Consultant and advisers are used in businesses to hire staff or employ new people. The one other possibility for businesses looking to hire staff is to use an employment agency. Although the workers supplied carry out duties within the business, they are paid by the agency. This means that the business has a contract with the agency and not the individual workers. Now, let’s look at consultants and advisers.
A business in need of expert skills over a specific period of time may decide to use a business adviser, consultant or contractor. These individuals or organisations provide agreed services, such as accountancy or human resources functions, for a set time and fee.
Advisers, consultants and contractors can provide a cost-effective means of completing one-off projects or accessing skills and expertise to improve the performance of the business. They avoid the need for the potentially costly recruitment and training of permanent workers who may be under-utilised, specially in small firms.
However, consultants and advisers can be very expensive, and their frequent or lengthy use may actually end up costing the business more than taking on permanent employees. These ‘outsiders’ may also fail to understand the special character of an individual business, and may lack commitment to its long-term success.