What Is a Job Consultant and Do You Need One?

Despite how often consulting jobs are brought up, there is confusion on what exactly a job consultant does. Consulting jobs fall into two primary categories, with significantly different purposes.

The first type of consulting job refers to consultants who are hired to help existing businesses. These type of job consultants are most commonly found in industries relating to education, healthcare, IT and production. They are hired to use their business expertise to help restructure a business. By working for a company for a short period of time, consultants can help managers create new positions and eliminate redundancies.

The other type of job consultant works either full-time or part-time for a consultancy agency. These specialists are sometimes informally referred to as recruitment consultants. They typically specialize in various industries and have a wide network of connections. Their job is to help unemployed or unsatisfied workers find employment based on their skills and interest. Whether it be for an existing company or finding a new job, it is important that clients choose a good consultant that understands and supports their goals.

Using a Job Consultant while Unemployed

There is no denying how challenging it is to find work. Today, many college students base their degrees on what careers they can easily get after graduating. Even if you are looking for a common job, finding a career is not guaranteed. One of the reasons finding a job has become more challenging is the shift to digital job applications. Although digital job applications make it easier to apply for jobs, it also makes it easier for hiring managers to quickly fill positions. Many job listings are only up for a few days before companies are overwhelmed with applicants, making it difficult for your application to stand out.

Related Article: Little-Known Job Search Tips

Job consultants address this issue by networking directly with employers. If you sign up with a recruitment agency, your job consultant helps to apply for jobs on your behalf. Many employers are just as happy to work with a job consultant as their clients. For businesses, it is easier to hire someone through a job consultant because it often means hiring managers do not have to post an ad at all. This cuts down on how much time is spent performing interviews and checking references on resumes.

Another benefit of working with a job consultant is his or her knowledge and expertise. Not only do consultants already have an established network of employers to approach, but they understand what employers look for in the first place. If you are having a hard time finding a job, it may be because you have skills you are not conveying on your resume. It is possible you have ignored certain career paths because you did not realize your skills were a perfect match for the job in question.

Although job consultants do not write your resume for you, they do build off of what you already have. They tell you which skills you need to improve on based on your desired career or which skills are worth highlighting when you interview for your desired job.

Using a Job Consultant while Employed

Unemployed job seekers are not the only ones benefiting from the work of job consultants. Despite what some might think, many clients do not choose to leave their jobs because they find them to be dreadful. Usually, these employees work at companies that have little to no opportunity for advancement. Therefore, they hire recruitment agencies to help them attain better fitting and higher ranking positions. Not to mention, many clients feel they have no choice but to hire a third-party consultant to look for another job. These employees are typically afraid that openly seeking new employment opportunities would appear unprofessional to their current employers.

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Due to this concern, job consultants usually represent their clients while anonymously consulting other employers about available job opportunities. This is especially beneficial for senior level employees, as many of the positions they are qualified for are not publicly posted. These openings typically require years of experience and a specific skill set, making it unfeasible for businesses to post listings as they would for traditional entry-level positions. Instead, these companies rely on job consultants to recommend proficient employees who are looking for a job.

As a job seeker, a consultant acts more as liaison between you and the new employer. If desired, your job consultant speaks with the potential employer on your behalf, negotiating salary details and discussing career advancement based on your needs. You never have to meet with the employer until you are ready to accept the job.

Using a Job Consultant as a Manager

If you are a manager or hold a similar position, there may be times you need to use a job consultant. For example, to hire an employee with specialized skills or an employee you do not need to spend weeks training. If you are struggling to make productive changes within your business and need an outside eye, a job consultant has the expertise to determine what and will not work for your company.

Not to mention, a professional advisor can provide an unbiased outsider opinion. They often notice problems you were unaware of because you had grown used to them or believed they were common issues every business dealt with. By eliminating these issues and creating new innovative ideas, a job consultant can help establish new initiatives that will ultimately change your company’s operations for the better.

Picking the Right Job Consultant

Once you have decided whether or not you need a job consultant, the next step is identifying the right one for you. As a client, you do not want to rush into picking a job consultant. While a consultant may be highly proficient at his or her job and be strongly recommended, this does not automatically mean he or she is a good match for what you need. For example, a job consultant who is recommended by a client in a management position may not have the same skillset to help an unemployed client. When you are looking for an ideal job consultant, consider the following:

  • What kind of clients does the consultant normally work with? Do you match those clients?
  • How does the consultant make money? As opposed to finding a career you are genuinely suited for, consultants who work for commission are generally more concerned with finding a job for you as quickly as possible to ensure they get paid.
  • How much control do you have? A good job consultant works alongside you and keeps you in the loop throughout the entire process. You do not want a job consultant who sends your resume to employers without your input.

Related Article: Working With Recruiters

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