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MC from a headhunter/sales background

#1 MC from a headhunter/sales background
16/02/2008 23:05



New to this forum.

I'm currently working as an IT recruitment consultant, and have been for about 2 years, as well as some other professional, mostly B2B sales.

I also have a BSc Economics degree.

I've reached a point where I'm ready to try soming else, and management consultancy is one option that has popped up.

Why management consultancy? My current job is basically sales, and while I wouldn't pretend to "have it cracked" I believe I've gone as far as I can with this career path. The next step is either building a team in recruitment (which will mean changing jobs again as my current company is too small) starting my own company (not where I am at personally at this point in time) or carrying on chasing more and more sales (ie not progressing/developing myself at all except for incrementally becoming a better recrtuiment consultant.

I'm looking for something with more intellectual depth and a stronger focus on actually doing stuff than recruitment offers. I believe my experience could be valuable in the sense that I have worked with a broad range of client companies and seen the strategies that work and the ones that don't, especially as relates to recruitment and retention of professional staff, but often in the broader sense as well. I would like to develop this into more tangible value than simply observation.

So first of all, are these something like the right reasons for moving into management consultancy?

And secondly, what route into management consultancy would be best from this starting point? Any ideas as to which companies, if any, are most likely to place value on this experience? Anyone else come in from a similar background, and what are your experiences good and bad, of making the switch?

Last but not least, what is a realistic salary expectation for someone moving into MC from this background, and how do bonuses etc typically work?

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#2 RE: MC from a headhunter/sales background
17/02/2008 12:35

miserable git to Anon (#1)

I think you are going to struggle. you may be able to get a really low end job but you only have to flick through some of the threads on this forum to understand the attitude towards recruiters- eve though many of those who are in consulting are not exactly Einstein themselves. Moving into recruitment is the easiest thing in the world to do. Making a real success of recruitment or moving out into good job is very tough. Good Luck. You really need to use those sales skills, build the right relationships and hope someone cuts you a break

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#3 RE: MC from a headhunter/sales background
18/02/2008 04:51

Evil Recruiter to miserable git (#2)

Thanks miserable git, though it sounds more realistic than miserable.

I never went into recruitment to make friends, but is it really THAT badly perceived? Is that just down to bad personal experiences, or is it that the perception of the skills and attitudes developed in recruitment are different/incompatiable with management consultancy?

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#4 RE: MC from a headhunter/sales background
18/02/2008 06:38

miserable git to Evil Recruiter (#3)

Changed my mind a bit....

First step, I would suggest is to get hold of some sample GMAT papers and do them (be strict on timing and no calculator). If you are finding them difficult, give up now. You will never get through the process even if you get an interview.

If you are doing well and getting 17/20 +, find out how to sit the GMAT test on some sort of official basis. You can then apply to consulting firms with a CV which has in big bold letter GMAT score of.... You do not have the background they would usually go for but proof of a good GMAT score might just give you a chance. You have done sales and recruitment and have an economics degree. All good stuff I am sure but nothing there to excite a management consulting firm. A good GMAT score or a tier 1 MBA would give you a chance. I would look into the GMAT thing and see how you get on - much quicker and cheaper than the MBA I imagine!

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#5 RE: MC from a headhunter/sales background
18/02/2008 12:12

A Bit Confused to miserable git (#4)

Anon - what sort of consultancy are you looking to join - or - put another way, what work do you want to do as a MC?

Have you had any exposure to MC within your current role, albeit on the IT side?

For me, there are 3 routes into what is loosely referred to as management consulting:

a - graduate, GMATs, rigorous interviews and appraisals and bespoke tests - leading to a job at a major firm with thousands of graduates and geometrically fewer people in each subsequent grade

b - joining a small (boutique?) consultancy as a junior grunt - doing the filing, waiting to be taken under someone's wing and eventually getting the chance to fill in for them and step up

c - joining from "industry" with either experience in an area a firm wants to get into or grow - e.g. former civil servant joining a public sector consultancy - or as some sort of subject matter expert - e.g. medical clinician joining BT or Fujitsu on a major NHS programme

I may have misread or misunderstood your post but I had assumed you were in group c - bored of your current career choice and looking to move across into something new, using an existing skillset.

If you are under 26, then a & b may well be open to you, if over, then, from my experience, c or nothing.

I guess large cos look to recruit graduates into their own image, knowing what works for them and what personality profiles work. Smaller cos will be looking for an incredible knowledge of one's area or someone who their clients will trust, recommend and use again and again.

I would have thought you could easily put forward a compelling CV and start going through the interview experience to see how you are perceived.

Salary and bonus - depends on so many factors, the main one being, in my opinion, your age.


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#6 RE: MC from a headhunter/sales background
19/02/2008 06:52

Stuck in recruitment! to A Bit Confused (#5)

Thanks guys. Informative replies. Had a quick look at the GMAT papers today. I'll have to brush up on the maths a bit, but I did quite a high level of mathematical work in my degree and can brush up. That seems do-able.

Definitely in the C group. I'm 29 so wouldn't get on a grad programme.

In terms of exposure, I've dealt with candidates around consultancy on the IT side, usually Business Analysts, whcih is a very broad job title ranging from business strategy to quite technical IT guys. Some of the more business focussed ones seem to do some interesting work as relates to strategy and improving the processes by which businesses work. That's about the limit of the exposure I have had.

As for the work I'd like to do, I suppose I have two areas of interest. First is commercial strategy - improving sales, market share, market penetration, developing new markets and improving profitability. No experience to speak of in this area, just something that interests me. Again I know this is a very broad discipline, so perhaps I should narrow this down further?

The other is internal processes - how do we get more out of people. In sales, I've worked in a wide range of companies and seen vast differences between the way companies approach this, and the huge costs of getting it wrong, compared to the benefits of getting it right.

As for getting my CV out there, well I know how annoying it is in my current job to get the CV of someone with no relevant experience who is convinced they are destined to do something they have no idea about! Or worse still, a completely wrong idea about.

I guess what I need to do is pin point exactly the areas I want to work in and focus on the companies that deal with those areas. Based on the areas of interest I mentioned above, are they still too broad and vague? Are they too narrow? Or am I barking up the wrong tree completely?

Many thanks!

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#7 RE: MC from a headhunter/sales background
19/02/2008 08:22

sorry.... to Stuck in recruitment! (#6)

this might be a struggle. You are already 29, meaning that you are probably some viable experience (ie not sales/recruitment) + a good MBA away from entry into a top tier consulting firm. BY then age will be counting against you. The only option I can see is the GMAT - smaller/less high tier HR focussed consulting firm. You will be disappointed by your earnings though.

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#8 RE: MC from a headhunter/sales background
19/02/2008 13:46

Still Confused to sorry.... (#7)

I've been in MC for several years and never knowingly met anyone who's done / sat a GMAT.

My suggestion re your CV was to start the ball rolling by getting in front of a couple of organisations and seeing what you make of them and vice versa.

In my experience, an MBA will help but is not essential. There is definitely a place out there for you in a small / niche / boutique consultancy looking for "competent" people to join them. This won't be high fallutin', at least to start with but it'll be an in.

Might be worth a tel call to Tribal Avail / Serco / Corven or a few of the places mentioned in the download to Thread 40358.

A mate gave me a contact at QI - who bodyshop people in to places:

Possible salary range at your age? £28-40k?

Good luck.

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#9 RE: MC from a headhunter/sales background
20/02/2008 00:43

Somewhat Encouraged to Still Confused (#8)

hi sorry,

Thanks for keeping my feet on the ground!

Still Confused

That sounds more hopeful!

Do you think narrowing my aim down as to what exactly I'd like to work on is likely to produce better feedback at this stage? Or should I go in open and see what areas I'm strongest/best suited to?

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#10 RE: MC from a headhunter/sales background
21/02/2008 10:58

Still Confused to Somewhat Encouraged (#9)

Somewhat Encouraged

In answer to your question, which one suits you? I would bet that you will have a very strong preference and it really doesn't matter.

Whichever way you do this you are going to have to go through the same process you presumably talk to your current clients about - working out why a potential employer wants new people and what you have that they lack.

To use a former boss's favourite cliche - you can't steer a stationary ship - get out there and see what happens.

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#11 RE: MC from a headhunter/sales background
22/02/2008 00:46

Escapee Recruiter to Still Confused (#10)

Thanks Still Confused.

Got some useful ideas from here.

I would say I have a preference towards commercial strategy, so I'll try pursuing this first.

I know the important thing is to start talking to people, I would just like to be able to go in showing that I have done somebackground research etc, and know what I'm trying to get myself into!

Thanks for your help guys

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