Job titles are no longer as revealing as they were 20 years ago, and that means that many of us are suspicious when we hear vague titles such as consultant…
Many of our clients were apprehensive hearing the term consultant, because the term isn’t for everyone. Most people in the industry feel consultants are simply for start ups or projects that big companies don’t want to waste time on, but that’s only a small subset of the work we complete routinely.
Large companies consist of personnel with diverse skill sets, experiences, and backgrounds that allow employees without industry experience to complete training that promotes active learning on the job. In an optimal setting, new employees would be able to devote the first 3 to 6 months reviewing processes and applying skills until they passed an acceptance criteria allowing them to lead their own projects while still having active guidance available. However, the reality is that most companies do not have the time, the money, or the management to facilitate such growth. This leads to “green” or new employees completing objectives without much oversight, and potentially making mistakes that are often not caught until a large investment of capital and manpower has been administered.
That’s where consulting can be beneficial. While the product portfolios of companies vary immensely, the regulations administered by both domestic and international markets are largely similar which allows our firm to bypass the mentorship and training required for new employees and assess projects more efficiently.
Several of our customers balk at this statement, because from an hourly perspective, consulting looks more expensive; however, let’s take a look at what you benefit from:
- No benefits including medical, dental and life insurance or 401k
- No workstation, computers, cellphone or other equipment requirements
- No learning curve or training delay
Finding an ideal candidate is exceptionally difficult – even with the plethora of recruiters and new methods of contact. While both consulting and hiring are risky, hiring full time help is a gamble that can take years to receive a return on your investment; not to mention that in today’s market, the new generation of employees no longer have the “lifer” mentality of many previous age groups. Therefore, once you have invested the time and resources to have an autonomous employee he or she is on to the next role.
Consulting simply gets the job done, and you have the chance to evaluate your investment in shorter periods. Upon project completion, the client has no requirement to bring the team on for additional projects; however, we’ve found that most prefer the fast-paced collaborative environment that consulting brings to the table.
Does any consultant know everything? Not that I’ve seen, but if they don’t know the answer they probably know someone who does!