Yes, unfortunately recruiting is affected. Of course, while demand is less than normal it is by no means non-existent - I still have candidates getting offers to MBB and Tier 2s weekly!
While they are hiring fewer people, it really doesn't make sense to wait. A few months is not going to make any difference at all. The only thing that really matters is how strong you are as a candidate and hiring is not going to be any different for at least a year. You may as well try now, and, if you fail, you try again in a year!
Here are a few other thoughts on how COVID-19 is affecting the consulting world.
Most interviews will now be virtual. They may also involve COVID-19 as a topic!
For Virtual Interview Tips:
For Coronavirus Cases:
PUSHED STARTING DATES
A number of existing offers as well as future offers are coming with delayed start dates.
(If this happens, use the time to both upskill and find a 2nd job/internship in the meantime)
Some of the tier two firms are cutting costs through:
- Setting pay to 80%, with an opt-out policy (KPMG)
- Letting go of some staff with <6 months tenure (EY)
- Forcing unpaid leave for staff not on billable projects (Deloitte)
- Stopping bonuses
So far, it seems the tier 1 firms are cutting some bonuses and being stricter with the "Up or out" system. It seems unlikely they would rescind new hire offers, but you should always have a plan B.
Al this being said different geographies are different, as are different roles...even in tough times companies do hire and projects are won.
DELAYED AND REDUCED HIRING
There are a lot of companies, a lot of offices, with a lot of different timelines. I recommend you reach out to the recruiters of the offices + companies in which you are interested! This had the added benefit of you potentially being put in touch with a potential referee!
Take the initiative, reach out to the offices/companies you want, hustle hard, and find the jobs that are available and fight for them. Don't speculate...read the cards TODAY and operate as such, until something changes, then adapt.
THREAT TO THE BUSINESS MODEL
The top-tier firms are very nimble. They are notoriously "immune" to economic cycles. This Is because:
- When the economy does well, MBB are hired to help companies do even better
- When the economy does poorly, MBB are hired to help companies survive (cost costs, adapt, plan for the new world)
I can tell you that MBB are hustling hard and that when companies are in trouble, they look to MBB first for guidance. Strategy consultants help firms navigate uncharted territory...these times are when they're most needed
IMPACT ON TRAVEL
1) Yes it will affect the nature of work
2) I can't see it improving work-life balance. The fundamentals of top-tier companies in any industry are: Get the best, get the brightest, get the hungriest, charge them out for a lot, and work them hard
3) It'll change business trips in much the same way business trips will be changed across the world
4) It's anyone's guess as to whether WFH will become more acceptable in consulting. Personally, I doubt it.
IMPACT ON M&A ACTIVITY