So you hired a consultant?
As you might be excited about the fact of having easily extended the workforce around the hiring freeze, you need to get the maximum out of your freshly on-boarded consultant.
No doubts, the best on-boarding is to integrate the consultant or contractor right into the team he/she is working with. Such an induction can come, however, with some obstacles, such as in the case that the local language differs from the native languages or culture of the consultant and the team. Difficulties in adopting to the team might raise when the team works remote or is a virtual team where exchange has to be done via video- or phone-conferences.
Train the processes
As another focus point to on-board the consultant fast is an effective and goal-oriented training on company processes. Even though the main processes in regulated industries have a common denominator, the details most probably differ. Thus, to get the consultant on-boarded fastl, a company should rather focus on the company-specific trainings and prioritize these over the general trainings to re-qualify the consultant. Most probably, here is “less is more” a very good advice.
Along to the training and induction, information about the task and its details need to be provided. Here, the rule of thumb has to be changed to “the more, the better”. There is no sense in holding back any information and detail about the task. As anybody knows, the difficulties lie in the details. As a company, allow and plan for questions and discussion sessions with your consultant to clarify any issues. In such sessions, the consultant most probably will align the information with the known regulations, standards and guidelines and experience. So, it should be expected that the consultant will use a slightly different terminology and uses the sessions in addition, to build a glossary.
Set a clear goal
The goal for the consultant should be set based on the SMART principle. Thus, the goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. The scope of such a goal should be clear and scope creep will always lead to a re-planning of the consultant’s tasks and timeline. Consultants, and specifically contractors work against a work order and cannot be used on changing scopes and goals without stopping the work for re-starting the planning.
Monitoring a consultant or contractor is as vital to the success of a project as finding the best-fit expert. Without the monitoring, the utterly important feedback loop is broken and the contractor can not adjust the work to company specific details and boundaries.
Conclude the task
Concluding the work comes with returning data and material created. Consultants and contractors most probably will inquire with the company before terminating the work on the specifics on how to return data and material or on the destruction thereof. If not defined in the contract, this is a vital point to keep records on and track.
Along to the return of material, know how is leached in the case the consultant or contractor is let go without a proper know how transfer. This is of special interest to the company in cases of new product development, process implementation or other complex tasks. Here, not only the “why” is important, but also the “why not”. Know how transfer and management is a process which involves the assessment of the critical and intrinsic knowledge and can hardly be conducted in paper only.