During the great talent shortage of 2021, consulting services are in demand and you have freedom of choice — which recruiting firms to work with and which roles you want to take.
But faced with so many options, how do you choose the best vehicle to take you to your destination? Most firms can find you a role (especially in this market!), but how you get to that role is up to you.
While the job postings are often comparable, the approach of professional service firms can be vastly different. How recruiting firms treat, handle, and care for consultants varies. And, depending on their approach, they can make the transition from one job to another extremely smooth — or not.
As you evaluate which recruiting firm you want to work with, consider these three questions to find the best opportunities for you:
1. Does the firm care about me?
This question is easy to ask but tough to quantify. In order to evaluate how much a firm cares about you, look at how they work with consultants before, during, and after their projects.
Before a Project
From the start, your firm should help set you up for success with your applications. Consider how they will help you craft your resume, aid in preparation for your interview, debrief you afterward, and provide you feedback from clients in a timely manner.
Once you’ve accepted an offer, how will the firm help you onboard? They should ensure enough communication takes place in the onboarding process, especially in a highly remote environment.
Also consider how efficient a firm’s onboarding timeline is. Many companies take one to two months to fully onboard a consultant. At BVOH Search & Consulting, we make onboarding as efficient as possible.
For example, we just onboarded a new project on Friday, and laptops shipped Monday. Time and materials are important to consultants in a way that’s different from salaried employees. We know that — and craft our operational efficiency accordingly.
Every day a project is stalled is a day of lost wages.
“How recruiting firms treat, handle, and care for consultants varies. And, depending on their approach, they can make the transition from one job to another extremely smooth — or not.”
During a Project
After a project starts, a recruiting firm should schedule regular quality reviews and check-ins to make sure you’re doing well. They should have a system for collecting and providing feedback from both you and the client.
For example, at BVOH, we don’t say goodbye after we place you. Instead, we maintain an ongoing conversation with you to make sure everything is working out well.
Also consider the benefits you’ll earn at a firm. Many firms offer consultants a low-tier benefit package, but some offer equal benefits to all their employees. If you’re a consultant with BVOH, you’re one of us; you get the same benefits as our internal employees.
We treat our consultants with the same quality and care as our staff.
After a Project
Ask about redeployment strategies to understand how a recruiting firm will handle your transition in and out of projects. At BVOH, we have mechanisms in place for looking ahead. While there are often extension opportunities, we track 60 and 90 days out from the finish of a project to plan ahead for redeployment as a project closes.
We know consultants can experience anxiety as a project ends. Because we operate with a boutique family mentality, we discuss ahead of time which consultants are coming available — especially those who are doing well. Then we stay alert for new opportunities in advance so consultants can start interviewing and planning ahead.
2. Is the firm well-known?
Choosing a reputable firm is another vital component of finding a good fit.
Start by looking at the companies’ ratings. What types of reviews do they have? Do they pass a Google search?
Evaluate their reputation by people’s feedback as well. Talk to other consultants and clients to gauge their impressions of the firm. Also, how many repeat clients and consultants do they have? Their choosing to return to the firm speaks volumes.
Also ask how long the recruiting firm has been in the marketplace. What are they known for? For example, BVOH is known in accounting and finance for permanent and consulting placements. We have a large presence from our permanent placements — which leads to more consultant opportunities. Because of the positive relationship we build with clients looking for permanent hires, at times they even grant us exclusive access to their consulting positions.
Next, consider the size of the firm’s consulting business. Are they large or small, growing or established? A large, established firm may have a stronger history, but make sure they’re still able to provide individual care. Often, the bigger the company, the less individualized attention they can provide their consultants.
While BVOH is established, we still have a boutique, small-firm, high-touch relationship with our consultants. That’s how we see results. We know that care matters. While a larger company has perks, you often lose the personal touch.
“Your recruiting firm must be able to represent you well. They need to have a clear understanding of what’s in your best interest.”
3. Will the firm understand what I need?
Your recruiting firm must be able to represent you well. They need to have a clear understanding of what’s in your best interest — which often means sharing a background in finance and accounting.
Over half of us at BVOH previously worked in finance and accounting, which means we know what we’re talking about as we work with clients, represent our candidates, and discuss the right fit for consultants. When it comes to our candidates, we understand what you’re going through. You can share more than your resume with us; you can share your anxieties and apprehensions. We understand consulting in this industry — and the emotions that come with it.
Not every recruiting firm takes the same approach.
As you navigate consulting projects, use your power of choice to work with a company that makes the process as seamless as possible. Choose a recruiting firm that will understand your needs, work on your behalf, and show they care in every stage of consulting. You’ll be glad you did.
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Whether you’re ready to hire or just want to strategize, our recruiters are always available to listen. Let’s talk. No strings attached.