When companies need to tackle short-term projects, many of them turn to outside help. However, the traditional model of hiring full-time employees (FTEs) doesn’t make sense for many situations, especially when budgets are tight and timeframes are short.
FTEs and consultants serve very different roles. When hiring for a full-time position, it’s important to consider the different skill sets needed for success.
Generally speaking, FTEs should have a combination of expertise and teachability–someone who has existing knowledge in the field but who is also willing to learn and grow with the team.
Where a consultant focuses on contributing their experience and skills to the project at hand rather than seeking out a title. FTEs are committed to the long-term success of the organization so their potential for growth within the organization is a key consideration.
Finally, FTEs should be “joiners”–people who display enthusiasm for being part of an organizational culture and family. A good cultural fit is essential to fostering a collaborative working environment that will help drive progress in the years ahead.
Fractional consultants, on the other hand, are better suited to handle short-term projects. They bring specific technical skills to the table and often have years of experience in their field, making them a great asset when trying to solve layered, complex problems quickly.
Finding the right consultant for your project, however, can be a challenge–it requires more than just checking the boxes on a list of qualifications.
Matching Fractional Consultants with Corporate Clients
We’ve matched hundreds of consultants with clients over the years, and we’ve learned that successful placements hinge on two key things: finding experts who are technically competent and who have a natural inclination to work in the way you need them to.
Experience and Expertise
At the heart of this unique model lies the careful matching of consultants based on their experience and expertise.
Our consultants bring 15+ years of experience post-MBA, with backgrounds from top-tier consulting firms and F500 leadership roles. This distinct experience sets them apart, as they possess both strategic consulting skills and practical know-how. It empowers our consultants to dissect complex problems, devise solutions, and effectively implement them within real-world constraints, aligning stakeholders with diverse agendas and navigating political alliances.
Beyond general corporate experience, the right consultant will possess specific functional expertise that directly addresses the client’s objectives. They should have a proven track record of solving the exact problem at hand and proven methodology they can apply to the project ensuring they can generate tangible results and positive outcomes.
Leaning Into Natural Inclination
Technical competence is only part of the equation. The KOLBE Conative Assessment allows us to evaluate the consultants’ natural inclinations.
If you are unfamiliar with this assessment, in the simplest terms, it’s a way to identify how someone works best based on their instinctive strengths. The assessment dives into four key areas of behavior to determine a consultant’s natural inclinations: Fact Finder (how they gather information), Follow Thru (how they organize to complete tasks), Quick Start (how they respond to change), and Implementor (how they solve problems).
Leveraging this assessment is key to matching consultants with work that they find naturally motivating, resulting in faster, more effective collaboration and higher-quality results for our clients.
Our core value is to serve clients with loyalty and integrity. This means aligning ourselves with consultants who are driven by intrinsic motivations, who genuinely enjoy helping others, and who derive joy from solving problems.
When there is a shared wavelength between the consultant and client, it facilitates accelerated trust-building and a smoother collaborative process. It’s not about finding similar personalities. On the contrary, value is rarely built by holding up a mirror. Rather, our goal is to connect consultants and clients who complement one another’s strengths.
For instance, an energetic type-A client would benefit from a consultant with a similar energy level, while an innovator might thrive with someone capable of organizing and translating broad ideas into actionable plans.
By taking the time to understand the needs of both parties, we are able to find more effective matches that not only generate better results but also create sustainable relationships for future projects.
A Case Study: Working Together for Success
To demonstrate how this system works in practice, let’s examine a real-life example involving a Fortune 100 technology company’s digital product leader.
Faced with challenges in development efficiency and cost-effectiveness, this leader sought help from a product strategy expert to redesign their IP development process and break through the political stalemate blocking change.
The fractional consultant we matched for this project was not only armed with top-tier consulting experience but had also spent significant time as the Chief of Staff for a Fortune 100 technology company’s product organization. She brought extensive, proven experience optimizing product dev teams and aligning senior product and business stakeholders.
The consultant’s structured thinking and ability to identify commonalities quickly brought team members to the table to find common ground.
Her approach to work aligned seamlessly with the client’s, both displaying a calm and methodical approach to assessing problems, charting a clear path, and skillfully navigating the team through challenges without reacting impulsively.
With a strong emphasis on gathering detailed and specific information, she skillfully communicated with product teams, fostering a comfortable environment for engineers. Moreover, the consultant’s talent for organizing information systematically allowed her to create strategic plans and guide teams toward core priorities.
Over six months, the consultant guided and supported the client’s work to reframe their product development model using competitive, customer, and internal feedback. The collaboration was ultimately successful, crystallizing the strategic vision for an efficient development model, reigniting the stalled progress, and securing approval across the Finance, Sales, GTM, and Support departments, which resulted in the prioritized implementation of the new design in the following fiscal year.
Finding the perfect fractional consultant for short-term projects is an art and a science. By taking the time to understand both sides, you can create a match made in heaven.
It is our mission to create successful, lasting connections between consultants and clients that will foster growth and progress. With our team of experienced consultants, we are confident in our ability to find the perfect match for any project.
Ready to be matched with your own top-tier consultant? Visit our website to get started.
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