The permanent salaries index has signalled consistent rises in the starting salaries for Management Consultants throughout 2023. This has been the case for over 2 years now.  However, our own survey suggests that from May onwards, this has come to a very sharp halt.  Perhaps unsurprisingly so as across the industry, we are seeing redundancy programmes throughout the largest consultancies.  Clearly, it has been an uncertain and challenging few months with an opaque outlook for the second half of 2023. Utilisation rates decreasing.

On the contrary, our survey data pointed to a sustained rise in the day rates of Associates apparently unaffected by the economic headwinds. Thereby stretching the current period of inflation to 27 months.  It stands to reason that the desirability of this flexible ‘workforce’ will be resolute in such times.  On the surface, it has never been a better time to be an Interim or an Associate Management Consultant.  If you possess the requisite consulting change & transformation skills and are comfortable waiting out for your next project, then this way of working is financially beneficial.  It remains to be seen if the increased availability of labour post-redundancy programmes will distort pay & day rates.  Our next survey provides Q3 data that will give evidence of which way the market is heading.

So the answer is yes it is an ideal time to be an Associate Consultant, delivering on programmes without the pressure of fee earning or upselling services. But with the market increasingly awash with talent and bench utilisation diminishing it could quickly change.  Watch this space.