Here are a dozen reasons you hire a consultant:
1. You and your staff do not have the expertise to DO what it will take to solve a problem or get you to the next level.
2. Consultants do not have any favorites at your company; they are objective and objectivity is necessary to DO things effectively.
3. Consultants live by recommendations, testimonials and referrals. To obtain all of those, consultants must do a great job and be credible. You can check out consultants easily before you hire them. Do you go through that same process before you hire every employee on your team?
4. Consultants typically have varied backgrounds. Many skills, different successes, experience galore -- can you say that about every employee on your team?
5. Low risk, high reward - a typical contract with a consultant includes tangible goals and time frames.
6. Hiring a consultant can be fast and easy. There is typically no need to post a job, put it to bid, or go through the full hiring process.
7. Consultants are hired based on the match between their talents and experience and your need(s). Therefore, you save money on time as there will be no need for training and in-house preparation that full time employees would require.
8. Often anonymity is required for the completion of particular tasks. Consultants can normally gather all necessary data within legal limits for example, without revealing the use of that data.
9. Consultants offer a perspective that may be difficult for your to obtain from inside your organization.
10. Consultants can often gather opinions and ideas from people within your organization who often do not have a voice. Not only can that feedback often be valuable, it tends to result in more engaged employees. Engaged employees are the most productive and most retained.
11. Consultants provide the "Power of the Third Party". Many times organizations are reluctant to rely on the opinions of some team members or have little success having employees embrace necessary change or new directions.
12. Consultants' objectivity can bring not only new ideas but new attitudes to your team and company.
Before hiring a consultant, determine:
What do you want the consultant to do?
What skills, expertise, and experience must the consultant have?
What support, if any, will the consultant need, such as interaction with existing employees?
What is the budget and what is the source of the funds for the project?
How will you measure success?
Determine if the consultant you hire will:
Charge additional money for salaries of other staff s/he needs.
Need time off for any reason or expect to be paid for sick leave.
Require supplies, equipment and services such as copying, postage, etc.
Need office space, a computer, a phone, etc.
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IS A CONSULTANT RIGHT FOR YOU? DO YOU "DO"?
Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left?
Why? Because there's a difference between deciding and doing.
Mark L. Feldman & Michael F. Spratt