How independent consultants help you navigate uncertainty

Rebecca Porter

This year started with a bang. The end of 2016 brought a number of surprising events that left many companies and employers wondering what’s next. Within a period of uncertainty like this it may be wise to reevaluate your strategy in order to maintain your competitive edge. An efficient and cost-effective way to do this is to work with an independent consultant.

I sat down with HR advisor Jennifer Azapian to understand what she recommends companies do to grow, despite uncertain or changing economic climates. Working with startups and scale-ups predominantly in Silicon Valley, Jennifer is experienced in advising companies during tumultuous times. She tells us that uncertainty is no reason to stop growth, it is an opportunity to look at the problem in a different way.

Why or in what situation would you recommend bringing in an independent consultant to your clients?

Often, when there isn’t the visibility on budget or scope, independent consultants are the best solution. If you don’t know whether you’ll need to have a person in that role in 6-months’ time, you may be hesitant to hire someone permanently. However, if you don’t bring someone in, you risk falling behind your competition and losing your edge. 

When I work with a client to bring in someone for a project or during uncertain times, I sit down with them and scope out the role. I’ll then benchmark how much it’ll cost to bring in a permanent employee compared to a consultant. Despite the daily rate of a consultant being higher than that of an employee, you’ll often find that the overall cost of bringing in a consultant is much lower.  

Have you seen situations when companies didn’t bring in a consultant and it lost out because of that?

Absolutely. I’ve seen a number of situations where a company simply took advice from their internal network, rather than bringing in a professional, and they ended up falling behind the competition.

Conversely, I’ve seen countless occasions when bringing in a consultant has helped the company immensely. Hiring an expert with experience in managing startups or transformations can help you execute and rapidly change strategic direction when necessary.

I can think of a company that I was working with that did great work but was really unstructured (common for startups). We brought a consultant in to provide structure to the way the company worked (like an interim COO) and the impact was amazing. It is definitely worth it to bring in an expert to make sure that your company is growing in the right direction. 

Is it easy to find and attract this type of talent?

One of the issues is that sometimes you’ll have a requirement, let’s say for someone to provide strategic direction for the company, that isn’t necessarily a full-time jobs worth of time, but a very important project for the company. It can be very difficult to get that type of high quality of employee to work part-time. Using Talmix makes it a lot easier to bring in highly qualified consultants who are ready to do the job.

Find out how easy it is to find and agree a contract with an independent consultant via Talmix. Get in touch.

About the Author

Rebecca Porter

Rebecca is responsible for product marketing at Talmix, working with our consultant and client community to communicate the capabilities of the Talmix platform and helping the product team deliver the best experience to all our users. She's a background in the consulting industry, a passion for customer success and most importantly, unbounded enthusiasm and energy.

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