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ICF International
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137 reviews

ICF International Employer Reviews

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It was a good experience!
Senior Security Analyst and Technical Writer (Current Employee), Baltimore, MDAugust 6, 2013
Pros: walked at lunch time everyday
Cons: n/a
ICF International was an awesome place to work. I enjoyed the culture, environment and the people I worked with.
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Passionate commitment to the work we do
Senior Pricing Analyst / Team Leader (Current Employee), Calverton, MDJuly 20, 2013
The people who you work with are the key.
Workload can vary everyday.
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very common one!
Scientific Data Analyst (Current Employee), Atlanta, GAJuly 10, 2013
Pros: nothing!
Cons: poor benefit!
Time is flexiable, routine work, no challenge at all.
Poor management!
Coworkers is nice.
Nobody will tell you what to do. You have to keep asking!
Nothing enjoyable for me!
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Low stress and High benefits
Web Technical Editor/Program Analyst (Current Employee), Jefferson, ARJune 18, 2013
The location I worked at provided a low stress environment with the chance for advancement and educational improvement.
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Wonderful opportunity
Analyst (Current Employee), Calverton, MDJune 14, 2013
Pros: coworkers, variation of tasks
Cons: office location
The people I work with and for are remarkable. I have a great deal of respect for them all. We are all very dedicated to our study and genuinely work very well together. The atmosphere is supportive and respectful and fun. The duties vary enough so that we are always learning new skills. Unfortunately our office is moving farther away from my home and the commute will be too far.
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Progressive Company
SENIOR ASSOCIATE (Former Employee), Columbia, MDJune 10, 2013
Working for ICF was a very pleasant and rewarding expeience.
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Productive yet stressful
Survey Researcher (Temporary-Part Time) (Former Employee), N. Augusta, SCJune 3, 2013
Human Resources was lacking but overall a pleasant working environment
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JOB
RESEARCH TECH/DATA ENTRY (Current Employee), Martinsville, VAMay 20, 2013
WHEN I FIRST STARTED ICF. IT WAS THE BEST EXPERIENCE EVER. NOW ITS STRESSFUL MORE THAN OUTSIDE OF WORK. I LEARNED HOW TO DEAL WITH THE MOST UPSET CUSTOMERS EVER CAUSE WE CALL THEM ALMOST 15 TIMES A DAY.
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Not a good place to work if you want any job security
Senior Associate (Former Employee), FairfaxMay 8, 2013
Pros: the people
Cons: the management, no career path, pay is low
ICF has changed a lot since it went public. It is no longer a company that cares about the growth of its employees, just its own growth.

There is little opportunity to establish a career path. If you need experience, get some, and then move on.

There is no job security. Great employees are let go because there is "not enough work" or billable hours are not high enough. Yet, ICF has other job openings that it never considers for these employees so don't believe it when they say its a great place to work.

Upper management is insular now. The company's stock, an indicator of its success, is average. Employees get 2% raises (or none), and if you are not part of a manager pool, you get no consistent bonuses.Yet, the most senior executives (2) still enjoy $1 million compensation and the most senior management (a small group) still gets paid very well.

Surprisingly, ICF still attracts some great employees. Most, however eventually leave for better opportunities.
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Interesting work, but fast growth = major problems
Fellow (Current Employee), FairfaxMay 3, 2013
Pros: 1) interesting work and clients. 2) smart, dedicated colleagues. 3) nice work spaces, and flexible telecommuting option.
Cons: 1) poor management and systems. 2) inconsistent treatment. 3) low compensation, compared to other firms. 4) far too many lay offs of excellent employees, while at the same time, hiring like mad.
I am a Fellow. When I joined the firm, I was taken by surprise at the unreasonable expectations managers placed on junior staff, and executives placed on managers. ICFI underpays employees with little hope advancement or pay increases for two years or more years. We pay junior to mid-level staff far less than my previous firms. My previous firms paid no one in the DC area in the low $40s, let alone consultants! Even ICFI mid-level staff with masters degrees and several years of field and management experience, are offered comparably low pay. They tell me that they accepted their positions, because they expected program/hiring managers to fulfill promises of advancement, higher salaries, and more interesting work, once they got their feet in the door. However, these promises are not realized for many years, if ever, for many disillusioned hires.

Unless we recruit a new hire for being a nationally recognized subject matter expert/published author/speaker, or someone with several years of narrow/niche functional expertise, a person can not expect to be well compensated (compared to other firms), or have much, if any job security.

I have junior staff and mid-level consultants and managers, who have performed very well, looking to me and program executives for billable hours, afraid that they will be laid off if they do not find enough work for themselves. And, we lay them off, in droves, routinely. At the same time, we hire people weekly, in droves, with similar skills to the good people we lay off, for two reasons -- 1) extreme competitive bidding and 2) big firm with no systems – more... or poor/small company systems.

First, let me address extreme competitive bidding. We won't bid an existing employee who matches, for example, 4 out of 6 qualifications, when we can hire someone new who matches PERFECTLY -- 6 out of 6 quals -- AND pay them less. So, it's worth it to us to lay someone off. We will fire a loyal, talented employee, and hire the PERFECT quals match for a lower salary. We might save a little on the cost proposal, and score an evaluation point on the technical proposal. Evidently, this is easier than working more creatively to keep the bid competitive.

Second, small company systems do not fit a big firm that has quickly outgrown them. We can not match employees who need hours with available project hours across the firm -- or even within a division or group. This inability also leads to far too many lay offs of great employees. So, even if there are available hours, or full-time or part-time positions somewhere in the company, ICFI has no internal advocate, policy, process, system, or tool to retain talent. We can not match underutilized employees with available hours and/or positions.

Astonishingly, open positions (full time or part time) are not any more accessible to existing employees than outside applicants. Our HR staff and program hiring managers have no tools to sort employee applicants from outside applicants. As a result, waves of employees are routinely laid off, while new people with similar skills and experience are hired. It's wildly frustrating, and scary for employees.

Whether an employee has to worry about this or not, however, is also painfully inconsistent, depending on who likes you, who you report to, which line of business, division, and group you are in, and whether you have an influential VP in your corner. Obviously, this can be true in any company, but at ICFI, self promoters seem to be more rewarded than at other firms I've worked for -- large and small.

I am also dismayed by the lack of systematic coaching for managers and consultants -- especially with respect to developing client relationships. We have the training courses, but staff has little time to take these courses. Additionally, even if they have the time, staff seems reluctant to lose billable hours for training. And, finally, these kinds of courses are not meant to REPLACE on the job coaching or mentoring by senior staff. It can't. Training does not help learners apply new knowledge. In terms of what employees learn on the job, mid-level staff are taught the mechanics of project management, but they are NOT routinely coached in the nuances of developing relationships with clients. According to many discussions with employees in lines of business across the firm, certain individuals do get this coaching attention from some senior leaders. But, these exceptions are not the same as having systems and structures in place to support all consultants and managers in developing their client relationship building skills, which all employees I've talked to in these roles say they want and need. These relationship skills are essential for project management and, of course business development.

Broadening relationship skill building from clients, these skills also can be applied to managing staff, working effectively with teams and across the firm in collaborations for bids and on projects, recruiting and managing partners, and so on. The systematic, comprehensive, and widespread coaching that is necessary for mid-levels is not taking place for everyone. We need this investment and expectation, not for the favored few, but as a policy, with with processes in place for all.

But, at ICFI, we talk, agree, mean well, and do not act. Not enough senior leaders have the competencies, beyond the subject matter expertise in their fields to follow through with systems and structures that would make this a more fair work place and an environment conducive to everyone's development. – less
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Look elsewhere
Senior Associate (Current Employee), Washington, DCApril 28, 2013
Pros: interesting projects, has a good reputation (somehow)
Cons: very poor compensation, few raises and promotions, soul-less corporatie environment
ICF is just a DC "body shop," meaning they pay you a low wage, then bill the government 3 times as much. There is no training, special equipment, or other value added for the client.

Salaries are low across the board. Do not believe anything the HR recruiters say- I was lied to during salary negotiations. The company just cancelled the sick leave program- enjoy your 15 total days off (don't get sick!). It is very difficult to be promoted. Benefits are average at best. Management is incompetent, constantly reorganizing, covering up a poor business model through acquisitions, and focused solely on shareholders.

I recommend anyone look elsewhere for employment, and avoid all other contractors if possible. They are a colossal waste of public money, and a major source of America's spending problem.

There are some good aspects. Projects are interesting, because the company has fooled the government into thinking they need to outsource everything. Health care is above average. The company and its employees do "walk the walk" on environmental sustainability. Work flexibility is very good. Individual lines of business can have good people.
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Fast Pace environment with very intelligent colleagues
Senior Associate (Former Employee), Fairfax, VAApril 6, 2013
Variety in types of projects and analysis. Surrounded by very talented and smart individuals that continuously raised the bar.
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Boring, unmotivating, but pays well
Analyst (Current Employee), Plano, TXMarch 25, 2013
Pros: free snacks and sodas, good benefits, allow domestic partners
Cons: bad management, mildly sexist
First - I worked in a branch office so this may be different in other locations. Typical work days are very quiet. Most of the managers are often out of the office. There will typically be at least one manager in the office each day. We mainly sit in front of our computers all day. We have a few meetings a week, and often work with people in other offices. This office is part of the Energy Efficiency group within ICF. We work on utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs, such as Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. My job is fairly easy, I'll admit, but we are not encouraged to grow. There seem to be limited opportunities here, though the huge headquarters office sounds different. But there is no way to grow outside of this office since managers run different parts of the country. This office also seems mildly sexist. The most enjoyable part of my job has been the few coworkers I've met that are lifetime friends now. You get thrown into the fire a lot at this job, which has its ups and downs. I definitely feel more confident and prepared for another job, though that's partially because I can't stand another day of this one. Bad management has run down this office, though maybe other offices are better. You do have the freedom to come and go a lot at this office though, which has been nice. But it also seems like people barely pay attention to anything, so you don't get the positives either.
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Afforded opportunity to gather experience in a different career area.
Field Interviewer (Current Employee), Calverton, MDMarch 10, 2013
Pros: well structered organization
Cons: short termed employment of off-site projects
Management is well organized and always available to assist in job related issues and concerns. Allows self managing of project schedule and time coupled with goal oriented time frames.
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Equal opportunity
Research Technician/ Processor, CSR (Former Employee), Martinsville, VAFebruary 23, 2013
Pros: productive, equal
Cons: schedules
Very clean work place. On the job training. Lively and friendly work place.Really enjoyed the job overall.
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if you're a developer, look elsewhere
developer (Current Employee), rockvilleFebruary 11, 2013
Pros: nice offices
Cons: everything else
The company simply doesn't know how to build a software development organization. They still do waterfall regardless of what they are currently calling it. There are about 3 times as many middle managers as they need. Developers are cogs to be plugged into the hot project of the moment regardless of what technology they actually know.
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Good training
Transportation Planning (Current Employee), Fairfax, VAFebruary 10, 2013
Managers expect a lot of hours, but offer great training and experience.
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Overall, a good company for which to work.
Research Assistant (Current Employee), Fairfax, VAFebruary 6, 2013
The employee experience varies depending on what group an employee falls within. My tasks are variable and sometimes challenging, which I enjoy. The company acknowledges employee strengths and provides opportunities for growth. However, my managers on my team do not always seek the highest quality outputs.

February 26, 2013

Hi, I'm currently working on getting my MPH. Any advice on getting a research assistant position at the Rockville, MD location? Any advice would help. Thanks!

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Made and was apart of history.
Housing Specialist (Former Employee), Baton Rouge, LAJanuary 29, 2013
Pros: personal assistance to clients and the knowledge gained from the pilot program.
Cons: didn't last long enough.
The Road Home Program was developed by the Governor of Louisiana as a way to assist residents of New Orleans and surrounding towns with monetary awards that stemmed from Hurricane Katrina. I would consult with RHP clients to assess their situation to determine compensation. The management was very stricted and micro-managed. Also worked towards benchmarks and deadlines. Had to provide security for all the personel and sensitive information that was received. The hardest part of my job was the commute to New Orleans from Baton Rouge Monday through Friday. The most enjoyable part of the job was meeting the clients and providing them the help that was needed. Also meeting the other employees which whom were affected by the storm.
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Very poor management throughout California
Senior Manager (Former Employee), CaliforniaJanuary 27, 2013
Pros: small boutique consulting firm in california
Cons: small boutique consulting firm in california
ICF is a standard consulting company: manager heavy staff to bill clients at a high rate. ICF's manager level talent does not have the abilities, follow through, or skill set to manage anything even moderately complex. ICF has more Vice Presidents in California than offices (some offices have more than three VPs, none less than one). Titles like Principal and Senior Manager are diluted because the title is applied liberally, resulting in an organization of titled managers doing scopes of work suited for a Junior Project Manager or Project Coordinator. ICF lacks any strategic planning beyond individual offices. They will not hire until the last possible minute, they place staff level employees on part time status, pay staff employees poorly, and other methods to reduce paying salary and employee costs. Then when they get a project, and half those employees are not available, it seems to surprise the VP's and Managers. The results: poor morale and work product from your staff employees during execution, lack of knowledge and no follow through from fellow Managers in execution, no concern from VPs until these problems negatively effect a revenue projection (not that they will know what to do even then, but they will have an opinion while they are not helping and complicating the issue).

Worst of all, when the client complains or has concerns: very little, if anything, is actually done to solve the problem. Just enough that the contract is maintained and lip service is given to the client to keep them happy.

If you believe a full services environmental company can be well run – more... when all VP's, Managers, and Principals hold degrees in Biology and Botany, than join this company. If you want to do real work that is rewarding, go to a company with a more qualified regional management structure, good project level managers, staff that will not disappear at the first job offer, and an actual reputation in California for doing important and significant projects. Or go ahead and join ICF. They will keep chasing tiny projects, trying for larger projects they are under qualified and under staffed to support (losing those bids), and failing to create a culture of employee loyalty. So good luck. I watched over 12 managers in California leave the firm in my division alone in less than one year, some had been with the company for over a decade. 1/3 laid off, 2/3 resigned for a new position. I will also say ICF is unethical. Knowing that they had employee attrition coming up by resignation or termination, ICF still uses those employees qualifications in bidding work - so they are promising potential clients services they can not provide in the managers and employees they state are available to be dedicated to a project. Hope I save someone from a wrong turn in career.

I resigned, imagine what a terminated employee might say. – less

About ICF International

ICF International (NASDAQ:ICFI) provides professional services and technology solutions that deliver beneficial impact in areas – Read more

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ICF International Salaries

Senior Associate
$67,000 per year
Call Center Sales Agent
$9.50 per hour
Administrative Assistant
$46,000 per year
Research Assistant
$45,000 per year
Research Technician
$46,921 per year