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Guidelines for Hiring the Right Management Consultant

Guidelines for Hiring Consultants

To help you select a consultant who’s right for you, The Consulting Exchange offers the following general guidelines.

Define your goals Know what your goal is. The more specific you are, the more likely your consultant can help you achieve your objective.

Evaluate alternatives
Working with consultants is like working with anyone else: the more comfortable you are with that person, the more productive the relationship will be. Interviewing multiple candidates will help you find the person who is the best match.
Look for experience One of the main reasons for hiring consultants is because you need special expertise. Look for someone who can transfer their experience from other engagements to your case.

Look for learners
Good consultants constantly learn. They’re open minded and they’re intellectually engaged. They’re experts, but they’re also confident enough to say when they don’t know something.

Ask for input
By all means, invite your candidates to share their thoughts about the engagement being discussed. They may even help you refine your goals. But be careful not to ask the candidate to do the work before you actually engage him or her.

Ask for a proposal
After you’ve met with one or several candidates who you feel could help, ask for a written proposal. This is an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their understanding of your business problem and provide outline a framework for addressing it.

Check references
This is always a good idea. While references will always speak positively (or else they wouldn’t be offered), be sure to find out how the consultant handles unforeseen problems. This often is when people show their true colors.

Be honest

If something is nagging you about a particular candidate, say what’s on your mind. It will clear the air, and it’s a great way to get the relationship off to a good start.


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