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MC hiring outlook in recession

 
#1 MC hiring outlook in recession
07/09/2011 11:31

terrytibbs

What do people think about the prospects for continued hiring in the MC industry given the current financial market turmoil and the prospects of a double dip recession?

I am currently setting up interviews with several firms, hoping to be hired as an experienced hire from industry, but I am worried this may all be in vain if hiring freezes are introduced.

What did people experience in the last recession? Have firms over-hired in the last 18 months? Do people foresee a real slow down in the volume of consulting work?

Would be great to hear your thoughts.

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#2 RE: MC hiring outlook in recession
07/09/2011 14:27

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

Happy to provide some reassurance here. The majority of firms' hiring at the moment is being undertaken owing to the need to replace lost staff - firms are losing 15-20% of their consulting staff each year and so need to replace this number just to stand still. Hiring to support growth of the business is modest in comparison, so fluctuations in how fast the firms grow relative to their expectations has only a small impact on hiring - compared with any change in the frequency with which consultants choose to change employer (note: 20-25% staff turnover was quite the norm during the boom years so the above isn't high by historical standards; it did fall to only ~5% in the recession though).

If all of a sudden consultants found they had no career openings to apply for - in consulting and in particular in industry (ie. an exit from the consulting sector) - then that would trigger a significant hiring slowdown. That IS what happened in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, but we would need a crisis on that scale (rather than fears over a slow recovery) to return to that scenario again. These are my thoughts. Probably more compelling though is hard data from employers themselves!!...

We are undertaking our 6 monthly survey of consulting recruiters right now - results due out in the coming weeks. But as things stand the (significant) response to date shows that 81% of firms expect hiring in the second half of 2011 to be equal to or greater than what we've seen in the first half. Tellingly they also report having seen staff retention rates worsen (ie. more people leaving their businesses), which reinforces my explanation above - ie. losing staff is driving demand for new hires. All this data has been collected since August, so reflects people's expectations even taking into consideration all the negative headlines we've seen.

Hope this provides some reassurance - and good luck with securing the right move.

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#3 RE: MC hiring outlook in recession
07/09/2011 16:02

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

That is indeed a very reassuring response! Thanks for such a thorough appraisal of what you think the market looks like Tony, much appreciated.

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#4 RE: MC hiring outlook in recession
14/09/2011 08:27

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

The latest data out in the last 48 hours indicates the UK consulting market's growing 11% p.a. too, even at a time when the broader economic headlines have been far from rosy. I think this overstates the actual growth a bit (see article) but nonetheless this bodes well for hiring in the coming 12 months:

http://news.top-consultant.com/UK/Consulting-industry-grows-by-11-according-to-official-figures-but-is-this-overstating-the-growth-being-achieved-8147.html

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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