Brad Porter, President of Porter Consulting
When I talk to managers about resource needs, many are lamenting the fact that they cannot bring on a fulltime employee due to budget constraints, head count restrictions, etc. Instead, they are forced to hire a consultant in order to get the work done. Rather than looking at hiring a consultant as a poor second choice, maybe it is better to approach this process differently — as a long job interview.
In many organizations, consultants are viewed with some suspicion — as mercenaries, guns-for-hire, or even professionals who can’t hold down a regular job. However, I have found that most of the consultants I work with are just like everyone else. They are looking for a rewarding position at a solid company where they will be compensated fairly and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. They like to work with people they respect, and in return, they like to be respected themselves.
As a hiring manager, this means that you should assess this person not just for their ability to do the project at hand, but also as a potential employee. I mean, who better to be hired, but someone who is familiar with the company already and knows what needs to get done?
Here are some guidelines you should follow when assessing a consultant as a potential employee:
- How would they fit into the team? Is there a chemistry match with the rest of the consultants and management?
- Do they have all of the skills needed for the position, or do they need to acquire additional skills to be fully qualified?
- If they have past experience, does that experience add to the team’s capabilities?
- Is the consultant coachable? Are they constant learners?
- Do they have outside skills from past positions that will help the organization?
Of course, there are other factors, but these 5 are a good initial set of criteria. So don’t think of a consultant as just a stopgap resource. Think of that engagement time as a long interview process where you can really get to know your potential employee.
Let me know your thoughts. I can be reached at brad(at)porterconsulting(dot)net.
Brad is a 30 year veteran of marketing who understands the value of content that helps close business. You can find more blogs and content from Brad atwww.porterconsulting.net.