Over half of consulting firms in MENA recruiting fresh talent

12 October 2020 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read

Despite facing disruption from the Covid-19 industry, more than half of large consultancy firms in the Middle East are planning to recruit new consultants in the coming months.

When the Covid-19 pandemic triggered lockdowns globally and across the Middle East, and in its slipstream large-scale cost cutting on discretionary costs, consulting firms were bracing themselves for their darkest scenarios. In March, a survey held among partners and leaders of consultancies found that the Middle East’s consulting market could lose up to one-fifth of its value – or $600 million – by the end of this year. 

Fast forward six months and the regional consulting industry has proven remarkably resilient to the corona crisis. While significant work was initially paused or delayed, much of this portfolio has now been resumed as clients and their consultants have adjusted to digital and remote working. Consultants were always pretty adept in working remotely, but in light of Covid-19, they have in no time been able to facilitate digital project delivery and shift internal activities such as business development, knowledge sharing and team engagement to an online environment. 

Recruitment outlook in the Middle East

More importantly, alongside a number of offerings that traditionally thrive during downturns (restructuring, reorganisation, cost cutting in supply chains, defensive M&A, etc), the unprecedented changes in the landscape have driven new client demand for Covid-driven transformation projects as companies seek to achieve cost efficiencies and prepare operating models for a ‘new normal’. 

This in turn is seeing many of the region’s largest consultancies open their gates for fresh talent, a development that has been confirmed by a survey from job board Bayt.com and market research company YouGov. Having surveyed 1,055 respondents from across the MENA, the researches pinpointed consulting as the sector with the highest hiring appetite of all. 

Over half (58%) of respondent working at management consultancies said that they plan to recruit more staff in the coming three months, ahead of healthcare and energy companies, both at 55%. In comparison, in other sectors, such as the beleaguered aviation and tourism segments, less than 10% of companies are eyeing fresh talent, understandably in light of nosedived demand operators are having to cope with. 

Taking a 12-month perspective, consulting firms again top the list in terms of hiring intentions (81%), followed by the internet/e-commerce (68%) and consumer goods (66%) sectors. According to Zafar Shah from YouGov and Ola Haddad from Bayt.com, the results demonstrates the continued need for change and progress. “Our region continues to evolve and transform.” 

Respondents of the survey were from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Qatar, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan and Morocco.