Everyone knows that one of the key challenges for consulting businesses is attracting and retaining high-end talent. It's always been a cause for concern and probably always will be. Losing a couple of key people at the wrong time and put a huge amount of strain on your business, affect the quality of delivery and services, and impact reputation.
So what can consulting firms do to find and keep the right people?
Give the right people the right challenges.
As consultants we are often motivated by interesting and challenging work that falls into our particular area of expertise, and skillset. The projects we do need to test our skills, and enable us to deliver real value to customers. Too simple and what's the point? Therefore we need to assign project that match their skills, make a difference to client, and also build credibility internally.
Win high profile customers and projects.It's important to win high profile customers and projects. By giving your consultants the opportunity to work on projects that will attract attention from peers and industry players, they have the opportunity to build their own personal reputation with your company. A concentrated effort from sales, marketing and services can ensure winning more of these projects. Position your firm as thought-leaders with expert content, and promote the innovative projects you complete and the value they deliver, clearly to the market. An integrated CRM solution can enable your teams to manage campaigns, communications and activities to gain more traction and bring in the right business.
Remove unnecessary admin.
There are certain necessary evils required for a consulting business to operate successfully. Some of the responsibility for these tasks falls to consultants and project managers, and are often seen as cumbersome and non-value-adding such as time sheets, invoicing, project status reporting etc. This can be hard work and tiring. Companies need to streamline these processes as much as possible. Make it simple for any admin tasks to be done as quickly as possible by taking advantage of digital technology, such as introducing mobile apps for time and expense collection, and easy to use systems with show KPIs such as estimate to complete, project schedules and performance. By removing admin and giving consultants the right tools, they get to focus on doing the work that inspired them to take on this role in the first place.
Purpose built professional service automation solutions can put project related data at the fingertips of your employees, reducing admin tasks and the frustrations that go with them.
To learn more about the challenges and opportunities for Consulting firms in 2015, download our free Consulting Industry snapshot. (This link has been updated with the 2016 version)
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