Archive for: May, 2023

Learn About New Challenges and Opportunities at a Consulting Conference

May 31 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

It is no secret that the world of business is constantly in a state of change and flux. It is also no secret that the governmental laws and regulations governing small, midsize and large businesses are always changing. These days businesses barely have time to prepare for one set of regulations before another one comes hurtling down the tracks. As a business consultant, it is your job to help your clients prepare for those changes, but keeping up with the changes yourself and be daunting to say the least.

And then there are the never ending regulations that govern the operation of your own business. With so much to take in and so many changes, it can be helpful to learn about these new laws and regulations at a consultant conference. By attending a consultant conference you can learn from experts in the field – experts who are already working to incorporate the latest regulations and laws from Washington into their clients’ businesses, and their own.

Challenges and Opportunities

It has been said that every challenge is just an opportunity in disguise, and nowhere is that axiom more true than in the world of consulting. By attending a quality consultant conference you will be able to learn about the exciting new opportunities available to the consulting world, as well as the daunting challenges that face your clients every day.

By learning about the latest laws, regulations and other challenges that are facing the business world at a consultant conference, you will be in a much better position to serve your clients and help them avoid legal hassles, red tape and other unpleasant scenarios. The information you learn and the skills you develop at a consultant conference can help you be a better business partner to your clients, and that can help your reputation and your bottom line.

Industry Experts, Legal Experts and the Consultant Conference

One of the best things about attending a conference is that it gives you a chance to meet industry experts, experienced consultants and even legal and governmental experts, all under one roof. Learning from experts in their respective fields is an essential part of being a successful consultant, and nowhere will you find as many experts as at your local conference.

As a consultant, you put your good name and reputation on the line every time you take on a project, and having the right information is essential. Attending a consultant conference on a regular basis is one of the best ways to ensure that the information you present to your clients is timely, up to date and actionable. The consulting business is growing rapidly, and that means more competition than ever before. Staying ahead of the competition is bound to get harder as time goes by, but the skills you learn at the next consultant conference could give you the edge you need to help your business thrive in even the most competitive environment.

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Go In For Information Technology Consultancies

May 31 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

An IT consultancy firm could be of two types basically. If it is a one man organization then the person runs his firm solely on his services catering his knowledge to related sources. If it is a concern then a group of consultants headed by a member and in hierarchy would render their services to a wide range of firms dealing with their own businesses. It doesn’t have to be solely an IT firm, it could be pure management or finance or for the matter direct trading of raw materials or even hosiery. All in all a consultant is primarily used by organization to steam up their business ventures implementing the consultants views, ideas and strategies.

The IT consulting industry can be categorized on basis of their operation as a three-tier system:

1) Professional services firms which maintain large professional workforces and command high bill rates. These firms either source their employees from low-cost nations or out sourcing their work to low cost countries.The reason here is the economy of the nation that holds strong.Such that instead of affording one national from that particular country if the job is outsourced to a country of weaker economy he affords another five in number for the same price via the economic exchange.

2) Staffing firms, which place technologists in businesses on a temporary basis.They are small firms but exploit global cost differences by bringing guest workers to their host country in terms of contracts or as bonded workers. They are also termed as body shops.

3) Independent consultants, who either A) function as contractors or B) employees of staffing firms or C) subcontractors in their own right.

People in general do get confused trying to differentiate between an IT consultant and a general management consultant. An It consultant will always score over his counterparts due to his knowledge in a field of expertise. IT consultants often have degrees in computer science, electronics, technology, or management of information systems while management consultants often have degrees in accounting, economics, Industrial Engineering, finance, or a generalized MBA (Masters in Business Administration).

Now the main question of concern that rises is how does a consultant or for the matter a consultancy firm improve its prospects and gathers quality clients. Following are some ways to boost up your credibility of your consultancy.

A] For an Independent Consultant, or a small group, the growth is primarily through referrals or recommendations. The referral is the most valuable of all business generators for four distinct reasons:

1) The act of referring you to others indicates that your firm or services are indeed valuable if not worthy.

2) While meeting your new client you aren’t complete strangers rather a bit known to each other through the referrals and hence that initial uneasiness isn’t present.

3) Referrals and recommendations are the primary USP (Unique selling point) of your consultancy services,rather the best marketing strategy that you could ever imply and that to free of cost.

4) Referrals provides you with the highest-quality clients and engagements.

B] Confidence is an important factor. Even if you are new to the field of consultancies try remaining confident in front of your client. A hint of insecurity could actually spoil the entire ambiance or the meeting. Your business falls flat on it’s face. Rather if you are confident you take your client in to confidence and convince him of your ideas being surely successful there lies every chance of another referral and the word from mouth keeps increasing about your business.

C] High Quality Clients and Engagements: The nature of engagements that comes to the firm through referrals is likely to be high-value, serious, and high-margin.High-quality managements recognize the value of a good referral, as opposed to checking the Yellow Pages, or picking a consultant based upon a speaking engagement or even a fad bestseller book. They ask people whose opinions they trust. The result: the most interesting, rewarding clients are the ones that come from referrals.

D] Marketing Message:One must have a marketing message to improve or increase the prospects of the firm.There should be a sales cycle through whom you could bank your success upon. If you hope to generate referrals, be clear about the roles in the “sales cycle” at work here: you must “train” or “equip” your clients to deliver the “marketing message” for you. The clients are your agents or “representatives.”The first contact with a potential client on your behalf is not in your hands, but you can shape the event depending on what tactics you implement. The Marketing message needn’t be lengthy or complex. The intention is to be referred with enough interest that a potential client invites you in for an exploratory interview, or even better, to discuss a specific engagement in the offering.

All in all executing the referral strategy toward the end of an engagement gives you the ideal opportunity to move ahead with your business successfully. Frankly speaking people who have opened consultancies are earning money as if there wasn’t any yesterday or if there won’t be any tomorrow. Start out alone and the only time you might just find things to be a bit tough is to get a major client initially. But if you are experienced, which means that the consultancy isn’t your first job ever and if you have served under any reputed company or organization, use that for a recommendation and there would be no looking back.

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Network Your Way to Success With a Consultant Conference

May 31 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Even as companies cut back on their hiring and take a hard look at their bottom lines, the world of consulting has been thriving. Many companies have already discovered that quality consulting services help them make more money with fewer resources, certainly a recipe for success. As more and more businesses discover the value of consulting, the market for professionals such as yourself is expected to grow even more. But not every consultant will share in the bounty. The bulk of those opportunities will go to consulting firms and individual consultants who are able to ferret out the projects that best suit their areas of expertise. Attending a consultant conference is one of the best ways to find your next golden business opportunity.

Just consider that the average consultant conference might bring together hundreds, or even thousands, of consultants, industry leaders, government officials and other decision makers. That means that the consultant conference is as much a perfect networking opportunity as it is a way to learn about the latest changes in the consulting business. By attending a consulting conference you will be able to meet with others in your field, hear from keynote speakers who are recognized as the best in the industry, and even find new business opportunities.

Growing Your Business at the Next Consultant Conference

As the owner of a consulting firm, you are only as good, and as well respected, as the team with which you surround yourself. Finding and retaining the top experts in your chosen field is a constant challenge, one that must be met every day. Attending a consultant conference give you a golden opportunity to meet hundreds of other people, and chances are many of them will possess the skills you value so highly. The consulting conference gives you an informal venue for finding out more about those who just might be your next business partners, or even your next clients.

The consultant conference also gives you the perfect opportunity to learn even more about your chosen field. No matter how many years of experience you may have or how many satisfied clients you have worked with, you can always learn more. The world of business in general, and consulting in particular, is always changing, and just keeping up with all those changes can be a real challenge. The organizers of the consultant conference can make it a bit easier to keep up by condensing everything from recent tax law changes affecting consultants to new regulations that affect the world of big business, and giving it to you in an easy to understand format.

No matter what your particular niche, the more knowledge and experience you can bring to your clients, the more successful you will be. The contacts you make and the skills you learn at the next consultant conference just might mean the ability to attract new clients, grow your business and expand your network of professional contacts.

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Choosing the Right Image Consultant

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Looking to sharpen your professional image? Working one-on-one with an image consultant is a great way to boost your style and skills. An image consultant can coach you on your attire, professional demeanour, grooming and makeup, verbal skills, and body language. You can also hire a consultant to help you prepare for something specific, such as a job interview or an important presentation. Or, you might choose to bring in an image consultant to speak to a larger audience during a company training. But first, choosing the right image consultant will require some research and preparation. You want to be sure that your consultant will understand your needs, will work well with you, and is qualified to help you achieve your goals. You should also be aware of their methodology and make sure that it fits your standards and expectations. When you take the time to find an excellent consultant, you will get the most out of the experience.

Before you start your search, write down exactly what skills you aspire to gain. Do you need lessons in the best colours, cuts, and style of a professional wardrobe, or do you get nervous in front of a crowd and want to refine your speaking and body language skills? If you are hiring a consultant for a company training, in which areas do your employees need advice and improvement? When you clearly define what services you need, it will be easier to find a consultant who will work well with you. In addition, once you have hired the consultant, you can let him or her know from the outset exactly what you would like to achieve.

Once you have a detailed idea why you are seeking image consulting, it’s time to research who can help you reach those goals. The Internet is a great place to start: search for image consultants in your city and review their websites to find out what kinds of programs they offer and what their credentials are. Once you have narrowed down whom in your area you might like to work with, schedule an informational interview with each potential consultant. Meeting face-to-face and discussing the specifics of their programs and their experience is key; you can only learn so much about a consultant’s skills and qualifications from a website description. Here are several questions to consider asking a potential image consultant:

Questions about their programs

- Tell me about your programs.
- What is your process when you work one-on-one with somebody?
- Tell me about three of the biggest mistakes that people make, and how you address these in your program.
- How do you expect to customize a program for our organization that addresses the needs of both men and women?
- When you present, how do you ensure that you have a captivated audience?

Questions about their qualifications

- Do you have a formal education in fashion and design?
- Who have you worked with?
- Have you written any books or articles on style, wardrobe, tailoring or dress for success?
- Do you have a recent success story or testimonials from program participants?

General Questions

- How do you define image?
- Ask he/she to tell you three things they would do to enhance your look.
- Besides dress and attire, what other topics can you cover that would complement your image program?
- What questions should I be asking of your competition?

If the consultant provides detailed and precise answers to your questions, demonstrates a strong knowledge of image and attire, can share a few success stories from their program, and has adequate qualifications and training, then he or she could be the right consultant for you. The final step is to hire the consultant with the best results based on your hiring process, and then to enjoy learning the new skills and style tips that a great image consultant can share!

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The Pros and Cons of Selling Print on Demand Products on Etsy

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Selling print-on-demand products on Etsy offers an attractive opportunity for creative entrepreneurs to showcase their designs and reach a wide customer base. By combining the convenience of print-on-demand services with the established e-commerce platform of Etsy, sellers can leverage various benefits and navigate the challenges of this unique business model.
Overview of Print on Demand
Print on demand is a business model that allows sellers to offer customized products without holding inventory. The products are created and shipped directly to customers as orders are received. This eliminates the need for upfront production costs and inventory management, making it an appealing option for artists, designers, and entrepreneurs looking to turn their creativity into a profitable venture.
Introduction to Etsy as an E-commerce Platform
Etsy is a popular online marketplace that specializes in handmade, vintage, and unique products. With millions of active buyers and a strong focus on creativity, Etsy provides a ready-made platform for sellers to showcase their print-on-demand products. It offers various features and tools to help sellers set up their shops, market their products, and connect with a vibrant community of like-minded individuals.
The Pros of Selling Print on Demand Products on Etsy
Whether you’re an artist looking to monetize your designs or a business owner seeking new avenues for growth, understanding the pros of selling print-on-demand products on Etsy is essential. We will discuss the advantages that come with leveraging the Etsy platform and how it can help you establish a successful online business.
Wide Customer Base and Established Marketplace
Etsy boasts a large and diverse customer base actively seeking unique and handmade items, providing sellers with ample opportunities to reach their target audience.
Low Startup Costs and Minimal Risk
The print-on-demand model eliminates the need for inventory investment, production equipment, and warehousing costs, allowing sellers to start their businesses with minimal financial risk.
Access to Creative Community and Support
Etsy provides a supportive community of artists, designers, and entrepreneurs who can offer advice, feedback, and collaboration opportunities, fostering a sense of camaraderie and creative growth.
Customization and Personalization Options
With print on demand, sellers can offer customizable products, allowing customers to personalize their purchases and create a unique connection with the products they buy.
The Cons of Selling Print on Demand Products on Etsy
While selling print-on-demand products on Etsy can offer numerous advantages, it’s important to recognize that every business model has its own set of challenges and drawbacks. Aspiring entrepreneurs entering the world of print-on-demand on Etsy need to be aware of the potential downsides to make informed decisions and effectively navigate the competitive landscape.
Increased Competition and Market Saturation
The popularity of Etsy attracts a significant number of sellers, leading to increased competition and the need for sellers to find unique ways to stand out from the crowd.
Limited Control over Branding and Store Design
Etsy’s platform imposes certain limitations on store design and branding options, making it challenging for sellers to create a fully customized and unique online presence.
Fees and Expenses Associated with Selling on Etsy
While Etsy provides a platform for sellers, it also charges fees for listing products, selling items, and additional services, which can impact profit margins.
Dependency on Etsy’s Policies and Changes
As an Etsy seller, one must be prepared for changes in policies, algorithms, and search algorithms that may impact visibility, sales, and overall business strategies.
Tips for Success in Selling Print on Demand Products on Etsy
Niche Selection and Targeting Specific Audiences
Find a unique niche within the print-on-demand market and focus on targeting a specific audience to differentiate your products.
High-Quality Product Photography and Descriptions
Invest in professional product photography and create compelling and accurate descriptions to showcase the quality and uniqueness of your print-on-demand products.
Building a Strong Brand Identity and Standout Store
Develop a cohesive brand identity and create a visually appealing storefront to attract customers and build a memorable brand image.
Utilizing SEO and Marketing Strategies
Implement effective search engine optimization (SEO) techniques and explore various marketing strategies, such as social media marketing and influencer collaborations, to increase visibility and drive traffic to your Etsy shop.
To succeed in selling print-on-demand products on Etsy, it’s crucial to carefully select a niche and target specific audiences. Investing in high-quality product photography and creating compelling descriptions will help make your offerings stand out. Building a strong brand identity and creating a visually appealing storefront will attract customers and enhance recognition. Additionally, implementing effective SEO and marketing strategies will drive traffic to your shop and increase visibility.

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So You Want to Run your Own Courier Business?

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

This guide is for those who are thinking of starting their own courier business. Whether you’re new to the industry or an old hand looking to become self employed, courier jobs are there for the taking. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps and the freedom of successful self-employment could be yours.
Plan to Succeed

Plunging straight into a new venture without proper planning is asking for trouble. Before launching your new business, make a detailed plan covering expenses, pricing and predicted profits and, from that, decide exactly what type of self-employed courier jobs you will take on. You need to be sure you have the capacity to not only build something to be proud of, but to be able to make money as well.

Choose your Vehicle Wisely

Your vehicle is your biggest investment. You’re going to be using it every day, so you need to ensure it’s reliable, the right size for your jobs and has good fuel economy. Do plenty of research before even considering making a purchase. You might even consider hiring a vehicle to begin with, to keep starting costs down.

Be Sure to Insure

Not everything in life goes to plan and an unforeseen accident can put small businesses in serious trouble. For that reason (and many more), it’s essential to take out the correct insurance for your business. At the most basic level you will need:

• Vehicle Insurance (must cover Hire & Reward for the carriage or conveyance of other people/3rd party goods) • Goods in Transit (10k or higher) • Public Liability (not compulsory but advised)

Having these in place will encourage clients to trust you and your business should something go wrong.

Equipped for Success

Once you’ve purchased (or leased) a vehicle, it’s time to invest in some other useful tools of the trade. Depending on the size and weight of your cargo, you might want to buy a dolly or hand truck to make loading easier. For larger items, a furniture or appliance dolly will come in very handy. Other useful equipment includes blankets, tape and cargo straps.

Know your Costs, Set your Prices

Tracking costs will enable you to set prices that are fair to your clients and, at the same time, ensure you make a profit. You will need to know fuel costs, as well as estimating the expense of maintaining your vehicle and any administrational or miscellaneous costs. This information will allow you to set a transparent pricing structure that clearly shows clients what you offer and at what cost.

What’s in a Name?

Spend time thinking about the name you give to your business as, ideally, it should clearly reflect the service you offer. You also need to check no one else is using the name you select and ensure you register it legally.

The Magic of Marketing

You may think that once you become self employed, courier jobs will fly in and land on your lap. However, the reality could be very different, so it’s your job to get the word out. Make the most of social media networks, friends and family to advertise your new service to potential clients. Proactively approaching potential clients via cold calling and emailing is also a good way of building up a customer base. Lastly, join an online freight exchange which is an excellent way of growing a network without a substantial outlay.

Although starting your own business can be exciting, it is important to plan properly before diving into a new venture. Keeping these simple tips in mind will go a long way to helping your courier business become a success.

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Marketing 101 for Courier Companies

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Marketing your courier business needn’t be a headache: it’s all about formulating the right strategy and embracing innovative new ways to reach consumers. With more channels on offer than ever before, it can sometimes feel like your marketing budget is being stretched a little thin, but with creativity and a watertight plan, you can see significant results. Here are just a few great ways to maximise your return on advertising spend.
1. Blogging

At first glance, logistical subject matter like the ins and outs of courier work does not seem to lend itself to this format. However, with careful execution a blog can generate interest in any industry, logistics included. Consumers are more likely to trust the information they read in an informative blog post than with traditional advertising, because the format allows you to address them directly and establish a friendly tone. Finding ways to make the content relevant to your readers is key, as is thinking about the optimum article length for your subject matter.

2. Facebook

Arguably the most impactful innovation in digital marketing of the last decade, Facebook is a valuable tool for logistics businesses, as the live interactions with customers lend themselves to the fast-paced nature of the industry. If your business undertakes a lot of courier work, for example, the messenger tool can be invaluable for answering delivery enquiries and providing service updates. Facebook pages, groups and messenger are all tools that you can use for free, or try paid-for targeted ads to reach your desired demographic.

3. LinkedIn

An obvious choice for any B2B logistics company, LinkedIn is no longer the preserve of job hunters and recruitment departments. Make use of the network to generate new leads by making connections with potential clients. If you have opted to start a blog, posting links to your articles on LinkedIn is a great way to generate interest and direct traffic back to your website.

4. Email Marketing

This is the oldest trick in the digital marketing book, but it’s still one of the most reliable ways to get your message to clients and customers. Whether you are informing clients about disruption to your services or offering a promotion, it allows you to add a personal touch to your communications. Using your recipient’s name in the subject header is a proven method to increase the open-rate.

Always Have a Strategy

You wouldn’t send out a shipment without knowing its destination, and you wouldn’t schedule courier work without checking the availability of your drivers. Your marketing strategy should be no different: take the necessary time to make a considered plan, taking your audience and competitors into account.

Most importantly, your strategy does not have to be fixed. Use A/B testing to check what channels are working best for you, and look at ways in which your efforts can and should change with the seasons. It will never be a finished product: keep measuring what works, keep researching the platforms that your customers are using and keep promoting your business where it can be seen.

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Book the Best Hotels in South Charleston WV for A Great Travel Experience

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

For Immediate Release:
May, 2018: If you are looking forward to getting away from your regular life full of work, then you can plan a getaway to West Virginia. But to enjoy this, it is important to get a place for a comfortable stay. There are several hotel options available for visitor’s stay. Microtel Inn & Suites is one of the top rated hotels in South Charleston WV that offers you friendly service for your business trip or vacation.

It can be an excellent choice for your need because it will provide easy access to the worth visiting attractions there. The best thing is all their rooms are neat, clean and well-equipped with the latest facilities. Amenities sure to brighten and enhance your stay include a free continental breakfast, free passes to a local health club, free Wi-Fi, 24-hour front desk service, guest laundry facilities, free parking, refrigerator, microwave and more.

They strive to be the best of the hotels near Charleston State Capitol and hotels near Charleston Clay Center for discerning, value-conscious business travelers. Unlike many other accommodation providers, they do not charge high for their rooms and other services. Thus, you can stay at this place for as long time as you want without concerning about your pocket.

They are the best of the Mardi Gras West Virginia Charleston hotels and a good choice of hotels near Charleston Civic Center too. This hotel is placed at the prime location of the city and thus by booking your room you can explore all the major attractions of the city with great comfort and ease.

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Cheap Domain Registration: Guarding Your Business against Brand Counterfeiting

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Although you may have taken some time to plan how to execute short and long term goals for your business as a starter, you shouldn’t neglect the area of creating a domain name for your business. You wouldn’t want to be embroiled in a legal tussle in the future, because someone else is already taking the credits for your brand name which you have painstakingly built for many years. To deal with a common situation such as this, you do yourself a lot of good by investing in domain registration cheap. With this worthy move, you are able to prevent your business and your future, because your brand has created a unique tagging for itself in a digitally enhanced world. Interestingly, you don’t know what the future holds for you as a business owner. You never can tell how your business can expand within the space of two years with the support of cheap domain registration, irrespective of the fact that your start-up may appear insignificant. Therefore, with cheap domain names, you can create a secured future for your business, especially in the area of unparalleled growth.
You shouldn’t give it a second thought the moment you establish your own business without the presence of cheap domain names. You stand a greater chance to benefit a lot from undertaking cheap domain registration for your business. Some of these benefits are discussed below.

1. Brand awareness

When a particular brand name has proliferated the global space, it becomes difficult for counterfeiters to replicate your service. The reason is that cheap domain names place you on a great pedestal to grow your finances and service type, which your visitors will become used to. So, wherever your business name pops up, your visitors can easily identify you, because you have a domain name, strictly for distinguishing you amongst fierce business competitors.

2. Avoidable legal battle

With domain registration cheap, your business can earn a trademark that will keep you off from legal battles. Before you consider having your own business, you should ensure that you invest your capital on cheap domain names. These days, you cannot afford to be embroiled in a legal battle, as you are required to pay heavy fines when found guilty. With cheap domain registration, you not only stay away from getting involved with legal battles, you have no reason whatsoever to pay fines that are capable of making your business bankrupt. You should consider buying off your freedom to operate your business with domain registration cheap.

3. Credibility

You can establish a very strong ground for your business with the help of domain registration cheap. You shouldn’t wait until you have become an established name in the business industry before you get your cheap domain names: a new digital form of increasing your customer base. Increasing your customer base for your business takes a lot of time and effort, because customers are, sometimes, very difficult to please. However, with the help of cheap domain registration, you can have a trademark that visitors can easily trust, after having been in business for a long time.

On a final note, you can get the protection you need for your business as a unique brand with the help of cheap domain names. You don’t have to wait until you are dragged into a legal battle, which may strip you of your rights to continue with your brand, because you failed to secure your brand through cheap domain registration. You can become unique with your business ideas and services with domain registration cheap. Take a full advantage of what cheap domain names can afford you for a life time.

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Four Fundamental Flaws of Recruiting New Consultants Through Recruitment Consultancy Agencies

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Over the last few years it has become increasingly popular for companies to use recruiting consultants for finding and hiring new workers. And while the method is a bit of a disaster in terms of finding quality people, most companies continue in blissful ignorance to keep using it.

The sad reality is that this practice has also become the way for consulting firms to hire new associates.

When manual workers are hired this way, it may be a reasonable approach, but it’s a huge mistake, even a cardinal sin of biblical proportions for consulting firms to acquire talents this way.

Sadly, when Friedrich Winslow Taylor, the world’s first self-appointed management consultant, was peddling his “Scientific Management” concept, and basically said that in the past people came first, but in the future systems come first and people become tightly-controlled, fungible expenses.

He also said that with the help of tight systems and processes, people with the intelligence of oxen can be employed because even they can understand the simple tasks they have to repeatedly perform to serve the system.

And with this action, Taylor and his notorious stopwatch took pride and fulfilment out of work, and turned it into monotonous drudgery.

And this “Anyone can do any kind of work” has paved the path to…

The Rise Of Recruitment Agencies And Recruiting Consultants…

HR generalists quickly realised that if anyone can do any kind of work, then HR generalists, most of them without any industry-specific content knowledge, can hire any person for any position in any industry.

And then they started the new industry.

First it became a norm for industrial companies to outsource their recruitment to recruitment agencies, and industrial companies enjoyed the expert help.

So the recruitment industry quickly cobbled together a so-called body of knowledge, mainly consisting of various pseudo-psychological testing, and an increasing number of recruitment consultancy agencies started promoting their services to time-strapped managers.

And by now we also know that traditional, industrial-age HR has miserably flopped in the knowledge age.

In his book Conversations on Customer Service and Sales, Ken Edmundson tells us that…

“Mathematically we have a 52% chance of hiring the right person if we just flip a coin, and studies reveal that we only increase that a whopping 8% by using our wonderful interviewing skills.”

So, with some serious prodding from Taylor’s Scientific Management, we got into the industrial age pretty quickly, but his message, although 99.999% obsolete, is so entrenched in managers, that they can’t think in any other way of hiring people.

And what have this entrenched mindset and antiquated HR practices created?

A recent Gallup Poll study indicates that 59% of the workforce is disengaged, that is goofing off. 14% actively pursues non-work-related activities. And only a mere 27% actually work.

According to a study by the Insurance Journal, over 50% of North American workers question the morality of their leaders and feel mistreated by their managers. Less than 15% of workers feel strongly energised by their work and 42% struggles with burnout.

And managers hold on to this obsolete “manual worker” type HR mindset, in spite of the loud and clear message from Peter Drucker, who, in his 1954 book, The Practice Of Management, introduced us to the concepts of knowledge age, knowledge work and knowledge worker by writing…

“Knowledge workers are volunteers who own the means of their performance, and whether or not they remain with any one company is totally volitional. Just like most investors, they will go where they can earn a fair economic return-measured in wages, fringe benefits, and other pecuniary rewards-as well as where they are well treated and respected, the psychological return. In the knowledge society, the most probable assumption for organizations – and certainly the assumption on which they have to conduct their affairs – is that they need knowledge workers far more than knowledge workers need them.”

And after this short, but necessary detour, we arrive at the…

Problems Of Recruiting Consultants Through Recruitment Consultancy Agencies

While in most industrial companies people are regarded merely as controllable expenses that have to be minimised, since it’s the system that does the work, in consulting firms people are supposed to be the firms’ greatest assets. Actually people are the very “things” consulting firms sell. Their people and their relationships.

Before consulting firms can sell their services to their clients, clients have to buy the firms’ people. That is, clients have to be sold on the firms’ overall culture and character traits, based on its people’s character.

So, when firms hire new associates, they have to consider two main factors: 1) The candidate’s character and 2) the candidate’s expertise.

So, when hiring consultants, where do recruitment agencies fall flat on their faces?

Let’s start the discovery…

Agency Recruitment Flow #1: No Or Very Little Subject Matter Expertise

The first problem is that most recruitment agencies don’t have subject matter expertise in your firm’s area of expertise, so the candidate pre-screening is pretty haphazard.

Yes agencies can use various psychological testing methods, but most of these tests are merely pseudo-scientific, and can test only the candidate’s character. And even for that they are not bulletproof.

But agencies can’t determine candidates’ expertise levels. That would require judgement and discernment, but in the absence of subject matter expertise, these agencies can’t really judge or discern anything.

And when we don’t have the knowledge to discern something, we resort to the usage of measuring sticks.

Imagine figure skating, for instance. Imagine that one of the judges doesn’t understand figure skating, so, instead judging, he starts measuring how high skaters have jumped, how many degrees they’ve rotated their bodies and some other measurable nonsense.

No. Judges have to be able to make subjective decisions based on their expertise that is based both in skating and evaluating skating.

But in the absence of subject matter expertise, agencies often end up…

Agency Recruitment Flow #2: Looking For And Hiring Resume Superstars

These “resume superstars” look excellent on paper, because they’ve dedicated their lives to passing exams and looking good on paper. Every T is crossed and every I is “professionally” dotted from cradle to today.

Upon reading their resumes, recruiters pee themselves with delight because they think they’ve just found perfect candidates for their clients.

Or have they?

But one overlooked fact about superstars is that they became superstars in the very work environment and culture they worked before. And since you can’t offer the same circumstances, the superstar may not become your superstar.

We know from Peter Drucker that manages are excellent at destroying people’s innate motivation for doing great work…

“90% of what we call ‘management’ consists of making it difficult for people to get things done.”

Here are a few reasons to avoid superstars

o Superstars can be expensive relative to what they can bring to the table – Superstars need to operate in a superstar environment. But superstar environments can happen only at the expense of teamwork. So, what do we need? Superstars or superstar teams. My vote is on the latter. And a group of superstars is not a superstar team. No way, baby!
o Superstars can undermine the motivation of your current people.
o Superstars are seeking the highest bidder. If your competitor tops even by just a bit what you pay your superstars, they’re gone.

So, what’s the alternative?

Grow your superstars in-house.

The good thing is that they grow within your culture and values, and they can become superstars without the typical superstar attitudes. Also, they become great team players. And now you have the recipe for a superstar team. And what else can a firm leader wish for? Well, not a sausage really. Well, maybe a sausage on a good day.

Agency Recruitment Flow #3: Focusing On Filling A Vacancy Not To Advance The Firm’s Performance

Recruitment agencies are also called headhunters for a reason. They hunt down heads for their clients and fill their clients’ vacancy slots.

In good consulting firms there aren’t many vacancies. Since people enjoy both the work and the company of colleagues and clients, not to mention that they are paid well, talent attrition is pretty low.

In contrast look at a manufacturing company where people who work on the production lines may have an annual attrition of 20-30%.

Agencies are good at mass-hiring to fill vacancy slots, but hiring consultants is a bit more delicate.

It’s like hiring staff to the White House. The public elects the president, and then the president personally handpicks his closest colleagues, including the Vice President, Secretary of State, Chief of Staff and a few other key people.

But the president is not personally involved in the selection of an apprentice potato peeler. These lower level slots can be filled through a recruitment agency.

I believe that in consulting firms, as in all tight-knit, firmly-integrated units, firm’s leaders personally must recruit all new people simply because in a consulting firm there is no such thing as the proverbial potato peeler.

Due to its nature, consulting firms have only important people, and that includes the often undervalued receptionist who provides the firm’s first “live” impression to acquiring prospects.

Leaders know their firms’ cultures the best and, so they know who would best fit into those cultures.

Yes, agencies can compare resumes, cover letters and other factual pieces of information, but when it comes to such a highly personalised profession as consulting, we have to go way beyond explicit information, thus pieces of papers become pretty meaningless.

Is this the agencies’ fault? No. I don’t think so.

But agencies have many clients and many types of clients to recruit for. There is no time to give due attention to each hiring situation.

The largest part of the hiring process is to find a match between the candidate’s and the firm’s character and values. And no agency can do that because the agency is not part of the firm’s culture.

And just because the agency fills the firm with people who look superstars on paper, it doesn’t mean that the firm becomes a superstar firm. It means it becomes the collection of people who’ve dedicated their lives to looking excellent on paper.

But let’s not confuse resume expertise and applicable expertise.

Agency Recruitment Flow #4: Conflict Of Interest Regarding Compensation

Once upon a time, companies – erroneously – realised that instead of paying agencies flat fees, they can create an incentive for agencies by paying them a percentage of the new recruit’s salary for a certain number of years.

And this creates a conflict of interest.

Once an agency recruits a candidate, that candidate becomes the agency’s client.

And we all know that it’s many times cheaper and easier to work with existing clients than acquiring new ones. Agencies know this rule too.

So, let’s say, the agency recruits Jill for a consulting position. The consulting firm agrees to pay the agency 15% of Jill’s total compensation for three years.

So far so good. The consulting firm’s problem starts when on 1st January of the fourth year, the agency calls Jill and offers her a new and better position with another consulting firm.

This way the agency can re-start the three year period during which it receives a percentage of Jill’s compensation.

Yes, agencies can recruit good people for your firm. But as soon as the agency stops receiving payments on this person, the agency has a vested interest in poaching this person away from your firm, send her to another firm and get paid again for a few years.

So, what can consulting firms do?

If you need an agency’s help, then pay for it a flat fee upfront, and that’s it.

It costs the agency some serious money in the present to land a new person for you, and if all what the agency gets is a small percentage of future money, then the agency rightly tries to keep receiving that future money as long as possible.

So, To Use Or Not To Use Agencies?

I’ve always been surprised how keen many firm leaders are in personally selecting the wallpaper for their offices, the photocopier or the toilet seats for the staff loo, but then relegating the role of acquiring their profit-generating assets, their people, to a third-party agency.

It’s the equivalent of asking your friend to knock your wife up, because you need a baby by Easter, but you have neither time nor inclination to do it yourself. The example is pretty wild, but demonstrates the point.

What is the message sent out through the recruiting agency?

Simple: Our people are NOT important enough for us to invest time and energy to select them personally.

And guess what? If people are not important enough before recruiting, they won’t be important enough after recruitment either. This is why talent attrition is so high among consulting firms? And since most firms promote internal competition, when associates leave, they are highly likely to take their clients with them.

Firms keep shouting at the world they want to partner up with their clients, while often treating their own people like dirt. I believe, first they ought to partner up with their own people and create the kind of environment in which people are excited, energised and enthused to do their best and brightest day in day out.

And it all starts at the recruitment stage.

The basic difference is that while other industries hire people for jobs, consulting firms ought to recruit people for careers. Failing to distinguish between jobs and careers can cause high talent turnover. And that leads to increasing client attrition, and gradually eroding revenues.

I leave you with a thought from the renegade musical genius, Frank Zappa. He once noted…

“When people started taking MBA seriously, that was the beginning of the ruination the North American industrial society. When all decisions are based on an MBA concept of numerical reality, you are deep shit, because the only thing that can be judged as real is that which can be proved by columns of figures. And when all aesthetic decisions are turned over to these kinds of people, who use these criteria to make steering decisions for a company with no regard to people and no regard for what the product really is, and the only thing that matters is maximising your profit, you have a problem.”

Agencies can compare the numerical stuff, but unless firms go deeper, they will always fail to engage their people at the heart level, where enthusiasm, passion and dedication lie.

But clients don’t buy consulting services per se. They buy into relationships with people of specific character. And agencies can’t hire this character, only the firms.

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