BCG accepts public sector and NGO employees for secondment

17 October 2018

The Boston Consulting Group has taken on public sector and non-for-profit organisation employees for an in-house secondment lasting from three to six months. The announcement of cross sector cooperation has drawn criticism from the national Labor Party and the Community and Public Sector Union, reigniting the debate surrounding consultants working in the Australian public sector.

The announcement was made by The Boston Consulting Group’s new Managing Partner Anthony Roediger. Roediger, who took the reins at the strategy consulting firm at the beginning of the month, said that the secondments would increase the level of cooperation and learning between sectors.

The consulting firm accepted three professionals into its offices across Australia, which include Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. “Over time we have had three people do secondments into BCG: two from Indigenous not-for-profit organisations, and one from a state government under a program organised by the Business Council of Australia,” Roediger said.

“The public servant typically works on projects with other clients and not back with their government,” he added, referencing the firm’s prior experiences bringing in public servants. “They have often worked on projects before but often in government there are usually several projects running at once and it's alongside their day job, whereas in consulting, the project is your day job. And they're working with different people with different skill sets; they might be working in a new industry for them.” 

As a part of the secondment, the three would join multiple project teams and focus on learning multiple skills which would then be adaptable in their own positions. Getting thrown into new situations is part and parcel of the lifestyle of a consultant and one which bring with it a valuable skillset. “There's lots of new experiences that they get from that which allows them to gain new skills, such as client service, which is our business,” he said.BCG accepts public sector and NGO employees for secondment

The new Managing Partner has been with the firm for over ten years and has a long history working with the public sector. Before he accepted the job as Managing Partner for Australia and New Zealand, Roediger ran BCG’s Asia Pacific Public Sector practice. “My career at BCG has been roughly 50 per cent working with private sector clients, largely in my early days at the firm, and the other half of the time working with pubic sector clients,” he said. 

Whilst Roediger said the firm is “open to hearing proposals from the Commonwealth government, alongside other organisations” about secondments within the firm, he touched on the controversy surrounding the scheme. However, he believes that concerns over conflicts of interest – particularly in the midst of the ongoing public/private sector debate for public work – were mitigated and easily managed when clear rules were set beforehand.

“Like any secondment arrangement, there have to be clear expectations, there has to be a framework for how it is set up. Whoever the person is, there's probably some things that they shouldn't work on. So you have to decide all that and do that upfront," he said.

Whilst one public sector employee spending three to six months learning from a consulting firm many not seem like such a big deal, the Australian sphere is saturated with a debate about public spending, and whether consultants and contractors should engage in public sector work, which is picking up due to increasing digitalisation across governments. It is likely to come into play at the next Australian election with the two major parties contending on either side of the argument.

Anthony Roediger has recently taken over the reins from Andrew Clark, who is on secondment himself to oversee the NAB’s transformation until 2020 as a strategic advisor. Andrew Clark has been instrumental in the consulting firm’s growth in digital transformation business and agile coaching due to accelerating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism.

Clark featured second on Australian Financial Review’s most influential Australian consultant ranking this year.


Big Four firms make it to the list of Australia's top 25 employers

18 April 2019

LinkedIn has come out with its top 25 companies to work for in Australia, and the Big Four accounting and advisory firms all feature on the list. The financial services sector emerged as the most popular, with the top four all being occupied by banking and financial services institutions. 

The list of top companies to work for is prepared for a number of major markets across the globe, and is based on four primary metrics to measure a firm’s popularity. The first is overall interest in the company, measured by the number of visits a firm’s LinkedIn page receives from outsiders.

The second is employee engagement, which examines how many outsiders view the profile of a company’s employees. Thirdly, LinkedIn records the number of applications received by a firm for each opening that it posts, in a bid to measure job demand at the firm. The last metric is employee retention, which is measured by the number of employees that remain at a firm for more than a year. 

All of the Big Four accounting and advisory firms have made the top 25 this year, which corresponds with a drive to employ young talent in these organisations. Early this year, it came to light that the Big Four were cumulatively planning to hire more than 2,500 graduates across the first half of this year.Big Four firms make it to the list of Australia's top 25 employersEngagement with these firms is a highly competitive process, helped along by the prestige and recently introduced comfort that the jobs bring with them. EY placed the lowest of the four on LinkedIn’s list – at 13th – although this might change for next year following its announcement in March this year that employees could potentially take as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year in the future. 

KPMG Australia was just ahead of EY, placing in 12th, while Deloitte and PwC made it to the top 10. Deloitte Australia placed in 8th, which can be attributed to a renewed focus in the firm on innovative human resources mechanisms, with the objective of becoming “the most inspiring firm to work with — for its people, its clients and its communities.”

PwC Australia, meanwhile, was the highest ranked accounting and advisory firm in the country in 6th place. Nevertheless, sixth position represents a dip for PwC, given that it has topped the entire list for two years in a row before this. The firm’s popularity is often attributed to its flexibility with employees considerations.

The top four positions on the list were all occupied by banks, namely the Westpac Group, National Australia Bank, ANZ and Commonwealth Bank in that order. Other big global names on LinkedIn’s list for Australia are Salesforce in 9th and global ecommerce giant Amazon in 10th.