Top 8 Reasons to Hire a Consultant
Why hire a consultant? This is a question many leaders may ask when the idea is proposed, especially if they only see it as an added expense.
But consultants can be valuable assets to your company and contribute in ways your current team may not be equipped to handle.
They can also open the door to future opportunities that will benefit your company in the long run.
Top reasons to hire a consultant:
- They have valuable subject matter expertise
- They bring low risk & high reward
- They bring an outside perspective
- They identify opportunities to streamline processes
- They expand your professional network of resources
- They provide extra support during periods of transition
- They can influence requirements for a permanent role
- They help with project management
1. Consultants have valuable subject matter expertise
Some projects require a subject matter expert — someone who is proficient in an area of expertise that is beyond your team’s knowledge and skillset.
Sure, you could put one of your existing employees through training, but that could take weeks or even months, and in most cases, is not a practical solution.
Bringing in a consultant that has knowledge and experience on a specific deliverable will ultimately save time and money while simultaneously serving as a learning opportunity for your team.
2. Consultants bring low risk & high reward
Hiring can be risky, especially today, with a whole host of uncertainties facing the economy and landscape of work. In many cases, it could take months before you are able to hire an employee — not always a practical solution when you are in a time crunch and the work needs to get done.
What happens if a month from now you need to eliminate that position due to budget cuts? What if the project the resource was hired for is put on hold?
Bringing in an outside consultant provides fast access to someone who will hit the ground running and add immediate value.
They can help you for as little or as long as you need without the permanence. Consultants can be an immediate solution that creates a low risk, high reward situation for an organization.
3. Consultants bring an outside perspective
One of the unique benefits of being a consultant is the exposure to a variety of industries and companies over a short time. Engaging a consultant to plan the approach and execute the task at hand objectively can be a huge benefit.
Consultants have seen many different organizational structures, industry-specific problems, project management, and problem-solving approaches that will help them recommend a solution you may not have considered without their unique viewpoint.
For example, a manufacturer’s approach to inventory management might shine new light on similar processes in a retail context.
4. Consultants identify opportunities to streamline processes
Consultants have a diverse background and breadth of experience, not only when it comes to various industries, but work content as well.
In many situations, as a consultant works on an initial project, they become more familiar with your organizational culture, team, and processes, allowing them to identify other areas that can be improved, streamlined, or automated.
5. Consultants expand your professional network of resources
The more people you know and the bigger your network is, the more successful you will be. Having a network of professionals in your field with diverse experiences, skillsets, and industry knowledge will add value to you as a professional as well as to the company.
A good consultant will not only help your organization in the short-term by completing the project but will also be a valuable resource to you in the future. Consultants can become champions for your organization!
6. Consultants provide extra support during periods of transition
A period of transition within an organization is one of the most common times to bring in consultants. Transition periods may include expansion, relocation, mergers & acquisitions, or divesting a business unit.
Change may also be due to the implementation of new policies, procedures, or systems.
During these periods of transition, there is more work to be done, more specialized projects, and, in some cases, more employee turnover — all of which are examples of situations in which consultants can add tremendous value.
7. Consultants can influence requirements for a permanent role
Whether your company is expanding and has newly created positions or is backfilling an existing role, bringing in a consultant is a great way to test the scope of the role and assist in the creation or redefinition of desk-level procedures.
Consultants may be able to assist you in drafting the job description, interviewing candidates, and providing recommendations for hiring. Consultants may even be able to train and onboard your new employee(s).
8. Consultants help with project management
When process improvements or significant change (i.e., system implementation) is required, often the department or internal team is too busy to dedicate the time and resources necessary to tackle the project.
By bringing in an outside consultant to manage your project, the consultant can focus on building and testing the new process or system without disrupting the internal team’s day-to-day responsibilities.
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