(Bloomberg) -- Boston Consulting Group is set to grow by more than 2,000 employees this year, defying an industry slowdown that’s seen the biggest firms slash jobs.

The hiring will bring BCG’s total headcount to about 34,000, Chief Executive Officer Christoph Schweizer said in an interview.

“I do think it’s quite unique in the broader space,” Schweizer said, citing the drop in demand for consulting services. “It’s a bit of a bet.”

BCG’s revenue grew 5% in 2023, the lowest level in three years, as the consulting sector faces weaker demand and uncertain economic conditions. The company also added 2,000 staff in 2023, but that’s five times fewer than in 2022 when advisory work boomed in the aftermath of the pandemic. 

Still, the continuing hiring suggests appetite remains for BCG’s services as clients emerge from cost-cutting efforts to look for new sources of growth. It also sets apart the company from rivals like McKinsey & Co. which started cutting hundreds of jobs earlier this month.

Firms including Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers have started trimming staff numbers as a growing number of clients started postponing longer-term investments. Last month, Accenture Plc shares tumbled after the company warned it’s seen financial services customers rein in spending on its software. 

BCG said tech experts will make up a significant share of its 2024 hires. BCG X, the company’s generative AI unit, now employs more than 3,000 staff. The company is also investing in internal AI tools so that BCG itself becomes more efficient.

About a fifth of BCG’s revenue in 2023 came from AI work, with plans to double that over the next few years, according to Schweizer.

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