From time to time, you may need to supplement your organization for short term projects, to manage growth or to free up headcount for other positions. If you’ve never or rarely hired consultants before, you’ll soon realize the selection process is slightly different than that of hiring a regular employee.
Here are several things to consider before you recruit consulting candidates:
- Do you anticipate this position to turn into a regular, full time position in the future? If the possibility exists that this person could be a longer term, regular hire, then you’ll want to consider how they fit with the team and your overall objectives.
- If you are thinking it could be a full time position in the future, does the consulting candidate want that? There are many professional consultants who would never consider being an employee. It’s good to gauge their interest in the possibility of regular employment before you make a decision. Just remember not to make any promises at this stage of the game.
- Are they a niche specialist or do they have broad experience and expertise? If you’re hiring for a specific project and only that project, your niche specialist should be a good choice. However, if you know the work will be more broad even after a project period, hire for the broader experience. You will be taking time to onboard the consultant and getting them engaged with the team, so by hiring someone with broader skills you may be saving yourself a repeat of the hiring/training process in the future.
- What are your expectations from the consultant? It’s important to know the difference between expectations for an employee vs. those for a consultant. Depending on your company policies and culture, you will want to understand exactly WHAT those expectations should be. Should they attend meetings and social activities? Should they be allowed to work remotely? Should you supply their work equipment? Should you expect them to have reportable goals and milestones? All of these expectations should be clear to you and thus, clear to your team and the new consultant.
Finally, remember that the nature of hiring a consultant is that it’s a temporary solution. You and your team may become attached to the individual and that’s ok. As long as everyone is clear about the nature of the relationship, you can have a productive and mutually-satisfying working experience.
Are you looking for a consultant to help with a project, or supplement growth? Let’s talk! We have very talented consultants for a variety of positions ready to help you and your team!