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Certinia report examines motivation in consultants
Thu, 1st Feb 2024

A recent survey by software vendor Certinia, highlights what keeps services business consultants motivated and committed to their roles, with the factors varying depending on the country the consultant is located in. The insights, which delved into responses from 1,100 consultants across the USA, Australia and Singapore, underline the importance of understanding region-specific workforces when trying to retain top talent.

Regional differences in motivation were noted, with the report revealing that 28% of APAC consultants are driven by the desire to constantly enhance their skills, compared to 20% in the US. Meanwhile, collaboration with colleagues in adjacent functions appealed more to US-based consultants (23%) as opposed to the 15% in the APAC region.

However, according to Seleen McKinnies, Vice-President of Certinia APAC, the one commonality across all regions was the consultants' interest in putting their skills to practical use for problem-solving. This sentiment resonated with 36.5% of APAC and 33% of US respondents.

Other key differences between the regions include a higher percentage of APAC consultants (27.5%) feeling under-utilised compared to 17% in the US, and 27% of US consultants thinking they're working more hours than their colleagues, compared to 19.5% in APAC. Moreover, 25% of US consultants felt they were missing out on interesting projects, compared to an 18.5% share in the APAC region.

“These findings underline the importance of aligning consultants with projects that not only match their current expertise but also offer growth opportunities," notes McKinnies. "However, it’s not just about keeping consultants busy; it’s about keeping them engaged in the right way."

From an organisational perspective, visibility into consultants' skills, interests and aspirations is critical to avoid suboptimal resource allocation.

When examining the most valued aspects of a role, the study found that a healthy cultural environment was twice as important to APAC consultants (28%) compared to those in the US (14%). Furthermore, 25% of US consultants placed importance on flexible work locations compared to 18.5% in APAC. Salary, surprisingly, was underscored as being doubly important to US consultants (14%) compared to those in APAC (7%).

"Consultants are seeking a culture where they can grow, and this growth is directly linked to how they are allocated to projects," adds McKinnies.

The survey also asked about the most effective ways to accelerate business results. The top response in both APAC (43.5%) and the US (40%) was improving resource allocation. Additionally, 21% across all regions suggested reducing the number of consultants. However, 18% of APAC consultants believed the answer was increasing the number of projects or managers, compared to only 13% in the US.

This study gives a comprehensive understanding of consultants' preferences and areas of job satisfaction, depending on their respective regions. It serves as a resourceful guide for consulting businesses in optimising their talent allocation strategy.