In professional services, “digitalization”, “acceleration” and “diversity, equity and inclusion” already form the new narrative. But as we look to a more promising year, what words will describe 2022?
February 14, 2022 – Experts are making all sorts of predictions for the year based on our collective experience over the past two years. But as we all look to the future, what can we really expect? In a new report, Clark Beecher, managing partner and co-founder of Beecher Reagan, and Matt Greenberg, partner and director of the firm’s digital and analytics practice, give us their thoughts on how 2022 might unfold.
Among the key trends they see: digital disruption will solve supply chain problems at scale; digital finance will fundamentally transform the way organizations are run; verticalization will continue to modify the consulting ecosystem; digitalization will continue to challenge and change business economics; inflationary hiring is here to stay; the acceleration of performance will appear as an essential weapon in the war for talent; non-traditional hiring will fill the talent gap; D&I efforts will shift from hiring to accelerating; technology, travel and tourism will become industry hotspots; and the social objective will become a requirement to attract new talent. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Digital disruption will solve supply chain problems at scale.
“Toilet paper and rice puns aside, the supply chain saga has exposed the fragility of our increasingly dispersed and globalized supply chain,” the firm said. research in its trends report. “Meanwhile, digitization is now table stakes and companies are taking it seriously. Those who can leverage digital and AI to solve the large-scale supply chain challenge are poised to disrupt the competition,” he noted.
2. Digital finance will fundamentally transform the way organizations are run.
AI, cloud and digitization are now being leveraged to improve operational efficiency. They will change the way back-office fundamentals, like finance and human capital, are managed. The new frontier is digital finance, the research firm’s authors said. Capacity here will pave the way for new connectivity, adaptability and visibility on emerging challenges.
3. Verticalization will continue to change the consulting ecosystem.
Corporate identity has long been rooted in strategy or implementation, but rarely in both. “But as customers now demand ‘one-stop-shop’ solutions, organizations are looking for new operating models that meet both needs under one brand,” the authors said. “As a result, verticalization will increasingly define the business ecosystem, putting new pressures on talent and the business economy.”
4. Digitalization will continue to challenge and change business economics.
In the race to deliver end-to-end business strategy through value realization, the human capital-intensive labor that once was the financial bedrock of most traditional professional services organizations is being replaced by AI. , digital and automation. At the same time, customers are increasingly focused on results. “Together, these factors will continue to drive time and materials away from results-based fees,” said MM. Beecher and Greenberg. “The gain share will probably reach 50%/50% by the middle of the decade; a multiplication by almost 10 compared to 2017.”
5. Inflationary hiring is here to stay. . . at least for the foreseeable future. . . temporarily.
Talent trading has always been expensive. But today, inflationary compensation is hovering north of 25% (40% for diversity hires) from an average of 17% just two years ago, Beecher Reagan said. With the war for talent at its zenith, the inflationary hiring trend is expected to continue over the next few years. Assessing and accelerating your talent to maximize ROI will be imperative, as will choosing the right talent partner retained to help you do this.
6. Performance acceleration will become an essential weapon in the talent war.
With rare and scarce talent, focusing solely on recruiting new talent is no longer a viable growth strategy. Organizations today are wondering how they can make the most of the team they already have. Accelerating performance will emerge as the solution, helping organizations align and equip their talent to perform at their best.
7. Organizations will turn to non-traditional hiring to fill the talent gap.
“Along with the acceleration of partnerships, organizations will increasingly look to non-traditional channels, such as academia and industry, as a source of new talent,” the authors said. “But increasing their openness to talent means companies need to sequence a new professional DNA profile to succeed in leadership. What are the unrefined characteristics, skills and abilities that outside talent needs to excel in the consulting world? Those who do it well, and first, will benefit from a treasure trove of new talent and market potential, they added.
8. D&I efforts will shift from hiring to accelerating.
“Most, if not all, of our clients know that having a truly diverse workforce is an indisputable business imperative,” the authors said. Yet achieving diversity and inclusion hiring goals has proven to be a tremendous boon for most organizations. And with centuries of accumulated systemic forces to overcome, there is unfortunately no quick or easy solution in sight, they noted. Organizations will not only need to expand the aperture of the lens in which they view talent, but also work harder to identify and nurture high-potential talent from within. Identifying key high-potential talent to retain and accelerate their performance will play an increasingly crucial role in helping them achieve this.
Related: How to Prepare Candidates for a Successful Resignation
9. Technology, travel and tourism will become industry hotspots.
“As anyone who has tried to book a flight or rent a car in recent months already knows, travel and tourism has come back strong, fueled by pent-up consumer demand post-pandemic,” the authors of the report said. report. “Now businesses once shut down by shutdowns are finding themselves short of talent, leaving the industry ripe for disruptive innovations in price, speed and efficiency.” Meanwhile, technology remains a driving force with no signs of slowing down, the study authors said. “With 85% of most companies across all industries facing similar technology challenges, opportunities abound for those who can innovate with common solutions at scale,” they noted.
Fight the big quit with money
As the big quit has spread around the world, compensation experts have reminded organizations that there are many ways to attract and retain employees in addition to paying them higher salaries. But there is overwhelming evidence that the inescapable move for most companies is continuing to pay more, according to the latest findings from Korn Ferry, which found a record number of wage increases in the last quarter.
10. The social objective will become a requirement to attract new talent.
Demonstrating a genuine commitment to socially oriented prerogatives such as D&I, human rights, sustainability and climate justice may be the single most important step companies can take today to attract the talent of tomorrow, a said Beecher Reagan. “In the words of author and socially-minded entrepreneur, Jonah Sachs, ‘In order to tell better stories, brands must actually be better stories,'” the authors said. “Our brave new world of media has not only put the public in the driver’s seat; it also gave them the tools to instantly lift the curtain on marketing campaigns and examine the substance behind them. What story does your brand tell the talent you’re trying to attract, they asked.
Founded in 2009 by Mr. Beecher and Tim Reagan, Beecher Reagan is an executive search and leadership firm focused exclusively on the senior professional services and consulting talent market. The firm brings more than 100 years of combined experience to help professional services, Fortune 500 companies, and alternative investment firms align research strategies with organizational goals. Beecher Reagan associates have longstanding relationships in consulting, professional services and private equity.
Mr. Beecher has spent his career advising management consulting, technology services and business advisory firms on building and growing their industry, functional and geographic practice areas. He brings 20 years of leadership service expertise to his clients around the world.
Prior to joining Beecher Reagan, Mr. Greenberg helped lead the creation of a recruiting center of excellence for the digital arm of a leading consulting firm. He was also responsible for recruiting at the partner level, designing diversity programs and implementing a rigorous analytical approach to hiring.
Related: Hiring Top Talent in Unprecedented Times
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor; Dale M. Zupsansky, editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media