Viewing posts categorised under: Consulting Industry Trends

Boutique consultancies give headhunters a run for their money

Posted by Jason G. Sanders in Consulting Industry Trends, Management consultant recruiting, Recruiting | 0 comments

The Financial Times published an article explaining how boutique consulting firms are encroaching on executive search firms’ business. While I think the executive search field has undergone dramatic change, this article avoids the most significant changes and does a mediocre job of proving its thesis.

What the article misses is the increasing professionalization and quality of internal recruiting groups. Given their access to technologies that help them identify and track candidates, as well as corporations hiring top recruiting firm search graphalumni, these groups have become an integral and potent part of many organizations.

Still, there are some interesting insights.

First of all, the article begins with by stating that consulting firms placing candidates is new, but I have seen this for many years and they admit the same in their article. Some consulting firms include search as an unpaid, value-added part of their services. We have been engaged to conduct searches on behalf of our consulting clients, as well.

Nevertheless, most consulting firms won’t get into the search business as the article notes. Executive search companies will continue to get C-Suite searches and third party recruiting will continue. Still, recruiting firms’ ability to win searches is becoming more difficult due to the increasing effectiveness of internal recruiting groups.

Link to the original article. Registration is required.

Huron To Buy Threshold Consulting

Posted by Jason G. Sanders in Consulting Industry Trends, Consulting News, Management consultant recruiting | 0 comments

October 2, 2014

Earlier this week, Huron announced their intention to acquire Threshold Consulting, Florida-based consultancy offering data warehouse development, management, and OLAP solutions. That makes Huron’s third acquisition this year.  They also acquired Vonlay and The Frankel Group earlier this year. Clearly a company on the move!

This year’s consulting activity, which I outlined in an August report, got me thinking about the relative lack of attrition that we have seen in the wake of these transactions. As a recruiter, I remember how excited our team got when we heard the announcements of EDS’s acquisition of AT Kearney, IBM’s acquisition of PwC, and Cap Gemini’s acquisition of Ernst & Young to name a few. Granted, these were larger transactions, but it still seems that consulting firms have gotten better at integrating their new additions.

It would be great to hear an insider’s view, so if you have been involved in one of these transactions, please share your experiences!

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4 Consulting Firms Top Universum’s Most Attractive Employers List

Posted by Jason G. Sanders in Consulting Industry Trends, Consulting News | 0 comments

September 30, 2014Top 50

Last week, Universum released it’s list of the 50 Ideal Employers in business. Four global consulting firms; Ernst & Young, PwC, KPMG and Deloitte, took the second through fifth spots respectively.

Wow! That puts these companies above a lot of blue chip firms in finance, technology and even two consulting firms considered the most prestigious in the world, McKinsey and BCG.

Petter Nylander, CEO of Universum, noted that the the top consulting firms, “truly understand the need for a strong company culture, training and development, and other attributes business students are looking for, and invest in providing these things to their employees.”

Check out the full list here, and stay up to date with all things consulting by signing up for our brief weekly email

Best Consulting Firms to Work For – Consulting Magazine

Posted by Jason G. Sanders in Consulting Industry Trends, Consulting News | 0 comments

September 18, 2014


Consulting Magazine published its annual list of the Best Firms to Work For and the Best Small Firms to Work For this week. The top spot went to BCG, while Bain fell off the list entirely. Ernst and Young is one of the new entries in the top 15. Check out 2013’s list versus this year’s:

The 2013 Best Firms to Work For
1. Bain & Company
2. The Boston Consulting Group
3. North Highland
4. Point B
5. Slalom Consulting
6. Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group
7. CapTech
8. Deloitte Consulting
9. Kurt Salmon
10. West Monroe Partners
11. Alvarez & Marsal
12. Capco
13. Huron Consulting
14. A.T. Kearney
15. PwC

The 2014 Best Firms to Work For
1. The Boston Consulting Group
2. Point B
3. Slalom Consulting
4. Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group
5. North Highland
6. CapTech
7. West Monroe Partners
8. Deloitte Consulting
9. Ernst & Young
10. Kurt Salmon
11. Huron Consulting
12. McGladrey
13. PwC
14. L.E.K.
15. Protiviti

McKinsey and the Shame of Rikers Island

Posted by Jason G. Sanders in Consulting Industry Trends, Consulting News | 0 comments


September 16, 2014
If you have ever watched an episode of Law and Order, you will have heard something about “a one way ticket to Rikers.” Rikers Island is the name the largest correctional facility run by the City of New York. It has a budget of $860 million a year, a staff of 9,000 officers and 1,500 civilians to control an inmate population of 12,300. according to Wikipedia. It was rated one of the 10 worst prisons in the country by Mother Jones Magazine.

While it’s not hard to believe that any jail would come under fire for the way it treats its inmates, I was surprise to read that a strategy consulting firm would be engaged to study the problem. What do you think of New York CIty’s choice to hire McKinsey?

Here’s an article in the NY Post, The shame of Rikers by Post Editorial Board

US Consulting Market Grows by $6B

Posted by Jason G. Sanders in Consulting Industry Trends | 0 comments

Growth-Road-outdoors-300x300According to the Source for Consulting, the United States market for large firm consulting services grew by 5.7% last year. Over the past 2 years the US market has grown by $6B, which is greater than the size of the French consulting market as a whole.

The publication predicts continued growth this year at a rate of 5%. Keep in mind that this includes large companies only and does not include specialty management consulting firms.

For more detail on this topic, click here.

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100 Consulting Acquisitions in 2014 YTD

Posted by Jason G. Sanders in Consulting Industry Trends | 0 comments

August 14, 2014

The unusual number of recent announcements of major consulting firm acquisitions got me wondering whether not we are seeing a trend in the area. Curiosity led me to conduct a quick analysis and I found 100 acquisitions in the field this year to date.
Below is a high-level overview of the results indicating the strongest activity in health care, benefits and information technology. If you are interested in a more detailed review, please download the full report here.


Award for the unsung management consulting heroes

Posted by Jason G. Sanders in Consulting Industry Trends | 0 comments

consultants-receiving-award-300x200August 8, 2014

This is the only opportunity that I know of for management consulting project teams to receive recognition for outstanding work. Other outlets recognize individuals and firms, but only the Association of Management Consulting Firms celebrates the teams that actually push their clients’ businesses forward.

Here is your opportunity to be recognized by the consulting profession’s most significant trade association. And if you win, you’ll get a free meal! Good luck.


Another consulting firm takeover – KPMG / AXIA

Posted by Jason G. Sanders in Consulting Industry Trends | 0 comments

KPMG-logo-300x205August 4, 2014
Another large firm announces a takeover. This time it’sKPMG acquiring AXIA’s Workday Consulting Practice. Workday provides Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions focused on Human Capital Management, Payroll, and Financial Management functions.

The announcement comes two weeks after rival Ernst & Young publicized its acquisition of The Parthenon Group. Deloitte, Accenture and PwC have all made acquisitions recently meaning it’s a good time to be an equity holder in a specialty consulting firm. Yes, we do represent such firms!

Will the rent-a-consultant model take off? Two Australians say yes!

Posted by Jason G. Sanders in Consulting Industry Trends | 0 comments

Portrait of young woman communicating with her friends across thConsulting firms are under pressure. They generate lower margins, face tough recruiting challenges, and feel their services becoming commoditized like never before.

A small Australian firm, Expert360, is embracing the trend toward commoditizing high-level management consulting services by offering a web-enabled, human-powered solution. The firm was founded by two former Bain consultants and connects companies facing strategic problems to experienced management consultants through an online portal.

It’s a simple process. Companies submit a brief describing their project online, individual contractors are recruited to apply, and the client interviews and hires the best of the group. If you have ever used oDesk or eLance, you will recognize the model right away. Bring that concept to a higher level, and you have another challenge to the traditional model as the field becomes more commoditized. According toForbes, Expert360 consultants earn $1,100 per day on average, and typical projects run a little shy of $30,000.

The Expert360 model is not going to put traditional consulting firms out of business, but the firm does offer a way for other companies to deal with the commoditization of their industry. Consider the possibilities of larger firms creating online communities of independent consultants, or smaller firms using a shared services model to pool and draw from a group of consulting resources. Another idea is that firms could create separate divisions to offer a different level of service to the same client in order to maintain high-level relationships, while satisfying the staff augmentation needs of their clients.

With the US consulting market growing at a rate of $4B per year, the time is right to consider new ways of engaging underused talent, such as the thousands of independent consultants who have a lot to offer, but who haven’t been able to connect to the right opportunities. Expert360 takes a step in the right direction by helping companies and individual consultants connect to face the business challenges of today.

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