The job industry is facing a lot of competition along with the growth of society and the need for qualified manpower. Unlike the old days, today there are many options for the same and with the advent of internet this process has become easier and user-friendly. The search for the right job sometimes makes the seekers run here & there and this is where the Placement consultants come in, by acting as a platform between them and the premier hiring companies. But what exactly are such agencies, what is their role and method of working? Moreover, how are they lending a helping hand to millions of career hopefuls in starting with their first job or in career succession? This write-up delves deep to answer all these questions so that you can know more about them.
Consultants are paid to share their expertise and knowledge to help businesses attain goals and solve problems. Businesses often hire consultants to supplement their staff and save the costs of hiring a full-time employee. As a person new to the company or organization, consultants view the situation from a fresh perspective. Because a consultant isn’t beholden to any particular corporate culture, co-worker scrutiny or morale, consultants can act as the catalyst for change. While there are no degree requirements for a consultant, they do need to have vast knowledge and experience in a particular field. In addition to expertise, a consultant should have a track record of past accomplishments. Individuals with higher levels of education and experience will generally receive greater compensation for their services. An undergraduate or graduate degree related to the field will enhance consultant job and salary outlook. Consulting is a broad area of interest, and, from businesses to personal services, there’s a consulting opportunity for practically every industry.
Earnings vary depending on the field of consultancy and whether a consultant works for a large company or is self-employed. Earnings can be high for successful self-employed consultants, while company employees enjoy possible additional compensation such as profit sharing, bonuses, stock ownership and health benefits. Salaries for consultants also vary depending on area of expertise. For example, according to PayScale.com, in 2020, the median annual salary for human resources consultants was $73,888, for information technology (IT) consultants it was $78,760, and for management consultants it was $87,281. The BLS projected the number of jobs for management analysts will grow by 14% from 2018-2028, while jobs for human resources specialists will grow by only 5% in the same time.
Job duties can vary depending on the industry in which a consultant is working and based on the specific field of expertise. Fixing or improving a particular component of client’s business is the broadest duty for which consultants are hired. Consultants may sometimes be asked to teach a business’ employees how to manipulate a new software program or some other skill that increases productivity or generates more revenue. They’re also expected to provide advice, make recommendations and excel at problem solving. Consultants are often used prior to, and during, the start-up of a new business or to re-energize a failing business. Consultants are also brought in when a business needs reorganization, including the termination of individual employees or entire departments. A client will retain a consultant’s services until the goal or obligations of the particular endeavor have been met. The time period for consultancy can vary in length, depending on the needs of the client and on any unforeseen problems or additions to the project for which the consultant was hired.
Successful consultants derive their skill set from a combination of learned techniques acquired from higher education and, to a lesser degree, innate personality traits. These skills include the following:
Consultant’s role from employer’s perspective: Companies seek the help of placement consultants as and when there is a job opening. Consultants maintain a database of job seekers looking for employment and scan through it to search for the right candidate; online job portals are another source for headhunting resumes that match with the job profile in question. Placement consultants conduct the initial screening of candidate profiles and even schedule interview with the company.
Consultant’s role from job seeker’s perspective: The interaction between consultant and job seeker may initiate in two ways: either by the placement consultant as mentioned above or by the job seeker who registers himself/herself with the placement firm. Placement agencies can increase the chances of a candidate of coming in contact with the right companies (that hold vacancies in the desired sector and candidate’s level of experience).
Through these consultants, job seekers also stay updated with the latest demands in their sector in terms of skills and qualifications.
Qualities of a good consultant: As a job seeker, you will be interacting with the consultant at least in the initial stages of the hiring process and more if you have taken the services on hire for finding a suitable job. It is, therefore, important to know the competency of the placement consultant in whose hands you have entrusted your job search.
Though most of the back-office research and analysis occurs at the consultant’s offices or home-offices, in the case of smaller consulting firms, consultants typically work at the site of the client for at least some of the time. By spending time at the client’s organization, the consultant is able to observe work processes, interview workers, managers, executives, board members, or other individuals, and study how the organization operates.
The governing factor on where a consultant works tends to be the amount of interaction required with other employees of the client. If a management consultant is providing advice to a software firm that is struggling with employee morale, absenteeism and issues with managers and senior engineers leaving the firm, the consultant will probably spend a good deal of time at the client’s office, interviewing staff, engineers, managers and executives, and observing work processes. a legal consultant asked to provide advice on a specific property law issue might only have a few meetings at the client’s office, and conduct the majority of his work at the consultant’s office and in legal libraries.
Similarly, the growth of online, highly skilled consultant marketplaces has begun to grow. These online platforms provide consultants with experience working for typical consulting firms to easily transition into freelancing. This means that many consultants have become much more flexible in where they can work and the nature of their work.
Placement consultants play a bridging role between the employer and the job seeker by matching the company’s requirements for a particular vacancy with the candidate’s profile – job role, qualification, salary compensation etc. How well a placement agency can match the two sides determines their success rate at talent acquisition and enables a job seeker find the right job.