The Future Strategy Club discuss the importance of high- calibre contractor talent for post-COVID growth

The monumental impact of Coronavirus upon the business world is well documented – with various government schemes in place to save not only businesses, but also jobs. Research from The Future Strategy Club, however, has found that nearly 3 in 10 (29%) business leaders have already streamlined their teams during the pandemic and, in many cases, it has been the UK's creative talent that has been impacted the most.

This means that many firms now have significant gaps in their team and talent. For businesses hoping to survive the impact of the virus, a fresh pair of eyes and extra pair of hands might go a long way. Hiring a consultant is one potential solution to solve this problem – but how do you go about hiring the right one? 

The Future Strategy Club, a marketplace for the UK's finest contractor talent, has tips to ensure business leaders make the right decision:

1. Hire hands-on talent

A consultant should – for the time they are with firms – live and breathe the ethos of the company. Getting to know the other workers and understanding the strengths and gaps in everyone's knowledge will allow the most comprehensive working relationship and drive progress. Once a freelancer has immersed themselves in the culture, only then can they discern their project and either create solutions to challenges, or encourage innovation.

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2. Set attainable KPIs

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are perhaps the most efficient way to ensure that contractors deliver their promised targets. It is important that business leaders know exactly what they are trying to achieve when hiring a consultant and, similarly, the consultant understands the outcomes they should be working towards. This should also help businesses understand exactly what value they are receiving from a freelance consultant before parting with any money.

3. Find out about their previous projects

Ensure that your freelancer's previous work is in line with the project you are hoping to complete. Business leaders should aim to hire practitioners who believe in the craft and quality of their work and who have a proven track record of success in a similar field. Checking references is key.

4. Ensure that the pitch team is the delivery team

When using an agency, or if hiring two or more consultants, it is important to set out from the beginning who exactly will be delivering the project. Sometimes, the agency's pitch team will sell an idea to a firm, and never be seen again. Building a relationship with the same consultants from day one will be highly beneficial and confirm that everyone is on the same page for the entirety of the project.

5. Fill skill gaps

When hiring an outside consultant, it is essential that leaders only vet individuals who possess talents outside of the skill sets of their current team. This way, business leaders can be sure that they are hiring someone who is absolutely worth the money and resource. Ensuring a fresh perspective will be crucial to firms hoping to diversify and survive the Coronavirus crisis.