Sonovate’s research on UK consultancies’ difficulties hiring specialized personnel. Discover ways to overcome the recruitment barrier and how it affects business growth and competitiveness.

With new data, embedded finance and payment solution provider Sonovate highlights the significance of recruiting and keeping specialized personnel for the survival of UK consultancies. But is the simple answer really a solution?

Sonovate examines the opportunities and challenges confronting UK consultants to promote business growth and ensure long-term competitive advantage in a new report titled “The Consultancy Conundrum: growth and the double-edged sword of specialist talent.”

According to a recent study, 85% of small consultancies—those with ten to 49 employees—and 55% of medium-sized businesses—those with 50 to 249 employees—say that specialization limits their ability to increase their clientele. Finding specialized personnel to serve any new clients they acquire, however, is a hurdle that is making the problem worse.

Eighty-five percent of small consultancies and eighty-two percent of medium-sized consultancies reported that while they have enough qualified individuals on their teams to continue providing excellent client service, they would need to add more consultants in order to grow their operations. Because they lack the capacity to take on extra work, 55% of medium-sized consultants have expressly lost out on contracts.

For the majority of businesses, it is difficult to find specialists to join consultancies. There is a dearth of highly qualified, experienced consultants, according to 57% of all consultancies, and they have trouble attracting and keeping enough of them. When only considering medium-sized consultancies, this issue reached 77%.

In contrast to generalism

One method being proposed to address this problem is for businesses to completely abandon their specialization and concentrate on a more generic strategy. While this might make it easier for consultancies to hire more freely, many businesses have said that reducing expert specialization may not be beneficial to their long-term survival.

85% of small consultancies and 77% of their medium-sized counterparts believe that their specialization gives them a competitive edge over generalist rivals, which would increase the likelihood of the firm’s long-term survival.

The report’s conclusions were discussed by Damon Chapple, co-founder and co-CEO of Sonovate: “Sonovate’s research unequivocally demonstrates that expert talent remains important to consultancies’ long-term competitive advantage. However, it’s noteworthy how the data also shows how specializing can limit business growth in the short run, especially given how important it is to hire specialized expertise.

Finding, obtaining, and retaining specialized expertise can be difficult. Without it, a company won’t be able to sustain a competitive advantage over time, yet obtaining it requires resources, time, and effort that smaller consultancies can frequently not afford to waste. A specialty is essential to commercial success over competitors, despite how difficult it makes a business’s growth approach. It is crucial to learn how to navigate this complexity.

Sonovate’s research
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