There are many good reasons for using external consultants, probably the main ones are expertise and independence.
Here are some of our insights into the "why?" use a consultant.
Expertise is probably the most logical and common reasons for hiring external consultants.
Most often, their activities are constrained to a narrow area, which gives them detailed expertise and provides the maximum potential of new models and methods needed for the business of any sector or organisation.
Unlike employees, who are influenced by the company’s business and internal culture, consultants enter the business free of any imposed restrictions. Therefore, they bring in a new, independent perspective.
A successful consultant always approaches the task objectively and impartially.
There are situations when a company realises that it does not have enough experts in the required areas.
This could be a lack of IT staff when the business is digitalising. Therefore, it needs to engage a digital or technology consultant to help meet their needs for capacity building.
Without having to work in a certain way or being related to the business culture and working practices of the company, consultants are able to think outside of the usual box and focus on solutions more objectively from a different perspective.
Consultants are able to provide ground breaking insights and strategic thinking as opposed to what the client could normally think of within their current mode of operations.
Because of their unbiased objectivity and external position, consultants can also be given the task of making difficult decisions.
Reducing staff numbers can have a very detrimental effect on a team's performance and morale if managed internally. Conversely, consultants can identify where to make cuts, with a sufficient amount of empathy, but also remain divorced from the emotional side of such decisions
The only costs for companies that engage external expertise for individual projects are fees to consultants. Apart from those, they do not generate overhead costs, computer supply costs, or workspace costs. At project completion, the consultant is “retired”, meaning that the organisation bears no further costs. On the contrary, when hiring a permanent staff member, companies pay an annual salary, and a redundancy process if it proves that person is no longer required.
During a transformation project, employees may become overstretched, and their primary duties may become neglected or unmanageable and frequently there is a shortage of staff.
By hiring external consultants to help lead transformation projects, companies can ensure that their day-to-day operations are not disrupted by their unfocused staff, while external consultants can implement project-oriented changes.
External consultants have a wide range of experience which puts them in an appropriate position to have insight into best practices in a variety of industries.
Throughout their careers, learning from the best in the industry, consultants understand ways to improve a client’s business, whether it’s digital transformation, change management, expanding product offerings, or a host of other client challenges.
Often, consultants are hired for important changes or projects within companies. Sometimes organisations just need professional people to help, guide and observe them.
Where a company does not need an industry authorised status, reputation is often an assurance of quality and credibility. External consultants can enhance that credibility with external monitoring and constant improvement to systems and processes..