How to work with HRMS consultants
Once you’ve made the decision to engage an HRMS consultant and chosen the right resource the final task is to set expectations of how they will fit into your team. How will you identify responsibilities to get the best return on your investment? How much managerial oversight is needed? Should you be directing a consultant differently than the rest of your team? Here are some top areas where you should set guidelines to align everyone’s requirements and expectations.
Establish the rules for logistics and administration
Many consultants prefer to work a condensed week, especially if travel is involved. If you operate in a traditional office presence you’ll need to set expectations during the interview stage if you want a consultant on site five days per week. If you have a remote or virtual environment a consultant needs to fit into your working style. It’s a best practice to add accountability for hours worked and billed so request a weekly status report if not already supplied. A status report should not be cumbersome to do but should log the basics about hours worked, items completed and upcoming tasks for next week.
A great consultant should be seen as a fully participating member of your project team. A consultant should seek to integrate themselves in order to be an effective partner. A benefit of supporting team cohesion is that knowledge sharing and transfer happens more easily and on a regular basis. Set the expectations early of where you want your team involved in your consultant’s tasks. In some cases you’ll want your internal staff and your consultant to be working closely together to be sure that your team can take over easily when your consultant rolls off your project.
Define the task list and deliverables
Clear expectations will help to guide your project to success. A consultant should know what they are responsible for and when it is expected. It can be easy to give a consultant ad hoc tasks as they are an extra set of skilled hands but you need to be careful to not use them as backfill staff. A consultant should need less supervision and guidance than the rest of your team. Managing a consultant should be a minimal task if clear guidance for project outcomes has been agreed to up front. In some cases I’ve seen seasoned consultants who are able to step into your shoes and provide hands on management to other team members saving you time and effort.
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