Hiring stop due to COVID-19?

Coronavirus covid19 hiring Interview
Anonymous A asked on Mar 20, 2020

Hi there,

I have an interview day at BCG in June and now I was wondering if the current COVID-19 affair could have an impact on recruiting (direct entry)? Do you think it would make sense to postpone the interview date?
I'm a little afraid of an "indirect" hiring stop due to a lack of projects. While BCG would probably do the interview proforma, they might not hire anyone at the moment.

I'd hate to miss my chance because of an unofficial hiring halt.

How do you see that? Should I postpone the interview, see what the current situation is developing or maybe ask directly the HR as soon as the date gets closer?

Thank you very much for your feedback!

Best,

AR

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Hi AR,

I am currently supporting many INSEAD students in their interview preparation and receiving daily feedbacks on consulting offices reactions to COVID situation. Summing them up:

Full time positions: at the moment hiring for full time position is mostly unaffected. Interviews are still taking place regularly. Worst case you will be asked to postpone you entry by few months (e.g. september).

Internship: strongly depends by company and office, some have closed hiring for summer, others have not changed their internship recruitment policy.

Don't hesitate to reach me out in case you need any more details on this topic,

Thanks,

Ale

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Anonymous A on Mar 23, 2020
Thanks for your thoughts! Best, AR

Hi AR,

I would not postpone at the moment, as you are too far from the interview date.

BCG will very likely hire someone anyway in the next round if there are valid candidates, as recruiting is expensive and consulting companies need people for replacement as well due to the high turnover. They may ask to postpone the start but if you pass the bar the will hire you anyway. On the other hand, they may raise the bar and hire fewer candidates due to the virus.

The key factor that will determine the level of recruiting will be the future forecast of the economic situation. My suggestion, therefore, is to wait to be closer to the interview date to make a decision (you will have more information then) and unless you can predict at that time that the situation will be significantly worst/not improving in the future, go for the interview at the currently scheduled time.

In case you have contacts in the firm, they may provide more information than HR on the real situation of projects, thus I would try to use your contacts as well if present to decide how to proceed.

Best,

Francesco

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Anonymous A on Mar 21, 2020
Thanks for you thoughts, Francesco! AR

Hey AR,

First of all my congratulations to your invite at BCG

I understand that you are now very uncertain about your future career in consulting. But I want to assure you that BCG will stick to the committment of having an interview with you. So you may be sure tto have it in Summer. What might indeed happen is that HR might contacting you asking whether it’s possible for you to reschedule it depending on their stuffing situation.

This being sad I would recommend you the following:

  1. Go for an interview and confirm the date
  2. Calm down from the virus paranoia
  3. Focus on the things which really matter in your life – have some good rest, spend a lot of time with family and friends (you will miss this time in consulting ?), read books and take care of yourself!
  4. Get ready and prepare yourself to the interview rounds at BCG (and other companies if you have further interviews)!

Keep safe and stay healthy!

Best,

André

(edited)

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Anonymous A on Mar 21, 2020
Thanks for you thoughts, André! Much appreciated. AR
Anytime. I have placed several mentees at BCG and other leading consulting firms. If you need any help - just send me a message. Good luck!

Hi!

Nobody will do an interiew "proforma" – if MBB conducts an interview, they take it seriously. I wouldn't postpone an interview date –> you now already got an invitation (which will happen less since recruiting is slowing down), so take advantage of it and try to secure an offer! I think there will be more filtering on the CV screening level, but if you are invited, you will be fine and not disadvantaged in any way.

Best,

Daniel

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Anonymous A on Mar 21, 2020
Thanks for you thoughts, Daniel! AR

Hi! I agree with the previous comments. I would also add that, after spending time and resources on the selection process, I doubt that BCG would turn down people due to an "unofficial hiring halt" and make successful candidates lose their opportunity. What may happen, I think, is the following:

- either interviews are postponed/paused untill the situation improves

- or the interviews are carried out normally, people are evaluated normally and, in case hiring is freezed for the moment, those candidates that pass the interviews are offered a contract with a later starting date or an undefined starting date.

My experience is that it is a big effort for consulting companies to find suitable candidates, so, when they find one, they try not to lose him/her! :-)

Therefore, I would not proactively postpone the interview you have in June, at least not now.

(edited)

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Anonymous A on Mar 21, 2020
Thanks for you thoughts, Jessica! AR

Hello!

At this point, the situation is evolving so fast that it´s difficult to predict, since the situation changes day after day.

Logic sais that, as well as clients are slowing down... so will consulting companies. This will inevitbly lead to a slow-down in hiring -but not a total freeze, as there was not a total freeze after the fall of Lehman-.

For people who are currently in the recruiting process, as per what I am seeing with my coachees, interviews are not being cancelled. They are either being posponed (with a determined date, not in an undefined way) or they are being shifted to video-conference.

Since you are currently in the process and have a date, that is also far away, I would wait and see. You can also touch base with HR, but most liketly they will tell you they don´t know what to do yet.

In any case, when you say that you are thinking of postponing it, what would be the rationale for that?

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Anonymous A on Mar 21, 2020
Thanks for you thoughts, Clara! AR

Hi Anonymous,

What I see currently going on (specifically talking about McKinsey) is that many projects are slowing down and travel is reduced to the absolute bare minimum possible (also clients don't necessarily want personal meetings with consultants at the moment..).

At the same time, some (few) projects even increase working remotely, but the total trend in this phase of high uncertainty is definitely pointing downwards.

Since recruiting activities are driven by project, for sure there will be an impact but for now we are all driving with very limited visibility.

Will they stop recruiting at all? For now I don't think so, but it depends on some facts that nobody can yet foresee!

Will the bar raise (because of potentially lower client demand and high supply on HR market)? Yes, I think so. For now that's the most likely effect for your hiring in June!

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Anonymous A on Mar 23, 2020
Thanks for your thoughts Robert. AR

Hello,

No one can really know about the new hiring targets until we won't see which will be the impact of the corona virus on the economy. So far consulting companies are trying to move forward with the hiring process using the videocalls.
Even if a global crysis doesn't mean that you don't have projects (think about cost cutting or restructuring process and about all business plans that have to be reviewd) it's likely that they will slow down (but not freeze) the recruitments until they won't understand what is the real impact of the corona virus.
Anyway if they will not cancel your interview, it means that there is on opportunity to have an offer, since they don't waste their time just to be kind. Even if it will not be the best historical period, I would suggest to do your interview interview because you can't really know when Covid effects will be ended, it could take more than one year.

Best,
Luca

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Anonymous A on Mar 21, 2020
Thanks for you thoughts, Luca! AR

No one apart from BCG can accurately predict what the situation is going to be with regards to hiring. They could see no change in demand, they could delay start date or pause hiring or they could see growth in non-traditional industries. Your best bet is to show up fully prepared on the day of your interview and impress them as a candidate.

All the best,

Udayan

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Anonymous A on Mar 21, 2020
Thanks for you thoughts, Udayan!

Hi,

It highly depends on your location, company preferences, position. I can explain it in the following way:

Firms:

  • MBB: less affected, interviews are still conducted, offers are issued for Q3 and Q4 2020 and Q1 2021; companies still have business and enough liquidity to survive; some offices expect to grow in terms of revenue for 2020
  • Tier 2: highly affected, the general trend is that interviews are postponed, the majority of firms do not issue offers, some firms experience liquidity gaps and cut FTE or ask employees to take an unpaid leave
  • BIG 4: less affected, advisory business experiences problems, but recurring revenue from Tax and Audit allows to manage through temporary uncertainty

Geographic coverage:

  • USA: the strongest market for consulting, interviews are conducted, offers are issued, consulting revenues might even grow
  • Europe: consulting is affected, but is expected to recover in Q3 and Q4
  • CIS: consulting is affected, MBB and BIG 4 will survive, as well as Accenture, but boutiques have liquidity problems
  • Asia: consulting revenues begin to recover, but Hong Kong political crisis still creates uncertainty around Financial sector and transportation (that affects consulting revenues from these industries)
  • Middle East: MBB firms still conduct interviews, consulting business starts to recover slowly, low oil prices still slow down the economy
  • Latin America: no info
  • Australia: no info

Positions:

  • Interns: affected, interns is a long term game for consulting firms (as well as a way to handle “monkey” tasks) and consulting firms at the moment are not super focuses on long term investments
  • Junior and middle management: less affected, hiring is in progress across MBB and Big 4
  • Principals & partners: less affected, consulting firms still look for experienced leaders

Programs:

  • Summer programs: the majority of programs are cancelled, bad news
  • Full time: highly depends on other factors

Career tracks:

  • Generalists: generally affected as consulting firms currently have more demand towards digital and data driven projects
  • Industry focused experts: depends on the industry, but oil and gas industry is affected
  • Digital experts: almost not affected, high demand for digital projects and the supply of experts is weak
  • Data scientists: not affected at all, consulting firms are heavily hiring data scientists

Hope this helps!

Anton

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Hi,
unfortunately, nobody now is able to predict the precise effects on each business. The 2 true facts today are that interviews are taking place regularly but online instead than face to face, and that many new consulting projects are being paused. Therefore if this lockdown continues for long it can cause a shrinking in new hires.

Best,
Antonello

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Anonymous A on Mar 23, 2020
Thanks for your thoughts Antonello. AR

Hi there,

No one knows what will be next. But I recommend you not postpone it. Of course, it's a high competition these days. So applying with a referral would be a great possibility to get a job.

Asking HR would be also a good thing as they would help you with some advices.

Do you need any further help?

All the best,

GB

(edited)

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Anonymous B replied on Jun 10, 2020

Not so sure, at least for Europe/London/Germany

1) Bain earliest interview date is October 2020 and start >Q2 2021
2) BCG cant make offers for 2020 and right now not even for 2021

Interviewing right now is a lost cause. They try to keep their image to avoid a Deloitte disaster, but they equally struggle...

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Anonymous C on Jun 10, 2020
Agree! I can confirm for Germany.
Alessandro gave the best answer

Alessandro

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