The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has jumped six spots to number two on FORTUNE's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list this year, making it one of only two firms to be ranked in the top dozen for six straight years.
An emphasis on employee development, a collaborative culture, extensive training, high-impact client work, progressive benefits, and a commitment to social-responsibility initiatives contributed to the strong performance -- the best among consulting firms by far for the sixth straight year.
"The consulting giant not only avoided layoffs in the downturn, but hired its largest class of recruits ever in 2010," noted FORTUNE. "They're drawn by the firm's generous pay and a commitment to social work: its Social Impact Practice Network (SIPN) offers a chance to work with the U.N. World Food Program and Save the Children, while BCG pulled its consultants off client projects to provide on-the-ground support in Haiti following the earthquake." (A profile of one of those employees, Emily Serazin, appears on fortune.com.)
BCG also achieved the top ranking as best "small" company (defined as companies with less than 2,500 employees in the United States) and was cited as one of the most diverse overall, with 45 percent women and 27 percent minorities. It was one of 14 companies on the list to offer the best health care benefits (full coverage of premiums), one of 21 to offer fully paid sabbaticals, and one of several hailed for having "gay-friendly benefits" and a "gay-friendly policy."
"We are thrilled to be ranked so high on FORTUNE's Best Companies list," said Rich Lesser, BCG's chairman of North and South America. "The fact that we've stayed in the top dozen for six years in a row is a testament to our continued focus on making BCG a great place to work -- especially when you consider FORTUNE's rigorous criteria for evaluating people, processes, and culture."
Added Lesser: "Attracting top talent and maintaining an environment in which they rapidly develop have been key to our success and our ability to deliver enormous value to clients. Honors like this are a nice acknowledgment that our efforts are highly unusual and, based on our growth and client retention, effective."
For the past five years, BCG's position on the Best Companies list has fluctuated between number 3 and number 11. The firm has been ranked the top small company three times before and has been in the top 10 overall three times before. The only other company to be ranked in the top 12 for six consecutive years is Wegmans Food Markets. No other consulting firm has appeared above 44th place since 2006.
This year's 100 Best Companies list and related stories appear in the February 7 issue of FORTUNE, available on newsstands on Monday, January 24, and now at fortune.com/bestcompanies.
About FORTUNE's Best Companies Methodology
To pick the 100 Best Companies, FORTUNE partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. Two-thirds of a company's score is based on the results of the Institute's Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. The survey asks questions related to their attitudes about job satisfaction, management's credibility, and camaraderie. The other third of the scoring is based on the company's responses to the Institute's Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring, communication, and diversity.
About The Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients in all sectors and regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their businesses. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 71 offices in 41 countries. For more information, please visit www.bcg.com.