What it does: Global management consultancy firm
Staff stats: 500 employees across five continents
The good bits: Lots of travel and professional development opportunities
The not so good bits: Lots of travel, long hours
The Partners in Performance story
Skipp Williamson was told by her high school career adviser that she should set her sights on an occupation as a builder’s labourer. Confident that her path was meant to take a different turn, Skipp studied engineering and earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Auckland. She continued her education by obtaining a Masters in Engineering from MIT before completing yet another Masters (in Organisational Behaviour) at Oxford. After working for McKinsey & Company for five years, Skipp launched her own consultancy firm, Partners in Performance (PIP), in 1996.
Skipp’s first big client, UK Paper, was rapidly losing money at the time when she took them on. After agreeing to a deal where she would only get compensated if she turned the business around, Skipp’s consulting expertise paid off big time. Within nine months UK Paper was generating US $100 million and 15 months later it was successfully sold.
It wasn’t easy for a small New Zealand company that started with six employees to compete in the tough management consulting industry, but thanks to its pay-on-results business model, clients took notice and hopped aboard the PIP train. PIP grew rapidly and attracted blue-chip clients across Australasia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America and South America. Today, PIP works with clients across many different industries, including oil and gas, healthcare, retail, pulp and paper, financial services, chemicals and airlines.
PIP differentiates itself by emphasising agility, sustainability and transparency. Its consultants don’t just make recommendations, but work with their clients to deliver fully implemented results. PIP is decentralised, with offices around the world but no set headquarters. Consultants often spend time working on-site with clients.
Because of its global reach, PIP employees are exposed to all kinds of cultures and the company celebrates diversity and acceptance. Indeed, its founder and CEO is something of role model, having being named one of the top 50 LGBTI business leaders in the Australian Financial Review BOSS magazines in 2016.
PIP promotes an all-encompassing ‘No Harm’ policy, which aims to build a culture of accountability to “safety, the environment and our people”.
The recruitment process
PIP seeks out strong academic performers who are passionate individuals. Candidates should demonstrate the analytical, communication, interpersonal and problem-solving skills that are required to success at PIP.
Applying to PIP requires applicants to upload a cover letter, CV and university transcripts to the company website. If PIP feels there is potential for a match, an ‘enrolment’ phone interview occurs. Three interviews follow for those passing the phone screen. PIP’s goal is to make the interview process as realistic as possible, with candidates required to provide advice to a hypothetical business during each round. Information on how to prepare for a PIP interview can be found on the company’s website.
Base salary is above the industry average. All travel expenses are covered.
You’ll be paired with a development leader and go through an apprenticeship programme upon joining the company, and there is a strong emphasis on mentorship and coaching to help newer team members feel confident and a part of the team. The apprenticeship programme is designed to help new consultants utilise PIP’s management consulting toolkit before they dive into their first projects. Some regions also have ‘Summer Camp’ for professional development. Promotions are up for consideration following biannual performance reviews. At the start of employment with PIP, you’ll be encouraged to define career goals with a timeline for desired achievement.
Overall satisfaction rating among grad employees: 4.2 stars
From the employer:
"We are a global management consulting firm with operations around the world. We believe in working side by side with our clients, at their offices, and within all levels of the organization. You won’t find us delivering endless PowerPoint presentations and long reports. We use our proven methodology and toolkit to serve as a partner and coach to our clients. Our primary goal is to ensure that the changes we’ve implemented can be sustained by the client, long after our engagement is finished.
Our clients are industry leaders and blue chip organisations based around the world. Our industry reach includes airlines, manufacturing, retail, government, energy and utilities, resources and mining.
From the start, we offer our new PIPers the opportunity to be constantly learning. You’ll enter into our apprenticeship program where you learn traditional management consulting took kit plus our business transformation methodologies. Mentorships, apprenticeships and an inclusive work environment make PIP stand out from the crowd. We are a top-tier consulting firm with a unique, entrepreneurial approach that will unleash your potential while you do the same for your clients.
PIP embraces diversity and inclusiveness. It’s a part of our culture that’s been a steady focus since we started our firm over 20 years ago.
Are you looking for a new adventure with a company that delivers big, rapid sustainable results for our clients? The opportunity to travel and transform organisations? If you want to develop all skills you that enables you to become a future leader, then you really should be working for us! "