McKinsey adding 700 jobs to nearly double Atlanta staff

Global consulting firm scouting Midtown for future tech hub, company official said.

Global management consulting company McKinsey & Company on Thursday announced plans to nearly double its Atlanta workforce, hiring more than 700 people by 2025.

The company, which already has about 800 employees in the area, intends to create a hub specializing in technology and innovation, and will put the center in Atlanta largely to maximize the amount of diversity in the expanded workforce, company officials said.

The McKinsey announcement comes in the wake of other high-profile tech expansions in Atlanta in recent years, including Microsoft, Google, Visa and Cisco.

While the McKinsey hub will serve clients around the world, the city’s large and varied businesses are also potential clients and the array of schools produce the kind of top-notch talent the company wants to hire, said Tiffany Burns, a McKinsey senior partner who currently leads the Atlanta office.

“Atlanta is sort of perfect for what we do,” she said. “There are a lot of opportunities.”

Among the skills McKinsey is seeking are computer science, math, engineering and artificial intelligence. Some hires will be freshly minted from area colleges and universities, and some will be experienced, Burns said.

But most will already be in Atlanta, she said.

“We feel good about the majority of the people we add coming from local institutions,” Burns said.

Metro Atlanta has about 113,000 computer scientists and mathematicians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The announcement comes at a moment when luring good workers is a challenge. Job openings outpace jobseekers and many positions remain open, as many companies try to meet demand.

The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta, as well as nationally, is at or near an all-time low, especially among high-skilled tech workers.

And despite those difficulties sparked by a growing economy, there is also talk of facing the opposite problem: a recession in which demand for business services would fall. Those fears have been spurred by runaway inflation and the Federal Reserve’s attempts to tame it by hiking interest rates, which makes borrowing more costly for consumers and businesses.

Short-term economics are not a worry, Burns said.

“This really is a long-term strategy. We knew we had to grow,” she said. “There is no client I’m seeing right now that won’t require the kinds of needs we are talking about.”

Moreover, McKinsey’s decision to grow in Atlanta has more to do with its diversity than a macroeconomic trends, company officials said. The company has pledged to hire and promote Blacks and other minorities as it grows and Atlanta is the right place to achieve that goal.

According to a 2021 piece in the company’s in-house publication, Black workers may start out even with whites when they are hired, but are not promoted at the same rate as whites. The best way to nurture equity is to put offices and workforce centers in minority-rich areas, the article said.

Among the roughly 6 million people in metro Atlanta, 45.5% are white, 33.6% are Black, 12% are Latino and 6.6% are Asian, according to the Metro Atlanta Chamber, which drew the information from Census Bureau figures.

The area also has several elite, historically Black schools, including Morehouse and Spelman colleges, that draw students from elsewhere.

McKinsey employees now work out of 725 Ponce, a 370,000 square-foot building along Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta. The company is still settling on office space for the new hub, but expects it will be in Midtown, said Steve Reis, a senior partner at McKinsey.