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Consulting firms' hiring intentions revealed

 
#1 Consulting firms' hiring intentions revealed
22/03/2011 11:39

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com)

Delighted to share that our 2011 Recruitment Channel Report is now available for download, including tons of trend data and projections that'll be really valuable for candidates wanting to land a consulting job. You can access it here:

<a href=http://www.top-consultant.com/recruitment_channel_report2011.asp>Consulting firms' hiring intentions revealed</a>

Employers / Recruiters will also find the report contains insights highly relevant to formulating candidate attraction strategies.

It's free to download - would love to hear your thoughts once you've had the chance to review...

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#2 RE: Consulting firms' hiring intentions revealed
22/03/2011 17:55

Anxious to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#1)

Tony do you think the hiring projections will be dented by recent events in Japan and Libya? What are you hearing from clients?

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#3 RE: Consulting firms' hiring intentions revealed
23/03/2011 08:02

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to Anxious (#2)

Interesting question. With hiring demand being driven almost entirely by the need for replacement hires (ie. as a result of worsening staff attrition), the strong hiring demand we see in the results of this report are unlikely to be greatly affected. Practice growth plans might become a little more conservative, but this is only a small contributor to the current demand for consulting hires.

If we got to an economic crisis of a magnitude that people were fearful for their jobs and started staying put right across our industry, then staff attrition would slow and that would translate into a lower level of hiring demand than is being projected. But at the moment consultants seem eager to lock in pay rises through a change of employer and we're not seeing any indication that that appetite is waning.

So my strong feeling is that this will not dent hiring demand - unless there really is a major prolonged shock to the global economy.

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#4 RE: Consulting firms' hiring intentions revealed
23/03/2011 08:35

Mr Cool to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#3)

Hi Tony – you’ve been consistent for a while now in saying that a great proportion of hiring is driven by need to replace as a result of worsening attrition. Are there any suggestions as to why attrition is so bad? Given the relatively high cost of recruiting (fees, training, initial bench time etc) why are firms not focussing more on maintaining their existing staff morale and retention?

Is high attrition now an inherent part of an industry that has become increasingly short termist? (more IT body-shopping, more off-shoring and outsourcing, more up-or-out, grade/role dilution, more working like a dog)?

As Diane in Cheers once said “Anyone with anything intelligent and insightful to contribute to this conversation, join me in the pool room” (Pause) “Okay, anyone with a two-bit, half-assed opinion on this, join me in the pool room”

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#5 RE: Consulting firms' hiring intentions revealed
23/03/2011 10:02

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to Mr Cool (#4)

Mr Cool – fundamentally I think the issue has to do with pay and promotion prospects (or rather the lack of them). Consulting firms’ financial health is not such that they’ve been able to award generous pay rises / bonuses / promotions of late – and with pressure on fee rates still severe, there’s no sign that this is going to change in the near future. So there are a large number of consultants who’ve sat tight during the downturn seeing little or no career progression but who now are expecting to make up for lost time. Anyone whose skills are in demand and who is prepared to move can almost certainly secure a pay rise and promotion that they’d be unlikely to secure in the same timescales by staying put. To this extent the hiring situation is almost self-fulfilling. Firms are willing to break the bank to bring in new hires who are essential to their ability to deliver on signed projects; but they don’t have the financial means to make these awards across the whole company.

The upshot of all this is that anyone who’s been out and tested the jobs market – if they have skills that are in demand – will likely have found they can make a career leap by moving. Similarly those who stay put are increasingly seeing people join the firm who they come to learn are not on the same pay grades and who have effectively leap-frogged them by moving. The upshot of this I expect will be that those firms with the strongest market positions / greatest willingness to invest in growing market share will end up gaining experienced consulting staff at the expense of those firms whose financial positions are more precarious.

That’s my reading of the situation from extensive conversations with both candidates and recruiters over the last weeks – but certainly intrigued to hear how much this chimes with other readers’ experiences “on the ground”...

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#6 RE: Consulting firms' hiring intentions revealed
25/03/2011 12:46

Big4er to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#5)

Absolutely right. Firms are restricting pay and bonuses to existing staff whilst dishing out significant pay rises to new joiners especially if they have consulting experience. There is a huge pay rise to be gained by moving and anyone pursuing a career in consulting long term would be crazy not to do so.

Mind you, the vast majority of people who have left in the last 12 months go into anything but consulting which tells its own story about the rewards on offer for the work life balance demanded by consulting.

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#7 RE: Consulting firms' hiring intentions revealed
25/03/2011 13:23

Another big4er to Big4er (#6)

Entirely agree, this has been evident for some time with internal promotions being made to the bottom of the pay scale.

In my firm, pay scales have been dropped 10% (charge out rates the same obviously) but time to reach next grade has improved and promotion numbers have been high in the junior grades.

Presume the logic being that margins increase and staff retention increases.

That said, attrition is high and they are desparate to recruit.

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