Joe Ogeka works in Investigo’s Strategy Consulting team, based in our New York office. The Long Islander spoke to us about the effects of the current challenges on his recruitment market, the need for companies to be open to new ways of working, and the joys and challenges of being a Yankees fan.
How is the corporate strategy market being affected by what’s happening right now?
The biggest challenge is probably not that companies have necessarily decided to put hiring on hold, but that a big part of their roles have some form of face-to-face interaction. In these strategy teams, especially for higher level candidates, the in-person side is very important. Some clients we’ve spoken to in the past are still trying to work this out.
How are your clients reacting to a challenging market? Are companies thinking more about strategy or are they focused on the day-to-day?
It’s split. It varies by sector – some are hit harder than others. There’s a definite variance in whether they have a short or long view. Some clients understand that hiring remotely has given them the opportunity to be more versatile. They had a process in place, now there’s been a shift. How will it look when they get back to normal? Will it be the old format or will they shift things around to make it easier for candidates who don’t have the time to fully actively interview or are out of state? A workaround, in essence. Now there’s a reason to be more open to that.
At companies that previously did not provide flexible working hours or working from home, we will see a lot more of that. Every couple of weeks, maybe even more. A lot of companies will start to do this more in the future.
What are the big trends you’re seeing in your market?
Especially on the consulting side, there are a lot of restructuring and transformation projects right now, for obvious reasons. A lot of companies are going to go through something where they’ll need to change how the business is looking. They’ll need to take into account what that will entail and where they’ll be in six months, a year, what they have to do to get back to where they were before.
What will be the major challenges for employers in the year ahead?
Taking it from more of a holistic view, the biggest challenge will be getting people back to a state of normalcy. I like working in an office, I’m more productive that way, but it will take time to get everyone back into work environments, back into the groove. It’s a big challenge for the c-suite. It will take a little more time than people are anticipating.
What skills do professionals need in this market?
With most of the roles I work on, an individual will have come from a strategy consulting or investment banking background. Candidates tend to have done lots of work within growth strategy or the M&A lifecycle for investment banks. Requirements are skewed towards a strategy consulting background, whether with the big three strategy consultancies, Bain, McKinsey, BCG, or the big four accountancy firms, Deloitte, EY, KPMG, PwC. For some roles, especially the ones I’m working on, boutiques have a high consideration as they’re in a smaller environment, are a little leaner with the work they’re doing and can also be geared towards focusing on a particular sector. I get a lot in the media space, where companies want experience in consulting, especially on media projects. Some roles will not need that sector experience, but for some, like media, experience in that space is a good thing and also important.
What’s it like working with the WWE?
They’re cool with what they’re doing. Vince McMahon is a genius when it comes to entertainment. I was a pretty big fan when I was little, wouldn’t say I was a massive fan now but I still think it’s a fun thing to watch on occasion!
Yankees or Red Sox?
I was forced into being a Yankees fan when I was little and I wouldn’t change it. I’m a massive baseball fan – I did a podcast with a friend strictly on baseball, Dawg Days of Summer. We’d gone from being together every summer to him being down south and me being in New York. It was fun, a good way to stay connected while he was in chiropractic school. We did it for over a year. Getting into something you’re passionate about with a friend is one of the best things you can do.
I grew up on Long Island, where there’s an even split between Yankees and Mets. My dad’s a Jets and Mets fan – the exact opposite to me. It has its tensions!
Aaron (Brandon, Senior Consultant, Joe’s manager) is a Red Sox fan. When the Red Sox won the world series, I refused to talk to him for a couple of days. I didn’t want to hear it. Didn’t even want to come in!
If you’d like to speak to our Strategy Consulting team about your next hire or career move, or you’d like to find out more about what it’s like working at Investigo, get in touch now.