Bad Consultants: What they cost you


Bad Consultants: What they cost you

A consultant is someone who is hired to do an assignment or project that an organization is incapable of planning, executing or lacking in resources to do internally.(hyperlink “why hire a consultant” article) But sometimes the capability of the hired consultant proves to be inadequate leading to stumbles in the project. These situations may arise because the consultant in question is not the right fit for the role or he may not have the experience or prowess required for the project that he has been hired to oversee.  Such bad hiring decisions can often cause a negative ripple effect through the organization.

The Harvard Business Review points out that as much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions and this statistic holds true with respect to hiring of consultants too.

This predicament generally ensues because companies are not well informed of the consequences of hiring a bad consultant. Another reason could be often with the aim of hiring a cheaper/more affordable option, organizations resort to hiring independent consultants who are willing to work for a little lesser than a verified and experienced one from a consultancy. This short term cost cutting can prove to be a mistake in the long term, which ends up costing the company a lot more than they initially set out to save.

The most obvious and tangible consequence a bad hire can have is on the financial aspect of the project he is working on. According to a study by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), a bad consultant can cost the company 5 times his salary. The higher the position of the consultant and the longer he stays; the more havoc he causes and the more the cost increases. A bad consultant is one that does not make money for the client, but instead makes money off the client.

The cost of a bad hiring decision can run into millions of dollars but it is not limited to just the monetary repercussions. A bad consultant drains the company of not just money but can affect it in other ways too.  Hiring a bad consultant can significantly impact the company’s morale, its efficiency, the productivity and can impair teamwork too, overall leading to undesirable outcome of the concerned project. This causes a considerable loss in the money, time and resources of the organization.

Here are a few other significant ways a bad consultant can affect the company

  • He impacts the employee morale by talking down at them or treating the employees poorly. It is a known fact that the better you treat a workforce, the better they work. So when a consultant is unable to build a good relationship with each employee, he isn’t respected by the them so the employees do not give him or the assignment their best effort.
  • He acts like a know-it-all and and does not respond well to feedback. He does not engage in team building and does not function as an effective collaborator. This leaves the rest of the team dissatisfied and disengaged leading to impaired teamwork which in turn diminishes the outcome of the assignment being handled.
  • He does not adapt to the company’s current working practises and instead expects the team to adapt to him instead. This inflexibility can put the team at discomfort reducing their productivity.
  • He is unaware of or is negative about the latest industry trends. There are a lot of strategies that worked years ago but are ineffective today. A consultant is expected to be a Subject Matter Expert and must  know more about it than any other employee in the company. He must also always be updated with the latest information related to the project in hand. If he doesn’t have the required knowledge or if he has outdated skill sets then he becomes a hindrance and greatly reduces the efficiency of the assignment.

All of the above also indirectly contribute further to the financial burden on the project.

The only definite solution to avoid these unnecessary costs is to hire a candidate from a consultancy as opposed to hiring an independent consultant. The consultants do the job of sifting through the consultants and separating the good one from the bad ones and have enough experience in this field to identify an unreliable candidate when they see one. Consultancies additionally would have used the same consultant on other assignments for other clients previously; so they have reliable feedback from the client, using which they filter out the bad ones.  Consultancies have a reputation to uphold in the market so they will make sure that you are satisfied with the consultant they provide you with. When you hire from a verified consultancy like Resource Torrent you can be rest assured that you have access to the smartest, most ambitious, hardworking, and the best talent pool available.