We are a boutique consulting firm are are trying to attract candidates from the larger consulting firms (McKinsey, BCG, Bain). We are a growing business and have a great culture. Any thoughts as to why we are not getting any traction with individuals at the larger firms?
I’m not surprised at all that individuals from the top consultancies are not jumping at the chance to apply for your opening. It has very little to do with the features of your firm and more to do with the longer-term interests of people in those firms.
There are a number of reasons why you will be unsuccessful recruiting from those firms – here are some of the top reasons:
Brand – If individuals want a long term career in consulting, they will stay with their current employer if it is one of the top branded consultancies. The individuals are well-paid, already have vested political capital, and have a clear understanding how to progress through the levels.
Almost every consultant I have spoken with over the years has stated that they will stay where they remain in consulting long term.
Worklife/balance – If individuals leave consulting, it is mainly due to worklife/balance reasons. Consulting is very demanding from an hours and travel standpoint. If someone leaves, they are not looking to make a slight w/b change by transitioning to another consulting firm.
Ownership – Another reason individuals leave top consultancies is to own, build and refine areas of a company. Individuals recognize that in order to achieve title of CXO, they need to transition to roles that require people management and a true ownership of a function. It is difficult to achieve a CXO role by staying in consulting (certainly possible but a bit more challenging).
When searching for talent, I advise clients to a). look in environments where the talent exists and b). where they can win. In this case, you are looking in an ideal pool but are unlikely to win based on the factors above.
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