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Trends by industry and job function and the key to success in mid-career recruitment in 2021 【Consulting】

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Posted by en world Japan

2 months ago

Gaps in demand in some consulting fields, and the market trend is for a recovery

When briefly dividing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic into IT/digital consulting and business consulting (personnel affairs, SCM, accounting consulting, etc.) and while IT/digital consulting did not have a significant impact in the first half of the year (April to September) and needs to be expanded in some fields, customer needs notably and dramatically decreased in the business consulting field, and organizations decided to reshuffle their personnel. In addition to the fact that many companies were forced into teleworking due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies conventionally planned to invest in internal digitization, and several business cases continue to increase as before in the IT/digital consulting field. ​

For recruitment, while no significant change took place in the IT/digital consulting, a change was observed in business consulting where the trend strengthened to demand talent who can immediately contribute after joining to acquire new projects, in managers and higher positions. For the second half of the year during and after October, the prospect of the entire consulting market is about to brighten because the impact of COVID-19 has gradually calmed down, and the business consulting field recovered the need for business improvements and new business investments, in addition to the fact that the needs in the IT/digital consulting field remain high.​


Increased demand for  IT/digital consulting professionals

In 2021, we expect the momentum from the second half of 2020 to continue without change, and the need for talent will increase. Consulting firms offer  solutions for customers’ business challenges since their services are to give recommendations for the design direction of companies and businesses in three years, five years, or ten years even at a time when the world has become chaotic due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, prompt digitization is particularly in demand on a global scale due to COVID-19 and because issues in the respective industries and within each company have been highlighted, recruitment is expected to accelerate in IT/digital consulting fields to resolve such challenges.


Increased demand for global talent who can speak English and aggressive recruitment of foreign nationals and women

In the consulting industry, greater needs are arising for digital-related professionals. In particular, the market value of those looking to change jobs who have experience in new technology, such as SaaS, ERP (enterprise resource planning), security, AI, blockchain, and IoT, has grown significantly higher in the present circumstances, and needs can be forecast to further increase. In parallel, because there are fewer projects completed in Japan today, the need for global talent who can speak (or at least read and understand) English has been increasing as well. From the perspective of diversity, companies aggressively recruiting foreign nationals and women are on the rise. Because the consulting business is labozzr-intensive, an increase in the number of employees equals business growth; therefore, recruitment of global talent and women is believed to further intensify, centered on the acquisition of talent in the IT/digital x business consulting field.


​Three characteristics of the consulting companies succeeding in recruitment

Companies successfully recruiting in the consulting industry have either of the following elements:

1) involvement in an advanced project 

projects that can realize 0 -> 1 and new technology-related projects​

​(2) the working environment is attractive 

overtime hours, a cooperative system with colleagues, and fair evaluations​

(3) an education system is in place 

whether they have the environment to educate the young adult segment and those from other industries, rather than recruitment of the only talent who are useful immediately after joining

For companies that would like to become more successful and further enhance recruitment, having these perspectives is believed to lead to further increasing the probability of success in hiring.


​Education after joining a company and corporate branding lead success in recruitment

​As almost all consulting firms recruit several hundred people annually, in addition to how firms educate those below the level of managers in the potential segment to promote early independence, branding of the company to acquire human resources will become very important. As the background that a major consulting firm’s business performance has rapidly expanded over the past few years, they have thoroughly implemented the above-listed two points listed above, penetrated the images of a company with good standing, and premised on education for people looking to change jobs, and realized an increase in the market value of individuals after joining the company. Among consulting firms, many companies stringently select and recruit people from the two perspectives of experience and personality; in particular, there is only a limited number of digital human resources whose needs have been increasing. Therefore, realizing project execution while educating and executing the recruitment strategy to change the image of the industry is believed to lead to successful recruitment.​​


The trend in the number of job orders and YoY comparison​
(Consulting and Business services)​



Consulting Division​
Sales Team Manager​
Yu Hiraoka

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How to succeed with mid-career recruitment with COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 (English)
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