{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Got an offer for L.E.K. Consulting but with a 6 month “pilot” as a lateral hire. I want to take it. LEKers, any insights or thoughts about this program?", "post_id": "6070bbfcea26f90024f11909", "reply_count": 215, "vote_count": 21, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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Got an offer for L.E.K. Consulting but with a 6 month “pilot” as a lateral hire. I want to take it. LEKers, any insights or thoughts about this program?

likehelpfulfunny
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My 2 cents as an experienced Associate at L.E.K. -- developing talent requires a lot of resources so if they are going to put in the investment to train / onboard you for 6 months they would definitely want to keep you if you're performing on par. We are so busy right now and attrition is so high that I doubt they are doing this program just as a guise for getting temps for 6 months -- if you're doing well on the job they want to retain you long term. Your value to the organization grows exponentially with experience so why would they let you go right as you're starting to add more value?

I also want to push back against assertions here that people who didn't get the final offer are inherently disadvantaged / lower quality talent. The interview process is subjective and I'm sure at any consulting firm you could fill the class several times over with people that could do the job well but for whatever reason didn't get selected in the interview process. Maybe they had an off day or didn't click with that particular interviewer. Plus I'm sure the people that they selected for this program were likely on the fence and under a different set of circumstances maybe would have got an offer.

Also, bringing on people who can't do the job is a liability -- you would not lightly hire people who have no hope of doing the job well even for 6 months because it drags down teams and if you make a mistake is an actual risk to the company in front of clients. If they give you this offer, they probably see actual potential for you to do well. We do have actual temps/contractors who are billed as such on teams and this is clearly different because people are staffed on teams as a regular Associate doing the exact same work as others (as others have commented above it seems that your teams will not know about the fact that you're on the 6 month program).

likesmart

The people getting offers are the ones who have split yes and nos in final round. They are emailing the final rounders and asking do you think this person might be a good fit on a team even though we rejected them. It’s definitely not going to everyone only the ones who have strong backgrounds on paper and who were split decisions. We’ve never done this before so from HR perspective I’m guessing they see this as a risk and this protects LEK on downside of person is terrible. Intention is to hire all full time after 6 months I’d guess if they doing well.

Terrible communication. LEK should have laid out if you do X you will get full time job (such as overall score at least 3 in all reviews, no more than 3 category 2s across projects over 6 months, etc). They haven’t done that and that’s now biting LEK in ass. Also they not communicating things like your Lek case team will not know. Just terribly rolled out plan. Good idea in theory but maybe we should have hired someone to do strategy activation clearly we not good at that part.

like

I'd advise against taking this offer, for three basic reasons.

1. As others have noted, because of the work you're assigned during your first six months at L.E.K. (sourcing, QC, team admin), it can be challenging to exceed expectations during that time. I've generally received extremely solid performance ratings, BUT I didn't really start "exceeding expectations" until about 6-9 months in. Now, part of that was just familiarizing myself with the firm's processes, formats etc., but equally important (at least) was that it's just very difficult to beat expectations on the work that you're given during your first ~6 months at the firm. In short, it's unlikely that you'll exceed expectations in your performance ratings.

2. The above is important because leadership's credibility at L.E.K. is completely shot. Due to total tone-deafness, misleading / absent communication, and complete indifference to consulting staff needs, we just don't believe a lot of what they put out, and frankly don't trust their motives either. Given that the people who work here don't trust leadership's motives, AND because it's difficult to exceed expectations during your six months here, I'd think long and hard before I'd take this role. Because it would not surprise me in the least if this is a temporary measure that will be wound down as new hires join in the fall, and full-time offers are only given to those who consistently exceed expectations.

3. The staff's miserable. And this goes beyond Fishbowl (I suggest the people who argue that it's just a few loud voices on fb actually go talk to your colleagues). L.E.K.'s always been running lean teams, but leadership pushed that beyond the breaking point this summer/fall/winter with patently understaffed teams allocated across multiple time zones, vacation denials, paused sabbatical program etc. This has led to an unusually high level of churn amongst top-performing, highly experienced staff that leadership is now desperately scrambling to stem/offset, but because of their credibility issues, I don't think they'll have much success. So ask yourself this, if management can't/won't even take care of its best, why would you believe they'd look out for your interests (spoiler: they won't)?

TLDR: We don't trust our leadership, and you shouldn't either. Don't take the job.

likehelpful

^Yes, the staff's this place's saving grace. As in, most consulting staff here's not only brilliant (yours truly excluded), but genuinely kind and fun to hang out with as well. I'm leaving soon and this is the one thing I'll genuinely miss about the place.

So credit where credit is due, they recruit very well. Then they obviate all that through terrible management.

likesmart
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Do not do it. Not only is it an explicit hire and fire, but L.E.K. will make you do the lowest level grunt work for those 6 months and then fire you. As in, you will be LinkedIn messaging hundreds of random people to set up expert interviews because we’re too cheap to rely on expert networks. As in, you will be sent many slides with nothing but the most basic cosmetic edits for you to do (eg, finding logos for table sides) while the content has already been filled in by more senior people. As in, you will not touch a single model in those six months. You will not get (m)any marketable skills, and very few people outside of the consulting world have even heard of L.E.K., so the exits will not be good.

I personally think this program is a new low for L.E.K., and I advise everyone who is offered a position in it to run, not walk away.

likehelpfulfunnysmart

Why don’t you offshore the expert interviewer sourcing roles? Why pay an undergrad $100K to do this transactional work?

The benefit that no one is talking about is that there is a chance of not having to stay for longer than 6 months

likefunnyuplifting

Ded 💀

like

This is like cartoonishly wrong by a leadership team with a preexisting industry reputation for treating people badly.

I give the LEK partnership credit for their audacity. If you’re going to be awful, may as well be good at it.

likefunny

Today LEK just died on FB . RIP LEK!

like

Means that they don’t trust you as a candidate that much but need labor fast. Basically a contract role. Expect to be let go after 6 months barring exceptional performance.

like

Yeah chat with HR about this. lol. They are definitely here.

likesmartfunny

This sounds like hell. So typical LEK.

Just know what you’re getting into...

likefunny

lol B1. Totally. Yet people continue to fall for this shit.

like

Have any LEK partners seen this thread / can anyone in HR please show them? We need to do something about it (address the underlying issues that is). Our reputation is getting embarrassing now

likesmartfunny

Like any relationship, working is a two-way street. If you are just giving and not getting much back , then you are losing . Wake up and stand up against modern day slavery .

Wow!! LEK is as unhappy as we are :):) 👋

likefunny

👋

like

Please think twice. You’re about to sign on for a temp role.

likesmart

Keep in mind that part of the reason they are doing this is because of the number of people they let go at the start of covid. I know people with less than six months of project experience that were let go during that time which is completely unfair. If they do that to actual employees imagine what they would do to people in this pilot program

like

Yes, people were let go in April 2020. LEK masked the layoff as performance related.

New hires that started in October, had two weeks of training, only had the opportunity to do two projects, were let go because of "performance reasons".

I'm ashamed of so many things our leadership does. They treat people just as a number.

like

This is super duper duper sketchy. It very much reads like a unethical ploy for some short term labor. If you really want it, I would push for some terms/comp that look more like a contract position. For example...a big bonus payout (30-40% of paid comp) if they let you go before 2 years.

like

If you replace ‘pilot’ with ‘internship’ would your answer be the same?

likesmartuplifting

Let’s don’t forget that when Everyone was laying people off and rescinding offers, LEK was one of the few firms who didn’t rescind any offers and never laid off our people. LEK also gave us more than a week of extra vacation to acknowledge the hard work. They guaranteed maximum profit share for Q1 2021. They decided to anticipate salary raises in the U.S. and they actively decided to pause selling to give us room to breathe.

likefunnyuplifting

I’m not trying to be an a$$, but saying “LEK gave us a week of extra vacation” and then saying “but yea, we had to take 3 weeks of unpaid leave” sounds like some pretty strong cognitive dissonance.

Times were definitely tough for some firms last year, no doubt. But being forced to take almost a month of unpaid leave more or less disqualifies a firm from claiming that they did their employees right, IMHO.

likesmart

I’m confused is LEK still T2 or have they moved to T3? Please advise

likefunny

They’ve moved to “never consider even if 120% increase in TC”, personally

like

Sounds like they’re trying to stiff you out of a year end bonus

like

Just when I thought LEK would no longer surprise us. Explicit hire and fire.

like

One other thing you should know OP is that typically the first 6 months is an informal amnesty as they do not expect people to perform well.

This is in complete opposite to the treatment that ‘normal’ LEK employees get.

like

That’s right

like

Happy to announce I passed the pilot program.

Just my opinion on it: During my 6 months, I kinda forgot I was in the program because I was always treated like a regular associate; none of my coworkers or team members even knew I was in the program.

A little background on me: I think I did pretty well in the interviews minus one or two minor calc mistakes. In terms of my case performance, I did pretty well but not exceptional: 3/4 on my first two cases and on track to get a 4/5 on my current case (on a scale of 1-5). So I probably performed a little better than the average associate.

I think this program highlighted the fact that application/interview process isn’t perfect. Interviewing skills doesn’t directly translate to professional / work success. As a result of this program, the CIO did say that they are changing their interview / screening process. Not exactly sure of the details but I think the quantitative aspect won’t play as much of a factor (don’t hold me to this).

Granted, I think this program could have been laid out better to avoid some of the issues laid out above and the stress that many people in the program had about whether they’d be out of a job in 6 months. But personally, I didn’t really have any issues with the program. I was told the program was a success overall and most people passed but still curious to hear others experience.

like

Adding to your point that interviewing performance doesn't translate to work success. Interview rounds with those logical reasoning tests and numerical analysis under time pressure are just not good indication of your success at work. Imo it's much more relevant to check the culture fit, understand high level reasoning nad thinking rather than testing maths under time pressure, especially for candidates with like tech or advanced degrees. Overall what you described feels so dated that many consutancies are changing

likefunny

1. Sorry
2. It’s definitely a temp role to fill capacity which isn’t in your favor and if they wanted to keep everyone from the program they would’ve just offered them for full time
3. The LEK people denying that likely are either HR/talent or are people that want to staff projects
4. You can take it if you want, just know what you’re getting yourself into and that you may be searching for work in 6 months

like

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