Professionals who have decided to commence a consultancy career should face the following question early in their orientation process: ‘Which segment within consultancy fits with me?’ Generally, six areas of advising are distinguished in the active consultancy field.
In the past years, the advisory branch has developed into one of the most mature area of business in the professional services. Nowadays, six key domains are distinguished within the consultancy landscape, all of which incorporate both lending as well as offering services in more than 200 sectors and industries. The six domains are: Strategy Consulting, Management Consulting, Operations Consulting, Financial Advisory, HR Consulting and Technology Consulting.
Strategy Consulting is the collective name for all the areas in which consultants focus on strategic concerns. In general, clients hire strategy consultants for support and to draft and implement business strategies, mergers and acquisitions, client strategies, organisational strategy, IT strategy and economic policy.
Among the high potential graduates working in strategy consulting mostly fulfills the ultimate dream, in which they deal with complex challenges for high impact clients. For obvious reasons, strategy consultancy offices apply strict criteria with regard to possible candidates who, besides excellent quantative qualities as C.V., also earned high exam results, in both higher education and during their academic studies. Strategy consulting is known in the market for the high volume professionals spend on working which, on the other hand, is rewarded by high earnings and a compelling working environment.
Management Consulting, also referred to as Business Consulting or Organisational Advise, is defined as ‘advise and/or implementation services to management toward improving effective business strategies, operating models and operational processes. Management consulting is the broadest area in the consultancy market, through the huge diversity in industries and variety in necessary competencies of advisors, and is made up of between 50% to 55% of the total consulting market. Services that are generally considered ones of management consulting are: Operations Consulting, Finance Consulting, Change Management, Supply Chain Management, Outsourcing Advisory and HR Consulting.
Operations Consulting, or Operations Management, is defined as advice and implementation services that improve the level of operation and performance at organisations. Consulting project within operations management work at achieving a more efficient operation for clients by advising and supporting during the change implementation process of organisations. The focus points are functional operational processes, management systems, company culture along with other elements that relate to the value chain.
Consultants in-the-making who want to take a plunge at operational concerns; among which developing and implementing i.e. cost-reduction programmes, optimising service delivery models and detailed design and implementation of business transformations, are at the right place working in operations consulting.
The Financial Advisory (or Financial Consulting) segment delivers consulting services that are of strong analytic nature. This segment covers a variety of offered services, among which transaction services, risk management, tax advice or i.e. real estate, compliance and litigating services.
The market for financial advisory services specifically consists of eight disciplines: transaction services, corporate finance, crisis & recovery, risk management, account services, tax advise, real estate services and forensics & litigation. Originally, the market for financial advisory services were dominated by companies with a background in tax and audit services like major accounting and advising organisations. Though in the past years, companies from other segments like strategy consultants, process specialists, economic experts and IT agencies have developed and expanded their competency in these matters.
Upcoming consultancy talents with a financial background, or with an affinity to financial concerns will tie in nicely to the Financial Advisory segment.
Human Resource (HR) Consulting, also sometimes referred to as Human Capital Advies or HRM consulting, is a collective term for all advise and implementation activities related to managing human capital and the HR departments within organisations. The HR advising landscape varies from overarching work; like in the area of human resources strategy, the design and development of a compensation & benefits framework to activities on the work floor; like transforming the HR department. The HR Consulting market is also made up of eight key disciplines: human capital strategy, compensation & benefits, organisation change, HR department, talent management, HR analytics, learning & development and HR technology.
A logical progression for (Young) professionals with a background in, i.e. Human Resources or HRM, is to advance their career in the HR consulting segment within the advisory branch.
Technology Consulting, or else IT / ICT Consulting or Technology Advising, is an advice segment that focusses on advising companies on how best to use information technology (IT) in order to achieve their company goals. IT Consulting contains both advise as implementation services, but does not focus on transaction activities within IT. The market for IT consulting is also made up of eight disciplines: IT strategy, ICT architecture, IT implementation, ERP services, system integration, data analytics, IT security and software management.
Graduating talents with a passion for IT and communication technology with wide base of IT knowledge are in the right place in the IT consulting domain. In most cases, completing an IT study is a prerequisite for a consultancy career in IT consulting, moreover, for many organisations it’s an absolute requirement.