Contributed by Alyanna Espina, Recruitment Manager Amick Brown
We are often asked why companies would hire outside consultants, when they could likely solve their business requirements on their own. After all, they have employees in house, which is more convenient for the company to get things going on solving their problem or starting on their new project. Not only that, these employees already know the company inside and out. Why would they waste their time bringing in an outsider and have them go through onboarding, training, and acclimating them to the culture of the company. Yes, at first look these may all seem like valid points to not hire consultants. However, there are many great reasons why companies hire consultants rather than employees.
Here are some of the reason why companies hire consultants instead of employees:
- They want someone with a broader perspective
Often times, companies or clients already have an idea on how to solve the problem they are facing, but they want to make sure that the solution they have in mind is legitimate. Sometimes, they may be close to the answer, but may be missing out due to being too close to the problem. So, they turn to consultants for their expertise because they may have already worked through a similar problem in the past with someone else. The consultant can also give insight on what they have seen work (and not work) with prior clients. With this experience, they can bring new and innovative ideas, or possible challenges to the table. Consultants bring in a new frame of reference for the company, and helps get rid of the mentality of “things are always done this way” attitude in organizations. In doing so, solving problems or getting projects done on time become more effective.
2. They need more manpower temporarily
Companies have important problems that need solving, but they don’t necessarily have the employee breadth to focus on them. It makes it difficult, since the companies still have to focus on their everyday operations and new projects usually require reprioritizing employees’ core job responsibilities. However, hiring new employees to fill in these gaps may not always work out considering most of these projects do not last very long or may not happen at all. Despite, having employees in house, companies might have difficulties getting the teams organized to do this critical work.
In these situations, consultants come in to serve as temporary, highly skilled employees. Since, they are not full-time employees of the company, it is often cheaper to use consultants than to hire new employees. Consultants are used to switching around companies, creating a very fast learning curve. Also, companies do not have to take their own employees away from their actual day-to-day jobs. It’s a win-win situation all around!
3. They need specific skills that they do not currently have
Another reason why companies hire consultants is to acquire specific skill set that might not be easily available in house. Working with firms who have access to these highly skilled professionals may be more efficient for your company. With constant innovation in the tech world, keeping your staff 100% state-of-the-art is nearly impossible. Luckily, consultants make it possible for companies to bring in the skill set they demand whenever they need it, since staffing firms make it their business to keep consultants trained and ready for every situation.
4. Sometimes, it is better to have a mediator/ nonpartisan influence
When companies run into a challenging problem, it can be troublesome for them to make decisions or take the necessary actions without getting caught up in emotions or politics. In order to alleviate the situation, companies bring in consultants to provide unbiased solutions to the problem. Consultants are then able to come in and ensure that the problem is being handled by an external party that is both experienced and removed from any controversies. Moreover, consultants can also serve as back-up or affirmation for a client who is attempting to carry out a new idea that might not be well-received within an organization, without any risk to their career.
There are many, many more reasons why companies hire consultants/contractors. I have only touched on a few and would love to hear your must unique reason for hiring a contractor!
With the advent of culture matching and executive oversight for every project, the reward will outweigh the risk. Save the high dollar value of advertising, screening, interviewing, and hiring an employee by meeting requirements with consultants.