Salary package is competitive, but not on par with top-tier strategy consulting firms.”
“Good point is clear salary table determined by rank. However, it is not so good that bonuses are not much different by individual, especially in Junior staff. There is a rental housing program, but no other benefits are offered.”
“Regarding the salary increase program, each position (title) is divided into three stages as a cohort, and each upgrade will increase the salary.”
“Salary-wise we are 20-25% behind the industry. This should be taken up. Moreover cost of living and inflation should also be a factor in salary hikes. Such things are not factored.”
“Best part: In ADL, we have a relatively perfect promotion system, we are able to receive comments from case leaders and peers for every project in which we are involved. Besides that, the firm also provides online training programs and a global training program, which allow us to explore our vision.
Worst part: The office scale difference is huge, in the Shanghai office, we only have limited practice in some industries, hope we can have more types of projects.”
“Best: The firm is flexible and allows you to pursue your personal interests, gives ample opportunities for self-motivated growth, and rewards high-performers with reasonable promotions.
Worst: Due to its relatively small size, internal systems and programs are not necessarily extensive. Training opportunities and international mobility are particularly informal. (However, this is also the source of flexibility.)”
“Focus on entrepreneurship and decide by yourself. very motivated for self-starter professionals.”
“It's not systematic, therefore flexible. set my career development as I want with good advise from a mentor.”
“Very flexible and customized for individual circumstances.”
“ADL Japan has a lot of different nationalities now as ADL Japan and Southeast offices is run with the same PL to share bonus. Also, ADL Japan has a lot of tri-lingual staff, Chinese, Korean, and so on.”
“Efforts with respect to gender and ethnicity is progressing. Other D&I efforts are in preparation. However, even without formal programs, the firm's culture is welcoming towards anyone.”
“I don't know the details, but at least I feel that there are plenty of opportunities for women to play an active role. I don't know much about LGBTQ and people with disabilities, but I think it's relatively fair when it comes to job content and equality of opportunities.”
“There is no positive discrimination, and evaluations are made only on skills, which is not a problem. Employees can discuss various ways of working depending on the situation. Place of residence, hours of work, position, etc. On the other hand, the situation is less diverse, and there are systems and practices that assume one attribute. There are no affirmative action programs.”
“We don't have any roles or preference when hiring staff, the HR will not ask about the personal status, and the balance is great.”
“ADL and BCG are the only successful firm at this moment in Japan.”
“Best part: We have many clients from every industry in Asia Pacific area, and all the projects are practical and innovating.
Worst part: We don’t have much local or domestic clients.”
“Global administration function may need to add staff to support growth, while local staff can be lean by consolidating some indirect function.”
“Good points are focusing on upstream strategy formulation and growth strategy, and a unique position in the industry in terms of innovation and technology. The weak point is that some cases are simply investigations.”
“We recognize that we are developing a consulting business that focuses on strategic areas. In recent years, there are many farms that extend the scope to include the implication, and this point seems to be a differentiator. In addition, since there are multiple engineers from operating companies, it seems that they are able to demonstrate their strengths in terms of making use of their knowledge from a technical perspective.
From a paradoxical point of view, it can be said that it is inferior in that respect because it does not go into the implications.”
“Conduct multiple rounds of interviews, typically starting from junior staff to senior staff. Candidates with open minds and an appetite for novel approaches are a good fit.”
“HR push the process very quickly, and the partner is very kind during the interview.”
“There are generally 4 stages to the interview. 2 consultant/manager, 1 principal and 1 partner. About a week after each interview, you will be notified of the pass/fail decision.”
“The ideal candidate should possess the ability to think for basic consulting services, have independence (orientation to think and act on their own), and have knowledge in a specific field (e.g., Recently, those who have electric vehicles, digital services, etc.).”
“As for the content, there is not much difference from other farms, but we ask questions about the candidate's thinking ability, behavioral characteristics, and orientation.”
“Regarding cases, I think that there are many cases where information system organization, project approach design, and estimation are based on the background of the person in question.”
“Market entrance case (Food).”
The Hong Kong Club Building
3A Chater Road, Level 16
Central Hong Kong
Employer Type: Private
Global CEO: Ignacio Garcia Alves
Hong Kong, CN
Strategy & Organization
Technology & Innovation Management