Overview

Introduction

Kearney is a global management consulting firm that has long specialized in sourcing, procurement, and operations. The firm works with more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500, as well as governmental and nonprofit organizations. Their services include analytics, digital transformation and innovation, new market growth, procurement, IT, and sustainability.

Company Stats


More

Employer Type


More

Size


More

Featured Rankings

Vault Consulting 50...


More

Major Departments/Practice Areas

Analytics...


More

Major Office Locations

Headquartered in Chicago...


More

Employment Contact

Firsthand Findings

A standout phrase one respondent used to describe life at Kearney in this year’s Consulting survey was “freedom within a frame”. A solidly midsize firm with a strong international reputation, Kearney is poised to offer consultants the best of both worlds: the flexibility and opportunities for exposure of a boutique supported by the infrastructure of a much larger firm. The result is a great balance of collaboration of independence—the benefits of scale with the ability to individualize.

Despite the high level of autonomy that makes it not uncommon for beginners to dive right into more senior-level work, nobody at Kearney will leave you to sink or swim alone. The culture is one of collegiality, where everyone is there to help, and the opportunities you are given a...

About the Company

Kearney has been trusted advisors to the world’s foremost organizations for almost a century and continues to live by the principles established by its founder Andrew Thomas (Tom) Kearney so long ago: “Our success as consultants will depend on the essential rightness of the advice we give and our capacity for convincing those in authority that it is good.”

Kearney is a leading global management consulting firm with more than 3,600 people working in more than 40 countries. They work with more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500, as well as with the most influential governmental and non-profit organizations.

Kearney is a partner-owned firm with a distinctive, collegial culture that transcends organizational and geographic boundaries—and it shows. Regardless of location or rank, their consultants are d...

Employee Reviews


  • “I think our firm culture truly sets us apart. People care and I think our culture is not internally competitive but mutually supportive, which makes a huge difference.”
  • “Culture and leadership [are the best aspects]. We have great teams and don't compete with each other—you are promoted on merit not because there is an open position. We genuinely like each other, are friends outside of work and help/support each other.”
  • “Kearney is a great place to learn, grow, and create meaningful relationships that will enable long-term career growth and success, whether staying in the firm at Kearney or exiting into industry.”
  • “You'll have the chance to think creatively and to deliver impact early on. You're expected to bring solutions, not problems, and our flat organizational structure means that you can and should challenge your more senior colleagues.”
  • “I have never met such a smart, thoughtful and down to earth group of people willing to make a difference for their clients and colleagues.”
  • “You'll work hard but you'll learn a tremendous amount with a fantastic team.”
  • “The firm manages to convey a lot of empathy and concern about our well-being. This is extremely impressive given that the primary mode of communication is digital/virtual. I love that the firm cares about me as a person, and wants us all to be good people, not just good workers. Examples include things like, donation matches, encouraging community service work, and increasing support for our affinity groups.”
  • “Culture is by far the best aspect of Quality of Life contribution. We spend a lot of time in our jobs and spending it with great people makes life quality far better. The worst aspect I think is a bit of a legacy perspective regarding "facetime" at client sites—but I believe the after-effects of COVID will help shine a light on this issue.”
  • “Competing with the big guys, we often have to work slightly harder. But we’re a tight knit team and will cover for anybody at a moment’s notice.”
  • “Vacation time is near industry average. However, tremendous work flexibility helps enhance formal time off. It's easy to flex work time to fit in life events without using vacation and still meet deadlines, requirements, etc.”
  • “In terms of quality of life, pre-Covid-19, the work hours/travel were really tough. Hours can still be tough, but I think the hardest part of consulting is the lack of ability to disconnect… Taking time is easy if you plan in advance, but I often feel like if I take a day off I might have to…make up for lost time…”
  • “There is a real focus on health and wellness, including mental health. It is a regular topic of discussion and significant support is providing - it's not about reimbursing gym memberships, but really more about connecting people with the support they need (counseling, overall wellness, etc.).”
  • “Some drop-off in total compensation at the more senior ranks, but generally highly competitive; great profit sharing in particular that often is underrated by applicants and not factored into total compensation (typically 10% of base).”
  • “It is very transparent, but highly meritocratic, which are both critically positive aspects of a professional services compensation system.”
  • “Aggressive salary progression, substantial bonus from junior ranks, annual profit sharing (in addition to bonus), 401(k) matching—overall it's really great. Base salary for managers and up should be higher though.”
  • “Compensation is very good at the analyst and associate levels, and at the partner level. I believe it's not sufficient at the manager and principal levels—you can have brand new post-MBA consultants making 80% of what a manager with 10 years of Kearney experience makes, which doesn't sound right.”
  • “We are very competitive at the junior ranks where we compete on campus with MBB. However, adjustments are still to be made at the manager and principal levels.”
  • “No complaints with our overall compensation. I'd like to see the firm shift more of the compensation into the base, but fully understand that it's safer for the firm to keep the optionality with the year-end bonus.”
  • “Generally, the career development opportunities at Kearney are great. Lots of opportunity to grow very quickly and good exit opportunities for the type of work we do. The area we could use work (probably all firms could) is in formal training. Formal training is minimal at Kearney (~1 week per year) and even when you are in them, they're typically surface level courses giving general overviews instead of in-depth training.”
  • “People take the mentoring and apprenticeship aspects of our firm very seriously, rooted in personal belief of the value of this approach. However, it may at times give junior people too much responsibility.”
  • “You have to decide on your own path—Kearney is a flexible enough environment that you can choose lots of different options but there's no one guaranteed path to success (however you want to define it).”
  • “The best aspects are that the firm has very clear communication before, during, and after the promotion process. The informal mentors I've met, and developed relationships are people I truly look up to and want to learn from (and have a lot to learn from them). I feel very supported and feel that I have many people in my corner who want to see me succeed and see me develop, which is why I continue to choose to stay at Kearney. On the other end of the spectrum, I think our trainings can be of very different standards. I have been to excellent training sessions and I have been to less helpful ones.”
  • “Kearney is very transparent with what needs to be achieved in order to develop your career within the firm. One area that is in the process of being improved is being more flexible with your career path within the firm and creating more positions for those who are intelligent and offer value in more diverse ways than in the standard consulting skill set.”
  • “Kearney is very supportive of their consultants and does a great job with allowing consultants to follow their interests and grow in many different areas.”
  • “I do believe that in the last year or so, we have made concrete pledges to improve diversity, especially racially, at the firm. I'm thrilled because we are lacking racial diversity and believe these efforts will make our firm a much better place. I am confident that base pay is equal for men and women at [lower] levels, but I don't know anything about how partners are compensated and cannot speak to that. Unconscious bias permeates corporate culture and consulting generally, not just at Kearney. These unconscious biases come into play mostly when promoting people to manager. As with most firms, we are about at gender parity at the analyst and associate levels (coming out of school), but that changes at the manager level. Therefore, we are not retaining female talent, or we are not promoting it. This happens at all firms and is a societal issue that we struggle with promoting women to managerial roles and giving them the tools, they need to thrive there.”
  • “I think Kearney faces the same existential challenges that all professional services firms do around inclusivity; however, I think the partnership has attacked the problem head on and is making headway, at least given the environment.”
  • “I see equity across the board at the firm. There is a conscious push to boost diversity and inclusion. I think where we lack is perhaps in diversity of the leadership team. We need more time to hire and promote diverse employees so that the leadership team is more reflective of the consulting population in general. I'm confident the steps we're taking today will help realize that goal.”
  • “The firm is making a concerted effort to be a leader in Diversity and Inclusion efforts and I really appreciate the formal resources (workshops, etc.) as well as my colleagues' willingness to have courageous conversations informally.”
  • “I lead many appraisal reviews, and I see first-hand that decisions are made on merit unrelated to gender, race, or any other attribute which is not directly relevant to performance.”
  • “All promotions are discussed through a large committee where the focus is on accomplishments and not a person’s race, gender identity or background. The pay is established based on time-in-grade and level, so it is the same for all employees in a given band.”
  • “Alex Liu as our Managing Partner is a dynamic and effective leader; we're well positioned as the marriage of operations and strategy to provide exceptional value to clients, particularly in the realm of business transformation, which will only be more important with COVID-19. I think our longer-term strategy is starting to pay dividends and good things are ahead.”
  • “The current crisis showed that Kearney is well equipped to thrive in the years to come, given the trusted relationships it has built with clients around transformation capabilities. The leadership managed to focus much more on developing these key strategic relationships over the past five years and it is clearly paying off now. Feedback we get from clients is that the firm really managed to position itself as being truly distinctive in the marketplace (size, values, culture, and expertise).”
  • “We continue to improve our focus, business strategy, investments, etc. in areas where we can and are winning. COVID-19 could well benefit our business given our focus, but it is of course a wild card and all of the impacts are not yet known.”
  • “We have met or exceeded targets YTD across most of our largest practices even through the COVID crisis. Our ability to be long term partners to our clients means that we are at the forefront of several transformation efforts for marquee companies across multiple industries.”
  • “Our pipeline continues to grow and strengthen year after year. Employees are very proud of the results and impact delivered to clients. Client satisfaction continues to set record levels.”
  • “Strong pipeline through COVID and good management of costs and new talent—well-positioned to grow quickly through a recovery.”

Getting Hired Here

0

  • “We're decisive, so candidates know where they stand and we're quick to make callbacks (positive and negative). I'm also really impressed that the firm provides feedback to candidates who did not move forward (if the candidate would like to receive that feedback). Our ideal candidate humbly seeks to learn new industries and can distill down complex problems into their core components.”
  • “Multiple interviews and case studies of increasing difficulty and thoroughness. Callbacks are [usually] within 24 hours, but typically on the same day. Ideal candidate has demonstrated intellectual curiosity, logical thinking, and ability to handle stressful situations.”
  • “[In this unit], two rounds—first is one behavioral and one case interview, final round is one behavioral and two case interviews. These two rounds happen very quickly, and we make offers typically same day. We are looking for candidates who have strong interpersonal skills, are emotionally intelligent, and are willing to learn new skills by having the humility and drive to ramp up quickly. We also want people who are hungry for responsibility and growth.”
  • “Very empathetic process—consultants take time to get back to candidates (accepted or not) to provide detailed and constructive feedback. Ideal candidate is a perfect fit with company values: passionate, curious, bold, generous and collaborative.”
  • “Kearney picks the applicants who meet the rigorous intellectual standards required to succeed in top-tier management consulting, but also requires empathy and humility; in my experience, this is unusual at many of our competitors in that the latter criteria only gets lip service.”
  • “The interview process is weighted more heavily than other firms on the behavioral/fit interview. The ideal MBA candidate is well rounded in both quantitative and qualitative skills with a strong professional background.”
  • “Market segment, growth strategy, supply chain margin analysis cases. Questions about interpersonal relationships, challenges you've experienced.”
  • “Our consultants write their own cases based on previous projects, so we don't have "typical" interview/case questions.”
  • “What is something new you have learned in the last six months? Describe a time you had to use creativity to solve a problem. How do you resolve conflict among your teammates?”
  • “Standard behavioral questions, with a focus on teamwork and humility; range of case questions from market entry to profitability, turnaround, etc.”
  • “Detailed analytics cases in strategic operations transformation settings. Candidates must analyze and cleanse data, build the fact base and build a PowerPoint deck to support their recommendations. This is for analytics roles.”
  • “Tell me about a time you took on a leadership role without it being assigned to you. Tell me about a time you had trouble understanding someone else's perspective at work.”

Perks & Benefits