In the past few years, more leading businesses have been acquiring the support and skills of Consultants. According to research conducted by Zeqr in 2017, UK businesses spent over £60 billion on external Consultants and experts. With the survey participants citing that a lack of in-house skills, personnel and knowledge as their key reasons for hiring.
Consultancy.uk supports this notion by stating that ‘The UK consulting industry grew by nearly 5% last year’, with the fastest growth in 2017 being seen amongst medium-sized firms and niche consultancy specialists. The evidence suggests that Consultants are more in demand than ever before. Here we explore why leading businesses are looking to recruit the help of Consultants..
Businesses Need an Objective Opinion
A second pair of eyes or a different perspective can often prove essential when navigating our personal lives. Whether it’s asking a friend for advice, or seeking guidance from a family member, having a second opinion can provide clarity on a new situation or problem; something which is also needed in business.
When handling a tough business decision or an unfamiliar territory, organisations are often hesitant to implement change because they become fearful of the unknown and the fear of failure. After all, change can be both risky and costly if not implemented well. Businesses need to ensure that their thinking is sound and that they’re not missing out on alternative, more obvious solutions. This is where the Consultant comes in.
Businesses can draw on a Consultant’s successes and experience, whilst the Consultant can offer fresh, innovative ideas and highlight possible challenges that the business may not have been able to see for themselves.
Consultants can provide an objective and unbiased viewpoint, facilitating more diverse ideas than could be harvested by internal employees. With a higher level of business expertise than the average employee, Consultants can provide unique solutions to problems previously not considered. Ultimately, Consultants are best placed to warn the business of the potential problems they may face and put the appropriate processes in place to avoid them.
They Need More Manpower
When a large-scale business transformation needs to happen - like a digital transformation project, merger or a change in organisational culture - the workforce and resources aren’t always available to oversee it. Businesses may struggle to get the employees in place to execute the workload, as they still need to focus on day-to-day operations. New projects typically require an employee's responsibilities to be re-prioritised and simply hiring new employees to fill gaps on a project often doesn’t make sense.
In such cases, Consultants have a massively important role to play as highly-skilled temporary employees. A business could save thousands by hiring a Consultant when they are needed, rather than hiring a full-time employee, because the Consultant is already technically trained, are reliable and can work unsupervised.
Even though a Consultant’s fees are generally higher than an employee’s salary, over the long haul it simply makes good sense to hire a Consultant because companies don’t have to pull their employees away from their actual jobs. Further benefits for businesses are that Consultants switch around businesses often, so they are used to a fast learning curve and adapting to different on-boarding processes.
Businesses Want Your Specialist Skills
Perhaps the most common reason why a business looks to hire a Consultant is because of a specialised skill set that the business does not have in-house. Consultants generally specialise in a specific field which makes their input very valuable when a business is seeking help for a niche area.
Niche Consultants spend much of their time studying, immersing and thriving in knowledge around one particular area. With their wealth of knowledge and having worked across many different organisations, they are a highly trusted voice when it comes to navigating more specialised areas.
Hiring a Consultant helps businesses gain solid feedback on how to improve their processes: which is a relatively easy way to outsource specialised knowledge, quantify tangible targets and get a business on track.