How can start up consultancies attract top talent from Big-4?

So you’ve taken the plunge and set up your own consultancy. You have the consulting knowledge, expertise and experience. You have the client contacts and pipeline of work. You’ve managed to build your business to around 10 people but now you are struggling to get more people on board. How do you attract people to apply to and ultimately join your fledgling business? Here are some ideas that you can put in place to ensure that you attract the right candidates.

Be different

Consultants leave the Big-4 as they get bored of the same old culture, bureaucracy and politics. You need to be different in some way, be that funky offices, a relaxed culture, flexible working, regular away days or something else. Don’t try and be a mini-Accenture or Big-4, candidates look for something genuinely different. 

Utilise your network

You’ve spent many years in consulting and have met many consultants along the way. Are they open to something new? Who do they know that may be looking? Offer referral rewards to your staff, it’s amazing how often they suddenly think of someone once there’s a cash or similar reward!

Competitive rewards & compensation

Candidates rarely move for less money but you don’t have to offer huge increases on base salary. Many boutiques have imaginative ways of improving remuneration including monthly spot bonuses for going above and beyond, utilisation bonus where consultants receive a percentage of their billable hours, as well as paying a bigger base with no bonus. Don’t forget benefits like strong maternity and paternity leave offerings, this can often be the difference between a candidate accepting or declining an offer.

Use a headhunter

Utilise the services of one or two headhunters to help find candidates for you. Ensure you spend time to meet them and really sell the business and culture and don’t just plump for the cheapest. Remember that they will be ambassadors for your business. As well as sourcing candidates a good headhunter will be a true advisor, helping define strategies for your interview process, marketing, salary guidelines, diversity tactics and so much more.

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