War for talent escalates in 2007
Management consulting recruitment in 2007 is likely to be even more of a candidate-driven market than 2006, according to the latest recruitment channel report from Top-Consultant.com.


The sixth annual Management Consultancy Recruitment Channel Report details the trends, changes and challenges faced by candidates and recruiters in the UK management consultancy market. New for this year, the data collected from 1,000 candidates is complemented by the responses of 140 management consultancy recruiters who took part in the survey.

It has been widely acknowledged amongst Top-Consultant.com’s client base, and the market at large, that 2006 saw an escalation of “the war for talent” within the management consultancy sector. Firms recruited more aggressively and increasingly found themselves competing to attract the same set of “experienced hires”.

2007 is set to be even more competitive. A staggering 92% of recruiters stated their recruitment targets for 2007 were higher than, or on a par with, their 2006 targets. In addition, 43.5% of recruiters stated they must make “considerably more hires than in 2006” – suggesting an escalation of the war for talent in 2007.

By source of candidate, the survey results clearly show that recruiters still very much intend to fight over candidates who bring prior consulting experience to the firm. Those coming from industry are the candidate type that recruiters are most likely to turn to when recruitment targets prove hard to meet.

By contrast, university and business school graduates seem less of a priority – perhaps reflecting client demand for teams that bring deep industry or functional expertise to a project.

To grow headcount significantly, the industry as a whole is clearly going to have to widen the pool of candidates from which it will contemplate making its hires.

Asked what steps their businesses were prepared to consider in order to reach their recruitment targets, assuming a tight candidate market in 2007, recruiters’ responses show that a relaxation of hiring criteria is far more palatable than any increase in remuneration or hiring costs.

Recruiters indicate they will be willing to give greater consideration to i) those without prior consulting experience; and ii) those sourced from overseas markets; to overcome any shortfall of candidates from the existing talent pool.

This willingness to compromise reflects the difficulties that recruiters have been experiencing of late.

68% of recruiters professed they could not generate enough suitable applications, whilst 39% said they faced problems with candidates turning down offers. Sustaining candidate interest was a small problem by comparison (18%), highlighting the need for firms to expand the range of candidates they will consider and to prioritise interviewing those who are less active in the marketplace.

2007 Recruitment Channel Report – your copy

The above findings were drawn from Top-Consultant.com’s 2007 recruitment channel report, based on survey data collected from 1,000 management consultancy candidates and 140 management consultancy recruiters. The report is crammed with trend data and the latest statistics concerning recruitment, retention and remuneration within the consulting sector. Recruiters wishing to receive a complimentary copy of the full report should email their contact details to Bryan Hickson (