7/13/12

What are your guys' take on Human Capital consulting? I have been talking to a senior manager at a top HC consulting firm and really like the firm and the people there. However, I have been told that HC is a hole in which once you start your career in it, you will never leave HC. I don't want that to happen to me. I do enjoy the company and the people there but would like to have exit opportunities into possibly a strategy/mgmt consulting firm (or even a different industry) after a couple years and a possible MBA.

Could anyone who was at a HC consulting firm reflect on this and speak about their careers after HC?

Thanks! Really appreciate it

Comments (25)

7/15/12

Once you do Human Capital, you tend to be stuck.

No different than those who go into Supply Chain, Risk/Controls, or LEAN. Simply put, you get golden hand-cuffs in any of these.

That being said, if you can network and show you're fully capable of doing 'anything' then you get those sorts of offers within the firm. I'm in HC, but I've done process improvement, supply chain, business model design, and might be doing some internal audit / divestiture work.

That being said, and depending on the firm, some interesting areas fall under human capital (at least to me).
- Organizational Design
- Change Management (very useful skill for any manager to have)

As for what you learn, at my firm we all learn the same methodology to approach the projects, regardless of what group in business transformation you are in. Exits to an MBA should be similar. The trick is, you are not a people person etc. you are a business consultant, who uses a people focused approach to solving problems. Low productivity? Well lets look at how jobs match the value adding processes, or how management is dealing with employees. Maybe there is a misalignment in compensation between areas of the company - conflicting incentives can easily over-power business processes.

Maybe the structure of the organization no longer matches their value-chain, or they have an old structure (say a capital projects company that hasn't move to a PMO centric model).

Unless you're thinking more along the lines of a boutique firm specializing strictly in HR consulting.....in which case, that's going to be your life.

Management Consulting Interview Course

7/17/12

Thanks for your reply.

How long have you been in HC and do you ever see yourself exiting anytime soon?

What are some positive aspects of HC consulting people don't realize until they are in the position?

7/17/12

Anything?

7/17/12

Is this Deloitte? If so, not a huge difference between S&O BA and this in terms of work (for your first year at least), it's the typical analyst stuff. Lot of excel and powerpoint, grunt work. The difference comes (I think) with the types of projects and exit opportunities. HCAs are typically on long-term integration project helping to support a manager/sr manager in human capital. They're one part in a much larger project. They're very rarely the typical HR issues/roles you might be thinking of, they more deal with organizational strategy/operations for workforce issues. Ranging from employment numbers to actuarial stuff. I haven't seen many 100% human capital projects, but that could just be lack of exposure on my part.

Exit opps, BA > HCA. But neither are bad experiences and I think HCAs tend to travel less and have a little bit better work life balance.

"Buy gas. It's a sure-fire commodity with no risk except for the sure risk of fire." - Stephen Colbert

7/17/12

You mean HR?

"After you work on Wall Street it's a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side." - David Tepper

7/17/12

Yeah, it's HR consulting... Aon Hewitt/Towers Watson/Mercer

7/17/12

I'd say it's definitely possible, but you might want to consider business school if you are not getting a lot of call backs.

7/17/12

Get a CFA if you don't want to spend money on MBA.

7/17/12

CFA could definitely help for ER role but not as effective for IB.
Need to spin your client facing story right and the analytically nature of the job to have a shot.

7/17/12

Thanks all. I don't see myself doing CFA right now, but MBA is definitely a possibility.

Management Consulting Interview Course

7/17/12

Consulting is generally a "reputable" industry from the perspective of the admissions committees. I don't think your focus area is especially relevant. They might judge that a Bain applicant is higher-end than a Mercer applicant, but they won't say Mercer HCC < Mercer Automotive (if there even is such a thing). So I wouldn't sweat it - and by "sweat" I mean "think about". It doesn't matter. Just focus on getting some decent stories of accomplishment under your belt.

Cred: I just went through the process and applied to five top-ten business schools.

7/17/12

If you are a senior, you are very late in the process. Mercer and Deloitte both had their superdays over two weeks ago. however, i know that some people declined offers so maybe if you make a call you can network in right now.

If you get your foot in the door, the interviews are not that difficult and it's a pretty good gig. Good experience and good comp. I've heard great things about Deloitte culture.
(Note: I did not go through this process but had an old roommate that did.)

7/17/12

When is the deadline/pipeline? I finish grad school in May 2016 so when should I start applying?

7/17/12

I second the previous user about the timing, but the human capital positions are not as competitive (or as lucrative) as the Strategy roles that everyone slavishly devotes themselves to pursuing (rightly so).

If you haven't missed the deadlines or pipeline, I'd apply. If you have anything in your background (work experience or coursework) that gives a story for why you're interested in the position, I'd go for it. Deloitte's website has more details and online practice cases specifically for the human capital track, so you can start your prep there.

7/17/12

When is the deadline/pipeline? I finish grad school in May 2016 so when should I start applying?

7/17/12

Probably around now

7/17/12

But what do you see as the exit opportunities if you do decide that HC is no longer your interest?

I'm in the same boat as OP, I think HC can be really interesting and great to work with but I fear the dead end...don't want to be stuck in HC forever if I don't thoroughly enjoy it come 5 years from now

7/17/12

Organizational Design
Change Management
HR Transformation
Talent Management
Total Rewards (Compensation & Additional Items)
HR Technology
Workforce Analytics (Engagement, Productivity)
Management / Leadership Development

While doing it you will learn how to be a Project Manager, Change Management, Interview Clients, Process Improvement, General Consulting Skills (Analysis, Data Collection, Issues Based Problem Solving, Business Transformation Methodologies, Building Business Cases, and just how to be a consultant).

If you don't think you can turn those skills into a job in industry or build enough relationships to lateral then don't. If you are confident you can find a use for those skills in another job...it's not really a dead end is it.

No different than Financial Effectiveness, Technology, or even Operations. Although operations is probably the easiest to move around with, you can make the move from any area if you're good at what you do and know what skills can be transfered to other jobs.

TT

7/17/12
7/17/12
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