Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are a record number of Americans who have filed for unemployment due to multiple business being forced to either close or lay off employees. This includes industries such as restaurants, retail, cruise lines, and airlines. One professional had the following to say in regards to this situation:

“It’s fair to say that every sector has been disrupted and been impacted by COVID-19. In terms of what we’re seeing, it’s more strategic work, very fundamental kinds of questions: how to help companies, [profit and loss] balance sheets, looking out for the customer, looking out for employees. It’s all very real, very intense – and actually quite human. Our clients have never needed us more. We’re having deeper, more meaningful conversations with our senior-most clients, even more so than 12 years ago [during the 2008 financial crisis]. Who knows if it will be longer, but it’s certainly more intense.”

Here are three different ways in which many consulting firms across the United States are currently adapting to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

*One way in which consulting firms are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing things down, yet not stopping. In fact, according to a graduate of MIT, there are clients who are currently “reevaluating budgets, business timelines, they’re going ‘You know what, maybe we’re going to re-up, have an extension, but now we’re not.’ Most of the larger firms will be able to weather this without large layoffs, except parts that focus on the hardest hit areas – airlines, cruises – but they may be able to offset that with huge increases in other areas, like tech/software, and biopharma.”

*Another way in which consulting firms are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic is taking the time to match capacity to demand. According to one professional, their company has “slowed down hiring, and we’re hiring more niche skills; creative skill sets available that we just don’t have. That would be where we would be bringing someone into the firm” and “evaluating what our clients’ needs are and ensuring we have the people in place to meet the demand when it ramps back up again.” When it comes to recruiting, according to this same professional, “we really haven’t changed anything. We’ve also been on a journey to modify our interview practices. We’ve done interviews for at least seven years, and I expect we may do more of that in the near term.”

*One other way in which consulting firms are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic involves shifting both services and attention. Another professional states that these days, it appears as though there’s some type of time frame to everything “whereas in 2008, it was a very big unknown; it just kept progressing. This time feels different, even from a customer base. It’s ‘give me 30 days,’ give me 60 days,’ versus stopping everything. We have an e-commerce client that went from Black Friday once a year to now they’re on their third week of Black Friday in volume.”