Well… The past few months have certainly been very different to this time last year, where the majority of activity was coming from the internal strategy functions of major corporates looking to grow or replace talent. Instead, this year has seen us working on very different types of opportunities as companies attempt to keep up with what has become an environment of disruption.
We are seeing major corporates looking to monetize their data, with Big Data opportunities springing up left, right and centre; financial institutions are also worrying about being the last ones to jump aboard the FinTech wagon. And whilst we’re loving the opportunity to work these new types of roles, the benchmark is high and skill sets very specific, resulting in a lot more offshore headhunting.
Companies are fighting for the limited talent available and are having to build a compelling value proposition to secure top tier talent, especially if they posses that elusive digital or big data experience. This talent is also being tempted by the allure of start-ups, disruptors and the Google’s of the world, making attracting the best of the best even harder.
One thing we’re having to coach our clients in – particularly large corporations where it’s not in their DNA to be as nimble as a start-up style business – is the need to run a seamless, and often expedited recruitment process. Some clients are finding a clear competitive edge in turning around a process in under a week, others are having to reassess remuneration bandings to attract top talent. Given the significant amount of offshore candidates we’re having to headhunt, relocation packages are also becoming far more topical.
The final trend we’ve noticed is approaches by a significant number of management consulting firms also looking to build out their strategy practices; top tier’s are increasingly working with their clients developing agile capabilities to deal with continually-changing operating environments, whilst the major professional services firms are looking to leverage their technology transformation expertise into digital strategy capabilities. To this end, they’re much more open to accepting offshore talent and as such we’ve secured a number of very strong candidates on their behalf.
From our end, we’re having to be increasingly innovative in how we identify top talent, the most recent example of which is my talent roadshow to Europe. Selling “Australia” is quite an easy proposition, but meeting candidates face-to-face proves we mean business, and this shows in the calibre of candidates we now have interviewing with our clients.