Compensation Insight Report 2023-24: The Barton Partnership


More than a third of those working in consulting and industry expect to move companies in the next 12 months. 

  • Higher base salary, new challenges, and company culture are the top drivers for consultants thinking about moving jobs in the next 12 months.
  • Remote working, health and wellbeing provision and company mission ranked highly for all respondents when considering a new role.

A new study by consulting and executive search firm The Barton Partnership into compensation packages and market perceptions of those working in consulting and industry has revealed that more than a third of workers plan to look for a new role in the year ahead.

The Compensation Insight Report 2023-24 lifts a lid on the factors that motivate people to stay in post or leave their job, with higher salary, new challenges and company culture topping the list of reasons for moving on.  Career progression and financial reward are the most highly rated factors for respondents when considering a move.

The data shows that 36% of respondents currently working in consulting and 41% of those working in industry expect to move companies in the next 12 months. This is despite positive trends in compensation and a significant portion of both groups – 71% in consulting and 74% in industry – considering their compensation to be at or above market average.

Salaries grew by an average 9% in consulting over the past 12 months and those working in industry reported salary and bonus growth across all functional specialisms.

Victoria Montagu, Executive Vice President of The Barton Partnership, said: “This report offers a comprehensive overview of salary, bonus and incentives, whilst highlighting perspectives on compensation satisfaction, motivations for career transitions, and key drivers prompting consultants to move from consulting to industry.

“Within this year’s report, we have explored the underlying factors driving resignations and the varying priorities between male and female respondents.

“Additionally, our report delves into the evaluation of the efficacy of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives, as well its impact on job satisfaction and role considerations.”

The Barton Partnership supports clients worldwide from offices in LondonNew YorkParisSingaporeHong Kong and Sydney. The firm’s network represents talent across all disciplines and sectors associated with Strategy & M&A, Digital, Data & Analytics, ESG & Sustainability, and Transformation & Change.

The survey gathered data and insights from more than 1,500 senior-level consultants and industry professionals globally.

Victoria said: “Job retention presents challenges for both consulting and industry, with 36% of respondents in consulting and 41% in industry expecting to change companies within the next 12 months.

“This is despite strong salary growth and high satisfaction levels in relation to pay, bonus and benefits.”

The survey asked people working in both consulting and industry what factors were most important to them when looking for a new role, with remote working being ranked as important or very important by 78% of all respondents.

Workers at all levels prioritize higher salaries and bonuses, while 33% of female respondents in consulting would prioritize increased holiday days.

An organisation’s health and wellbeing provision was important or very important for 63% of people considering a new role and a company’s mission or purpose was a key consideration for 53% of all respondents.

Managers and project leaders at boutique or specialist firms have the highest levels of compensation satisfaction, according to the study, and former consultants who have moved into industry in the Oil, Gas and Utilities sectors are typically most satisfied with their compensation.

Victoria added: “Consultants primarily move to industry for a better work/life balance, new challenges, and greater accountability. Employers who are keen to attract new talent will be interested to read how gender can influence motivation, with career progression and financial reward being the most highly rated factors for male and female respondents (respectively) in consulting when considering a move, whereas in industry financial reward is more highly rated by men.”

Explore HRtech News for the latest Tech Trends in Human Resources Technology.