Given the growing influence of non-academic organizations in the policy sphere, it is important to investigate the evidence both produced by and relied on by these organizations. Using citation analysis, a methodology primarily used in academic literature, we investigated the evidence base supporting the grey literature published by leading global management consulting firms (GMCFs) and international organizations (IOs). With the topic of the skills needed for the future of work as a case study, we collected 234 reports published by influential GMCFs and IOs over twenty years. By extracting references from the bibliographies of these reports we: 1) analyzed referencing patterns by measuring citation counts, institutional self-referencing and utilization of scholarly sources; 2) compared reference patterns across GMCFs and IOs; and 3) described the most influential sources. Overall, both GMCFs and IOs showed increasing reliance on grey literature, demonstrated high levels of self-referencing, and had considerable variation in the number of sources referred to. Across type of publishing organization, we found that IOs had better referencing practices than GMCFs. Our findings call into question the evidence-base behind the reports published by these policy actors. We emphasize the need to rely on strong academic literature to inform policy decisions around the future of work.