Having worked as a consultant on and off over the past twelve years, I have often heard people ask, “why would we engage a consultant?” Conversely, I have worked in organisations where my colleagues, other senior executives, denounce consultants. “By the time we tell them everything, we may as well have done it ourselves.” That was a common phrase I heard across multiple workplaces.
The trouble with the phrase is that it discredits the skills and experience consultants bring. Consultants are not interns, coming in to fill a gap. Consultants are industry professionals with plenty of value and insight to offer.
The hundreds of organisations I have worked with as a consultant over the years are incredibly varied. Some are small stand-alone not-for-profits in rural Australia, others are large multi-nationals with the high-rise city head office. What all clients have in common is a need for either skills, perspective, or time, or a combination of all three.
Organisations without dedicated senior professionals in technical roles such as Human Resources, Finance, Marketing, or Business Development may engage a consultant to buy-in specialist skills as needed. Executive Managers can attract annual salaries upwards of $120,000 a year as a base rate, which is restrictive for many small, stand-alone not-for-profits.
By engaging consultants, you can access the expertise you need on a project or recurrent basis, for a fraction of the cost of employing someone, making it feasible to get the skills you need within your organisation’s budget.
One of the great unspoken benefits of engaging consultants is their industry knowledge and perspective. Working with a multitude of clients across the sector, consultants are cognizant with emerging trends and best practice. When you work in your organsiation day in day out, you can lose sight of the bigger picture, fall out of touch with other organisations, and develop tunnel vision. Consultants are full of ideas and real-life examples of what is and isn’t working across the sector to help guide your organsiation towards attaining your strategic objectives.
Everyone I speak to in the aged care and disability sectors reports the same key resource they are lacking - time. With the ever-increasing demands of compliance and reporting, along with shifting consumer expectations, it’s common to see organisations with the skills in house to complete special projects but lacking the time to prioritise and complete work outside of their core operations.
Consultants provide value by offering tailored solutions at a fixed price and within a defined timeframe. The combination of industry expertise, technical skills and experience ensures that the projects consultants undertake provide value and lead to ongoing evolution of your organisation without compromising quality when delivering your core services.
If you are looking to engage a consultant, do some research to ensure the firm you are engaging specialises in your sector and has practical operational experience. At CareCFO, we specialise in supporting not-for-profit organisations in care sectors, such as aged care, home care, disability care, childcare, and primary care and community services. Our consultants have operational experience and work in partnership with you as your partner in care.
Rebecca Muscat is the Senior Business Partner for CareCFO and specialises in HR Consulting including Recruitment Consulting.
She is an experienced Human Resources Professional, passionate about working with Not-for-Profit organisations.
To talk about your HR or Recruitment needs, contact Rebecca on email@example.com or by calling 1300 07 55 11.