Consulting sector recruitment firm Lemon Talent turns one

25 January 2023 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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Despite unprecedented growth, the Australian consulting sector has struggled with a significant talent shortfall in recent years. Established to help address the issue, recruitment advisory Lemon Talent has just turned one.

Founded at the beginning of last year by former Big Four consultants Brook Coxon and Paul Minton, Sydney-based recruitment advisory Lemon Talent has celebrated its first anniversary, having achieved an 88 percent candidate to interview rate over its first twelve months in business.

Lemon Talent was established in response to a chronic local talent shortage, with a specific focus on recruiting for the Australian professional services industry.

Consulting sector recruitment firm Lemon Talent turns one

Their personal experience within the sector, the co-founders say, is what sets Lemon apart. Coxon spent seven years as a strategy and business transformation consultant between Ernst & Young and PwC, originally joining the latter in London in 2013 before switching to its Big Four rival in Sydney four years on. Also boasting seven years in the business, Minton was a consulting colleague at EY, with an additional background in auditing and finance at KPMG in Ireland.

The shared experience in migrating to Australia from the British Isles was another factor in Coxon and Minton’s desire to establish Lemon Talent, and to date they’ve successfully sourced talent from a diverse mix of countries, including the United Kingdom, China, Mauritius, Japan, South Africa, India, France and Singapore among other locales. Here, the team say they proactively recruit from overseas networks, and support candidates throughout the interview and migration process.

Ultimately though, the pair were looking to capitalise on the significant skills shortfall in Australia, which has in particular hampered the professional services sector and been exacerbated by the industry’s rapid growth over recent years along with the impact of response measures to Covid-19. Early last year, the Big Four alone had more than 3,000 advertised positions and were openly targeting overseas talent – a market ripe for Lemon Talent’s inception.

And the business appears to be bearing fruit, with 30 percent growth recorded in each subsequent quarter over the course of 2022. “Wow, what a year it has been! It’s certainly been a rollercoaster but we are proud of what we have achieved in our first year,” the company stated on LinkedIn. “There's been lots of blood, sweat and tears, but when hearing the thanks from candidates that we’ve found them their dream job in Australia it makes it all worthwhile.”

In addition to the 88 percent success rate in forwarded candidates landing an interview – described by Lemon Talent as one of its most important key performance indicators as to its focus on quality over quantity – other notable achievements include a 90 percent repeat business rate to date among clients across 14 industry segments, and 61 percent of its placements being female – helping the consulting realm in its aspirations towards greater gender diversity.

In an interview with the Australian Financial Review on the ongoing talent gap, Minton stated: “At the moment, we are not seeing any material changes to the talent shortage, which has been prevalent across the industry over the last two years. Firms across professional services and within industry are still looking to hire across all areas, particularly when it comes to the more niche areas in consulting such as technology, data and analytics, and risk.”