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Vault’s Verdict

Kearney appears to be continuing its recent resurgence, even in the midst of a difficult year for many across the consulting industry. Insiders point to robust business performance, continuous expansion, and acquisition of new firms, noting that Kearney is enhancing its offerings and opening new opportunities in various sectors.

As an employer, the firm supports clear pathways for career advancement with structured training and mentorship. Kearney is conducive to the growth of high achievers who prefer to create their own career paths, offering the flexibility and support needed for personal and professional development. This environment is ideal for those who are driven, curious, and capable of thriving in dynamic and collaborative settings.

Kearney's workplace culture appeals to those seeking a balance of challenging work and supportive collaboration. The firm's size allows for a flat hierarchy, increasing exposure to leadership without sacrificing opportunities. Despite the demanding nature of consulting, Kearney focuses on flexibility and employee solidarity. The firm is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, with ongoing efforts to ensure representation at all levels, creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.

 

Employee Reviews

Firm Culture

  • “Do you want to really solve client problems and make a tangible impact? This is the firm for you.”
  • “Greatly benefits from smaller size by being more flat and increased exposure to leadership and benefits without sacrificing opportunities and prestige.”
  • “Kearney is a place where high achievers who want to craft their own career will succeed—there are no templates for success which allows nearly anyone to thrive but means you have to own you career development.”
  • “Kearney's a partner-owned firm, with ~5000 employees worldwide. We perform high quality work, recruit diverse & high-quality employees, and despite our size work closely with some of the top corporations in the world.”
  • “We work with a whole organization to build buy-in, not just come in from the CEO's seat with a top-down mandate.  Our teams use a mix of confidence and humility to engage with our clients, which in the end produces results that are more sustainable over time.”

Quality of Life

  • “[The firm has a] deep concern for personal commitments and attempts to adhere to those commitments as much as possible so long as the work gets done. Travel is client dependent but encouraged to travel as much as possible to promote facetime.”
  • “I have had an amazing work/life balance over the past year, with full-time WFH, 40-hour work weeks, and a high amount of PTO. However, when projects are tough—these conditions don't always stand. But Kearney makes a strong effort to maximize consultant wellbeing.”
  • “Our firm has a great culture, and people have solidarity in the difficult expectations of our jobs. Unfortunately, it feels like, more often than not, the amount of work asked is too much. Even with great colleagues and a fun culture, I feel exhausted most days and am not sure how sustainable this job is long-term.”
  • “The firm has many programs to increase flexibility for employees. Some projects require long hours due to the nature of the work or the client's time pressures.”
  • “[There is a] weekly survey taking the ‘pulse’ of the organization and quality of life results in immediate corrective action.”

Career Development

  • “Best aspect: less internal politics in career development.
    Worst aspect: limited training opportunities for the toughest role in a consultant's journey (role of manager).”
  • “Best aspects are the mentorship/apprenticeship, as well as the opportunities to pursue interests. We also have a strong drive towards diversity, equity, & inclusion, offer great training opportunities, and have fair promotion processes. I have deeply enjoyed my time at this firm & have climbed up the ladder quickly.”
  • “I have reshaped my career several times and the firm has invested in helping me build new expertise in areas I have passion about.”
  • “Love the formal training programs they have here. Diversity overall is healthy but in specific practices/industries it can be lacking—they are aware of this and working on it.”
  • “Promotions are done with a simple track upward. If you do the work, you get promoted. Really high trajectory here.”

Compensation

  • “Best: market-leading compensation (school tuition reimbursement, profit sharing, consistent benchmarking/adjustments, and high degree of transparency.
    Worst: vacation days could be increased.”
  • “I am satisfied by our firm's compensation package. We have competitive base salaries and decent bonuses. Our 401(k) match is not the strongest compared to competitors and doesn't vest until we hit 5 years with the firm, which is fairly uncommon.”
  • “No issues with compensation. The firm is very transparent about compensation at all levels before partner. More transparency on Partner compensation would be nice.”
  • “Salary progression has been very strong thus far (BA—Associate), but there is some sentiment that the Manager salary is not high enough for the significant responsibility jump associated with the role. 401k, profit sharing, bonuses—all phenomenal. I feel very lucky.”
  • “Very strong overall program in terms of progression, equality, firm equity participation at the manager level.”

Community Engagement

  • “Firm has a high commitment to DE&I. Leadership is very vocal. All Partners have DE&I objectives in their annual performance scorecard. Significant growth in women in leadership roles and at all roles across the firm.”
  • “Kearney has made big efforts and investments here in recent years and I’m very pleased with cultural changes to support it.  It will take a while for outcomes to reach senior promotion levels though—our partner elections are still not representative of the overall firm.”
  • “I have never in my career worked with such a diverse group of individuals. Most of my projects have included at least one partner or principal who is a woman, which is rare in the consulting industry.”
  • “This is an area of continued improvement for Kearney since I joined. There has been a concerted push in leadership and, while there is still a way to go, I have appreciated the forward progress, especially with regards to women and different ethnic groups.”
  • “We have many targeted recruiting efforts to promote DEI within the firm. The problem I see is that diversity is much more prevalent at junior levels as opposed to senior levels. I've heard of initiatives that are geared at ensuring diverse candidates receive the necessary mentorship to advance throughout the firm, but diversity is somewhat lacking at the partner and principal level.”

Business Outlook

  • “Business is extremely strong compared to market leaders. Kearney growth is outpacing MBB.”
  • “I feel like the firm has done its best to stay on top of the changing industry and have expertise in many areas that allow us to stay competitive. Though it is not a perfect company, leadership seems to be very transparent with the firm and will communicate latest updates in the All-Hands calls.”
  • “Kearney is in continuous expansion plans acquiring new firms that bring a lot of value, increase our value offer and open opportunities towards new sectors and clients.”
  • “Pragmatic approach and client-collaborative culture have embedded us very well into many clients and kicked out larger competitors. Maintaining talent value proposition and momentum is the hard part, we tend to yo-yo as a firm in the past.”
  • “The firm has been growing at a great pace considering the industry. Alex Liu has done an amazing job in terms of leadership and the firm is investing and acquiring multiple companies along the way to expand our capabilities.”

Hiring Process

  • “At times, there are lags between initial job postings and call-to-interview, but once initial interview is scheduled, it’s very swift and organized (outwardly facing to applicants). Professional and courteous in how applicants/interviews are treated.”
  • “[We look for a] combination of strong analytics and communication capabilities. Strong team skills and down-to-earth personality/fit.”
  • “Interview and callback process is very quick, often same day. After a day of interviews are complete, interviewers meet to discuss candidate performance and deliver decision to candidate same day or next day. Ideal candidate varies by level, but generally displays high levels of curiosity, strong communication and problem-solving skills. Direct to practice hires also have relevant experience and demonstrable knowledge of subject matter.”
  • “MBA interview process is fairly standard—starting with more behavioral/fit focus and gradually shifting weighting toward cases as you move progressively through the 3 rounds. Goes from national to more local. Experienced hire recruiting follows a different process. The ideal candidate is someone with strong problem solving and structured analytical skills, an ability to boldly think outside of the box, with the confidence to communicate their findings in a clear and succinct manner. [For junior roles, they do not need] specific set of industry or functional experience as much as core consultant skills and an ability to apply them.”
  • “The interview process was a 3-round interview with multiple case studies during that process. The interviewers are managers, principals, and partners with lots of expertise. Throughout the process it seemed like they were looking for someone who could ask the right questions.”

Interview Questions

  • “Apparel company with declining sales and margins—what would you recommend they do?”
  • “Interview questions are based on true client examples. Can include: network decisions, manufacturing improvements, market launch, product strategy.”
  • “Network optimization, product launching, city designs, diversity value.”
  • “Our firm does both case and behavioral interviews to help determine whether a candidate would make a strong consultant at our firm. Behavioral questions typically cover the candidate’s past work experiences, looking to understand instances where candidates were forced to think critically and overcome difficulties. We also look to see if someone would be a good fit at our firm. Case questions are typical consulting questions that test a candidate’s ability to gather and process data points and use problem solving skills to come up with ideal solutions.”
  • “Standard case + behavioral interviews. Multi-round, often with progressively senior folks. Cases are developed by the consultants that give them so there is no standard case question. Behavioral questions are meant to probe on experience, key skills, and firm values.”
Kearney

227 West Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 648-0111

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
Managing Partner and Chairman: Alex Liu
2024 Employees (All Locations): 5,700

Major Office Locations

National
Global

Affiliated Companies
Major Departments & Practices

  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Automotive
  • Chemicals
  • Consumer and Retail
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare and Life Sciences
  • Industrial Goods and Services
  • Infrastructure
  • Metals and Mining
  • Private Equity
  • Public Sector
  • Telecommunications
  • Media
  • Transportation and Travel
  • Technology
  • Digital and Analytics
  • Leadership, Change, and Organization
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Operations and Performance
  • Procurement
  • Product, Design, and Data Platforms
  • Transactions and Transformations
  • Sustainability