Consultants thriving in uncertain times

Over the course of our ‘thriving in uncertain times’ series, we’ve speculated that the EU referendum could bring new opportunities and developments. In times of uncertainty, many larger businesses turn to independent professionals over full time employees. This appears to be the case for UK consultants following the EU referendum, who are now seeing a boost in the consultancy market.

New snapshot data, reported by the job search engine Adzuna in the Guardian yesterday, suggests the average advertised salary for consultancy jobs was 8.9% higher than a year ago. As a whole the number of consultancy jobs has also increased by 10%. Similarly, our own Market Watch data shows that despite a dip in the weeks surrounding the referendum, the contractor market has now returned to pre-referendum levels and is generally healthy.

Adzuna’s co-founder, Doug Monro, attributed the increase in the consultancy market to companies looking for ‘highly skilled experts, without having to shoulder the burden of an expanding wage bill’. It seems employers may well be more tentative about investing and hiring new permanent staff, as we await the start of Brexit negotiations and their potential business impacts. As we saw in the the global recession of 2008, business decision makers will look for opportunities to maximise growth. If there’s enough confidence to invest, but not enough to take on permanent employees, this creates the perfect conditions for a buoyant consulting market.

Adzuna also suggested consultants are gaining from stepping up to help ‘demystify the business consequences of the vote’. There’s certainly been a boost in demand for legal and financial consultants as businesses prepare for upcoming changes. Including our government who have recruited consultants, such as McKinsey, in preparation.

It’s great to see that consultants appear to be thriving in post-brexit uncertainty; benefiting from boosted demand and salaries.

For more news, tips and guides on thriving as an independent professional, take a look at our ongoing series.