Hiring the right small business consultant can be tricky. If you have an organized recruitment procedure, your
business can gain the expertise of an experienced and skilled small business consultant.
According to Harvard Business Review, 80% of recruitment decisions in small businesses are based on bad decision-making that can lead to skyrocketing costs in the long run. While there is no specific formula on how to recruit the right small business consultant, here are some general guidelines that you can follow.
The consultant that you hire should have expertise in an area that you lack. Once you’ve found a few candidates, you’ll want to assess their goals, aptitude, analytical, management and decision-making skills. Make sure that you have a written job description and a thorough hiring process before you get started.
Create a Detailed Job Description
No matter how small your organization is or how much exposure your company has in your industry, you’ll need to create a perfect job description. This job description should include the roles and responsibilities that you’re looking for. State the skill level, experience, coaching and practical decision-making skills that are the primary requirements for applicants.
The job description for a consultant is different than the job description of an employee. Consultants should know more about the clients needs and be prepared to address them with their expertise.
Thoroughly Interview Each Consultant
Once you have a few recommendations, it’s time to interview potential candidates. Introduce your business to them and ask for systematic suggestions to improve it in both the short and long run. Judge on their answers based on logical reasoning and practical business knowledge. Then consider asking the following questions to assess fit:
- Experience: What’s the consultant’s experience level? Have they worked for larger agencies in the past? What successes can they share?
- Specialty: Do the consultants specialize in your industry? Do they understand your target market? Question them about a larger company in the market relevant to your industry to see if they are aware of the competition.
- Values: Does the consultant share some of the same values that you hold dear to your organization? Are they passionate about your purpose?
- Support: Will you need to guide them every step after you’ve signed the contract or are they capable enough to work independently in an efficient way?
You may also want to test their analytical, critical and decision-making skills with practical examples. Provide an example of a situation that they’re likely to encounter and ask how they’ll approach the problem.
As you begin to interview consultants, look to see if they have additional recommendations or value added services that you didn’t consider. An expert knows more than you and should be able to identify requirements that you overlooked. Don’t let your ego or personal likes and dislikes impact your decision. You’re seeking someone to help your business, not your personal life.
It’s hard to find one person that matches everything you’re looking for, but you should be able to find someone who matches most of the requirements. Often small business owners overlook the obvious and eventually end up filling the position with an inexperienced business consultant. Use these tips to make sure you don’t or call me to help you get started.