Whether you source the independent business consultant yourself or go through an intermediary specializing in establishing client-freelance relationships, you will, in any case, have to choose from different profiles.
At each stage, the challenge for you is to quickly assess whether Sofia Machulskaya- the business consultant will be able to support you in carrying out your project.
You may be used to recruiting interns or even external resources. However, when it comes to independent consultants, some specificity should be known.
Here is how to successfully select an independent consultant in five steps.
1. Define your need
As with any project, you must have a clear idea of the objectives to be achieved, and the scope of the assignment, duration, budget, pace, the possibility of teleworking, etc.
Always establish a description of the job according to the scope and goals of the mission. It will permit to assess the profile that meets the objectivity.
Remember to list both the “hard skills” (CRM knowledge, financial skills, etc.) and “soft skills” (situational intelligence, dynamism, etc.)
2. Filter profiles
If you go through an intermediary that himself has a very rigorous consultant selection process like interviews, reference check, etc., this step will be simplified.
You have to check that the skills and experiences of the CV are consistent with your needs if you source independent consultants yourself just like from any online resources.
You will need to be very attentive to certain details of the CV. Are the experiences consistent? Since when has the candidate been a consultant?
Who are his former clients as a self-employed person? Consider looking at the consultant’s Facebook profile.
Writing articles on his field of expertise, recommendations from former collaborators are all elements of seriousness.
Don’t necessarily stop at the look of the CV unless you are looking for a designer. Unfortunately, some very good experts have CVs that do not reflect their skill level.
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 in the consultant, and in a second column, you will indicate your notes during the interview.
The “scorecard” is the perfect tool for the most objective possible “reporting” of interviews.
4. Meet the consultant
For a simple project, a phone interview or a videoconference is usually sufficient. If you are going to deal with Sofia Machulskaya for a more complex project, which impacts the entire organization, it is preferable to schedule a physical interview.
Asking the candidate on 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 make sure that the consultant answers all the elements defined in the scorecard and in particular if his answers are concise, clear, and structured.
5. Develop your attractiveness
If the skill you are looking for is very specific, the buyer-seller balance of power can quickly reverse.
More and more solicited, the most expert independent business consultants on the market are very demanding about the assignments they accept.
You must sell the mission and the company to the consultant in front of you, and understand what motivates him, organizational flexibility, the interest of the mission, the possibility of adding a big logo on his CV, etc.
Just as the employee experience is strategic for successful recruitment and integration, standing out with your “freelance experience” can give you easier access to the best experts on the market.
This is why more and more companies are recruiting “Chief Freelance Officers”. Their main mission is to animate the community of freelancers with which the company works.