Trends for Independent Consultants

Author : Rolf Gerritsen
Published: May 25, 2012

A recent survey suggests that the number of managers being made redundant as a result of economic downturn is leading to a huge increase in the ranks of independent consultants. In fact, this particular source suggests the increase could be as high as 70%.The good news is that, while the supply side is increasing, so is demand. Researches conducted at ECRG Consulting, indicates that the average day rate consultants are achieving today is close to a very healthy £600 - as opposed to £530 back in 2009.

More and more companies are hiring contractors to help them transform their business. This is not surprising. After all, if an organisation is aiming to reduce costs, it can hardly bring in even more full time employees to reduce those costs.

Industries in High Demand of Independent Consultants

While working with a major bank recently, we set up an internal transformation office. This was almost exclusively populated by internal bank resources. But it was augmented by independent consultants who had specific expertise, capability and a proven track record. These contractors where all put on a 12 month contract, so that the Bank could disband the transformation office upon the successful completion of the assignment.

The banking sector is a particularly active source of employment for contractors. In fact, based on our ongoing conversations with leading UK banks, we estimate that there are roughly 10.000 independent contractors working in these organisations in the UK alone. Mining also appears to be on the up but the skills set required are usually quite specific and mining related.

Expertise and Desirable Skills

A few years ago, the predominant desirable skill set revolved around IT practices. Today however, the profile of requirements has changed drastically. Right now, banks are looking for consultants with expertise in business transformation, strategy, execution, culture, structure, innovation, leadership, talent and mergers & partnerships.

And if you can combine these management practices with a track record in Risk, Regulatory Compliance and Operations & IT, your marketability goes up even further.

So the demand for independent consultants looks healthy. The challenge is that the marketplace is certainly much more competitive these days. That means as a freelance consultant, your marketing material needs to be really sharp.

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