Thursday, April 26, 2018

Development Consultants - Hiring

A Development Consultant’s primary role is to own and give technical advisory to the client projects and to facilitate research, in-depth analysis, and insightful problem solving. It is common for clients/consultancy firms to find social consultants through personal links and alumni networks, and while this may be effective, it is weak in terms of competition, transparency and accountability. The best way is to reach a range of potential consultants is to use free digital networks like Face-book Groups or LinkedIn or pay to advertise on job portals like NGOBOX. This improves the impartiality, build credibility of the recruitment process and creates chances of diversity in the organization.

The sure way to build pipeline of talent is to build good relationships with one or two recruitment partners who can provide access to quality talent and help benchmark against the industry. Recruitment process must also include advertising the post though personal networks, asking colleagues for recommendations, or encouraging particular consultants to apply. Referral is the proof that the culture and profile of the organization has positively impacted life of employees. Getting referred candidates is an important part of the process and although this does not make it a more open procedure it provides an element of cross-checking. It is important to know if someone is recommending a consultant or just passing information to their contact details.

One must look for generalist while hiring development consultant for the middle and lower ladder of the management. The expertise is build slowly in the young recruit over the years. Some skills are needed in all consultancy work and may be as important as specific areas of knowledge or experience. For example, the ability to understand a situation quickly, to get on well with people and, perhaps above all, to be able to write quickly and clearly. In most cases of consultancy, knack for networking, budgeting and writing skills are crucial for a junior consultant. A Development Consultant needs to demonstrate capability:

1. Technical skills which are specific to the sectors
2. Business Communication and Interpersonal skills, which apply to all situations
3. Consulting skills, which apply to requirements of each consulting phase
4. Relevant Work Experience (Consulting) or even Project Implementation
5. Lead Generation for Business Development and Networking
6. Extra: Local Activism, Volunteer Activities, Data Analysis & Quantitative Skills

The screening of the candidates can be done on the parameters given above in resume. Screening resumes usually involves filtering based on the role’s minimum and preferred qualifications. The biggest challenge of screening resumes by far is volume. Recruitment process must be designed in four stages.

1. Communication Skills through Telephonic Interview
2. Quantitative Skills through: Small scale B-Plan/ Budgeting
3. Analytical and Technical Skills: Analysis through case study
4. The Last round should be Interview: Career vision, leadership and team building

Even an organization will always put credence in analyzing track records and relevant experience, reviewing written reports, and talking to referees. But it is in the interview where chemistry is established and essential intangibles like passion, adaptability, and fit are determined. The trick is to hire mix of star and undervalued people and then give them proper leadership, guidance, environment and tools.Star will give you stellar performance for a short period of time (1-2 Years) while undervalued person will deliver tremendous loyalty and above average performance when given proper mentor-ship and supportive structures. Hiring undervalued consultant is not about promoting incompetence but same as buying good stocks at low worth.

Whenever you question investment in hiring, always remember a great vision without great people is irrelevant. Good development consultants are expensive. As they say, If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

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