You are probably a pro at hiring FTEs already, but what about when it comes to hiring consultants? Of course there are similarities when it comes to interviewing, but if you really want the right expert on your team, make sure you are addressing these interviewing differences as well.
First Impressions. First impressions are powerful whether you are hiring an FTE or a consultant. We have heard clients comment time and time again about a candidate’s demeanor or appearance. As powerful as that first impression is, these things aren’t nearly as relevant as the work the candidate has done or can do for you. Don’t let the first impression be your sole hiring guide.
Stay Focused. Keep the interview focused on what you need and the candidate’s past performance. By taking this approach, you will know within the first 10 minutes if you have a good fit.
Diversity. We all know the value of being open to different thoughts, approaches, and people. Diversity is the secret sauce that fosters innovation and enables growth for your company. While we are naturally attracted to people like ourselves (yes, that’s your comfort zone!), it is important to put your preferences and attitudes aside and focus on the need for a different way of doing things.
This is where the magic of hiring the right expert to help your team happens…
Ask About Specifics. An interview with a potential consultant should never start with the generic “tell me about yourself” question that you may ask an FTE. Instead, draw them to tell you specifics about their contributions and accomplishments on past projects. The best candidates are comfortable with sharing their accomplishments and can relate what they have accomplished in previous roles to your project needs. You will be able to see in real time how the person works, thinks, and problem solves, thus increasing your confidence.
Understand More than Hard Skills. Anyone can put their hard skills, experience, and accreditations on a resume. By just looking at hard skills, it is difficult to determine whether there is a fit. What makes the difference is discovering the personal nuances of that candidate when you meet them in person. Treat the interview as sort of a dry run for how they will approach the project. For instance, have the consultant come in and give them a problem to solve. Put them on the whiteboard and watch how they work through the issue. Don’t expect a perfect answer, because they don’t know your business yet, but this will provide a great snapshot of how well they think on their feet.
Remember, you are not hiring a FTE. It’s a new world of navigating with the talent, and that requires a new mindset. Don’t spend a huge amount of time combing through resumes – you need an expert, and fast, so get the journey started!