Recruiting a Consultant
Here are the 5 steps to follow to successfully recruiting q independent consultant:
Define their needs: to find the freelancer to whom you want to entrust the mission, you must start by precisely listing all the needs related to the project (duration of the mission, budget, skills required, etc.).
1. Choose the right distribution channels
When the needs are synthesized and the ad is written, the search for the right candidate can begin. To be sure to reach your target, you need to communicate in the right places (specialized press, freelance platforms, etc.). If you are present and active on LinkedIn, do not hesitate to relay the information. You can also turn to wage portage companies that will support you in recruitment.
2. Identify the right profile
After having received a certain number of CVs, you will have to select the freelancers whose profile seems to correspond to your needs, then meet them during an interview. This step is certainly the most time-consuming.
3. Set the terms of the contract
When you have chosen the consultant with whom you wish to collaborate, you will have to draft the service contract that you will conclude. An equally important and delicate step!
Successful recruitment of a consultant
Flexibility of intervention methods and lower costs: using an independent consultant rather than a traditional consulting firm has many advantages. However, selecting the right candidate is not an easy task.
1. Define your need
As with any project, you must have a clear idea of the objectives to be achieved and the framework of the mission: duration, budget, pace, possibility of teleworking, etc.
Develop your job description according to the goals and the framework of the mission, this sheet will allow you to more objectively assess the profiles you will meet. Remember to list both “hard skills” (CRM knowledge, finance skills, etc.) and “soft skills” (situational intelligence, dynamism, etc.).
2. Filter profiles
If you go through an intermediary who himself has a very rigorous consultant selection process (interviews, reference checks, etc.), this step will be simplified. All you have to do is check that the skills and experiences on the CV are consistent with your needs.
If you source independent consultants yourself (posting an offer, LinkedIn search, etc.), you will need to be very attentive to certain details in the CV. Are the experiences consistent? How long has the candidate been a consultant? Who are his former clients as a freelancer? Remember to look at the consultant’s LinkedIn profile: writing articles on his area of expertise, recommendations from former collaborators are all elements of seriousness. Don’t necessarily stop at the appearance of the CV (unless you are looking for a designer), unfortunately very good experts have CVs that do not reflect their level of skills.
3. Prepare for the interview
Build a “scorecard” from your job description. The “scorecard” is an analytical document that you will use during the interview with the consultant. Concretely, list in a first column all the criteria (hard and soft skills) that you want to find with the consultant and in a second column you will indicate your notes during the interview (1=doubt / 2=potential / 3=proven / 4=match).
In addition to helping you frame the interview, you can compare your grid with that of your colleagues also present at the interview, or even compare the grids of the different consultants you have met. The “scorecard” is the perfect tool for the most objective possible “reporting” of interviews.
4. Meet the consultant
For a simple project, a telephone interview or a videoconference is generally sufficient. For a more complex project, which impacts the entire organization, it is preferable to schedule a physical interview.
Asking the candidate about concrete examples that he has known during his past experiences is more useful than asking him to project himself into scenarios.
You can use the “STAR” method to ensure that the consultant responds to all the elements defined in the scorecard and in particular if their responses are concise, clear and structured. Widely used by companies such as Amazon and Google, here is an example STAR case study: “Describe a situation in which you took a risk, made a mistake or failed. How did you react and what did this experience bring you?”. A structured response according to the STAR method would first define the Situation, then describe the Tasks (challenges and problems), explain the Actions and describe the Results.
5. Develop your attractiveness
If the skill you are looking for is very specific, the buyer-seller balance of power can quickly reverse. Increasingly in demand, the most expert independent consultants on the market are very demanding about the assignments they accept. Many of them have become independent in order to be able to choose their missions and their clients. You must sell the mission and the company to the consultant in front of you, and understand what motivates him: organizational flexibility, interest of the mission, possibility of adding a big logo on his CV, etc.
In the same way that the employee experience is strategic for successful recruitment and integration, setting yourself apart through your “freelance experience” can allow you easier access to the best experts on the market. This is why more and more companies are recruiting “Chief Freelance Officers” (responsible for the design of the experience and effectiveness of external talent within your business). Their main mission is to orchestrate and animate the community of freelancers with which the company collaborates. A real hybrid function between the purchasing department and the human resources department.
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