Consulting recruiting in 2023: In Good Times or Bad, Consulting Carries On

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, consulting was one of the fastest growing sectors in terms of job growth during the Great Recession. Even in this period of high inflation and (technical) recession, firms are thinking long-term, investing in acquisitions, talent, and new practice areas. Consulting recruiting in 2023 is no different – firms are moving forward with plans to hire.

As Bain Partner Keith Bevans stated in our recent conversation, strategy firms are being, well, strategic with investing in their businesses for the long term. This means they aren’t shutting off the hiring spigot just because macroeconomic conditions are tightening.

Another case in point? Firms are on an acquisition spree. Bain recently acquired an international procurement consultancy, and McKinsey & BCG continue to invest in downstream practices as well. In addition, over the last three years, EY has made a strategy-focused acquisition in Australia, while FTI doubled down on its TMT practice by acquiring Delta Partners.

Consulting Recruiting In 2023

What does this mean for you? Consulting is a great place to be, especially in an economic downturn.

However, it does become harder to break in to consulting in an economic downturn. Consulting recruiting in 2023 will prove to be no different. As big tech institutes hiring freezes and layoffs, and as deal volume slows in IB, more candidates will flock to consulting. While firms are actively hiring, greater demand for limited spots means…more competition!

Some numbers to illustrate why…

90% of this summer’s intern class should get full-time offers – and with fewer places to go, most will accept, which leaves too few spots.

Let’s do some math: start with 40 slots in an office.

  • 75% are earmarked for interns – 30.
  • 90% get offers – 27.
  • 90% accept – 24 slots full (in a “normal” year, it would be 80% or below).

A Special Recruiting Season

Contrary to popular belief, we’re not doing mental math because we enjoy it, but rather to encourage you to take this upcoming recruiting season seriously – starting right now.

This is one of the reasons we’re running a monthly cohort of our Black Belt interview prep program every month from April through October. Demand for consulting roles is higher than we’ve ever seen, and the supply of openings is still much lower.

Unfortunately, it will take more to stand out this year than it took last year. In summary, consulting recruiting in 2023 will be more competitive, but not impossible. If you’re ready to work with the experts to stand out, join Black Belt.

You can learn more about the program here.

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Filed Under: Consulting Firms