For the first time since 2006, Chicago-based Huron Consulting Group makes an appearance on Consulting’s Best Firms to Work For list.
And it’s safe to say James Roth, CEO and President of Huron, couldn’t be happier about it. “The recognition provides a sense of pride and validation for the firm and our employees, and we are very pleased to be recognized as being among an elite group of our peers,” Roth says. “One of the most important things that we do is to create an environment where the employees like where they work and where people are respective of the culture. If we can accomplish those objectives, we have set the foundation for a solid future as a company.”
This year’s ranking is especially significant for Huron after the firm announced it would re-state its earnings in the Summer of 2009. Roth was named CEO shortly thereafter. But all of that uncertainly seems to be well behind Huron now.
James Rojas, Chief Operating Officer of Huron, says the firm, like many companies, has had its share of ups and downs in the past several years, but “despite the challenges, morale has remained upbeat and continues to improve,” he says. “We have weathered the challenges by remaining focused on our people and our clients.”
And not only has it improved morale at the firm, it’s led to solid financial performance, as well. Huron just announced that second-quarter earnings were up 17 percent year over year and remains on target to generate about $600 million in 2011—about 10 percent more than last year.
“We believe our solid results in the first half of 2011 are further evidence that the economic, financial, regulatory and legal challenges affecting many companies continue to create an environment that is favorable to our business. We are well-positioned to help our clients address the strategic and operational uncertainties impacting their organizations,” Roth says. “We remain optimistic about the opportunities across all of our businesses as market demand for our services continues to grow, especially in the Health and Education sectors, and we are hiring to meet that demand in the second half of the year and into 2012.”
And those new hires will immediately see the biggest asset Huron has—its people, Rojas says. “Huron has unwavering dedication to its people by providing the resources and tools they need to expand and hone their skills,” he says. “This creates opportunities to develop new skills to better serve clients.”
In addition, Huron and its people have long been committed to their communities through volunteerism, pro-bono work, and community events, such as Huron’s Helping Hands initiatives. The firm is also active in many communities through Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs, American Cancer Society, as well as other philanthropic organizations.
“Our people and our clients are always our first priority,” Roth says. “The leadership team and everyone at Huron share a focus on teamwork, collaboration, and delivering excellent client service. When you live those priorities every day, they define your company’s culture.” Q&A
Consulting asked James K. Rojas, Chief Operating Officer of Huron Consulting, what his top priorities were over the next 12 months. His response follows.
“The successful execution of our strategy focused on continued growth in key business. We want to provide continued enhancement of job satisfaction and enrichment for our employees. We also are focused on enhancing our leadership-training program, and making the training available to various levels within the Company. The future leaders of our practices, and the Company, are likely to come from our internal leadership training efforts.
“One key initiative to assist our employees is the continued build out and support of our virtual work environments. We are investing in additional IT infrastructure to support our professionals around the world and continue to provide the tools, resources, and processes to enhance operational efficiencies by maximizing an employee’s time with our clients and minimizing the administrative time. We believe we can use the advancement of new technologies to support the global nature of our business, better serving our people and our clients.”—J.K.