Is it just me, or has a tech boom sucked a large amount of top resources away from consulting, leaving pretty much every firm scrambling for talent? Perhaps coupled with some downsizing during COVID has made this even more material.

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You mean top talent is getting poached by companies that pay more and offer equity at all levels. Our industry is not what it used to be. Companies have figured out in-house strategy is possible and so the consulting industry transitioned to a staffing house to fill gaps. Still profitable but it’s silly to think over the next 10 years that top talent will come to consulting.

likesmart

Every company is now a software company 😀

likefunny

1) I’ll never get over how weird it is to use the word “resources” when we mean “people.”

2) There have always been industries outside consulting that competed for capable people.

3) I don’t perceive tech to be the challenge we face in recruitment. Our challenge is simply growth. We are doing so well and client demand is so high that it’s hard to bring in and assimilate a lot of good people rapidly. It is hard to square this dynamic with the persistent view of many that consulting has peaked or whatever.

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I prefer the term “talent”.

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Amazon offered to double my salary and I took it. Would have taken five years to do the same maybe where I was

likesmart

What was your new comp?

It’s not just you.

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Consulting simply isn’t that great. As a high achiever who wanted to have impact, I became very disillusioned by the empty glamour and constant posturing in consulting. The money in tech was attractive, but so too was the appeal of innovating rapidly on exciting impactful products, not to mention the casual brilliance of my teammates.

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I left at SM level for better WLB. I was a top performer but still 5+ years from partner realistically. Now that I’m over here, I miss a lot of the attractive features of consulting - feel like I got hit w a ‘grass is always greener’ on both sides.

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And what was your exit level at G?

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P1, I wonder if we’re overindexing on comp being the primary motivator. The culture in consulting can also be very unattractive. Lots of gunners and posturing. Not enough gratifying work I can be genuinely proud of. And I have a lot of personality; the homogeneity in consulting feels suffocating.

I take it a bit for granted that I’ll always be very comfortable giving my talent and network, so money has stopped being the main motivator for me. So my criteria is different. I’m more focused on what will bring me meaning, allow me to do good, and grant me the freedom to move throughout the world as I please, all while still getting paid handsomely. Basically, I want the best of all worlds. Based on these criteria, settling for consulting feels almost intellectually lazy.

Alternatively, if I were just getting started, consulting would still be attractive because of the chance for rapid learning/problem solving and exit opportunities.

likesmart

SC1, intellectually lazy is so excellently put 😂 and a very well scripted, round-about way of describing why consulting’s lagging pay increases is the critical variable to the consulting > tech migration. You essentially said pay is relative and tech is a better bang for your buck for doing meaningful work (and a larger buck 😂)... I commented below as a matter of fact I am getting promoted yet am leaving for a tech company to make a hefty amount more than my promotion number. This is the common trend among my peers.

Definitely. Tech bubble is causing anomalies and it seems like it will continue to be the case for some time.

Big tech is able to pay high salaries thanks to their high stock valuation. Tesla is trading with over 1,000 p/e and Amazon near 100.

Wonder if consultants flooded tech during the 2001 bubble and what were the consequences of that. That would be an interesting case study.

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Many did leave for tech. Some where successful. Many others got laid off when the bubble burst.

likehelpful

Many of my tech friends have done very well with stock options. Way better work life balance. After a couple years of this if you aren’t determined to make partner get the heck out 🙃. I myself set a goal to be done in 1-2 years.

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I’ve got another option brewing already 🤭

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It’s not you. My best programmers and cyber team members were poached. Most left for the money. One guys told me more money, clear career path, and less BS (interpret that as you will).

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I think this is more about the talent and people side and considering their motivations. For example, if your 25 and your up for manager in big 4 consulting, you could easily get double compensation and a lottery ticket of RSU. Whereas, at big 4 at least, you are staring at 10 years to partner (not guaranteed) and even if you make it the payoff doesn’t equal the risk of the amount of time. I think it’s clear more and more people are trying for that lottery ticket IPO or RSU payout vs the long term stability. Since we are both going after same demographic mid 20s talent, I think it’s fair to say they are getting their pick first at the moment.

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I agree with P1 that it’s tech talent where we are really getting hurt. Hiring a recent grad with a CS or engineering degree is a tough sell when we pay 65-70k but they can start at a major tech company at over 6 figures total comp. As we move more towards digital and tech products it makes it really hard for us to hire junior / entry level technology people that are any good.

likefunny

Maybe there’s a case here to dole out some equity/ partnership stake to all levels - we can compete better with tech companies that way

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Sure. And it really is only a raw deal for the people who were about to make partner and had the path closed to them; 20 years on people who join ACN know what they’re getting into.

My point was more, there’s a reason why our firms are structured the way they are and there’s real reasons why we can’t easily just hand out equity at all levels. It’s not just about partners being greedy. There are real operational and legal implications of a given structure.

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I’m definitely looking for a move to tech. Better worklife balance, better pay, more impactful work. I don’t see a case to stay in consulting in this new COVID world.

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Our industry’s blessing and curse is its growth .

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It’s not just tech, legacy F10 CPG and TMT companies pay very well. They specifically cite having to compete with “tech” for top talent as a reason for doing so.

I left my firm as a post-MBA Associate, got the “Ex-consultant” stamp on my resume.

I wasn’t looking to leave, but the salary, WLB, equity, etc etc could not be beat. I’d be insane to do 80+ hours for another ten years at an MBB rather than take a higher salary and work a normal 9-5 and have a clearer path to an executive role.

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I’m about to get promoted and but am switching to a tech company to make a hefty more amount of money than my promotion number. Hope that helps and is simple to understand.

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