1. Lammers van Toorenburg Benelux PR
Every employee at Dutch technology and social media specialist LVT has a personal development and training budget. In close cooperation with a coach, each co-worker sets up a training program based on personal skills and experience, and equal attention is given to the further development of personal traits and professional skills. At the same time, everyone learns on the job, which means a lot of responsibility but also a lot of opportunity, even at the more junior levels.
The firm is also distinguished by an unusually open culture, with an emphasis on cooperation and collaboration. Offices are open workspaces with lots of room for idea development, creative thinking and brainstorming. Management is accessible to coach and help employees on a day-to-day basis. And communication, while informal, is plentiful.
“Lammers van Toorenburg Benelux PR is a reliable firm, for clients as well as employees,” says one respondent to our survey. “The CEO always goes the extra mile for his clients and for his employees.” Says another, LVT is “A firm that understands that human capital is the most valuable capital for any company.”
2. Hering Schuppener
Hering Schuppener employs more than 120 consultants in three offices—Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Hamburg—and provides C-level counsel and chief executive Ralf Hering has a simple explanation of what makes the firm such a strong performer in our Best Consultancies to Work For research (it has finished number one in this category for two of the past five years). Says Hering: “Talent breeds talent. The most challenging clients breed the most advanced consultants. That’s why people join and stay. From associate director upwards you are in control of your own destiny and you create wealth for yourself through our attractive profit sharing program.”
For that reason, retention at the senior levels of the company has been close to 100 percent for the past several years, and the firm scores the highest marks of any participant in this year’s survey when employees are asked whether they are encouraged to use their own initiative and whether they find their work stimulating.
“I have worked already for different agency networks,” says one respondent. “This is the one that is most respectful to their clients and their employees. It is a company with an outstanding success.” Adds another: “The compensation is excellent compared to the rest of the industry, though it could still be better considering the kind of strategic counseling work we are doing.”
3. Maslov PR
This is the first time a Russian firm has taken part in our Best Consultancies to Work For research, and Maslov’s strong performance is indicative of its strong leadership position in the market. The firm was the first independent Russian public relations firm—back in 1995—to sign a formal affiliation agreement with a U.S.-based multinational, and since then it has been a leader in bringing western-style public relations practices to the Russian market. It has a strong commitment to professional development; it has taken a lead on ethical issues, taking a vocal stand against the payments to journalists; and critically last year, it managed to keep its core team of 40 intact despite the difficult economic climate.
“I like the team I work with,” says one respondent. “Both the client teams and people in the whole agency are the best ones I have worked with in years. Also, management is always ready to listen and to discuss problems in case we have any. I'm proud to be part of this team.”
Rounding out the top 10: 4. Winkelmann & Van Hessen (Netherlands); 5. Grupo Albion (Spain); 6. Coebergh Communications (Netherlands); 7. Inforpress (Spain); 8. Geelmuyden Kiese (Norway); 9. Akkanto (Belgium); 10. Torres & Carrera (Spain).