Consulting in 2021 – Movemeon’s Market Trends

Consulting in 2021 – Movemeon’s Market Trends

Over the past year, we published over 350 roles for consultancies. In fact, we have posted 13 times more advisory roles than during the whole of 2020. At the same time, we’ve also found that 20% of ex-consultants now working in industry are looking to go back into consulting. In this instalment of our Market Trend series, we’re trying to find out why consultancies have been hiring so much more this year.

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Why is the demand for consultants on the rise?

Consultancies have always been eager to acquire new talents, but the pandemic has increased their need to get new people fast and in great numbers. Many businesses put their consulting projects on hold out of caution at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. After lockdown, they were able to resume their various projects with consultancies as well as new projects. It’s especially the case in high-growth areas such as supply chain, digital strategy and data analytics. These have been the most requested requirements from our consulting clients this year, given the digital shift for businesses and the global population that took place over the pandemic.

This is very logical but the situation that consulting firms are facing at the moment is quite unique. These firms are always cautious to have a perfect employee/project ratio. Therefore they are incredibly vulnerable to talent shortages if they experience a sudden surge in project demands. In just a few months, Movemeon’s work in the consulting space grew from 17% to 40%. This highlights the rapid need firms have for new talent to meet their clients’ demands in the risk of having to turn down work times and times again.

A global talent crisis

Another strain on firms, and a reason why consulting is in such high demand at the moment, is an overall talent shortage crisis. Many jobs are created and many people leave their current employment, but there aren’t enough candidates to fill those vacant positions. Usually, businesses tend to resort to freelancers and/or consultants to quickly compensate for skill shortages. Consultancies can provide experts more readily than businesses can hire a full-time team member. This is especially true now since consulting fees were lowered in the past year. However, clients have high demand in terms of expertise and consultancies need to adapt to these demands. They can no longer sacrifice depth of expertise for readily available teams of generalist consultants. Instead, they need to provide readily available teams of actual experts with the appropriate capability.

A need for both Expertise and Flexibility

This can also explain why we have seen so many boutique consultancies getting in touch with us to hire for their team. They’re building up teams of experts that have the capacity to react swiftly to clients’ demands – whether they’re in a freelance capacity or joining the firm full-time. Over the 350 jobs posted this year in consultancies, nearly 75% were in boutique consultancies and the ratio between permanent and interim positions was roughly proportional. Interestingly, both boutiques and larger firms were mainly looking for Associates and Managers level – consultants ready to hit the ground running in terms of projects, with roughly between 3 to 8 years of previous consulting experience, these seniorities accounted for about 70% of the roles we helped consultancies to hire for in the past year.

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