Welcome to your quarterly update on the Strategy market, where we provide you with insights from the previous and upcoming quarters.
What were the market trends for last quarter?
After a slow start to 2018, Q3 saw a huge amount of growth in both roles and candidates registered. From a client perspective, hiring centred on the more junior levels (2-4 years' experience), meaning the Morgan McKinley team had eight live mandates looking for the same Strategy Analyst candidate. From our candidate's side, businesses with a 'start-up' feel, a presence in emerging technology or a focus on disruption and diversification were the most appealing - and as always, any businesses operating a partnerships or new ventures function were highly sought after.
What are the major skills in demand?
This time of year always seems to be the busiest for clients looking for candidates and the hardest time to get people to move. As mentioned previously, there is a high demand for 2-4 year level consultants, specifically with experience across Customer Experience, AI or Data Analytics.
Where are the skill gap shortages?
Strategy consultants are still, as ever, very much in demand. We are currently finding that consultants with experience in operational strategy have become a focus and sometimes a preferred option, not only consultants who have experience in longer term strategic planning. Digital and emerging technologies are areas of interest for clients, so candidates with experience across 'Internet of Things', 'AI' and 'Robotics' would be considered desirable.
At the executive level
At the senior end of the market we have been mandated with a number of "Head of" or junior "GM" level roles. The majority of these are as a result of predecessors being promoted into the business, which bodes well for anyone with aspirations of securing a line role in the future. These teams are seen as incubators for future leaders in their organisations. Most large companies are still unlikely to hire externally for line roles, preferring to promote someone from the business.
Although, at the more junior end of the market there is a shortage of candidates, there does seem to be more candidates at the executive level open to opportunities now compared to previous years. Some of this activity has been down to redundancies in the large ASX organisations, more often though this has been caused by strategy executives unable to see where their future career opportunities lie in businesses where so many cuts have been made.
The outlook for next quarter
Q4 is sure to continue the trend of a busy lead up to Christmas! We expect record numbers of candidates to reach out, hoping to take advantage of hiring budgets which may expire at the end of 2018. Strategy functions are growing across the board, and with recent project pipelines in major consulting firms turning towards transformation and recovery, candidates in search of growth strategy work are looking to move to internal corporate functions. The next wave of technology is having impacts across the board, so businesses contemplating the IoT revolution - or current strategy professionals with skills in this area - will find themselves with first pick of the market!