What is a consultant job

Career & Salary

In order to renew your strategic orientation, consultants should deal particularly intensively with the topics of personnel management, authentic leadership, transformation of the business model and transformation of the corporate DNA. Read here how it works in detail!

1. Renovate human resource management

Until January 2020 you were in the personnel carousel, i.e. you often gained employees and then lost them again. And you have tried to stand out selectively with individual campaigns such as active sourcing, employer branding initiatives or other activities. That also worked quite well in some cases. But as soon as you were still looking for the "egg-laying woolly milk-pig" or the "classic consultant who is with customers four days a week", you had to compete with all other companies for a limited number of candidates.

That has come to an abrupt end since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent study, only 20 percent of companies state that they are still actively looking for staff. What are the other 80 percent doing right now? Take advantage of this opportunity now and strategically reposition yourself in personnel management. Question every single step in your HR process: Does it have to be three interviews? I say no. Honestly question each of your actions, whether they serve the purpose of recruiting or just deter people.

The current standstill holds an opportunity for every company. Get active and initiate workshops on the subject of personnel strategy. Companies that strategically reposition themselves today will be the winners in the personnel market after the crisis. However, it is important and decisive that you see this as a company process - this is not a pure HR issue.

2. Lead authentically

"Employees don't leave companies, they leave bosses," it says. Why is that? The biggest problem in the relationship between supervisors and employees is improper leadership. The relationship with employees suffers especially when the manager's demands on himself do not match the reality in the company. For example, when she passes on decisions whose basis she criticizes elsewhere. If the employee experiences this dissonance again and again in everyday life, it inevitably leads to frustration and insecurity. Employees are beginning to lose their bearings.

The problem is particularly evident in the way bosses communicate their decisions. Time and again I experience that managers do not speak as openly as they should. However, this is particularly important when there is a change in strategy. Why is the direction being changed? What does that mean for the team? How did the decision come about? Who has been involved? Transparency is not only crucial for trust and successful cooperation, but also the basis for sympathy. Those who control their communication too tightly appear unnatural and inhibited. The consequence: Loyalty drops and the relationship gets a lot of scratches.

To solve this problem, leaders need to be open, honest and have the courage to speak up when they need to. Anyone who has a hidden agenda is dishonest. The employees notice that too. If you want to act authentically, you first have to know and accept yourself - you are aware of your motives.

3. Moderate remotely

For decades, the business model of the consulting industry consisted of sending smart employees to customers to solve their problems. Whether it was the definition of a new strategy, cost reduction measures or the introduction of new technologies, the consulting industry always had the right concepts to offer. High double-digit annual growth rates in consultant sales were considered normal. Meanwhile, these companies worry about slow growth, cutthroat competition and consolidation.

Due to the massive technical change such as cloud applications and the strong growth in application management services (AMS), the business models in the consulting industry are also changing. The corona crisis has also clearly shown that it is possible for employees to work 100 percent in the home office and still have their customer projects processed.

By the end of 2020, it will no longer be necessary for consultants to be constantly on site with the customer. In the coming years, a new model is more likely to prevail: A lead architect or a team of architects will design the ERP or IoT solution with the customer. After that, it will be the task of the team of architects to moderate an internal team of consultants, regardless of where they are located. Large consulting firms have already practiced this model.

Very few customers want to have external consultants in-house all the time. It is primarily about introducing software successfully. That is a priority for the customer. Furthermore, a sharp decline in the classic body leasing business is to be expected. These companies are the first to fly out of a project because their service is comparable and interchangeable.

4. Change yourself

How do IT and management consultancies differ from one another? How do you manage to build a unique brand? These are the questions entrepreneurs deal with in my workshops and usually start with the question: Why does your company exist? With what vision did you decide to found the company? What sounds so easy is usually the start of an internal strategy and positioning project.

The business of the consulting firms has so far been exceptionally successful, regardless of whether the business model is good or only moderately good. The industry was in its golden age. IT and technology were in greater demand than ever. This will also be the case after the Corona period - but not automatically for all companies. Only those who take care of future growth prospects today will experience an enormous boost. Everyone else who just tries to carry on as before should be told: "When the whole world changes, then you and your company cannot simply do nothing."