3 Major Types of Consulting Positions


Companies often hire consultants when they require additional assistance to meet their business goals. Now, more than ever, highly skilled consultants are needed to fill positions in three major areas of demand: interim management, project management and staff augmentation.

By using consultants, businesses are able to access the talent and expertise they need to address identified goals without making a full-time commitment. If you're thinking of taking the consulting path but are unsure whether it's right for you, take a look at these considerations before you take the leap:

Something for everyone

There's a place on the consulting spectrum for almost every experienced professional, from skilled staff to C-level executives. The different types of consulting opportunities available today make it possible for modern consultants to have a "traditional" career trajectory, advancing as they gain experience and move into management roles.

At the same time, it's never too late to become a consultant: Those nearing retirement may wish to ease into it gradually by continuing to work on a consulting basis.

1. Interim managers

At the management level, consultants are often hired to staff an essential executive position to bridge the gap while a company makes a transition. Professional interim management consultants possess the mandatory qualifications to guide a team smoothly through big changes. This staffing solution can be a good choice for an organization that wants to take its time choosing someone to staff a top-level position or that needs to navigate its way through a period of upheaval.

2. Project management consultants

Project consultants handle defined undertakings with specific duties and outcomes, such as implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) program. Depending on the situation, a project may call for an expert in methodologies such as SAP, Agile or Six Sigma. Due to the proprietary nature of such solutions, a professional consultant is required.

The best project consultants are trained, often for years, on how to integrate the chosen solution seamlessly into the enterprise environment. They adhere to rapidly changing industry standards and maintain certifications to stay at the top of their game.

Projects may be brief or protracted, but one thing is for certain: To get results, a skilled and experienced project consultant must lead the way.

3. Staff augmentation

Sometimes business is so good that an employer simply needs more hands. Cyclical shifts, spikes in activity, project resource allotment and company growth can all create open spaces to staff. In many cases, it makes more sense to staff those roles on a contract basis than to hire full-time staff. Consultants can assist with temporary, intermittent or ongoing roles.

Across the many types of consulting jobs, some benefits are consistent. Job flexibility and diversity, attractive compensation, enhanced networking connections, and in-house opportunities for full-time employment are just a few. While the consulting life is not for everyone, you might find that it's just the opportunity you've been looking for.