Why you are losing candidates and what you can do to retain them

Why you are losing candidates and what you can do to retain them

There have been a few ways to name the recruiting trends last year – a ‘candidate’s market’, a ‘talent squeeze’ or ‘The Great Resignation’… Whatever you want to call it, 2021 was a tough market to hire talent in. 

The race for top talent is incredibly competitive right now and finding the right person is harder than ever. In this article, we highlight the reasons behind this as well as share a few insights and tips that should help you find the talent you’re looking for.

Why has it been so hard to hire talent?

Salary Expectations

Top-quality consulting talent has always been expensive. Following on from Covid-19, consultants were in high demand; businesses across the globe were looking to pivot to the new normal and consultancy firms were seeing unprecedented levels of business. This naturally has increased the value of top quality consultants.

Unsurprisingly, this has led to robust pay raises from top-tier consulting firms. In October 2021, first-year BCG employees’ base salary increased by $10,000, with more experienced consultants expecting far greater raises in the next promotional cycle. With this trend happening across the industry, this has had a significant effect on what was already a very tight market. As a general rule, you could expect to pay over £10,000 more for a candidate than the previous year. In the near future, this could rise further for candidates with more specialist experience or top-tier candidates.

Less desire to leave consulting in the first place

Although things remain hopeful that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, it’s fair to say that remote working and flexible/hybrid solutions are here to stay. Whilst many of us may rejoice in this relative adoption to flexible working, this has led to more consultants deciding to stay at their firms. 

Historically, the lack of work/life balance and constant travel have been some of the most pressing reasons for consultants to search for new roles in industry. However, with remote working, consultants have been able to balance their work hours and their home life, and not have to spend their lives in trains or aeroplanes. This resulted in a significant number of consultants deciding to stay in consulting instead of making their move to an in-house role, coupled with the pay incentive that we previously mentioned.

Competitive job landscape

You might want to hire a consultant who could manage your strategy function, lead company-wide transformation, or even act as your Chief of Staff. After all, they are highly-skilled generalists that are adaptable and knowledgeable. The problem is that consultants are also highly sought-after by other scaling businesses and market leaders. It is true that every labour market is competitive, but none of them is quite as competitive as consulting. Our data shows that the average candidate is now in 4-5 interview processes as opposed to 2-3 processes this time last year. This leads to more dropouts, more counter-offers and even bidding wars between different organisations after the same candidate. 

Thankfully, through working with our partners we’re able to share a few promising insights and tips that we recommend to ensure you get the candidates you want.

How can I hire the best talent for my team?

Invest time in the beginning

Interviewing candidates is time-consuming. It’s tempting to set a variety of tasks or a case study at the beginning of a process to ensure that you always end up speaking to the best candidates. However, this is a sure-fire way of getting the best candidates to drop out of the interview process. The feedback that we have received from our platform users is that the first conversation with the hiring manager is the most important factor in determining a candidate’s “buy-in” for a role.

We recommend that hiring managers should meet with candidates before setting any task/case study. Not only is it a chance for you to learn more from each person but it also allows them to get a better understanding of the job. Even by spending 15 minutes with a candidate, you will significantly decrease the risk of dropouts.

Senior candidates are looking for new opportunities

If 2021 seemed dreary when it came to hiring new talents, 2022 is already looking a lot more hopeful. Interest from potential job applicants has seen a huge spike in 2022. Of course, this is quite typical for this time of year, however, we’ve found that candidate activity on the Movemeon platform is at an all-time high with greater numbers of views & applications than any other year.  In particular, this seems to be the perfect time to hire Senior Strategy talent – Since the beginning of Q1, we’ve seen search results for Strategy roles at Engagement Manager level or above soar. Whilst the junior market is still tight, the more experienced talent pool are clearly on the lookout for new opportunities.

Hire through Movemeon

At Movemeon, we specialise in partnering with global businesses across all sectors to find top tier consulting talent for your Strategy, Transformation & C-Suite teams. Our platform is able to generate a shortlist of high-calibre candidates within 7 days. By partnering with Movemeon, your roles are visible to a network of over 55,000 consultants & ex-consultants using our platform. We’ve been able to source active candidates as well as tap into the passive candidate pool ensuring you receive a more engaged shortlist. Click the button below to get in touch with our team to know more about our freelance and permanent offerings.

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