Human Capital Consulting - A year in review

Although 2016 saw global and political volatility in the market, we saw little variance in Human Capital Consulting hiring trends compared to last year.

Hiring intentions remained relatively strong throughout 2016 with many consultancies looking to continue growth of their teams in alignment with 2020 strategic visions. Exceptions to this were the slight decrease in hiring volume in the two months prior to the Brexit Referendum. Additionally the first half of the year saw lower hiring volumes within mid-market consultancies due to business integration and organisational structures becoming firmly established eg. KornFerry Hay Group and Deloitte/Kaisen.

H1 saw stronger demand in the talent, leadership and assessment space and following political and market changes mid-late 2016, demand for organisational design, HR transformation and change management skills sets were driven higher.

The market remains very candidate driven with organisations facing stiff competition for top talent. Throughout the year we’ve consistently observed employers setting the bar higher and higher for the calibre of consultants they bring into the business. The expectation is more depth and breadth of both discipline and sector knowledge and obtaining sign off from the business has become more challenging.

Job seekers have been raising the bar themselves with higher expectations from employers. Motivations have predominantly focused around lack of career development, culture challenges, work/life balance and better remuneration prospects.

Key themes for 2017

Technology and Digitalisation - Increase in technology driven transformation (eg. new HRIS system implementation) driving broader organisation transformation and change programmes improving efficiency and reducing cost

Brexit - Global consultancies utilising dedicated Brexit consulting teams in anticipation of developing trade and business relations outside of the EU

Organisation Design and Development - Developing and retaining existing workforces with a focus on talent management strategies, organisational and leadership development

Leadership Development - As organisational structures change it highlights the need to strengthen and improve organisational leadership to navigate through global political, economic and business changes

Leaving a year of change, disruption and challenges behind us, we look to 2017 anticipating some market contraction and uncertainty in the first half of the year ahead of triggering Article 50. We will see more competition to win transformational programmes within increasing scrutiny from clients to drive margins down whilst delivering high quality service. For many large firms, this will mean adapting their business models and processes to deliver greater efficiency. This will further highlight the need for high calibre sales, business development and programme leadership skill sets.

Political and economic change can be unnerving to some but this is what management consulting thrives on so it’s time to rise to the occasion and embrace both the challenges and opportunities of the coming year.

Happy holidays and best wishes for the festive season from the Human Capital Consulting team at Frazer Jones.

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