one question and one business idea for you. If you like it, you will hire me as a consultant for your firm, ok? 🙂 the question is:

In Europe where asking the age of a candidate is legal, how the candidate’s age will affect the recruiter’s final decision? Which is the max hiring age for McKinsey in EU? And for BCG ?

Now, since I expect that the max hiring age is around thirty, there are thousand of people with an EMBA who cannot join those firms because too old for their policy.

So why don’t you develop some material to let them sharpen their skills to quickly grow in their managerial positions?

If I look at my experience, thanks to my EMBA I got the ability to solve problems, but not quickly enough and with maybe more questions than those needed by skilled consultants.


My Reply:

I do not know if there is an age cut-off at McKinsey or BCG in the EU.  I would say most commonly, they are right around the age of 30. That being said, I would be quite surprised if there was an age cut off.

More commonly though, there is a career accomplishment per years in the workforce ratio requirement (not literally, but that’s a good way to think of it). For each of your years in the workforce, it is expected that you accomplished a lot.

So the career accomplishments expected of a 40-year-old candidate is substantially higher than that of a 30-year-old.  The key is they do not want to hire you when you have reached the peak of your skills. They want to get you while you still have room to improve your skills.

I did have someone who interviewed with BCG and got an Associate level offer. He was probably around 40 years old. He manages a department of 300 employees and an annual budget of $70 million.

He got an offer no problem. More commonly though, people of such caliber would need to take a big pay cut to accept the job — in this person’s case, he was making close to $400,000 U.S. annual, so would take a 50% pay cut to work at BCG.

So in some respects, people in this age bracket will choose not to work at these firms for the compensation reason.

As for the suggestion to offer materials to help those working in industry progress in their careers, I have not considered that previously but am inclined towards sticking with my focus in consulting. It’s an area where I feel I have somewhat of a competitive advantage vs. others. In other industries, I think the advantage is much smaller.