Jo Young, big4.com Guest Blogger.
Interim Managers, Interim Consultants, Contractors, Freelancers, Temps, Advisors, Analysts – people working independently in the business sphere have many names and titles – but is there consensus on what they all mean?
The answer is a resounding “no” across the industry, which causes frustration and delay in the resourcing process; often it becomes apparent that what the client is looking for, what the job description called for and what the applicant provides are three completely different skillsets.
The diagram below provides a structure that we use at B2E Resourcing to enable discussion with the client – in order to help clarify what they really are looking for:
Independent Consultants who have trained at one of the big 4, and who have a background working at many clients through a branded consultancy, are going to operate in a different way to those who have developed their consultancy skills through running large blue chip companies and who have trained through experience in industry.
Where the focus of the role is managing a specific set of changes, implementing a specific programme or defining/planning/costing the benefits of a specific business choice, the client is best suited with a “functional expert” (Interim Consultant) who has been through something very similar before several times; perhaps an outsourcing/offshoring expert, a CRM expert or a Learning & Development expert. These consultants are likely to have managed similar programmes, often in several industries, and have a deep understanding of how it is done effectively.
However, where the focus of the role is on day-to-day management, an Industry expert (or an Interim Manager) who has spent many years in one particular business sector is likely to be able to step in where required. They have experience of steady state management to inform them as well as their interim experience in several different companies within the same industry.
Clearly many (perhaps most) independent consultants are a hybrid of these two extremes.
Jo Young (http://uk.linkedin.com/in/joyoung) is a resourcing consultant at B2E Resourcing (www.b2e-resourcing.com) – a UK based resourcing company specialising in providing independent Interim Consultants for companies that need brainpower (and expertise) to join or lead their Business Change programmes.
Jo was a Senior Manager in the Accenture London Office from 1988 to 2000.