Wise use of consulting is critical to achieving your business goals. While there is no hard and fast formula for determining the best mix of staff ("permanent") employees versus consulting support, you can maximize your effectiveness and minimize your costs by following some basic principles.

You should use full-time employees only for roles that require a deep understanding of your core business and directly affect that core business. Consultants are best utilized for other roles. Consultants should be used when:

  • Specialized Knowledge - There is always information or skills that companies do not have, and need immediately, for a discrete period of time to implement a technical project or process.
  • Knowledge Transfer - When information or particular skills are needed by your staff, and are needed quickly. The use of a consultant can bring vital skills into your company and transfer that knowledge to your employees, effectively and efficiently.
  • Cost Reduction - Consulting programs almost always cost less than directly hiring an equivalent internal employee, if experienced people are available.
  • Keeping Head Count Down - It is always in a company's best interests to keep the head count of staff employees down. Consultants allow the flexibility of staffing up, or down, as your business environment dictates.

Staffing is a delicate balancing act. Hire too few people and you face an overburdened internal workforce that may actually impede growth and reduce morale. Hire too many, however, and you waste money. The goal of staffing should be to make the biggest impact at the lowest cost. The wise use of consulting will go a long way towards helping you achieve this balance.

Why Hire a Consultant?