The 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Consultants



Consultants come from a wide range of industries, professions, experience and background, so when you are selecting a consultant, make sure that you carry out a full assessment and evaluation first.

Here are 7 of the most common mistakes when hiring a consultant:

  1. Have a legal agreement. 
    Make sure you have a legal agreement which binds you and the consultant to achieving certain objectives within a certain time frame.  The agreement will set out the responsibilities expected from each party and saves headaches later on if there is disagreement.
  1. Clarify the job. 
    Set out clearly what the project is going to be and agree on each step that the consultant has to follow.  Many problems will arise if you and the consultant are not clear on the contract requirements or the result each expects to have achieved.
  1. Clarify the rate. 
    Be clear on the rate that you have to pay for the services rendered by the consultant.  Make sure you are given an approximate quote based on the time taken to do the job.  Even if the quote is not fixed at least request the consultant stay within range of that amount, otherwise the costs could “blow out”.
  1. Confidentiality. 
    Make sure that the consultant you bring aboard has signed a confidentiality agreement so that your business operations and systems and other private information is kept strictly private and confidential.
  1. Check and Verify. 
    Make sure you check out the background of each consultant you are considering. Each will have varying skills and abilities to offer. Check past work track record and client references. Find out who they have carried out work for in the past, and if possible obtain recommendations.
  1. Who pays the costs? 
    Make sure the agreement states clearly who is responsible for various costs that incurred by the consultant.  Whether the consultant meets their own expenses, or whether you reimburse, will have a bearing on the total fee charged.
  1. Do you really need a consultant? 
    One of the mistakes that business owners make is hiring an outside consultant when staff within their own firm could probably meet the job requirement.  If, as a business owner, you took the time to review the resumes of your current staff, you may be pleasantly surprised at the skills and experience some of them possess. Use your own guys if you can.


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