Well, luckily, Salo has been matching senior finance, accounting, and HR consultants with organizations for more than 20 years. We work with organizations nationwide to find the right consultant(s) for their needs. We’re ready to help you get the information you need to confidently partner with an expert consultant.
Whether you need help immediately or you’re planning ahead, read this guide to learn how to find the right consultant(s) for your organization.
Part 1: How consultants benefit your business
Part 2: How to choose and onboard consultants
For some of today’s most senior and specialized professionals, consulting is a flexible and lucrative career choice. They’re former c-level execs, VPs, and subject matter experts. With their sought-after skills, these in-demand consultants are ready to jump into crisis situations, take on tough challenges, or lead a team. Today’s consultants have been in your shoes. In fact, they might be your former colleagues.
For senior practitioners, consulting is a great way to use their skills and make a difference—while being their own boss. Most are corporate veterans who want variety, better work-life balance, and the ability to choose their projects. They get the career they want, with the ability to work whenever, wherever, and how much they want. Additionally, many consultants say their pay exceeds their compensation at previous permanent roles.
Highly skilled professionals are gravitating to freelancing
When consultants work with Salo, they get all of the advantages of freelancers as well as perks they’d expect from full-time jobs. For example, Salo consultants get benefits such as health and dental insurance, paid time off, community-building opportunities, and more.
A fresh start for a department in transition
When a CFO resigned, an organization realized their accounting records were in disarray. Salo provided an expert consultant with experience as a CFO and expertise in helping companies during a transition. The consultant spent time with each area of the finance team—talking through what needed to change and what work needed to be done. Then, the consultant empowered the employees to do the bulk of the work, reviewing their progress as tasks were completed. As a result of the consultant’s help, the client now has a solid team and financial practices in place.
Working with an experienced consultant can have long-term benefits for your organization. With a relatively small investment, you can see significant results—such as expedited timelines, streamlined processes, more confident teams, or innovative solutions to your business challenges.
Leery about hiring a consultant? No worries. We’re here to bust the most common myths about consultants and consulting engagements. Let’s dig in.
MYTH: Consultants are expensive
Not always. Effective, rewarding consulting engagements can be tailored to almost any budget.
MYTH: It takes too much time to onboard a consultant
It’s the opposite. Experienced consultants are pros at hitting the ground running—they often add value on day one.
MYTH: Consultants only work on prestigious projects
Nope. Consultants can fill day-to-day roles, allowing your employees to work on special projects and meaty initiatives.
MYTH: Consultants aren’t as dedicated as employees
False! Consultants want to make a difference (and their careers depend on referrals)—so, they go the extra mile.
MYTH: If you need a consultant, your team is doing something wrong
No way. Even the most successful teams hire consultants when they need temporary extra capacity, specialized skills, or a new perspective.
MYTH: Consultants take their knowledge with them when they leave
Not at all. Good consultants leave client teams with the knowledge they need for future success.
MYTH: Consultants only work for big companies
Incorrect. Consultants help organizations from startups and family businesses to Fortune 100 companies.
MYTH: Consultants want to take employees’ jobs.
Not likely. Most consultants choose a consulting career for the flexibility and variety permanent roles don’t offer.
Leading an HRIS project from RFP to implementation
A privately held consumer packaged goods company was looking for a partner to lead an HRIS project from RFP to implementation. A Salo consultant with deep HRIS experience managed all aspects of the client-side project. With the consultant’s help, the new system was delivered successfully: on time, within budget, and with minimal disruption to the business. After the system was put in place, the HR and payroll teams gained a broader scope, influence, and engagement in their organization.Read More
You don’t need just any consultant; you need the right consultant for your engagement. (You might even need more than one.) Finding the right consulting match requires preparation.
Start your consultant search by creating an initial definition of the engagement. While the details may change over time, you need a starting point that includes:
Choosing the right consultant is about asking the right questions. Ask candidates questions, such as:
Timing, budget, and availability
When you work with Salo, our business development directors (BDDs) do most of the leg work. They help you define your needs, find qualified consultants, set up interviews, and negotiate the terms of the engagement.
Setting up a sustainable finance function
At a high-growth, family-owned engineering firm, the president was moonlighting as their accounting department—in addition to all of her other work. She knew she needed to set up sustainable finance/ accounting processes but didn’t know where to start. Salo assigned a tried-and-true, controller-level Salo expert to act as interim controller. On day one, the consultant stepped in and started taking things off the president’s plate. The consultant quickly began managing day-to-day tasks, setting up long-term professional processes, and preparing the company to welcome a permanent controller.Read More
When consulting goes well, it’s a mutually beneficial experience. Both the organization and the consultant grow, learn, and succeed. But that partnership takes effort from the consultant and the organizational representatives.
Consultants are generally exceptional relationship builders. But it helps if you—the project sponsor—give any impacted teams a heads-up before the consultant arrives. Why? When consultants appear without warning, it can cause stress and fear for other team members. They might worry the consultant is going to take their job or “come in and change everything.”
To get ahead of this concern, provide an overview of who the consultant is, why they’re coming, and what you hope the engagement will accomplish. Talk, specifically, about how the consultant will benefit the team (e.g., reducing their workload or increasing their knowledge).
At Salo, we often say our consultants can “hit the ground running.” Career consultants are pros at acclimating quickly, but they need a little help from you to get started. (Check out our “Onboarding Checklist” below.)
To help your consultant start adding value on Day 1:
Note: If your consultant is working remotely, ask if they are open to meeting the team in person at the beginning of the engagement to establish some relationships quickly. While an in-person visit isn’t necessary, it can make the onboarding and teambuilding aspects easier.
Managing consultants is similar to managing most employees. The partnership works best when you:
Building an HR function from scratch
One of the nation’s largest drugstore chains and a leading pharmacy benefit manager created a joint venture to deliver prescriptions to consumers’ homes. The new company needed to build an HR function from the ground up. They needed an interim leader with experience with benefits and compensation. Working remotely, our consultant was able to build a total benefits structure, strategy, and team.
Have a tough challenge? Need an extra pair of hands? Looking for interim leadership? At Salo, we’ve got you covered. And the process couldn’t be easier. We have vetted, expert finance, accounting, and HR consultants ready to help your team succeed. Just contact us at hellosalo.com/client-contact/ to discuss your needs, and we’ll find the right consulting experts for your situation.
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