Of course, when recruiting and hiring and working with a consultant, factors such as experience, expertise and capability should be top of your list of criteria. There are, however, several other factors that could influence your final decision to hire a consulting service.
What are you going to have to Shell Over?
No one likes to base important decisions like making a consultant hire on price, but unfortunately, cost is a factor, as it is with any business undertaking.
While your choice should never be based on price alone, it does come in to play.
Once you’ve narrowed your shortlist of favorite consultants down to a few, comparable in terms of service, experience and expertise, then price can certainly come into the equation.
Of course, sometimes newer consultants, looking to build their reputations and client base will come in at bargain basement prices, so low prices should also not influence your decision!
Are They Around When You Need Them?
If you have an urgent problem that needs attention, and your first choice of consulting firm is not available, you have two choices – wait, or find another consultant!
Likewise, if it is a matter of urgency, you would probably be best served by opting for a consulting firm, with the resources and manpower to complete your project on time. If you opt for a smaller, on man independent contractor, you may find that the project cannot be completed within your time frame!
What’s Their Track Record?
When it comes to a consultant’s history with, and knowledge of your company, it really is a double edged sword!
In some cases, hiring a consultant with whom you have worked before, who knows your business, your staff, processes, procedures and systems, is a great idea – it allows them to slip effortlessly into the project, without having to conduct lengthy interviews or investigations.
On the other hand, if objectivity and an unbiased view are required, a consultant who has worked with you before may not be the best choice. Preconceived notions and observations can cloud the very objectivity you are looking for, and sway the results.
When searching for consultants to meet a particular need within your organization, it is worthwhile taking all of these secondary factors into account.
However, at the end of the day, if you truly feel that your first choice in a consultant or consulting firm hire is the right one, and these factors have no bearing, then by all means go with your gut!
Finding consultants is a tricky process, as is hiring them. Once you’ve found a few you work well with, you may want to stick with those, or you may prefer to offer consulting jobs on an open bid basis – prompting the consultants who apply to your advertisements to offer the best possible deal on the project at hand.
This will be a process of trial and error to begin with, and you are sure to have one or two teething problems getting started, but persevere, and eventually recruiting and hiring consultants will be a routine process for you!