Major consulting firms are confronting an uncommon challenge this year, as they find themselves in the perplexing position of downsising hundreds of employees despite having recruited numerous college graduates to meet escalating demands. Among these industry giants, Deloitte LLP is pioneering the use of artificial intelligence to address this complex scenario.
According to media reports, the company is leveraging AI to assess the competencies of their current workforce meticulously. This strategy aims to strategically reassign employees from less active sectors within the organisation to roles that exhibit higher demand and relevance. Deloitte sees this as a pivotal step in harnessing technology to moderate its hiring patterns over time.
This move follows Deloitte's addition of 130,000 employees this year. However, amidst these expansions, the firm issued warnings to thousands of employees in the US and UK about the possibility of redundancy due to a restructuring driven by a downturn in demand.
Stevan Rolls, Deloitte's global chief talent officer, emphasised the aspiration to circumvent drastic fluctuations in hiring and layoffs. He stressed the importance of enhancing efficiency in talent acquisition processes, stating, "You could always be more efficient and effective about finding the right people."
Professional services firms like Deloitte have already delved into using generative artificial intelligence to automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks typically assigned to junior staff. This technology, popularised by ChatGPT, streamlines activities such as document preparation for internal meetings or data aggregation for client presentations.
However, their current initiatives focus on employing AI to streamline the management of the substantial workforce they recruit annually. Deloitte's headcount is approaching 460,000 after the recent hiring spree, marking a threefold increase compared to a decade ago when revenue was half of its current figures.
Rolls expressed concern about the challenges of exponentially expanding the workforce, highlighting potential reservations about recruiting a quarter of a million people annually if the firm were to double in size. He emphasised the necessity of examining recruitment practices, suggesting they might maintain the current recruitment pace even with significant expansion.