The Bold Faced Blog™

October 07, 2013

The Importance of an Onboarding Process for Consultants

Posted 5 years 136 days ago by Sheila Ellian Lewis

You hire a consultant, he shows up and just gets on with the job, right? But would your project get off to a better start if you had a more comprehensive onboarding strategy in place?

In a recent article for The Staffing Stream, Susan Vitale commented, “There are major benefits and opportunities in having a flexible workforce but the majority of organizations using this approach to staffing are not doing enough to get these incoming workers up to expected productivity quickly. Since these employees will only be with the organization for a short period of time, non-productive time is a major waste of the organization’s investment.”

Why onboarding?
A typical employee onboarding process aims to ensure that employees have everything they need to start work. This includes everything from a properly equipped desk to all the appropriate HR forms, an introduction to key people and colleagues and a clear understanding of expectations over the short to medium term. The aim of onboarding is to give the new employee the best chance to succeed as quickly as possible.

So what might an onboarding strategy for consultants look like?

  • If the workplace is secured, ensure that the consultant understands all entrance and exit procedures and is provided badges or other access passes as necessary.
  • If the consultant is expected to be onsite, there’s a place to work ready on day one. That means a suitable workstation and ensuring that any equipment, computers, printers etc. are present and connected.
  • A package of any additional paperwork that must be completed for your organization or the firm who placed your consultant with you. This ensures that there is no outstanding documentation and the work can start immediately.
  • A package of company background material including mission, vision and values statements is provided.
  • Up to date project documentation is easily available.
  • Meetings with all key stakeholders are scheduled before the consultant arrives. It helps if the consultant is supplied with a short bio and description of the stakeholder’s interest ahead of the meeting.
  • A walk around the floor and building to point out dining facilities, short cuts, etc. that will make the consultant feel comfortable with their new environment. 

Just being prepared and thinking through typical bottlenecks will help your consultant get started more quickly and effectively on the project. We’d love to hear what kind of onboarding process you have in place and what you’d add to our list. Share your ideas in the comments.

Tags: onboarding

Categories: categoryConsulting

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