The Big 4 (KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, EY) have dominated the Consulting industry in terms of their size, global reach, and reputation, particularly in the Technology space. Thousands of graduates across the country look to attain one of the coveted positions on their graduate schemes. PwC aimed to make 1,400 full time graduate hires in 2016. For those 2,000 roles, they received 39,000 applications.

The statistics speak for themselves.

What is the reason behind so many top class graduates looking to join one of these companies? Working for one of the Big 4 is a great way to kick start your career as a recent graduate. They provide exceptional training, world class experiences, exposure to senior members within global organisations, and most importantly the stamp of approval on your CV.

It is for these same reasons that many organisations are keen to entice consultants from the Big 4, away and into their business. They bring with them a wealth of experience, transferable skills, and the ability to be put in front of a range of different clients and provide an excellent service.

Having spent most of my time within recruitment speaking to those within the Big 4 or Accenture, I understand both the benefits and cons of working for these larger consultancies. As with any organisation, there are always reasons to stay and reasons to move on.

Most consultants that have spent a considerable amount of time within a large consultancy tend to have similar reasons for wanting to move on. Mainly:

Better work/life balance

Travelling around the country, or even globally may seem exciting as a fresh grad but as time goes on the novelty soon wears off. Those looking to settle down with partners or young children no longer look to be away from home for 5 out of 7 days a week.

Wanting to work for a smaller organisation

This can apply to many people working within a large organisation. It has on occasion been compared to being “a small cog in a big wheel”. It’s difficult to see the impact your decision and work will have on an organisation with thousands of employees. However, in smaller companies you are likely to quickly find yourself making decisions that have a clear impact upon the company’s direction/strategy.


Smaller consultancies tend to be highly specialist due to their size. Unlike the larger consultancies they do not have the capacity to offer a vast range of services, therefore they will have one specialism and occasionally within a certain sector. Therefore, consultants can choose a company within an area that they are looking to become an SME, resulting in more control over their career.


There are a number of reasons why Consultants choose to stay with the Big 4, and reasons as to why they look to move to a smaller boutique consultancy. Both provide exceptional opportunities for different individuals depending on your personal preference. This article is very much from a recruiter’s point of view – someone sitting on the outside and talking to these people about why they are looking to stay within a large consultancy or why they are looking to move on.

If you’d like to have a conversation about the type of boutique Technology consultancies we work with then please do get in touch. We're always looking to speak to Technology consultants within this space that may be looking to make that next move. For a list of all our jobs, click here.