Hiring A Consultant – Why Should You Put Consultants in Competition?

by | Apr 6, 2022

As an executive, you’re probably used to making quick decisions. Given the amount of work that you have to do, you can’t afford to dither. This means that you may not always have the luxury of time to get a variety of perspectives before making each decision. When you’re hiring a consultant, however, it might be a good idea to take your time.

When you are clear on your priorities and on the reasons why you need to hire a consultant, then you can start looking for the best fit for your specific project and your organization. The easiest solution is to look into your pool of existing providers, and choose pick from them.

However, the best consultant for one project is not necessary the best for the next one. Besides, you may want to introduce some competition.

Comparing Skill Sets

Finding a consultant isn’t like choosing a hat — “one size fits all” just doesn’t cut it. Of course, you want someone with experience, creative problem-solving skills, and interpersonal finesse. But how can you tell if a consultant really is top-tier unless you’ve seen…well, the mid and lower tiers?

Imagine you meet a consultant whose impromptu pitch dazzles you. Tempting to just pick them, right? Especially if it means avoiding the parade of pitches and the mini-novels they call proposals. Ah, the things we’d do to avoid extra homework.

But here’s the catch. Dive into that pile of pitches and you’ll find a mix bag. One consultant might win ‘Miss Congeniality’, while another could be the wise elder of the consulting world. Then there’s Mr. Creativity, who probably thinks outside several boxes at once, contrasted by Ms. Blunt, who’ll give it to you straight, no chaser.

Don’t forget to peep at their report cards — or as we call them in the grown-up world, references from similar assignments.

So, when the pitch dust settles, you’ve got decisions to make. While some might swoon over years of experience, others could have a soft spot for innovative flair.

And if you’ve ever struggled with the age-old challenge of “getting people to get it,” you’ll know the value of interpersonal skills. Throw these consultants in the ring, and watch as the one who truly resonates with you emerges.

Getting New Ideas

Outsourcing tasks: it’s like inviting guests to a potluck dinner. Sure, you have a vision of what they should bring, but isn’t it more interesting when they surprise you? Describing your functional needs and leaving some elbow room for creative solutions is like telling your guests to bring a surprise dish.

Suddenly, you have a smorgasbord of ideas. This isn’t just a theory; Forbes says diversity in the workplace stirs the creative pot.

Imagine wanting to turn your company into the metaphorical “office everyone wishes they worked at.” Consultant A suggests jazzing things up with free sports tickets. “Perk up, folks!” Consultant B thinks a change of scenery is due, and envisions a more productivity-friendly interior—maybe fewer walls, perhaps?

Then Consultant C, ever the revolutionary, wants to topple the corporate ladder altogether. “Hierarchy? We don’t know her.”

Pitting consultants against each other? It’s not cutthroat competition, it’s an idea buffet. You might stumble upon ideas that never even grazed your radar.

Even if you don’t implement every brainwave, at least you’ve expanded your horizons. Who knows? Maybe a mix-and-match approach will give you the best dish at the potluck.

Looking for the Right Fit While Hiring a Consultant

Let’s get real: selecting a consultant isn’t like dating, but it’s not far off. You could listen solely to your brain, making lists and analyzing pros and cons. But just as with dating, there’s that intangible spark; or in business lingo, ‘alignment of values’.

Your business is a reflection of you, not some soulless money-making machine (though making money is nice). When you onboard someone, you want more than a hired gun; you’re looking for a kindred spirit in a crisp suit.

Now, there’s a sea of consultants out there. They’re like fish, swimming in schools, flaunting their flashy credentials. But just like dating, not every fish is your fish.

The gist is: you want someone who doesn’t just nod along to every idea. If they can tell you, “I don’t know” amidst a sea of self-proclaimed ‘know-it-alls’, grab that unicorn by the horn.

Because in the cutthroat realm of consultancy, finding an honest, straight-shooting partner is like finding a four-leaf clover in the Sahara. Precious, and oh-so refreshing.

Getting More for Your Money

Here’s the low-down: Money’s not everything, but let’s not pretend it’s insignificant. By pitting consultants against each other in a friendly bout of competition, you’re not only ensuring they sharpen their pencils but also that they pull out their best tricks to wow you. And boy, do they want to impress!

The eternal debate rages on: value versus price. In an ideal world, where budgets are bottomless and money trees are real, we’d all be yelling “value” from the mountaintops.

However, back on planet reality, where board members squint at spreadsheets and CFOs clutch their calculators close to their chests, it’s a delicate dance between cost and worth. What you should be hunting for is not the lowest price tag, nor the shiniest offer, but the sweet spot where value meets affordability.

So, when you present your pick to the higher-ups, having done your due diligence, it won’t just be about “Look how much we saved!” but rather “Look at the incredible value we’re getting for our money!” And really, who can argue with that logic?

Hiring a Consultant Through Competition – How to Get Started?

Rolling out a consultant competition isn’t about shadowboxing or setting up an empty charade. It’s about genuine contenders stepping into the ring. So, how do you ensure a true contest and not just an orchestrated dance?

Hiring a consultant through competition

Set Clear Intentions from the Start

Before even thinking about initiating a competition, get clear on your why. If you’re organizing this competition just to tick a box or to appease certain stakeholders, then you’re probably barking up the wrong tree. Remember, preparing a proposal is like cooking a 5-course meal – it requires time, dedication, and lots of effort.

Play Fair and Square

It might be tempting to let that charming consultant with the silver tongue have an inside track. But resist the allure! All contenders should have equal information, equal access, and equal opportunities to woo you. It’s not a game of favorites; it’s a quest for the best.

Remember the Golden Rule

Treat consultants as you’d like to be treated. Forget the myths, legends, and tall tales about consultants being mystical creatures or cutthroat sharks. They’re professionals, just like you. If you wouldn’t want to be led down a garden path in your job, don’t do it to them.

Leverage the Playing Field

When you level the playing field, you might just be surprised at who comes out on top. Those industry giants, the McKinseys, Bains, and BCGs of the world, might just roll up their sleeves and give you a deal you can’t refuse if they sense a genuine opportunity.

Transparency is Key

From the get-go, be transparent about your selection criteria. This doesn’t mean revealing the recipe to your secret sauce, but it does mean letting contenders know what they’re being judged on. You’ll likely get more tailored, relevant proposals this way.

Engage and Collaborate

This is not a spectator sport. Dive into the process, engage with the consultants, ask probing questions, challenge them, and let them challenge you back. Collaboration can spark fresh insights and innovative solutions.

Wrapping Up

To sum up, think of this not as a “competition” but as an “exploration” – a journey to find the best fit for your needs. And, like all great explorers, equip yourself with integrity, clarity, and an open mind.

The treasures you’ll uncover will be worth the quest, especially when considering the option of hiring a consultant to provide invaluable guidance throughout your procurement journey.

hiring a consultant hiring a consultant hiring a consultant hiring a consultant
hiring a consultant hiring a consultant hiring a consultant hiring a consultant
hiring a consultant hiring a consultant hiring a consultant hiring a consultant

Hiring A Consultant - Why Should You Put Consultants in Competition?

How Consource Can Help?

With Consource, you’re not just getting another sourcing tool; you’re getting our extensive reservoir of best-in-class practices, tips, and tricks, all embedded seamlessly into the platform. Think of Consource as your digital consulting procurement guru, guiding you to make smarter, more informed decisions every step of the way.




Get more delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up now.

Related Posts