Hiring Strategies & Getting the Most out of Consultants / Contract Employees

More why… Strategies for hiring and getting the most out of consultants or contract employees

Last post I spoke of some of the reasons people would choose to work as a consultant – now I would like to take some time and speak about how corporations can best benefit from using consultants and what type of situations would best using a consultant allow for the greatest advantage.

Project work
Ok, forgive me for starting with the no brainers but we all know what happens when you assume… All organizations have unstaffed projects that would make a huge difference to the bottom line. Getting a contractor to come in, complete the project and leave is a valuable asset. It doesn’t add to the permanent headcount, brings a fresh perspective and keeps your internal employees focused on what is core to your business. Have some auditors coming in and need to reconcile your General Ledger? Updating your systems and need to verify data or manage the upgrade? These are all areas where consultants can quickly come in and make a dramatic difference

Flexibility and keeping your options open
In an uncertain market, consultants help an organization facing an uncertain future get the work done without making a immediate commitment. “Is this a long term increase in sales or a short term spike in activity?” In these uncertain times hiring consultants to manage overflow offers a wonderful hedge should the economy change. In fact we had a small Fund to Fund that continually employed this method. They recognized that they would need to be highly responsive to changes in their market did not hire employees – only contractors. They felt that if they needed to change their focus quickly they would need to make staff changes just as quickly. Hiring our consultants provided that opportunity.

Avoid hiring mistakes
When you are short staffed and desperate you tend to make bad hiring decisions. Your desperation to get someone in the role is rose colored glasses that transform mediocre candidates into stars. Bad hiring decisions are ridiculously expensive and damaging to your whole organization. Consultants buy you some time to make the right decision. If you have a difficult or sensitive opening gets a consultant to do the work while you find the right person. And who knows? Your consultant might be your perfect hiring solution. What is more – most Consultant to hire programs are dramatically cheaper than the 25 – 30% you would pay a permanent recruiter.

Save some money
People working on a consulting basis are just more productive. According to a 2004 Department of Commerce report Consultants are productive more than 90% of the time where full time employees spend more than 30% of their time engaged in non-work related activities. That represents a staggering loss of productivity which consultants elevate.

A fresh perspective
I wrote about this in a previous post but myopia is a dangerous thing. A consultant with a fresh perspective taking a critical eye on your business can add quite a bit of value.

Well, there are some pretty compelling reasons. In my next post I will discuss some methods for getting the most value out of a consultant.

Until then, be productive.

Peter Laughter