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  • Writer's pictureBen Gutkovich

Money is not everything, but...

We hope you are all staying safe, healthy and at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many people have already lost their jobs during the crisis and many more will, as the lockdowns around the world continue. As a side project, we’ve launched a hiring status tracker for UK firms, across professional services, tech and industry.

The submissions thus far indicate that consultancies continue to interview and hire even through the crisis (for the moment), and it makes sense. First, consultancies can be flexible with the start date, and many are making offers now for September start, and second, consultancies rightfully expect a surge in work once the crisis passes. Many firms would look to cut costs, restructure their supply chains and acquire struggling businesses at a bargain price. All of these will require consulting support.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that many experienced professionals, who have lost their jobs or fear of upcoming cuts, have applied to strategy consultancies. Some of them are asking about compensation they can expect in the leading management consultancies in the UK.

Our research results by firm and role are below (indicative of 1st year in the role):

In a nutshell, it looks like both the MBB and the smaller consultancies are pretty much aligned on the base salaries, especially at the entry levels (Business Analyst / Consultant for graduates, Associate / Senior Consultant for postgraduate hires). Oliver Wyman falls slightly behind at the Manager and Principal levels, while Bain is c.10% behind the average at the Principal level.

Salary growth rate between the roles varies significantly. Business Analysts can expect their salary to almost double, as they move to the postgraduate level. Across all firms, the rate of increase slows to c.30% between for subsequent promotions. Consultants spend 2 years on average in a role, and can expect an increase of c.10% between year 1 and year 2.

It is important to keep in mind other aspects of compensation. Many firms start offering profit sharing starting from the Principal / Associate Partner level, which could be as much as the base salary. Consultants can also expect an annual bonus of 10-30%, and a sign-on bonus ranging between £5-10k for graduate roles and £15-30k for postgraduate roles, with MBB firms at the higher end of this range.

The good news are that if you are looking to move into a consultancy, salaries are similar across the firms, and shouldn’t be a deciding factor. Evaluate your options by the type of work that the particular office does, in terms of industry vertical (e.g., McKinsey in London is particularly strong in public sector work) or functional expertise (e.g., A.T. Kearney is known for its expertise in operational strategy work) and of course, cultural fit.

Have you decided which firm to apply to? Read our preparation guide, start early (hint: you'll need a few weeks, at least) and book your coaching session today to improve your chances of securing the offer.

Keep safe.

* The analysis was compiled using Glassdoor publicly available data, and relies on the accuracy of the self-reported salaries.

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