Hiring a Consultant
At one time or another practically every business, no matter the industry will need to hire a consultant. Obviously, we’ll concern ourselves with hiring a security consultant, potentially one of the hardest consultants to hire for.
Why you ask? Because most people in the c-suite or small business owners have not the slightest idea of good security and what is needed to achieve the outcome they desire. Therefore these tips are probably more important than for other consultants.
Remember, consultants are the supposed experts and it should be noted that they need to explain in normal everyday terms, without industry jargon and such, what the problems are. And over above that how they reached their conclusions and how you can achieve the desired results as inexpensively as possible without compromising the quality of your service or product.
And if at any time you feel that your questions haven’t been answered sufficiently…then ask again. And keep asking them questions until you get the answers you need and to your satisfaction. Not necessarily what you want to hear but what you need to hear in clear concise terms. And chances are if they can’t explain it clearly then they ain’t worth a hill of beans!
1. They need to be able to listen well
If they don’t listen well then something may be missed and, possibly later, overlooked or not completed. And that won’t do your check book or the problem any good, no matter what it is. It could possibly make it worse.
A good consultant will be attentive and take notes throughout your meeting. The amount of notes in immaterial, it’s the quality of those notes. And if they stop and ask questions to allow you elaborate, then the entire better.
2. There should always be an open line of communication
Both you and the consultant need to be able to communicate anytime it is needed, for any reason. Issues, problems, hiccups in supply, whatever. You both need to be able to trust one another well enough to be able to contact each other for literally any business related reason.
Part of that is the idea that nothing about the project is off limits and is in the open. You don’t want to feel that they aren’t telling you something. And vice versa. Neither of you can complete the project without telling the full story.
3. They include you in the design
They may be the experts in their field, but you are the expert in your business or facility. Therefore they need to consult with you for information on the business or facility. No matter how many times they’ve reworked with a heavy manufacturing factory, they’ve never worked with one like yours – unless they’ve worked for you in the past. But even then the problem isn’t the same!
4. Including you in the purchasing options
This is one area you don’t want to abdicate to the consultant. You need to be included in any discussion of the purchasing decisions that deal specifically with the project they are concerned with. Without this, the price may go through the roof!
5. Communication between the 2 of you
You need to be in the loop of everything they are doing. They also need to cooperate with you, the company, and other employees. Unless you have given them the latitude to ‘piss-off’ anyone to get the job done. That is the approach I would suggest.
One of my favorite business quotes is a simple phrase and can, at times, really piss people off because you’re so blunt. ‘Whatever it takes to get the job done…right!
6. They MUST have an unbiased opinion
The best consultants will come into your business and not have an opinion about what the issue is before any discussion ever takes place! If they are biased then there findings will also be biased and therefore unreliable.
This would include products, services, and anything else that may hinder the objective unbiased opinion you’re looking for in a good consultant. And when it comes to the final report…
If there is not at least one or two points within the final report that you don’t agree with, then the consultant was worthless. That is because the consultant is being paid for their best objective opinion and findings. They should disagree with your mindset. This doesn’t mean that you can’t disagree, but at least listen to what they say about it.
Last point to remember is that you’re shopping for an expert to help you solve or discover a problem or issue within your company. And in this case the security of your asset’s and employees, lives and property.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.