Consultancy firm McKinsey adds doctors, soldiers, railwaymen to hiring list

Looking beyond the traditional recruitment spaces such as IIMs and IITs, global consultancy firm of late, started adding other professionals like doctors, soldiers and railwaymen to hiring list write’s Rica Bhattacharya in ET. Last year, McKinsey India recruited doctors, railway services professionals and former military personnel as associates and business analysts, Rica writes and asks, “So, what is a doctor or an army special operations commander doing in a strategy consulting firm?”

She writes that the answer lies in the changing client demands in addition to heavy competition that makes it imperative to look beyond the prominent IIMs and IITs and look for human resources from a wider pool. What started as experiments led to the firm revamping its hiring process and talent strategy for India to cater to the shift in business strategy and client demands.

Toshan Tamhane, senior partner and lead recruitment for India tells Rica, “We have expanded our talent pool as the diversity of perspective gives a robust dimension, richness in team and client benefits.” Moving beyond IIMs and IITs, from where it continues to hire talent, McKinsey also heads hunts from leading educational institutions such as Saint Stephen’s College, Lady Shriram College, Shri Ram College of Commerce, law schools and design institutes. This year, the company is aiming at adding 200 human resources from campuses. There is also a big push being given to lateral hiring in the last one year, writes Rica.

“An estimated 25% of our talent comes from different industry sectors who have expertise in various areas and can work to solve the problem for our clients”, Tamhane pointed out. The firm has created more than ten new partner roles including implementation partner, digital partner, expert partner, recovery and transformation partner, analytics partner, design and innovation partner and public and social sector partner. McKinsey has around 60 partners in India, Rica adds. “Earlier, we were just advisors, but now for more than half of our clients, we are implementing these strategies as well”, Tamhane said.

McKinsey has been headhunting several roles including client developers, chief transformation officers, product managers, data scientists, knowledge experts, implementation consultants, design experts and solution architects. What is more, the firm had also recruited CIOs and CEOs of companies who can help with digital transformation, Rica writes. McKinsey, which is said to have the most significant number of CEOs produced by any institution around the world, has also been losing talent in the last couple of years to start-ups, private equity firms and general industry and retaining talent has been one of the critical challenges, Rica concurred.

Apart from that, there is heavy competition from other professional services entities such as Bain the Boston Consulting Group and the Big Four Advisory Services Companies, mainly Ernst & Young and Deloitte. McKinsey has been working on ways to retain talent. Furthermore, it has also increased the hiring of data and digital analytics professionals including data scientists, architects, PhDs in statistics and MSc in Economics. McKinsey’s digital, analytics and design team in India has more than 350 personnel. The change in talent strategy is also a result of changing employee mix where a whopping 80% of the over 4,000-strong India workforce is millennial.

Tamhane concludes, “They want variety. There is an increasing emphasis on health and social life. The millennial also wants to work globally. Regarding work, millennial can be staffed on engagement with overseas offices; one can choose to go for a short-time or permanent transfer to an overseas office.”
Image source: McKinsey’s website

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