How to Hire a Consultant

Posted: Aug. 15, 2016, 3:08 p.m.

In the USA alone, Management Consulting has grown to a 160 billion dollars a year industry, with over 600,000 management consultants. Most companies have either worked with a consultant or thought about it and many have had less than perfect results. Consultants are expensive and with so many out there is can be hard to choose the right one for your organization. Making it even more difficult is the lack of certification to regulate who can call themselves a consultant.

Just in the last week I have met 6 people that call themselves consultants, but they have little in common. One just does IT support, one got his MBA from an online for-profit university last year and has only worked in industry for a year, one has been a high level executive coach for 30 years, one has her PhD in organizational behavior and worked for a Fortune 500 company for 20 years, another owned a manufacturing firm for 10 years, and yet another is an engineer that took his experience with self-directed work teams and struck out on his own.

The skills set of these people are incredibly varied and to be honest the ability of some of them to really offer measurable benefit to your company is questionable, but that won’t stop them from trying and learning on your dime. This post is the first in 5 that explore the steps in hiring a consultant.

They will be:

  1. Do you need a consultant at all?
  2. What kind of consultant do you need?
  3. How do I decide which consultant to hire?
  4. What can I expect from the process?