What exactly is a consultant?
A consultant is someone who offers expertise and advice to businesses to try and help them create improvements for their business. Performance can be enhanced in terms of structure, strategy, management, and profitability. The workload of a consultant can be heavy at times; however, it can also be a sociable profession that has heaps of networking opportunities. There are plenty of places that the work branches off to, such as strategy, IT, marketing, HR, finance, and management.
It will depend on the area that you are working on as to what tasks you are given.
The common responsibilities are:
- Analysing statistics
- Conducting surveys and gaining research to help with the understanding of the business
- Assessing the good and bad of certain strategies
- Presenting and compiling information visually, in writing, and orally.
- Finding issues and working out how to resolve them
- Applying agreed solutions
- Developing and applying training and new procedures
Who employs consultants?
The management consultants are often working for professional service firms, financial organisations, and international consultancy services. The consultant firms tend to range from consultants who are mainly generalists to specialist consultants working within a variety of business spots like IT or strategy. The consultants are employed by different businesses that need help and advice for their problems within the business. This may require analysing various aspects including ESG reporting to find the real problem and take further actions accordingly.
What do consultants do?
The fact that consultants are quite often engaged with clients on a mostly project basis, there will, however, be times when they are in between projects. This is the time where they are taking some respite from looking after the needs of clients. Depending on the business needs, you will be expected to help with recruitment, business development, knowledge-building exercises, and more. Having some knowledge about ESG sustainability reporting would also be beneficial to provide strategic advice.
The business development
Consultancies would not be if there weren’t any clients. This is why there is a huge amount of time spent finding new businesses where they can be found. Once you start heading up the consulting ladder, you have spent more time dedicated to selling projects to existing clients and being out and about looking for new business. If you started as a junior consultant, you need to research and develop your items for pitching.
Consultants are always on the lookout for more talent daily. Graduate levels are more preferred. You will be expected to help in the recruiting efforts by giving presentations at universities, interviewing and evaluating those in the early decision process, meeting with candidates, and assisting in motivating clients to join the firm.
The bigger employers run placements and courses that offer plenty of insight into the consultancy profession, and those undertaking certain qualifications are dedicated to showing commitment and will often be first considered.
Key skills needed:
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Analytical skills
- Attention to detail
- Commercial awareness
- Good numerical skills
- IT skills
- Teamworking skills
- Persuasive ability
- Written and oral skills
It will depend on each firm as to what types of things a consultant will carry out every day. Some days will be busier than others, and the job will tend to differ between clients as each will have different requirements. Always remember to do your research to focus on the important points and improve your work efficiency.