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5 Important Questions to Ask Consultants Before Hiring Them

There are many reasons why you might need to hire a consultant for your business.

Whether you’re launching a new product or opening a new branch for your business, you may need someone from the outside to come in and give you a hand setting things up. Consultants are valuable resources for business health and growth, but only if they possess the right skills to bolster your team.

In this post, we’re going to tell you 5 important questions to ask consultants before hiring them. If they nail the answers, then you know you’ve got a good one on your hands.

1. What’s Your Industry Knowledge?

The need to hire a consultant means that you lack knowledge in a certain area that they can provide. Obviously, business consultants can come in many shapes and specialties, so you need to figure out what it is that they’re good at.

Consultants should have experience working in your industry prior to becoming a consultant, but you also want fresh ideas coming to the table. Someone that’s well-rounded with broad knowledge of other, related industries is just as important.

2. Can You Work Collaboratively?

You don’t want someone to come into your work environment and start shuffling things around in isolation without your or your employees’ involvement. Ask them a few questions to get a sense of how they work in general, but also how they collaborate with their clients. 

They should be keeping you informed about the work they’ve done and the work they plan to do. If they create a communicative atmosphere, then they’ll be much easier to work with.

3. What Examples of Past Success Can You Give?

Getting a good sense of their past successes will be an important factor in whether or not you decide to hire them. Maybe you’ve found this consultant on reputation alone, or maybe they came as a recommendation from a friend. 

Again, you want someone with a good resume, so just ask them for some examples of jobs they’re particularly proud of. Their answers will tell you a lot about the type of consultant they are and whether or not they’re right for your company.

4. What Is Your Fee Structure?

The next thing to ask about is cost and fee structure. Understanding how and when they expect to be paid will be important for budgeting. A lot of consultants will ask for a certain amount upfront, then collect the rest when the job is complete.

Price is often the deciding factor if you’re choosing between two equal consultants.

5. What About Confidentiality?

Lastly, ask them to sign a letter of confidentiality. Consultants work with a wide range of clients, but some are specialized and work with similar clients. To prevent any information from being leaked to your competitors, it’s a good idea to protect yourself with a letter.

If they refuse to sign it, that might signal trouble down the road. It’s good to pose this question early on and get a sense of the type of person you’re dealing with.

Embracing Questions to Ask Consultants

These are just a few important questions to ask consultants before you take them on, but you may have more industry-specific ones that would help you. The key thing here is to not be afraid to ask a lot of questions because it’ll help you find the right candidate. Come up with a list and ask away, it’s only going to help your business.

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