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Axel Springer hy GmbH


Vault’s Verdict

A unique firm with an innovative approach to consulting services, hy offers a refreshing work-life balance to its employees. Insiders describe the company culture as fun, ambitious and high-quality, and love the opportunity to gain visibility and responsibility early on. Additionally, there is a strong focus on maintaining a healthy work-life balance, with very reasonable working hours only occasionally giving way to spikes in demand.

Insiders also love the equitable, non-competitive compensation arrangements, including 100% gender pay equity and a team-based compensation package based on the company's yearly performance. Indeed, equity is something of a watchword at the firm, with consultants given the opportunity to buy stock in the company, and quotas in place at the partner level to ensure even gender distribution of top roles. For those seeking opportunities for early responsibility and career growth—especially within the German market—this may well be a firm to consider. 

Firm Culture

“60% of hy employees have worked at and founded startups. We know how to innovate because we have worked at the green [shoots] of the economy.”

“Collaboration with smart and interesting people on the hot topics of the day.”

“If you think consulting may be for you but you are not ready to give your life up to do it, want to maintain a work-life balance and still have big clients and exciting projects that you can take ownership over, hy is for you!”

“Most fun company I've been with, at the same time great ambition and quality of work. Best leadership I've experienced.”

“You have more visibility and responsibility early on, and you can contribute to shaping this company that does consulting in a refreshing new way that clients appreciate.”

Quality of Life

“Best = Redefine consulting is hy's approach and culture. We're not a typical MBB or Big 4 consultancy, which is great. This means that we don't work 80+ hours per week (average I would say is roughly between 45 and 55 hours). A good benchmark for the consulting industry.

Worst = Peak hours in stressful, under-staffed projects and in comparison with top tier 1/2/3 consultancies weaker salary packages, especially for entry-level consultants.”

“Great atmosphere, no competition, flat hierarchies, offers for mental health, offers for sports (partnerships), fresh fruit in the office, 1 month unpaid vacation per year possible, vacation submission always possible, hy retreat once a year.”

“I work in consulting, so hours are long either way. Nonetheless, considering the industry, I do believe that a large focus of our company culture is also in maintaining a work-life balance, which is lived within the company. Therefore, the whole company culture is a strong representation of how many individuals have many different talents and strengths and a balanced life makes for more motivation on the job.”

“The vigilant time tracking at hy allows for an even distribution of workload and staffing is considerate of each persons individual load. The annual retreat is a highlight and the hybrid office model makes working more flexible. Travel is minimized to necessary trips.”


“100% gender pay equity - no further comment; salary package comprises base salary, variable bonus and equity dividend; not only partners can invest into the company, but every employee who passed the probation period.”

“Best = Team-related firm's compensation package based on yearly performance (growth in revenues and EBITDA)

Worst = Company-wide sales issues [in Summer 2022] due to Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

“Best: Possibility to buy stock.
Worst: No equity stock option plan in salary package and below industry payment.”

“The bonus is based on business unit performance, still there is no silo-thinking and competitive atmosphere among us. I really appreciate this level of compensation. At the same time, I would not mind receiving a more competitive salary in the future.” 

“The salaries are competitive and complemented with a city ticket and discounts. Employees can buy and sell stock in the company once a year.”

“Women's quota at partner level, 50% of new hirings have to be women.”

Career Development

“Best = Frequent dialogues (twice per year) about career development (360 degree view) with team lead and HR, including self reflection, peer feedback and feedback by team lead.

Worst = Strategy-related growth plans with uncertainties for entry-level consultants concerning team structure and composition.”

“Best: Development dialogs, Mentoring program, learning breakfast, a lot of responsibility even for entry level, open dialog, open atmosphere, low hierarchy, promotion rounds twice a year with very open communication and goals, diversity especially for woman, women's quota at partner level

Worst: [nothing].”

“Opportunity to take early responsibility; inspiring (young) colleagues; great chances to step up fast.”

“The best part of the career development is the continuous support coming from our P&O Team in areas of mental health, career development and personal growth. We had amazing opportunities to do career strength tests and take part in various workshops or executive classes that help us with our own development. Also, we are always encouraged to take part in actively shaping how the company grows, as everything is treated with transparency and an open-door policy. The worst aspect of my career development is that my career prospect at the company is limited to working in Germany, as there are no other offices [beyond Berlin and Zurich] at the moment.”

“The skill matrix hy uses internally describes a clear career path and makes progression plannable.  We know what is expected of us till we reach the higher (management) levels where the matrix is less clear and progression is no longer predictable.”

“Very transparent and open towards transfers to different Business Units with respect to personal development choices and preferences.”

Community Engagement

“Diversity is a big topic at hy. We're currently focusing on hiring 2-3 female partners. In general, we have a good split of female and males around all teams. So, I think that we're doing a good job with regard to diversity.”

“hy actively promotes a 50/50 ratio of men and women. hy is culturally modern and does not see color. The same is true for LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities. The requirement from most customers to communicate in German limits international hires, though.”

“There is a LOT of effort to increase the gender proportions among (especially higher level) positions. I truly appreciate this effort and believe it is very necessary. C-level positions have actively engaged in conversations with a ‘women's group’ at our company to determine concrete next steps on how to hire more women partners and what growth sacrifices we are willing to make to holistically grow as a more diverse firm.”

“Women's quota at partner level, 50% of new hirings have to be women.”

Business Outlook

“10x growth plan, backed up financially, to grow the company significantly over the next years.”

“10x plan of which everybody is aware and aligned, surveys for the employees, Web3 is now a part of our consultancy product range.”

“Great opportunities for growth but depending on one person. Yet, very high churn of employees due to bad payment.”

“hy has a different approach to consulting, it's all about making results tangible and operationable. This goes well with our customers, they love it.”

“hy positions itself more and more towards growth instead of digital transformation. This corresponds quite well to the market’s development. Companies are now digital as far as they want to be and look for growth. The focus remains digital as that offers the most growth opportunities.”

“The company is strongly growing. This is done particularly well, since all growth ambitions are transparently communicated and participation to shape the company's direction is encouraged..”

Hiring Process

“hy is looking for authentic, smart employees who have experience in consulting and have either worked in startups or have founded something themselves. hy is looking for employees with an entrepreneurial spirit and creativity and the ability to work in a team.”

“hy has a three-step application process (get-to-know-you interview, technical interview, and case study).”

“Interviews usually have three rounds with a take home case study in between. The ideal candidate uses their domain knowledge and awareness of trends to solve it.”

“Looking for candidates with a strong entrepreneurial, disruptive, challenging mindset. Circa 60% of our consultants founded companies or worked in early-stage startups before joining hy."

“We need to attract more competitive talent from business schools. We do only LinkedIn ads which are expensive.”

Interview Questions

“Describing how you would go about a digital transformation consulting project. Selecting 3 startups to invest into and describing why.” 

“HR interview, hiring interview, written case study and presentation, cultural fit, offer and negotiation - these are the typical steps in the recruiting process with hy.”

“Why hy?”

“Why you? Can you think of possible Digital Business models in situation X? Do you have experience? If yes, which? How do you work in a team?”

Axel Springer hy GmbH

Straße 65
Berlin 10888

Firm Stats

Co-CEO: Christoph Keese
Co-CEO: Sebastian Herzog
Partner: Dr Sebastian Voigt
2023 Employees (All Locations): 60

Major Office Locations

Berlin, Germany
Zurich, Switzerland

Major Departments & Practices

Professional Services
Consumer Brands