The days of viewing temporary employees as low-skilled workers are long gone. Consultants are increasingly important to companies that value project-based professionals for the expertise, flexibility and cost savings they deliver.
A Robert Half survey found the majority of interviewed CEOs whose companies work with financial consultants said they will seek them again for future finance and accounting projects, and nearly half plan to hire consultants for business systems and process improvement initiatives.
Here are four in-demand consulting jobs, with advice on when to hire each type of project professional:
Seeing the big picture and formulating strategies can be difficult for employees who are too close to the process. Consultants, on the other hand, have strong knowledge of the entire industry and your company’s direct competitors, and this allows them to approach strategy development within a broader context. Hiring a consultant with an outsider’s perspective and experience might be an appropriate next step for an organization that is at an impasse with its strategic objectives.
Organizations regularly rely on consultants to streamline processes, assess operations and evaluate the organizational chart and reporting structure. Small businesses in particular often don’t have the staffing, expertise or financial resources to accurately assess their overall performance. Generally, the best time to bring in a project professional for process improvement is at the beginning of the fiscal year or the inception of a big project or new business initiative. This is so the consultant can make recommendations before a launch or strategy implementation — and not in midstream.
Tax work and financial reporting are perfect consulting jobs, since these tasks are often cyclical. You can use consultants to assess your financial records, do paperwork and even offer support in the event of an audit. Given the importance of compliance and proper tax filing, hiring a tax consultant — quarterly, semiannually or annually — can offer very good return on investment.
From increasing the power of your network storage to migrating data to the cloud, continually upgrading your technology is a must in today’s fast-moving business world. Project consultants keep up with technology trends in a way many managers don’t have the time for. These consultants can analyze your business and give recommendations as to how certain tech solutions, such as mobile apps or cloud software, can save money and boost productivity. Holding on to outdated technology can mean your company falls behind the competition. Any time is a good time to enlist a project professional to handle tech upgrades, but it especially makes sense to recruit extra help before a major rollout or upgrade.
More and more highly qualified professionals are moving toward consulting jobs and their perks, such as career flexibility and constant challenges. This is nothing but good news for companies, and knowing how best to deploy project professionals will make a major difference in your company’s performance and bottom line. Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps has more than 325 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at roberthalf.com/accountemps.