Attracting the right talent to join our growing teams has never been more of a hiring challenge. I talk frequently about how we need to be (and stay) aware that times are changing. Top talents now chose their employer and not the other way around. This is especially true in the highly competitive world of management consultants.

The topic hits very close to home for me, as I’ve been firmly involved in the consultancy business myself over the past few years through my other business, Seuss Consulting. Witnessing the recruitment struggles and hiring challenges first hand, I wondered if Management Consultants were alone?

Alongside my team here at Zocket, earlier this year we conducted in-depth industry research with the hope of identifying and helping the other industries out there faced with the same hiring challenges as those in Management Consultancy.

We analyzed seventeen different industries and rated them based on criteria such as growth potential, the average time to hire, staff retention, profitability, adaptability and acceptance of technologies. After all, we cut down the list to four industries that are facing the biggest hiring challenges, including management consultancies, (ambulatory) healthcare services, hospitals, and computer systems design and related services.

Management consultant businesses, especially large ones, have always invested massive amounts of time in growing staff from the bottom up. However, with the ever-increasing demand for staff in the specific roles of Management Consultants and Business Analysists, these same companies are now discovering a turnaround that is far from quick enough to match the sheer demand.

It’s a critical matter of supply and demand, sprinkled with other factors like mobility to other firms and settling in periods.

Companies are now relying on attracting new experienced talent as well as keeping talent on board for at least one promotion, if not two, to help ease the shortfall.

Hiring_challenges_management_consultants_Zocket

 

ATTRACTING EXPERIENCED TALENT

Over the years I’ve seen several methods, but none so powerful as simply stealing from each other by using higher salaries, offering more career development or promising a better-fit culture. But these methods have some serious downsides.

Encouraging employees to leave their current job and join your company may help you get good talent in the short run, but it may also prove to be disadvantageous in the long term.

-The poached employee may gain a poor reputation as someone who is not loyal and may quit his or her current position easily again if offered something seemingly better.

-And if you’re the one who did the poaching, you risk losing the respect of your competitors or getting a black dot against your name in your industry.

Now is the time to make some changes here and leave the poaching days behind us. We should be looking at the real reasons we are struggling to attract new talent and addressing those issues and hiring challenges.

 

HIRING CHALLENGES MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS FACE WHEN ATTRACTING TALENT

-Weak employer brand
-Lack of working environment visibility
-Lack of business culture
-No growth opportunities
-Limited workforce diversity
-Poor candidate experience

I recently read an interesting article in the Financial Times, which stated:

“consultancy heads are acutely aware that while they can still attract the cream of top universities and business schools if they cannot field a team of sufficient breadth, depth of knowledge and diversity of background for their clients, they may not get the business. “Saying ‘I’m smart and I went to Oxford’ — that doesn’t cut it anymore,” says Bob Bechek, worldwide managing director of Bain. What is more, he adds, consultants have to be more than the caricature “group of brilliant assholes” who once sought to dazzle clients.”

You can read the Financial Times report here

Just like the article above from the Financial Times, we recognize that we need a diverse team experience. Having all the same staff from all the same backgrounds limits our capabilities, thinking, and growth but attracting top-performing graduates and starters is a totally different ball game to attracting experienced staff. We see many organizations making the common mistake of treating these types of candidates the same and failing to build a diverse, rich in knowledge and experienced work-force.

 

WORKFORCE RETENTION

Challenges not only lie in the attraction of talent but also the retention of those individuals once they’re on board. But how will you stop the poachers?

Career development is a driving factor in retaining staff. Over the years, job titles and the packages that are attached will need to develop, not only because of performance but because more money can be charged for higher-ranking positions. So it makes sense for commercial reasons to keep staff growing upwards. But the inevitable plateau will surface, not everyone will (want to) make partner.

But opportunities for growth are essential to keep your workforce interested, loyal and motivated. There has to be something to reach for, we can all relate to that.

 

Opportunities for growth are essential to keep your workforce interested, loyal and motivated. There has to be something to reach for, we can all relate to that.

 

SOLUTIONS

Companies who are able to visualize their culture, understand what the candidates find important and suggest different jobs that personally fit the candidates will have a HUGE advantage over those that overfill their career pages with info, therefore putting the burden on candidates to take a lot of time trying to find the best-fit job for them.

If today’s article has got you thinking about your hiring challenges, then why not get in touch with the team here at Zocket and learn more about we can help improve your talent attraction and acquisition process?

We are passionate about helping you to make a difference.