Full Time or bust? The advantages of hiring (part-time) consultants

Full Time or bust? The advantages of hiring (part-time) consultants

As I approach my 1 year anniversary as a sales consultant, I am reminded of my experiences and conversations with people I have met with over the past several months. One of the common themes that has come up is the notion that as organizations grow and/or take on new challenges, there comes a tipping point where they go from not needing a certain role or skill set to needing someone full time.

Let’s think about that for a second: Say you are part of an organization that doesn’t have an HR person, a controller/finance resource or an IT specialist. You have been able to task someone in the organization to do these functions as part of their overall role or you make some other arrangements. Alternatively you and senior leadership may take on some of these tasks along with running the company. However at a certain point it becomes clear that you need to have someone with the proper training and experience to perform this role. Most of the time organizations tend to hire someone in a full-time role. Maybe this is because most people looking for roles want full–time work? Maybe you have never considered the alternative or don’t know anyone suitable as a consultant? Further, you may not have a lot of budget so you hire someone younger and with less experience. What is the potential cost disadvantage of hiring someone who is ‘green’ and learning the ropes so to speak?

Does the organization need someone 40 hours a week? Particularly if there wasn’t anyone in the position previously?

Does the organization have the budget to pay an experienced person an appropriate salary and compensation for full time work?

Increasingly, organizations are hiring a more experienced consultant who is in a position to support several clients. There are many advantages of working with an external consultant:

You get an experienced person with the right training and potentially direct industry experience.

  • You will likely pay less for this part-time consultant than a full-time junior person.
  • Depending on the arrangement, you will not incur overhead costs, such as providing benefits, a computer and possibly a work space.
  • The consultant may be funny, smart and have a boyish charm about them (I think you know who I am talking about)
  • The organization can learn from their years of experience and specialized training.
  • Based on their experience and position as a consultant, they can provide an objective perspective on existing challenges and opportunities.
  • After working with a part-time consultant, you will be in a better position to determine if this is the best option or at some point, move to a full-time internal position.
  • Contracting with an experienced professional means more time for senior people to focus on their specific tasks, like managing the company.

Sales is an ideal area to hire a consultant. Sales is such a key area for an organizations’ success yet many organization tend to have either senior people in the organization take on the task (even if they have no formal training, experience and most of all the time to dedicate to selling) or they hire someone ‘young and energetic’ but without a lot of sales and/or industry experience.

In closing, here is my Captain Obvious point of the day: Sales is a key area for every organization because of the direct relationship to revenues. But historically we haven’t approached the sales position in the same manner as other key positions in an organization. I shared this earlier but I am including this article again as Gwenaële Montagner really drives home the message of the value of sales to an organization:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/talent/why-dont-canadian-schools-and-universities-teach-sales/article32858829/

If this challenge is something your organization is facing and you are looking for real growth in 2017, let’s chat about how working with a sales consultant may benefit your organization.