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McKinsey Recruiting Update February 2021

As a follow-up to our McKinsey Recruiting – Fall 2020 blog, we caught up with Brian Rolfes, the partner in charge of global recruiting for McKinsey, for the latest on summer internships, hiring, and much more.
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While 2020 was an interesting year to say the least; in some ways, 2021 may be just as unusual. If you’re considering a career switch or getting ready to graduate, McKinsey is strong, growing and hiring.

We sat down with Brian, the partner in charge of global recruiting, for the inside scoop. He’s been at the firm for 25+ years, starting as a consultant before taking leadership roles focused on McKinsey’s people and candidates. He is also one of the firm’s inclusion and diversity leaders and a co-founder of GLAM, McKinsey’s LGBTQ+ network.

Is McKinsey hiring right now?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, we’re aiming to hire more new colleagues this year than any previous year in the history of the Firm.

Most of the deadlines for our summer internship program in North America have now passed, but we’re actively recruiting hundreds and hundreds of people into more than 500 different types of roles around the world, ranging from internships in Europe to full-time consultants globally; cloud, data and software engineers; professionals in areas like implementation and change management; business presentation support specialists; and many more. You can check them all out on our careers website.

Admittedly, it’s a daunting list, so if you’re not sure, try our Find Your Fit quiz to get started.

We also host exciting events around the world during the first half of the year and this list is always growing and expanding. They provide amazing opportunities for prospective joiners to learn more about who we are and what we do. I encourage you to check them out and sign up for whatever piques your interest.

Why should I consider joining McKinsey – especially now, while the global economy is still struggling?

Great question – and there are so many reasons. Of course, I may be just a bit biased.

One important reason is for the work our colleagues do. There’s no better place to work on challenges facing the world and organizations today. From navigating COVID-19 to protecting the environment, fighting for racial equality and inclusion, leading the way in technical solutions, and more – the efforts of McKinsey colleagues matter. And what’s been exciting is, even during COVID-19, our clients have sought our support and advice more than ever. That’s translated into growth: 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.

This scale matters for our colleagues because it gives them options. We offer nearly 40 more locations than our next largest competitor. We work in every sector, industry and function, so our colleagues can explore new interests or go deep into their current expertise. Overall, we have an entrepreneurial spirit – so if something doesn’t exist yet at McKinsey, you can come and create it.

Another, important reason to join McKinsey, is for the people. Our 30,000+ colleagues around the world are incredibly diverse in every sense of the word, yet united by our shared purpose, mission and values. That diversity helps us guide our clients to the best solutions and makes a rich and welcoming environment for our colleagues.

Personally, I’ve been really proud and inspired by the progress I’ve seen the firm make in living its purpose. I am on the global Values Committee that developed our unifying purpose statement and seeks to uphold it, so I’ve had a front-row seat to some of these recent developments. We’ve refined and strengthened our client selection policies. We committed to 10 Actions for Racial Equity in July and have made significant progress on them. Just recently at Davos, McKinsey also 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. We had three colleagues on the OUTStanding Top 100 LGBTQ+ Executives list and our Japan office earned a Gold rank in the Work With Pride index (first time we applied). On climate and environmental sustainability, we work with the Institute of International Finance’s Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets and 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. We also committed to be one of 61 leading organizations that will share metrics focused on “people, planet, prosperity, and governance” as part of the Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics initiative.

Through the tumultuous and uncertain year in the world, we made strides in taking care of each other; Kevin Sneader, our global managing partner, hosts weekly Ask Me Anything sessions to answer questions and weekly Fireside Chats with a variety of colleagues to help us all know each other better and feel closer during this time of separation (you can listen to excerpts here). The firm expanded its benefits for dual career couples, mental health, and paid time off. I personally really valued the two week office closure at the end of 2020 to disconnect, spend time with my husband Brad at our cottage here in Canada, and celebrate the holidays.

If I do apply, what would my recruiting experience be like?

For now, we’re conducting most of our recruiting events and interviews virtually. We’re monitoring the situation location by location, following local government requirements and health authority best practices, and we always put the safety, health and well-being of our candidates and colleagues first.

You’ll find these virtual experiences are still extremely fun, valuable and worthwhile. We hosted about 1,000 virtual recruiting events, 20,000 virtual interviews, and 43,000 digital problem-solving game sessions in 2020, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

I shared several tips about interviewing virtually with McKinsey in my last blog, so check that out if you have questions.

And if I am planning to join McKinsey for an internship this summer, what will that be like?

Last year, as the stay at home orders were unfolding, we honored our outstanding offers to more than 1,000 interns globally, and we’re poised for an even larger cohort this year. More than 500 of those folks were in our North American offices (you can meet two of them in this video and, if you subscribe to Business Insider, two more here). Everyone was onboarded virtually, trained remotely, and connected with project teams that provided authentic McKinsey experiences.

Given the fluidity of the pandemic and state/country regulations, we haven’t made a decision yet on whether this year’s summer internship program will be virtual or not. We’re continuing to monitor and prioritize safety and plan to have updates by mid-March. If we must host a virtual program, like we did in 2020, we will plan many opportunities for our interns to do meaningful work and forge connections with each other, team members, affinity groups, and location leaders virtually. The experience last year that our interns had was overwhelmingly positive, so it’s good to know we can deliver a great internship – even if it has to be virtual once again.

Any additional thoughts?

I would say that while 2020 was tough for us all, in many different ways, and 2021 has hope but still isn’t easy, we are encouraged by the work we are being asked to do with our clients, as well as the people with whom we get to do that work. And, I’m encouraged by the people I meet – even on Zoom – looking to join us. Let’s have a good year together, one where the world will increasingly return to a “new normal!”

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