Why Aim for a Large Management Consulting Firm?


Why aim for a large management consulting firm? This article aims to give you elements of reflection to feed your decision-making prior to your recruitment process, but also to give you ideas to incorporate into your personal presentation during the fit interview. All the candidates apply in different categories of firms, large and small. In the interviews, do not be overly naive or lie. Let’s take an example of being naive. Say you are invited in a small boutique of five consultants, and that your speech is around “I’m targeting a firm with a strong and organized logistics support offered to consultants” or “with highly formalized processes”.

It is naive because a small structure will probably not be able to meet your aspirations in these areas. Lying would, for example, say that you limit your scope to those boutiques when half of your target management consulting firms are large firms.


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That being said, aiming for a large firm presents at least three types of benefits:

  • Recurring recruitments
  • Structured organization and operating models
  • Brand image

Large Firms Have Recurring Recruitment Needs


For the game of turnover and volume, large firms are naturally drawn to recruit repeatedly. It is not uncommon to have the biggest firms even recruiting almost continuously, which is an advantage for applicants in terms of timing. In addition, given the volume of jobs to be filled — everything is relative, we are not in a sector of large volume of recruiting — the accessibility of large firms may be higher than that of small firms. It reminds me of the speech by a preparatory class teacher. The latter told that the Ecole Polytechnique, although the most prestigious Engineering School in France, was more accessible than the Ecole des Mines de Paris because the latter is so small that it gives promotions more selective than all the others. This phenomenon is also found in consulting. It is sometimes more accessible to get one of 100 annual McKinsey offers than the unique offer of the small local firm.


Structured Organization and Operation Model


Large management consulting firms offer consultants a lot of support services designed to enable their consulting staff to focus on customer needs and not on the administrative tasks.  Thus, a large firm will have IT support services, expert panels, and various types of secretaries to support the work of their consultants.

In addition, large firms have professional approaches that are often more formalized, allowing their consultants to acquire competence faster than elsewhere. When the time comes to leave the consulting firm, a large firm will also have a formalized process, allowing the consultant to prepare his transition in the best conditions.


A Brand Image


The largest consulting firms have a strong brand on the labor market. This image is an advantage when the consultant is on the job, as it allows him to already have some legitimacy when facing clients. But it is especially an advantage in life after consulting. Finally, large firms maintain their image through their alumni network, allowing multiple opportunities to the former consultant.


Other Resources On Management Consulting Firms


Links of interest - Management Consulting Firms Overview in The US
Videos on this topic - Management Consulting Firms Association
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