In order to properly reflect the rising importance of these selection criteria to in-demand candidates evaluating consulting career options, the Vault Consulting 50 is based on the following weighted formula:
Editor's Note: IBM Global Service's ranking in Vault's survey decreased to #49 from last year's #27.
What’s more, those numbers likely represent a best-case scenario. Based on our experience tracking consulting retention for the past eleven years, Consulting has learned that once someone places a clock on their tenure at a firm by saying “I don’t think I’ll still be working here in x year(s),” they’ll often end up leaving much faster than they initially anticipate. They’re much more susceptible to the cold call from the executive recruiter, the employment inquiry by a client or the friend who has long considered opening up her own firm. ...
Compensation is up across the board: Almost 80 percent of consultants reported that their base salary increased in 2011, including almost 30 percent that reported double-digit raises. ...
The biggest takeaway from the survey may be that employee satisfaction, especially among highly employable consultants, is not something that can be turned off and then on again. Once trust has been broken, it takes more than a raise and a reinvestment in staff training to rekindle consultants’ desire to stay at their current firm. Firm leaders that think their staff will remain loyal because they’re treating them better now may be in for a surprise. ...
Hiring experienced talent is an increasingly difficult proposition. First, talent is scarce for the reasons sited above. Second, relatively few consultants (27 percent) say they have interest in re-entering the profession, indicating consultants are projecting all consulting firms with the negative traits experienced at their current firm. Those at the senior-most staff levels are the least likely to anticipate that their next career move will be to another consulting firm. ...
The Best Firms to Work For 2011:
The best IT Consulting firms:
The Top Ten Firms in Client Engagement:
The Top Ten Firms in Firm Culture:
The Top Ten Firms in Career Development:
The Top Ten Firms in Compensation Satisfaction:
The Top Ten Firms in Work/Life Balance:
The Top Ten Firms in Firm Leadership Satisfaction:
The Best Firms to Work For rankings are based on an online survey conducted in the summer of 2011. More than 13,000 consultants participated, representing approximately 350 firms. The consultants operate in every service line, across at least 32 different project/practice areas, and serve clients across all major industries. About three-quarters of the respondents came from the United States. Consultants at every staff level participated.
Editor's Note: IBM Global Services did not appear in any of Consulting Magazine's "Best Firms to Work For" categories.
One of the most egregious forms of corporate welfare can be found at a little known federal agency called the Export-Import Bank, an institution that has a budget of about $1 billion a year and the capability of putting at risk some $15.5 billion in loan guarantees annually. At a time when the government is under-funding veterans' needs, education, health care, housing and many other vital services, over 80% of the subsidies distributed by the Export-Import Bank goes to Fortune 500 corporations. Among the companies that receive taxpayer support from the Ex-Im are Enron, Boeing, Halliburton, Mobil Oil, IBM, General Electric, AT&T, Motorola, Lucent Technologies, FedEx, General Motors, Raytheon, and United Technologies.
You name the large multinational corporation, many of which make substantial campaign contributions to both political parties, and they're on the Ex-Im welfare line. Needless to say, many of these same companies receiving taxpayer support pay exorbitant salaries and benefits to their CEOs. IBM, for example, gave their former CEO Lou Gerstner over $260 million in stock options while they were lining up for their Ex-Im handouts.
The great irony of Ex-Im policy is not just that taxpayer support goes to wealthy and profitable corporations that don't need it, but that in the name of "job creation" a substantial amount of federal funding goes to precisely those corporations that are eliminating hundreds of thousands of American jobs. In other words, American workers are providing funding to companies that are shutting down the plants in which they work, and are moving them to China, Mexico, Vietnam and wherever else they can find cheap labor. What a deal! ...
In fact, according to Time Magazine, the top five recipients of Ex-Im subsidies over the past decade have reduced their workforce by 38% - more than a third of a million jobs down the drain. These same five companies have received more than 60 percent of all Export-Import Bank subsidies. Boeing, the leading Ex-Im recipient, has reduced its workforce by more than 100,000 employees over the past ten years.
"We live in an environment where you slip a little bit, and you may not be able to be middle class anymore. I think the middle class is a dying breed of people. It doesn't take very much -- a divorce or a medical emergency in a family -- to drive you to bankruptcy, to drive you to being homeless. I don't have to elaborate. It's totally visible," she said. ...
Adding insult to injury, the pensions older Americans could once depend on have been replaced by defined contribution plans -- 401(k)s that bob up and down like flotsam on the tidal waves of the stock market.
I used the SS website's calculator to know the monthly amount for each age to plug into the above calculator: 62, 66 and 70 when starting SS: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator/.
The tool has a table created that also shows the accumulation of your SS each year with a column for each age (62, 66. 70), so it is easy to see at what age you will begin to get more. For me, the break even is in my mid-80's no matter when I begin to collect - so it is obvious it is all based on your life expectancy and you get the same amount of money no matter when you begin to collect at that break even point. When you start SS is simply a trade off of "now" or "later". So bottom line is, if you expect to live a long life and want "more later", wait to collect. You gain 8% each year you wait after full retirement age. Some would say what will I spend the extra money on when I am 90, I want the money now.
Advice to Senior Management:
Health policies are notorious for their confusing legalese. When confronted with a big medical bill, enrollees are often shocked to find that there are limits or exclusions they never heard of, leaving them owing a lot more than they can afford to pay.
The new rules, which carry out provisions of the health care reform law, would require insurers and employers, starting next year, to provide a brief summary in plain English listing such items as premiums, deductibles, services not covered, and the costs of using a provider in the network as compared with one outside the network. ...
Insurers are complaining that compiling and disseminating the benefits information will drive up their costs. That is a ridiculous objection. The administration estimates that the proposal would cost some $50 million a year to carry out. That seems a small burden on a multibillion-dollar industry. The investment would provide a huge benefit to confused consumers and help spur competition to bring down health insurance costs.
Secondly, Prof. Hacker's certainly right that it's a terrible idea for Medicare. But he's selling it short. It's also a terrible idea for health care costs, job creation ... in fact, for the entire economy. You could say it's hit the trifecta of bad policy notions. We admire Jacob Hacker, but we'll have to amend his comments: It qualifies as the "single worst idea" in lots of policy areas. ...
Some of us warned that it would be politically disastrous if the government required people to purchase health insurance without offering a low-cost public option. The wise political heads inside and close to the Administration told us that, on the contrary, this bill would be a political winner in 2010. No doubt Sen. Scott Brown chuckles over that from time to time.
This bill doubles down on the political madness that began when the widely-embraced public option was dropped, despite the fact that 70% of all Americans (and 51% of all Republicans) wanted it. It puts the President on record as gutting the most popular program in the country. And it's likely to dramatically harden public sentiment against last year's health bill, as this "reform" gets lumped together with that legislation in the public mind.
Politics aside, this idea is a recipe for economic disaster. And if it's coupled with reductions to Social Security it will become an economic tsunami - that is, if it isn't one already. Even FEMA won't be able to rescue the Administration from an idea like this. The White House must be discouraged from making this recommendation -- now, or anytime.
"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.
When Americans are polled about the issue they care most about, the answer by a two-to-one margin is jobs. The Boston Globe found that during President Obama’s Twitter “town hall” last month, the issue that the public most wanted to ask about was, by far, jobs. Yet during the previous two weeks of White House news briefings, reporters were far more likely to ask about political warfare with Republicans. ...
Unless more people are working, paying taxes and making mortgage payments, it’s difficult to see how we revive the economy or address our long-term debt challenge. While debt is a legitimate long-term problem, the urgent priority should be getting people back to work. America now has more than four unemployed people for each opening. And the longer people are out of work, the less likely it is that they will ever work again. ...
President Obama is saying the right things lately about creating jobs. But he is saying them far too meekly, and his jobs agenda seems anemic — while the Republican Congress is saying the wrong things altogether. ...
We could extend the payroll tax cut, which expires at the end of December. Astonishingly, Republicans in Congress seem to be lined up instinctively against this basic economic stimulus. Could the Tea Party actually favor tax reductions for billionaires but not for working Americans? Could we have found a tax increase the Republican Party favors?
These Republican leaders, who think nothing of widening tax loopholes for corporations and multimillion-dollar estates, are offended by the idea that people making less than $40,000 might benefit from the progressive tax code. They are infuriated by the earned income tax credit (the pride of Ronald Reagan), which has become the biggest and most effective antipoverty program by giving working families thousands of dollars a year in tax refunds. They scoff at continuing President Obama’s payroll tax cut, which is tilted toward low- and middle-income workers and expires in December.
Until fairly recently, Republicans, at least, have been fairly consistent in their position that tax cuts should benefit everyone. Though the Bush tax cuts were primarily for the rich, they did lower rates for almost all taxpayers, providing a veneer of egalitarianism. Then the recession pushed down incomes severely, many below the minimum income tax level, and the stimulus act lowered that level further with new tax cuts. The number of families not paying income tax has risen from about 30 percent before the recession to about half, and, suddenly, Republicans have a new tool to stoke class resentment.
Representative Michele Bachmann noted recently that 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income tax; all of them, she said, should pay something because they benefit from parks, roads and national security. (Interesting that she acknowledged government has a purpose.) Gov. Rick Perry, in the announcement of his candidacy, said he was dismayed at the “injustice” that nearly half of Americans do not pay income tax. Jon Huntsman Jr., up to now the most reasonable in the Republican presidential field, said not enough Americans pay tax. ...
This is factually wrong, economically wrong and morally wrong. First, the facts: a vast majority of Americans have skin in the tax game. Even if they earn too little to qualify for the income tax, they pay payroll taxes (which Republicans want to raise), gasoline excise taxes and state and local taxes. Only 14 percent of households pay neither income nor payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center at the Brookings Institution. The poorest fifth paid an average of 16.3 percent of income in taxes in 2010. ...
The moral argument would have been obvious before this polarized year. Nearly 90 percent of the families that paid no income tax make less than $40,000, most much less. The real problem is that so many Americans are struggling on such a small income, not whether they pay taxes. The two tax credits lifted 7.2 million people out of poverty in 2009, including four million children. At a time when high-income households are paying their lowest share of federal taxes in decades, when corporations frequently avoid paying any tax, it is clear who should bear a larger burden and who should not.
“These individual CEOs are being rewarded for presiding over companies that dodge taxes,” said Chuck Collins, one of the study’s co-authors and a senior scholar at the Institute of Policy Studies. Eighteen of the 25 firms last year operated subsidiaries in countries that the U.S. Government Accountability Office and other groups have identified as tax havens, one of the report’s authors said. ...
Among its other findings, the institute found that the gap between chief executive compensation and average U.S. worker pay rose from a ratio of 263-to-1 in 2009 to 325-to-1 last year.
What? You thought maybe I was referring to our 25 million fellow citizens who can't get the jobs they need, or the millions more who're soon to be out of work due to both corporate and governmental cutbacks in the American workforce? No, no, bucko -- according to the corporate establishment (top executives, media barons and political elites), the number one economic problem is not the ongoing elimination of middle class jobs and the subsequent destruction of consumer spending. Rather it's some terrible "uncertainty" that has swept through the executive suites, immobilizing once-proud risk takers, who now wail that Washington's priority must be to relieve their anxiety. "To create jobs," implored a senior vice president of strategy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, "we need pro-growth policies and the certainty necessary to invest and hire."
Certainty? Aren't these the same corporate honchos who've proclaimed (and imposed) a "new normal" of intentional economic uncertainty on America's workaday majority? Yes, they are. Forget job security and middle-class expectations, they bark at us. Instead, the future for working families will be one of low wages, long periods of unemployment, no health coverage or pensions, a tattered safety net and practically no worker rights -- get used to it.
What are the "pro-growth policies" these economic elites are demanding from Washington? Deregulation of corporate power, de-unionization, reduction of taxes on corporations, the rich, cutting "entitlement" benefits (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid), and the privatization of everything from education to transportation -- to name a few. Guess who grows under these policies and who shrinks?
Bizarrely, the biggest banks are moaning the most insistently about their financial situation. "They've been battered by a weak economy," reported a sympathetic New York Times article on Aug. 29, failing to mention the crucial fact that it was the narcissism and reckless greed of bankers themselves that weakened the economy. Far from suffering for their disastrous overreach, they've kept their gilded positions and have been given trillions of dollars in federal funds to bail out their businesses -- with no requirement that they start investing in job-creating enterprises. ...
The only certainty these so-called leaders are creating is more riches for the few at the expense of the many -- further heightening the injustice that is an affront to our nation's fundamental egalitarian values and a threat to our social unity. As John F. Kennedy put it years ago, "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
"Government regulations are not 'choking' our business, the hospitality business," Bernard Wolfson, the president of Hospitality Operations in Miami, told The Miami Herald. "In order to do business in today's environment, government regulations are necessary and we must deal with them. The health and safety of our guests depend on regulations. It is the government regulations that help keep things in order."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is among the most vocal critics of the Obama administration, blaming excessive regulation and the administration's overhaul of health care laws for creating an environment of uncertainty that's hampering job creation. When it's asked what specific regulations harm small businesses _which account for about 65 percent of U.S. jobs — the Chamber of Commerce points to health care, banking and national labor. Yet all these issues weigh much more heavily on big corporations than on small business.
McClatchy reached out to owners of small businesses, many of them mom-and-pop operations, to find out whether they indeed were being choked by regulation, whether uncertainty over taxes affected their hiring plans and whether the health care overhaul was helping or hurting their business.
Their response was surprising.
None of the business owners complained about regulation in their particular industries, and most seemed to welcome it. Some pointed to the lack of regulation in mortgage lending as a principal cause of the financial crisis that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-09 and its grim aftermath.
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