Whether it is streamlining and improving the processes within your business or providing a necessary skill set required for a project there are two options to consider. Hire a consultant or develop an existing employee. The pros and cons of hiring versus developing an existing team member are options that have to be considered. The answer depends on the exact need of your business.

Pros and Cons of hiring a consultant

The pros and cons of hiring

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Many start-ups who are growing unexpectedly fast will need support from someone who has experience and the knowledge, to take their business efficiently into the next phase. This need will be an urgent requirement. If none of the current employees hold that knowledge, hiring a consultant will be the solution. Consultants bring with them, expert knowledge and a fresh perspective alongside previous experience in similar situations helps to guarantee an end result your business will be happy with.

Cost is always a question to consider when deciding which option to take. Depending on the fee arrangement, you will pay only when you actually use the consultant and there’s no overhead costs such as tax, health care or other benefits. Many projects a consultant is hired for, will have a definitive end time, so you know exactly how long a time you are paying them for. The overall cost will be lower than training a member of staff and then compensating them at a new wage that fits their new position and skill set.

If your project requires immediate assistance, but you want your staff to learn the processes too, then hiring a consultant with a clause in the contract to cover training is a solution. When hiring a consultant to analyze and streamline your business processes, it’s essential to receive training for your staff so they can understand and benefit from the new processes. Not all consultants will provide staff training on the changes they make within your business, it’s something you need to check before hiring one.

Pros and cons of hiring a consultant

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A downside is the consultant’s availability. Consultants may take on more than one project at a time, depending on their client’s level of need. They might have prior commitments when you contact them. This can also affect their ability to meet deadlines, increasing the cost if you require them to complete the project on time and there could be additional fee charged. If you have not done your research beforehand and had the legal contract looked over, you may find there is legal issues regarding the ownership of documents.

Pros and cons of training an existing employee

If the situation within the business is not so urgent, you may consider taking the time to develop the necessary skills in house. A benefit of this is, you will then have reliable, consistent access to the skills through your own employee. Since they are already a member of your staff, you do not have to worry about their availability. An employee within your business will be more motivated to focus on the goals of your business, rather than split their time between multiple clients.

Pros and cons of hiring a consultant

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Recurring projects can become a costly expense if you are constantly hiring a consultant to assist your business. Developing the skills in house would be more beneficial to the business and save money. There will be an initial cost for the training necessary and depending on your arrangement with the staff member, additional wages. In the long run though, the initial investment will repay itself with the benefits your business will secure.

Unfortunately, if your staffing requirements do not have room to spare an employee to develop a new skill, then hiring a consultant might be the solution.

When making the decision between a consultant and developing the skills in house, it’s necessary to take a good look at the needs of the business. Assess which will benefit you the most through research and how urgent is your need. If you are unsure, get in touch with us and we can walk you through your different options.