Seven consulting firms recognised as one of Europe's top employers

11 June 2019 6 min. read
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A new in-depth study of reviews from more than 1.4 million employees at over 2,500 organisations across 19 European countries has shed light on which companies rank as the continent’s top 50 employers. Seven consulting firms have made the prestigious cut.

In the list for Europe’s best multinational employers, accounting and consulting firm EY is the only consulting industry player in the top 25, in between the likes of Salesforce, Cisco, Mars and American Express. With around 250,000 employees globally, of which roughly 100,000 are based in Europe, EY is one of the globe’s largest professional services firms, and the only of the Big Four to make the list.

The ranking for Europe’s best large workplaces includes two consulting firms: UK-based Baringa Partners and France-headquartered Wavestone. Founded in 2000, Baringa is a London-headquartered privately held partnership with around 600 employees The management and technology consulting firm also has offices in Germany and the Middle East, and specialises in five mains sectors – energy, financial services, telecoms, media, and consumer products and retail. 

Wavestone has approximately 2,500 employees spread across four continents, with offices in major European centres, including Paris, Brussels and London. The company has previously landed multiple best place to work recognitions in home-country France, even named France’s #1 consulting firm to work for in 2017, and now sees similar recognition for its European operations. Wavestone focuses on topics at the confluence of management and digital consulting, while placing emphasis on change management.Seven consulting firms recognised as one of Europe's top employersFour mid-sized consulting firms were lauded for their workplace policies and culture. Lean Consultancy Group is a Dutch consulting firm that specialises in delivering tangible results through the adoption of the Lean and Agile philosophy. The firm’s approach to talent management, which includes aspects such as little hierarchy, flexibility for consultants and shared profit for all employees, has proven a real differentiator. Lean Consultancy Group has been named the Netherlands’ best mid-sized employer for four consecutive years now. 

Similarly, Noway’s Uniconsult has also been a high performer in local Norwegian rankings recognising employers. The consulting firm has made the top 10 of Norway’s Great Place to Work list for three consecutive years, ranking second in the most recent edition. Oslo-based Uniconsult was established in 1998 and its around 50 consultants support clients with project- and process management and finance transformation.

Yélé Consulting is a niche consultancy focused on digital transformation in the energy and utilities landscape. The company with offices in Nanterre and Lyon works for major players in the energy sector, private sector enterprises and public sector institutions. Yélé Consulting has around 70 consultants and staff, generating revenues of around €6.5 million.

Sweden’s Polar Cape Consulting is the seventh consulting firm that ranks as one of Europe’s best places to work. The Stockholm-based consultancy, which also has an office in Skopje (Macedonia), specialises in digital services, offerings its clients propositions including project management, IT service management, architecture and web/application development. Polar Cape Consulting has seen stellar growth in its latest financial year, growing by 61% to break through the barrier of 100 consultants and digital experts.

How they stand out

So what makes these consulting firms top employers? First, they manage to outperform their consulting industry peers on three workplace and cultural elements – trust, pride and camaraderie. At the best consultancies to work for, employees are inspired by their leadership and have faith in the firm’s strategy, there is a sense of pride about the brand and the purpose of the firm, and employees trust one another and enjoy working together. Second, they have human resource policies and procedures in place that facilitate the demands of today’s modern workforce, supporting them in their job, while providing flexibility and professional development and being supportive of diversity & inclusion. 

According to the researchers at Great Place to Work, who conducted the European surveys, being a top employer (a great place to work in their jargon) brings rise to all kinds of benefits, including improved engagement leading to higher productivity. How impactful this cultural feature can be is illustrated by a recent analysis by Gallup, which found that an alarmingly small minority of just 15% of employees worldwide feel engaged in their work. The US research firm estimates the global cost of poor productivity to stand at a staggering $7 trillion. 

At the same time, more happiness at work also benefits aspects such as recruitment (joining a good workplace is attractive) and talent management, including keeping talent on board – a key part of business in the current war for talent climate. In particular for millennial talent the importance of intrinsic values is a relevant determinant for their overall job satisfaction, often more important that financial reward, at a time when employees are more inclined than ever eyeing to eye new job prospects when they don’t feel ‘at home’ in their work.