This Year, McKinsey Aims to Welcome More New Colleagues Than Ever Before

This Year, McKinsey Aims to Welcome More New Colleagues Than Ever Before was originally published on Firsthand.

This post is sponsored by McKinsey & Company, No. 1 in Vault’s Best Consulting Firms to Work For rankings in 2021. A version of this article originally appeared on the McKinsey Blog on February 23, 2021.

This year may see many of us transition into the next normal, and for more people than ever, we hope that shift will include embarking on a McKinsey career.

In 2021, we aim to hire more new colleagues than at any time in our 96-year history. Together, they’ll fulfill dozens of different kinds of roles across cloud, data, and software engineering; implementation and change management; user and product design; business presentation support; and, naturally, strategic consulting.

“We’re growing and have seen that during this time of such uncertainty and change our clients have sought our support and advice more than ever,” says Brian Rolfes, the McKinsey partner who heads our global recruiting. “We opened two new locations in 2020 – Nuremberg and Santo Domingo – building on the 40 we opened in the last decade. We welcomed more than 5,000 full-time colleagues and 1,500 interns globally in 2020. And we recently acquired a new cloud consulting firm.”

That growth will help us better serve clients across a wide range of business functions, and it’s also helping us build a more diverse and inclusive firm that better reflects the communities in which we live and operate. We’ve expanded our recruiting strategy to include more historically Black colleges and universities in the US. “We are in a movement, not a moment,” says Roselyn Cason-Marcus, an associate director of recruiting and senior McKinsey Black Network hiring and retention. “Our leaders and our teams are working together, pushing forward, to create an even more inclusive environment where distinctive Black talent feels welcome and can thrive.”

Overall, we search for and find talent at a growing number of institutions—more than 370 schools last year—and hire talented experienced professionals from industry, academia, tech, and the sciences.

2020 tested our firm, as it did every organization, in a range of ways. Our top concern was and remains the health and safety of our people, who we supported through several wellbeing programs and initiatives. Meanwhile, the ability to work side-by-side with our clients onsite vanished overnight, forcing us to quickly adapt to virtual and remote settings.

During that time, as the stay-at-home orders were unfolding, we honored our outstanding full-time and intern offers. More than 1,000 interns globally—including more than 500 in our North American offices—were onboarded virtually, trained remotely, and connected with project teams that provided authentic McKinsey experiences. “After joining, my virtual onboarding was smooth and professional,” said Ikram Mecheri, a business analyst in our Montreal office. “I received all my IT equipment a week before my start date, so I was ready on day one. Several colleagues reached out to welcome me and make me feel at ease. I immediately felt at home.”

We have been recruiting for our summer 2021 interns and are excited and ready to welcome them in whatever virtual or hybrid fashion COVID-19 will allow.

Last year saw us strengthen our client selection process and due diligence efforts to help ensure that we create positive, enduring change in all our work. In response to COVID-19, we helped several organizations save lives and livelihoods by tapping into the expertise and experience of colleagues who are experts across a range of critical areas, including public health, healthcare operations, vaccines development, manufacturing, and supply chains, and more.

Elsewhere, among several sustainability efforts, we worked with the World Economic Forum’s Nature and Net Zero initiative to analyze how to create a voluntary carbon market of unprecedented scale to help combat climate change. And we are now one of 61 organizations that will share metrics focused on “people, planet, prosperity, and governance” as part of the Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics initiative.

The murder of George Floyd galvanized our commitment to anti-racism. In June, we committed to 10 Actions for advancing racial equality at work, and during the Davos Agenda this January, we became a founding member of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative, a new global coalition dedicated to fighting racism in the workplace.

Our work to find the best talent wherever it resides will accelerate over the coming months. For now, most of our recruiting events and interviews—like most of our client work—will be conducted virtually, as we follow local government requirements and health authority best practices to put the safety, health, and well-being of our candidates and colleagues first.

But even in a virtual world, says Brian, there remains perhaps no better place to work on challenges facing the world and organizations today. “Whether we’re helping clients navigate COVID-19, protect the environment, fight for racial equality and inclusion, or lead the way in technical solutions,” says Brian, “the efforts of McKinsey colleagues matter.”

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