Each individual applicant will have their own priorities. Understanding the different factors that attract candidates to a role and why these are important will undoubtedly strengthen your ability to successfully recruit the best people for your firm.

5 steps to recruiting top Management Consultancy talent


Brand and Proposition
Does your firm have a clear proposition, and how exciting is it in the market? Some candidates will be specifically seeking to join a big brand consultancy. A smaller, more entrepreneurial firm may be more attractive to other candidates. Regardless, a well-defined and interesting proposition, combined with a track record of delivering good quality work to good quality clients, is vital. Candidates need to feel confident that the firm can win and deliver an ongoing pipeline of work. Furthermore, reassurance that the projects they undertake will be career-enhancing is important. You are doubtless good at articulating your USPs to prospective clients. Similar thought and care should go to finding great talent.

Role and Career Development opportunities

What will the candidate find themselves doing if they join your firm? Are there clear expectations of what the role involves and the requirements for progression to the next level? Not everyone will feel strongly about having a detailed job specification. However candidates do need to know what success in the role looks like and what are the opportunities for career development. Can you provide examples of employees who have progressed internally? Do you have evidence of how you support this through coaching, mentoring, and training? Good career prospects is the most frequently mentioned criterion by candidates registering with us.

Culture and Values

Most employers articulate a set of values on their website. Are these reflected in the day-to-day experience of working within your firm, and if so how? If you talk about diversity and inclusiveness, is that reflected in your workforce and working practices? Fully engaged employees are the happiest and most productive. Think about how you induct new employees and communicate with consultants who are working on remote project sites as well as the opportunities for individuals to influence and contribute more broadly to the firm. Another key factor is work/life balance; everyone knows that travel comes with the territory in consulting but it is important to be honest about your expectations and if you can offer some degree of flexibility that could make you very attractive indeed to candidates.

Salary and Benefits

How competitive are your salary, bonus and benefits in relation to other firms with a similar proposition? Consider also how your firm fares in relation to the other factors; if you are not in a position to offer upper-quartile salaries can you instead promise a better work-life balance than some of the bigger firms? If so, you may well be able to attract equally strong candidates. In the absence of a well-established brand then are you prepared to pay more to attract the very best people?

Benefits and bonus are also important, but a generous benefits package should not be relied upon to make up for a weak salary proposition. However good or unusual the benefits or bonus are, it is worth remembering that neither have any value in the eyes of a mortgage lender so getting the base salary right is crucial. That said there is no doubt candidates also value benefits. Therefore the right balance is crucial and a good package can send an important and positive signal about your firm to candidates.

Can you offer equity potential, especially if a smaller firm, to outweigh immediate concerns about risk or lack of benefits?

So far, so good – you may feel confident that you have thought through these factors already. In our experience, it’s the fifth element that so many firms overlook:

Experience of the Recruitment Process

Until a candidate receives an offer, their judgement of a firm in relation to the factors outlined above is based purely on what they are told or find out through research. The only really tangible element is their experience of interacting with your firm throughout the recruitment process: