All tech, all the time
With headquarters in both California's Silicon Valley and Boston's Route 128, Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath is positioned to serve as the management consulting firm of choice to the technology industry. But this company, founded in the bicentennial year of 1976, does not reserve its technical know-how just for the high-tech elite. Pittiglio also dispenses its knowledge to small and mid-sized companies, and even a few startups. Thanks to annual revenues that have risen by an average of 30 percent in recent years, the firm is expanding its reach into the biotech, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications industries. In 1999, the firm launched a new subsidiary, known as The Performance Measurement Group, to provide clients with online benchmarking services.
The current state of affairs
Right now, Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (PRTM) is a smallish consulting firm, with about 300 consultants worldwide. The firm has three geographic regions: the Eastern United States is covered with offices in Waltham, MA; Stamford, CT; Chicago, Southfield, MI; and Washington DC; the Western division, which has offices in Dallas, Costa Mesa and Mountain View, CA; the European region is served through offices in Frankfurt, Paris, Oxford, and Glasgow; and PRTM's Pacific office is located in Hong Kong. Consultants must be pleased with all the changes at PRTM the turnover rate has consistently been less than 10 percent for some years, well below the industry average.
PRTM's hiring qualifications are very stringent. All of the firm's consultants have MBAs (most from from top schools) and have technical and management backgrounds (including technical undergraduate degrees). Volunteers one insider: "We have many consultants with multiple masters degrees or doctorates." The firm posts contact information and its on-campus MBA recruiting schedule at its web site, located at www.prtm.com. PRTM hires first-year business school students as summer associates. The firm also hires undergrads for a two- to three-year research analyst position.
Applicants can mail resumes to the firm's Waltham, MA or Mountain View, CA offices. Recruiting contact e-mail addresses are available at the firm's web site.
MBA candidates can expect one or more on-site visits with "three or four 45-minute interviews." Insiders suggest that candidates highlight their experience with actual company operations: "Since we implement improvements in companies, we want to hire people who have actually done something in a company, rather than those who have just performed studies or analysis."
Enjoying the lack of structure
Pittiglio consultants enjoy their "unstructured environment" and "autonomy" so much that they leave their firm far less frequently than their peers at other consulting firms; the turnover rate at the firm is about 10 percent, "well below" the industry average. Part of the reason for the high morale is the "pretty laid-back" culture, "especially for a management consulting firm." Says one insider: "We have a very supportive environment in which we all do our best to help each other out."
The lifestyle firm
Moreover, Pittiglio consultants neither travel as frequently nor work as rigorous a schedule as those at rival firms; 70-hour workweeks, insiders say, are a "rarity." One consultant reports working from "40-hour weeks to 70 normally, [workweeks are] closer to 45 or 50." Says one consultant: "While other firms talk about a focus on lifestyle, PRTM puts its money where its mouth is. Traveling consultants get every other Friday off, and nobody works weekends." The firm's travel policy in the past has also allowed spouses to "travel for visits on weekends." Still, PRTM consultants cannot completely escape the grueling travel common in the consulting industry. One insider reports that PRTM consultunts "can spend up to a year working at a client site, but we always go home on weekends and usually go home on Thursday nights." And the consultants at PRTM don't get to kick back with business casual dress, it's "business dress unless the client requests differently."
One insider also distinguishes the firms from its competitors when it comes to its business model. "We are very implementation-oriented," he says. "We do not just write a report for a client and leave. We will do an initial diagnosis and requirements study." Recent hires say that they are "constantly impressed" by the expertise of their colleagues, including senior consultants who are "eager to help new consultants grasp the subtleties of the business."
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