What is a generalist consultancy?

Generalist consultancies are large consulting firms that offer a wide range of services, from strategy consulting and human resources to IT and, in some cases, outsourcing on a global basis. They work across a variety of different sectors with a range of different projects.

The work

There is a real variety in working as part of a generalist consultancy as consultants have the possibility of working in business areas they may never have encountered. The work is varied and generalist consultants are required to understand each of the areas they work in through background research.

The work generalist consultants do is designed to make the client company more efficient and productive. They will look at the organisation as a whole and generate a personalised general strategy which will help with the overall effectiveness of the company.

The people

Consultants within these firms have and are hired for their broad knowledge of several different functional areas. Generalist consultants have easily transferable skills which enable them to transfer from different projects and sectors with ease.

It is common for a consultant within a generalist firm to move sectors on a project by project basis with no specialism. By comparison, a specialist consultant would have in-depth knowledge of only one area.

Sometimes generalist consultancies may hire specialist consultants to work on particular projects where a more in-depth knowledge is required. Within a generalist consultancy there is likely to be some consultants who have a specialist area – usually one the consultancy do much of their business in.

The firms

The ‘Big Four’

Employee profiles

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