The digital transformation of consultancy – what is changing for graduates and young professionals?
The opportunities afforded by artificial intelligence (AI) are fueling the digital transformation, at both corporate and consultancy level. In 2016 alone, companies made investments in AI development to the tune of figures in the high double-digit billions. We have examined the changes from an HR perspective and evaluated the implications that AI and similar emerging technologies will have on graduates and young professionals in particular. Markus Mann, Head of Human Relations at Q_PERIOR, answered questions on the topic in an interview.
Thinking about the situation today, what attributes do junior consultants need to have when starting a career in consultancy, and what skills are developed on the job?
Markus Mann: To enjoy a successful start to their career at Q_PERIOR, junior consultants basically need to identify with our company values – PERSONAL, DYNAMIC, PROACTIVE – and have a keen interest in management and technology-related matters. Once they have started at Q_PERIOR, as part of our Consultant Program we specifically help young professionals to further develop their professional, methodical and personal skills. They are trained as either traditional or agile project managers, for example, and get to know the most important management tools. In doing all of this, together we are laying the foundations for them to have a successful career in consultancy – and beyond.
How is digitalization changing demands?
Markus Mann: Concepts such as chatbots, robo-advice and AI are being introduced in companies. And the project requirements are also changing as a result of this: while simple routine work such as minute-taking is no longer necessary, the ability to coordinate mixed teams is becoming increasingly important. Ultimately, project teams will in future be made up of a combination of local, international and AI resources. To ensure that this set-up works, we are training our consultants specifically to manage diverse and complex contexts.
The digital transformation means that the ability to promote innovation is also gaining in importance. Consultants who are able to evaluate the potential of new technologies and integrate them into existing, complex value creation chains are particularly in demand.
How are you preparing graduates and young professionals for these changes?
Markus Mann: We are drawing on three areas: targeted further training in the area of the digital transformation, Q_PERIOR internal innovations, and incorporating innovations into project work. Not only do we give our consultants time and incentives for developing concepts, but we also integrate new ideas into everyday work too. We believe that this delivers the greatest added value, as our consultants are therefore learning to test and implement innovations in practice.
What kind of graduates are in particularly high demand at Q_PERIOR at present?
Markus Mann: Graduates who are enthusiastic about business topics and who have a flair for technologies and innovations. Does that mean we’re looking for business administration graduates who can code? No. Rather, we’re after personalities, unconventional thinkers and go-getters who are passionate about high-quality results. Interested individuals can find an overview of the current vacancies on our Careers page.