2018 has brought new focus for Kelly Executive. While we have sourced talent in the Project Management and Consulting space for a long time, it has taken a particular focus over the past year and earned its own dedicated section of our website at the start of 2018.
Job Ad Growth in Management and Change Consulting increased 27.8% year-on-year at the end of 2017 (Seek Job Growth Report). These findings reflect what we have noticed in our work with Banking & Financial Services and Consulting firm clients - an increasing need in the market for project management and consulting professionals.
This state of flux in the market is being driven by numerous change programs being introduced by businesses to improve processes and stay ahead of competitors, while digital disruption in banks has led to a demand for project managers.
Professionals that can step up and take ownership of digital transformation will be invaluable as C-suite executives push decision-making further down into the organisation - over 50% of digitally maturing companies report needing new leaders in this space (MIT Sloan Management Review).
Our existing expertise in this sector and market demand has led to us carving out Project Management & Consulting into its own division of the Kelly Executive business. Now halfway through 2018, it’s a good time to reflect on this area of emphasis.
It has been a bit of a whirlwind. I have had a range of assignments from Senior-level search mandates to hiring for fixed-term contractors, and even spent a couple of months onsite with a client managing the end-to-end recruitment process, hiring for extremely critical and niche roles in a designated timeframe.
Recently, the range of positions within the project and consulting space has also been expanding as organisations speed up the implementation of their change programs; in just the last few months we have seen a large influx of assignments from our clients, particularly in areas of Business Transformation, Change Management, Process Improvement and Analytics with Digital Transformation and Robotics/AI leading the way.
Some of the roles we have recently worked in this space include Agile Coaches, Business Analysts, Project Managers, Transformation Managers, Technical & Project Specialists and Data Analysts, amongst others.
In addition, there has been a growing demand for fixed-term contractors. Contract work used to make up just 5% of our business but is around now 25% of our assignments. My colleague, Liam Parker, also explored the rising ‘free agent’ trend in the Banking & Financial Services sector in his most recent blog.
Project Managers and Consultants are being sought for a fixed period to deliver a specific scope, however it is not just specific projects and programs that are driving the demand for contractors but also the ability to ‘try before you buy’ and reduce hiring expenses of full-time employees that is appealing to organisations.
My biggest highlight in this space has been carrying out an end-to-end project for a full project team of contractors for a global consulting organization. The project involved everything from sourcing and conducting recruitment assessment days to onboarding and payroll in a very short timeframe! The team of process specialists was successfully onboarded in the designated three-week period, our client achieved their project objective and had zero attrition.
Another challenging role we recently worked was a Director-level Transformation role requiring strong domain knowledge in Retail Banking. This is another trend we are witnessing in this sector; that along with the rising need for broad talent in this space, digital-focused professionals with experience in a specific discipline such as insurance, retail banking or corporate banking, are in high demand.
Many organisations are eyeing this same talent which makes acquisition a challenge. I thrive in helping clients by identifying who may be the best fit for their team based on skills, the culture and fabric of the organisation.
I look forward to my experienced team using our skills, knowledge and network to continue building the Project Management & Consulting area of the business in the second half of 2018 as this sector continues to gain momentum and organisations focus on promoting their consulting practice and cutting-edge transformation solutions.
If you need help sourcing quality professionals in this space across Australia, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Author: Jasmine Kad is a Senior Consultant with Kelly Executive.