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Consulting Careers Fair 2007

#1 Consulting Careers Fair 2007
31/08/2007 14:13



I was just wondering why the list of companies attending the annual careers fair never seems to include the likes of MCK, BCG, Bain etc?. These companies are big players in the consulting space and it would be good to see their names make an appearance.

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#2 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
31/08/2007 14:22

hmmm to Curious (#1)

.... for the same reason why Tiffany's do not get the local rag and bone man to sell their wedding rings....

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#3 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
31/08/2007 14:39

harsh but fair to hmmm (#2)

The top firms are the most sought after and the last thing they want to do is sit through a day of "will my 2:2 in needlework from the University of Aberystwyth qualify me to be a strategy consultant". I am sure that this would never be the given reason but it is the real one. The best candidates know how to find them. They certainly do not have to go "shopping" in the way that the middle tier firms do.

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#4 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
31/08/2007 14:39

anon to hmmm (#2)

"These companies are big players in the consulting space"


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#5 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
31/08/2007 14:55

Curious to anon (#4)

Fair point.

If you compare to the IB industry though - you would never see an "Investment Banking Careers Fair" without the likes of Goldman Sachs, or JP Morgan in attendance. The big names bring credibility to the event.

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#6 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
31/08/2007 15:12

anon to Curious (#5)

part of the problem is that when somebody says "investment banking" you generally know what they mean.. investment banks are regulated by the FAS so it's a pretty open or shut case. and they all have high standards.

However when somebody talks about "consulting" you get all sorts of companies turning up and calling themselves "consultants"... it sounds better than "accountant" or "software vendor"! Why would McK want to perch on a stand at a conference next to a bunch of bean counters or software salesmen calling themselves consultants?

BUT... the event last year was very good (with the exception of the company that let themselves and the show down by handing out generic business cards and fobbing people off with "visit our website to find out more about us and apply")

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#7 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
31/08/2007 15:13

anon to anon (#6)

FSA, typo

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#8 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
31/08/2007 16:16

Tony Restell ( to Curious (#1)

Curious - it's the same reason you don't see them advertising in the Sunday Times each week (or indeed on this website). Without doing any promotion at all these firms are absolutely inundated with candidates and most of the cream already apply to them anyway. So advertising or attending a careers fair just brings in even more applications that they often don't need to hit their hiring targets.

Plus a quick reading of this forum shows that most readers would <b>give their right arm</b> to be hired by one of these firms - so they hardly need to do more to increase their appeal to the candidate market!!

And when the need does occur to generate even more applications than come in naturally, they'd rather turn to recruitment firms to assist with handling this additional volume - so that the influx of CVs is managed by someone other than their HR departments (FYI all these firms have been advertised on this site at some point this year - but through the recruiters that these firms work with, rather than direct).

The only exception is at University Milkround and MBA graduate hiring fairs. At this stage the firms are all vying for the same talent and very often that talent doesn't have a clear understanding of the differences between these top strat firms. So they'll have a strong presence at these events to ensure candidates have had the chance to learn why they should join one firm rather than another. Not being at these fairs would be shooting themselves in the foot. The same cannot be said of an experienced hires fair, where all the attendees already know who these firms are and there's no need to "educate" the audience further.

To put things in context though, I'd wager that Accenture hire significantly more consultants in the UK each year than all these strategy firms combined. In fact I know that to be the case. So whilst they are prestigious brands in the consulting sector, they absolutely are not "big players" as Curious puts it. The proportion of UK consulting fees they generate is a tiny tiny fraction of the total consulting market here.

Tony Restell

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#9 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
31/08/2007 16:29

also to Tony Restell ( (#8)

you may find that when the MBBB advertise on this site through recruiters, this is driven more by the recruiter than the MBBB. "we are recruiting for McKinsey/BCG" etc puts you on the map so to speak and generates a lot of decent CV's for your second tier clients. Most of your mid to senior end placements at these firms will come from a more proactive method, however.

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#10 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
02/09/2007 06:57

Anon to Tony Restell ( (#8)

I can quite understand why MBBB and Tier 1 firms don't attend these things, but I am still disappointed in the exhibitor list. It seems rather slanted towards non-consultants, with little to attract consulting professionals.

Of the 55 exhibitors, 10 are recruitment consultancies, another 10 are pure "IT service providers and consultancies", another 3 don't even bother with the faux-consulting front and are pure outsourcers, 3 are contractor networks, 2 are engineering companies and 2 are trade bodies. That leaves less than half the headline total (25) true consulting organisations.

Of course, getting 25 consultancies in the same place is better than nothing, but many of these are firms with rather "limited hiring opportunities" (read: poor reputations and limited career scope).

Whilst there are some good specialist recruitment consultancies attending, I can't see the advantages of going to a careers fair to meet them when I can establish a much better relationship and get better services by contacting them directly.

I'll wait to see what seminars and presentations are on offer before deciding whether to attend.

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#11 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
02/09/2007 07:14

HArd Reality to Anon (#10)

OK so I am the same person who posted the sarcastic comment under the name hmmm....

Ihave just checked the exhibitor list, just out of curiosity

You have to be realistic about these things. Of course the MBBB are not there. You would not expect them to be but overall the list of attendees is pretty impressive for this type of event. If you are a graddie looking for a job or hoping to learn more about the industry, my advice would be to dust down your best suit and get yourself down there, file full of CV's and get networking. Reading the last comment by Anon, I was not expecting to see such a broad range of companies. Outside of the MBBB, most of the next 2 tiers seem to be there along with some interesting "left-field" options you might not have thought of immediately. Believe me, I have been around theblock a bit and this looks like a solid cast list to me!

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#12 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
02/09/2007 07:41

me to anon (#7)

Are any of the recruitment consultancies giving out free tickets? I don't fancy paying a tenner for this, but last year the tickets were changing hands for £100 in the last day or two!!

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#13 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
03/09/2007 09:05

Tony Restell ( to me (#12)

Some very interesting views on the exhibitor list here. I must admit when I was thinking of leaving strategy consulting, my views were very similar - that the MBBB type firms were the be-all and end-all of the industry. But then a bit of time researching the industry shows that the UK offices of these firms hire maybe 200 staff per year - less than Accenture UK might target in a quarter. At which point you have to say that a site (and a careers fair) representing career options within the industry has to orient itself to where most of the hiring is taking place. The firms attending this event I would estimate will be doing 50% to 75% of all the hiring in our industry this year - so it's a fairly comprehensive list in that respect - albeit lacking the MBBB firms for the reasons already stated.

Re. the £10 entry price, this is - perversely - to ensure that the event is well attended. There's a fire limit of 3,000 at the Barbican (and 500+ firm representatives take up the first slice of this). So we need to be sure that the 3,000 who are sent tickets are committed to attending. The trouble with free tickets is that you'd immediately get 3,000 people registered to attend but then on the day only 500 would show up. So the charge is a necessary evil to make the event a success. None of the exhibitors get free tickets to hand out to candidates though - so registering through the site is the only way to attend if you're not actually a representative of one of the firms exhibiting...

Hope to see you there

Tony Restell

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#14 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
03/09/2007 09:22

The Power of Greyskull to Tony Restell ( (#13)

Me... Tickets changing hands for £100 a go - utter rubbish - you could buy tickets on the door for £10 all day.

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#15 RE: Consulting Careers Fair 2007
03/09/2007 09:33

Tony Restell ( to The Power of Greyskull (#14)

I think "me" is thinking of the prior year's event, which we held at Olympia. The fire limit there was only 1,500 and we did sell out of tickets for that event way in advance of the fair. There were none for sale on the day and there were lots of people trying to buy tickets on the forum from other readers. This was the main reason we moved to the Barbican, to have twice the capacity.

Last year tickets were available on the day and we were able to let additional people into the fair provided we weren't close to the fire limit at that point in the day. Same should apply this year, though will only be able to confirm this the week of the fair. Best bet if you want to attend is to bag a place now...

<a href=>Registration link</a>

Tony Restell

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