Selecting the Right Consultant – How Do Companies Decide?

Best Practice lessons from the employment arena
Companies usually put a lot more effort into hiring employees than they do into hiring consultants. Larger companies actually have a standard selection process for hiring employees – this includes gates like:

— a completed application and reference checks,
— 2 levels of management signing off on the new hire,
— the same people interview all candidates for a given position,
— standard interview reviews and feedback

These are all examples of common elements of a standard employment process that actually works.

Some of the often ignored lessons from these selection processes should be addressed in marketing your business as a consultant. Think about the ways companies select employees based on that theoretical “cultural fit”:

  • Does the consultant fit the pace of the organization?
  • Does their experience mirror the work to be completed in today’s project?
  • Is the consultant someone who has shown that they can flex on a dime as changes occur in the business?
  • Does the consultant’s communication style fit the organization (or at least the manager in question)? – Think about method, frequency, status updates, etc.

What are the subtle issues that make someone want to work with you? The better handle you have on these perceptual issues, the easier your service is to sell to this client.

We’ll be addressing more on this topic in other blogs.' About Deb McClanahan

Principal of BroadBand HR Consulting, Deb is an Executive Search and Human Resources consultant, and has served in WIC's leadership in different roles. As a consultant, she works with companies of all ages and stages to identify talent critical to their success. Her practice also includes compensation, performance, OD, and other HR and business consulting. As a WIC board member, Deb serves today as Secretary overseeing the organizational structure and association development as well as 2-way communication initiatives.


  1. I like that you pointed out that the communication style of a consultant is being considered because their style must fit a business organization. My sister and I are thinking of owning a business in the future. We want to make sure that we will get the help of a business purpose consultant that will have the willingness to update us constantly about our business’ needs and improvement.

  2. really good site and posts thanks for sharing 🙂

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