March 5, 2018

101: Hiring consultants

Welcoming business consultants can bring lots of positives to save companies time and money. Communication about a consultant's role is key: Without enough transparency, employees may wonder about their own positions and security within the company. And sharing what might otherwise be sensitive corporate information may seem counterintuitive. But in reality, consultants need all the details in order to help your firm.

Their term and focus are up to you. A consultant can be brought in to tackle an especially complex issue, or serve as an extra set of eyes to be sure certain problems get proper attention, according to staffing agency website A consultant's purpose is wherever you think they'll do the most good. "You can also look to a … consultant for help assessing and evaluating your business strategy, processes, operations management, supply-chain logistics, exposure to risk and more," the article states.

Choose wisely. Price isn't everything, but a consultant's rate has to make sense for your business at its particular stage, writes Brad Mroz at "An inexperienced consultant who is cheaper but takes a longer time to reach your goal may be more costly than an experienced consultant who reaches your goal more quickly but with higher bill rates," he says. Contract length is another thing to watch; a good consulting firm will propose an end date to resolve issues, not drag you along as a client for longer than necessary.

HR consulting. For employee-relations complaints, a human-resources consultant can preserve the integrity of workplace investigations, says Ruth Mayhew at "An HR consultant who is specially trained to mediate workplace disputes can save exorbitant costs to litigate employment cases. HR consultants may also advise you on proactive measures to ensure employee satisfaction so that you mitigate future risks," she writes.


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