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  Not so many years ago the summer months would have been considered a “quiet period” for management consultancy recruitment.
  Advertisement  
Consulting-Times E-zine
A time for clearing one’s desk of paperwork in anticipation of that long-awaiting holiday.

Not so this year.

The latest Top-Consultant statistics show that recruitment activity within the management consultancy sector is at a 5 year high. Consultants are searching for new jobs in record numbers, while the number of recruitment campaigns has also accelerated dramatically since January. The number of advertised opportunities has doubled in just six months, underlining the priority now being given to recruitment & retention issues within consultancies. Application rates are also up considerably, suggesting employee turnover will become a growing problem as the year unfolds.

A fivefold increase in consulting career opportunities?

Reflecting on the improved recruitment climate within the management consultancy sector, Top-Consultant’s Bryan Hickson notes that a year ago there were around 450 job adverts posted to Top-Consultant each month. This level stayed quite consistent until the beginning of 2004. Since then advert numbers have jumped to 620 in March 2004 and to over 900 in July 2004.

“What these figures illustrate is that there has been at least a doubling in recruitment activity within the management consultancy sector during the last 12 months. Looking deeper, readers will notice that many consulting firms are now advertising for multiple hires where a year ago they would have been advertising individual positions. What this means is the actual number of opportunities for consultants has probably increased four or five-fold in the last 12 months.”

Of equal importance to consultants is the anecdotal feedback that the number of placements being made as a result of recruitment campaigns has increased significantly. Whereas 12 months ago firms were advertising so as to have good candidates in the recruitment pipeline, now it is very much the case that offers are being made within weeks of a campaign being initiated.

Consultants increasingly active in the job market

Fortunately for advertisers, the doubling of job advertising volumes has been accompanied by surging levels of candidate activity. The volume of job searches on the Top-Consultant site has also doubled since the year-ago period, meaning that advertisers are enjoying the same levels of response as they did during the downturn, when the market was “candidate rich”.

“Seeing major firms like Accenture, Capgemini, A.T.Kearney, IBM and PA Consulting all now aggressively recruiting has given management consultants a renewed belief in their market value… and has made many candidates stop to ask themselves if their careers are best served staying where they are. Increasingly consultants are looking at opportunities with rival firms – or the smaller niche consultancies – as the best means of accelerating their career progression and making up for the ‘lost ground’ of the last two years.” commented Top-Consultant Director Tony Restell

“As retention becomes an industry-wide problem again in 2004/5, firms will need to recruit staff simply to stand still. Those actually seeking to grow practices in the next twelve months will have to run very slick recruitment campaigns and establish a stronger recruitment presence if they are not to sacrifice quality thresholds to meet headcount targets” added Restell.

Recruiters have been given some breathing room by the significant readership growth Top-Consultant has been able to achieve in the last 12 months. July 2004 is about to become the first month in which more than 150,000 readers use the Top-Consultant site, up from 101,000 readers in July 2003. New functionality, including the Jobs-by-email service and the Top-Consultant Toolbar are also helping readers to track down suitable opportunities on the site much more effectively.

As we enter the first week of August there is no sign that there will be any let-up in activity during the next four weeks, so it may be some time before management consultancy recruiters can take a proper break again. Christmas maybe?!…


Related link: Latest Management Consulting Jobs
 
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