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Consultancies and the lost art of seduction

Updated: Jan 18, 2022

As the world of work changes faster than ever before, how do consultancies stay attractive to the best talent?

The staggering pace of change in today’s world is the perfect opportunity for consultancies to capitalise on. But there’s a snag...

Almost two-thirds of consulting firms are currently reporting staff shortages. And while it’s a problem across industries, consulting firms are traditionally seen as attractive places to work – and with good reason! So, what’s changed? And how do consultancies get back to being the go-to places that pique the interest of top talent?

What’s changed?

Generous pay and benefits packages are still a staple of the consulting world, but in this post-pandemic era, employees’ priorities have changed. Remote working has given consultants a taste of life away from the excitement of road-warrioring and given them something money can’t buy – time. And all without compromising on productivity.

Couple that with an appetite for working for companies that have ambitions to change the world, and you have a perfect storm for the most talented consultants (or potential consultants) to flock to competitors and tech giants.

Now’s the time to prioritise retention

Consultancies need to look inwardly in the first instance – before looking at the greener grass over the fence, consulting firms can sure up their existing talent pool by making retention a priority. Given the opportunity, employees will tell you what they want and need to thrive.

For a lot of employees that might be as simple as businesses re-examining their remote or hybrid working policies. According to Forbes, 97% of people don’t want to return to the office full time. For many, hybrid working options will be a major factor in their next move, and consulting firms can’t afford to go back to their old ways of working.

Why would talented consultants want to join your business?

While the uncertainty of the past year put many people off making plans to explore their career options, workforces worldwide now appear to be gaining confidence and are ready to make up for lost time. With Microsoft estimating that 41% of employees are considering a change of job this year, there’s plenty of talent looking to be wooed by the right organisation.

So, if they are to remain an employer of choice for the best and brightest, consulting companies need to think hard about their employment proposition. That doesn’t just mean pay and your standard benefits package. People are looking at their careers much more holistically – it’s up to employers to champion flexibility (i.e., where and when people work), as well as looking at productivity in the round, including learning & development, personal development, and wellbeing.

There’s a whole world of untapped talent out there.

Finally, consultancies need to place value in diversifying candidate pipelines.

To play start-ups and tech giants at their own game, we must recognise that hiring for diverse skillsets and ideas means looking for people in places not previously considered. For example, one of the joys of remote or hybrid working is the ability to reach talent in places that were previously an impossible commute away. And if consulting firms limit themselves to graduates from certain schools or require very strict entry criteria, they’ll endlessly find themselves with a homogenous workforce. If we always do what we’ve always done, eventually, change catches up with us.

Consulting firms exist to find creative solutions and drive productive change for their clients, so embracing new ideas and diverse approaches by hiring diverse talent is good for everyone - individuals, teams, and businesses alike.

If your consulting business is ready to put people and their needs at the heart of your talent hiring and retention plans, we’re here to help.

Get in touch to chat with the team today.

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