What it does: Consulting services
Staff stats: 350
The good bits: Doing interesting, impactful work
The not so good bits: You either fit the culture or you don’t
Nous Group (Nous) was established in 1999 with the aim of “delivering bold and personalised consulting services with a team of expert and engaging people”.
Nous partners with leaders to shape effective government, world-class businesses and empowered communities. It develops strategies, solutions and capabilities that improve financial results and outcomes for those organisations, their customers and the communities in which they operate.
Since its launch, Nous has grown strongly, becoming Australia’s largest management-consulting firm.
The firm has five offices in Australia and a growing presence in the UK. It offers a broad consulting capability. One that can solve its clients’ most complex challenges and help them achieve transformational change.
Nous took out the AFR award for ‘Best Management Consulting Firm’ in 2017, 2015 and 2013. It has also been named as one of Australia’s Best Places to Work in 2017, 2015 and 2013It has been involved in a range of high-profile initiatives and reforms. These include advancing indigenous reconciliation, digitally transforming service delivery in Australia and developing regulatory models for the economy of the future.
In 2016, the firm launched Nous House. This a professional co-working community that provides work facilities in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.
Nous does not disclose its revenue but it is undoubtedly substantial.
In the belief it facilitates different ways of thinking and hence superior performance, Nous celebrates “the diversity of our employees in all forms – including gender, race, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status or otherwise”.
With a great deal of success, the firm has aspired to create a “diverse and balanced workforce”. At the time of writing, 62 per cent of all staff and 47 per cent of principals, directors and senior managers are female. In 2019 Nous launched Nous Proud, a network to support LGBTIQ+ inclusiveness and they are a member of ACON’s Pride in Diversity program. It‘s also a member of the Australian Network on Disability and offers paid internships to differently abled university students. After partnering with JobSupport, Nous has also employed six staff with intellectual disabilities.
Nous has a memorandum of understanding to work with Indigenous Professional Services, an Indigenous-owned consulting company. As part of it’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) they also have an Indigenous Employment Strategy to increase the number of Indigenous Employees it employs and a partnership with CareerTrackers to offer internships to Indigenous Australian uni students.
Nous has aspired to make a positive social contribution from its earliest days. It has a ‘Community Partnership Scheme’ that provides discounted or pro-bono consulting services to organisations that otherwise wouldn’t have access to them. Since it was launched in 2012, the Community Partnership Scheme has provided consulting services and advice to the value of $4 million on more than 90 projects. Projects that built the capability of organisations to make evidence-based decisions to contribute to positive social, cultural, economic or environmental outcomes in Australia.
The recruitment process
Nous Group offers both internships and grad roles to students from a wide range of disciplines. The firm expects candidates to be:
- Enthusiastic, curious and willing to learn
- Intelligent and academically accomplished (i.e. a distinction average or above)
- Able to undertake structured analyses in a logical and efficient manner
- Able to demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills
- Well organised with the ability to manage multiple pieces of work simultaneously
- Comfortable working autonomously and in a self-managed way
- Able to analyse and process quantitative data
- Able to work effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds
If you’re applying for a grad role, you’ll also ideally have experience working on complex problems and be able to demonstrate you want to “be part of a dynamic team that puts people at the centre of everything”.
To apply for a grad role you’ll need to set up an account on Nous Group’s career site and make an online application. Nous Group doesn’t provide any further information about the selection process. It may vary depending on your background and the service line you’re applying to work for.
However, the process reportedly follows the usual template of an initial phone or Skype interview with an HR staffer, providing a written case study and one or more final face-to-face interviews. There may also be some testing of your subject matter expertise and analytical, verbal and written skills. Nous Group is obsessive about its corporate culture, so you’ll need to demonstrate you’ll be a good cultural fit.
Nous Group prides itself on bringing “a unique, cross-disciplinary approach to the disciplines of business strategy, public policy, organisational capability, executive talent and development, and digital strategy and capability”.
If you are offered a role as a grad consultant, you will have the opportunity to work across all of these service lines and play a key role in various multidisciplinary teams.
Grad consultants at Nous are involved in the following activities:
- Investigation – research and analysis of information, interviewing clients and their stakeholders and reviewing literature to identify key trends and draw out key insights
- Presentation – assistance in the development and presentation of correspondence, reports, presentations and articles, including statistical and graphical material
- Implementation – including assistance in the management of projects and assistance in the organisation of workshops, conferences and seminars
Nous Group promises potential employees they will get to do interesting with engaging people and enjoy a reasonable work-life balance. However, it doesn’t divulge what salaries and benefits they can expect. It appears the remuneration packages Nous Group offers are broadly in line with industry standards but not lavish.
The firm provides a great deal of support for new staff. They are paired up with a buddy and performance coach, given comprehensive induction training and checked up on regularly by HR staff.
Nous Group has been in a continuous growth phase since it launched. It also has a performance-focused culture that pushes staff to grow professionally and personally as rapidly as possible.
In short, there’s little chance you’re ever going to feel you’ve hit a plateau. On the other hand, some people will find the intensity of the work and the amount of autonomy they are given overwhelming.
The vibe of the place
While Nous Group services several ASX 100 companies, it’s best known for its work with large government departments and not-for-profits. The upside of that is getting to contribute to solving complex and interesting problems. The downside is that the hours can sometimes be long, often under high intensity and the self-managed culture isn’t for everyone.
Nous visual brand is based on a phenomenon in nature called a murmuration – that is, the ability of flocks of birds to fly together in a dynamic, fluid motion.. It states, “Murmuration as a system is open and collaborative, there is lots of room for the individual and it is highly responsive to its environment. This is a powerful metaphor for our people and culture and the flexible, energetic and engaging way we work.”
If that sounds appealing, you’ll probably be a good fit at Nous Group.
Star Rating: 4.3 out of 5
From the employer
"The story of Nous
Nous Group was established in 1999 with the aspiration of delivering bold and personalised consulting services with a team of expert and engaging people. We wanted to do work that made a substantial, positive contribution. Not just to our clients and their businesses, but also to the customers and communities they serve.
It worked. We have enjoyed 20 years of uninterrupted growth to become the largest Australian-founded management consulting firm. We have over 330 people across seven Australian locations, and a growing presence in the UK. We offer a broad consulting capability that allows us to solve our clients’ most complex strategic challenges, and partner with them through transformational change.
Why join Nous?
We partner with leading organisations in a range of sectors to solve complex challenges and influence bold agendas. Our clients include ASX 100 companies, major government departments and national not-for-profit organisations.
Nousers are motivated and engaging. We value diversity – of thought and of life experience. We are a group of interesting individuals and we have created an award-winning culture characterised by high performance, creativity and collaboration.
Performance and positive influence
We help our clients toperform, and succeed, in terms they define.
We also want the geographies we operate in to be prosperous, bold and cohesive, so we challenge ourselves to make a substantial contribution to positive influence beyond performance – to deliver outstanding outcomes for our client’s customers, citizens and communities.
We have high expectations of performance, so we work hard and with intensity. We balance this with true flexibility and a strong culture of support, where professional and personal development is encouraged.
How to apply
We recruit interns and graduate consultants across Australia from a range of different backgrounds and experiences. From day one, you will be part of a dynamic team that puts people at the centre of everything. You will learn quickly by working intensely on interesting projects and interacting directly with industry leaders.
Applications for intern and graduate positions at Nous are open all year round."