Management consultants are used to taking a hard look at their clients' operations to see where resources can be maximized. But when it comes to their own firm, sometimes that's easier said than done. Hiring employees and talent management are two of the most difficult challenges most business owners face.
Let's look at a few ways you can attract and retain talent at your management consulting firm.
How to Hire Awesome People
Attracting the right people is critical for your business's success, so you may want to hire a recruiter to help. According to Entrepreneur, a top-notch recruiter typically charges about 25 percent of a new hire's first year's salary.
That may sound expensive, but it's nothing compared to the cost of hiring an employee who doesn't work out. Just look at the infographic created by online training platform Mindflash and reported by Fast Company. It says 41 percent of companies claim the wrong hire cost them at least $25,000. Another 25 percent put the cost at $50,000.
Can't afford a recruiter? The Entrepreneur article also offers tips for interviewing prospective employees. For instance, you may want to:
- Ask unexpected questions to see how they respond to curveballs.
- Pose questions that reveal their character.
- Provide a clear picture of your firm's culture to ensure it's a good fit on both sides.
You might also reduce the chance of bringing on bad employees by hiring on a contract basis. Give candidates a trial run, then let them transition to full-time employees if it works out.
How to Retain Your Team
Once you've gathered a stellar team, your next talent management task is to keep them. Replacing employees costs money and time, plus you also lose the knowledge they gained working for you. Moreover, other employees' morale may drop when top talent leaves.
Boost employee retention by:
- Setting clear expectations for employees.
- Providing regular feedback and a forum for employees to ask questions.
- Tapping into employees' secondary skills so they can contribute in ways beyond their job descriptions.
- Providing learning opportunities for employees, such as career development courses or mentorship on new assignments.
It helps to cover the basics as well. This may mean providing a healthy work / life balance, plenty of vacation time, and unlimited snacks in the kitchen. For more tips on creating a culture that makes employees want to stick around, read "Clients Have a Culture Problem? HR Consultants to the Rescue."
How to Groom Future Leaders
Unless you plan on doing all the heavy lifting yourself, it's important to develop leaders within your company. Training the next generation of leaders does require effort on your part, but the upside is a business with employees who feel engaged and believe in your mission. Some of the best ways to groom the next generation of leaders at your business include…
- Recognizing employees when they do a good job.
- Teaching good time management skills. (Need an assist? Check out "5 Productivity Apps for Business Consultants.")
- Paying for training seminars to help future leaders hone their skills and learn new ones.
- Offering flexible work hours so they have time to develop their potential.
For more helpful tips for running your consulting business, check out our eBook Expert Advice - A Risk Management Guide for Marketing and Management Consultants.