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Consulting’s New Talent Crisis

Published Sep 2021

The talent agenda has always been at or near the top of consulting firms’ lists of priorities; firms live or die on their ability to consistently attract and retain high achievers with skillsets their clients don’t have sufficient in-house access to. The war for talent has been heating up in recent years, as firms had started competing more and more with their clients and with technology companies for in-demand digital skillsets.

Ever since the early days of the pandemic, leaders within the industry have worried about the impact that it would have on their ability to remain competitive in that war. With junior consultants travelling less and getting less direct exposure to senior clients, the profession may no longer be as attractive as it used to be to ambitious graduates. Retention has, likewise, become more of a challenge than it used to be: with so much of a firm’s workforce operating remotely, it can be difficult to build a firmwide culture that generates engagement and loyalty among employees.

In this report, we will explore the extent to which the talent agenda in consulting has been impacted by the pandemic; the specific talent challenges that firms are facing right now; and what actions firms can take if they want to maximise their ability to attract and retain top performers in this new world we now find ourselves in.

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