When you ask someone about their line of work and they reply that they’re a consultant, your first reaction might be a blank face. That’s because being a consultant covers a lot of grounds and the term is shrouded in mystery. So, what does it mean to be a consultant and what does the job really involve?
Recruitment specialist and entrepreneur Bradley DiNunzio from Orlando, Florida, has over 25 years of experience in the American and international marketplace. He sheds light on the elusive concept of consultancy and helps put it in concrete terms.
This might explain why not two consultants would give you the same answer to describe what their role is all about. In fact, that role varies from one company to the next. Whether the consultant is an independent contractor or a full-time employee of the company, they’re mostly hired because they have a certain skill set that the company lacks.
Consultants are highly specialized individuals, explains Brad DiNunzio. Their specialized expertise is in great demand. If a company is looking to expand its business in an international market, for example, it would seek to hire a consultant with solid experience in that field to help it achieve its goals.
To say that consultants are only hired to fill a gap in the company’s expertise pool doesn’t paint an accurate picture of the complex and involved role they play in the day-to-day running of the business. On an average day, the consultant fields questions from members of the team who seek their help and insight to tackle a specific problem and offer a customized solution.
This applies both to small problems within the company and large-scope issues related to mergers and acquisitions for example. At one point, says Bradley DiNunzio, a consultant might be explaining the intricacies of the role to a newcomer and the next they’d be sitting with the CEO to discuss future growth. These are different aspects of the consultant’s job and they’re expected to keep their door open for all who seek their assistance.
Brad DiNunzio on Coaching and Training
In addition, the consultant might be required to provide one-time training or ongoing coaching to the staff. Consultants might have to put on their coach hat if the company is having to deal with some serious issues that impact its performance and prevent it from reaching its business goals. This is most obvious if the marketing team is struggling with the brand or management is having trouble staying on track with the long-term business plans.
Coaching can be done on a one-on-one basis or it can take the more conventional form of coaching a group of people at a time. Between mentoring, training, offering advice, and providing strategic solutions, says Bradley DiNunzio, the role of the consultant is always evolving and changing in nature and scope.