Earlier in the year PwC announced that applications to all student programmes reached a record high of 41,000. Being a large and prestigious employer may be an advantage in attracting candidates at all levels but there are also a number of ways in which a smaller management consultancy firm can attract the best talent.
What can you do to maximise success?
1. Capitalise on the advantages small management consultancy firms have over large firms:
- Typically less bureaucratic and have closer relationships between the leadership and employees
- Employees often have more breadth in their jobs than in big companies, where specialisation is common
- Opportunity for more flexibility, job diversity and the possibility of high company growth leading to fast track career development
- Opportunity for employees to both have a say in the company and to make an impact
2. Don’t automatically assume people will be keen to work for you
Put yourself in the shoes of the job seeker and give potential candidates compelling reasons to work for you:
- What would make you want to work for a particular company? Indeed YOUR particular company!
- Identify aspects of your company that will appeal to candidates and emphasise them
- Carefully think about the role: what can you do to make it even more interesting?
3. Be realistic about what you can offer a candidate
This might involve thinking about all aspects of “the package”. Few people will entertain a pay cut, but can you offer any other benefits? A smaller company may be able to tailor a job to deal with employees’ individual needs, for example to allow a degree of home working. Smaller management consultancy firms may be able to offer a better work life balance than larger more bureaucratic corporates and will make prospective employees feel valued.
4. Think laterally about your potential candidate
Consider a different background or experience. Your ideal job seeker may be someone who is attracted by a new challenge and a learning curve, not someone who is looking to replicate their current job in a different company.
5. Make your job advertisement stand out:
- Sell the company and the opportunity and flesh out the role
- Reflect the culture of your business in the advertisement
- Consider interesting ways to impart a flavour of the job, perhaps by using visual media
6. Networking can be helpful
Candidates who come via referrals usually have a more accurate picture of the company than those who come in through ads, and in most cases employees and contacts recommend only people they think will be a good match.
7. Consider specialist management consultancy recruitment agencies
They have access to a large database of potential candidates and can be an excellent ambassador for your brand with candidates who might otherwise never consider contacting you or responding to your advertisements.
8. Be pragmatic
The perfect candidate may not exist so don’t dismiss the first applicant with a 9 out of 10 profile. They may be excellent in the role and better than any of the ‘7 out of 10’ candidates who come along later.
9. Most importantly, ensure all candidates have a good experience of your recruitment process
Even if ultimately they are not suitable for this job the candidate’s experience should be positive. Smaller management consultancy firms can excel here as they can avoid the “sausage factory” approach that larger corporates tend to adopt. An applicant may not be suitable for this job, but perfect for the position you will be advertising a year hence. Interviewees compare experiences and it is important that an unsuccessful candidate feels that the overall experience was worthwhile, efficient and treated them with respect.
Prism Executive Recruitment are experts in management consultant recruitment. For more information on how we could help your organisation, visit our recruitment services page or contact Chris Sale (Managing Director) on 01784 898049 or [email protected]