IT consultants can add a lot of value to an organization. They help close skill gaps, help projects hit deadlines and manage costs. In order to realize those values, however, it is necessary to smoothly integrate consultants into the group. Here are some strategies you can use to make your IT consultants part of the team.
Hire Consultants For Fit
Everyone knows that cultural alignment is crucial when hiring permanent full-time employees, but when it comes to hiring short-term professionals, many hiring managers ignore this criterion. Whether an IT pro will be part of the team for six years or six months, fit matters. To increase the chances that a consultant will mesh well with the team, always focus on personality, values and cultural alignment throughout the hiring process.
Keep Your Team in the Loop
If you want to get the rumor mill buzzing, destroy productivity and generally set your employees’ hair on fire, drop a consultant into the team without any warning. Employees can be extremely wary of consultants and failing to communicate before you bring one in can spell disaster.
As soon as you know a project or initiative will require the addition of IT consultants, sit the group down and let them know. Outline the role each consultant will play and why it is the company decided that short-term consultants were the right solution. This can help calm fears about job security.
Treat the Consultants as Equals
Employees will be reticent to accept IT consultants as part of the team if they feel the new person is somehow being treated differently. Putting consultants through your company’s traditional onboarding program helps them see the consultant as an equal contributor to the team, rather than someone who is above or beneath them. Onboarding also helps the consultant feel like more of an equal and a contributor to the group.
Where you seat a consultant can also make a difference. Many times, companies put their consultants anywhere there is a free workspace. Don’t dump them in a closet halfway across the office from their team, or pop them in an empty corner office just because the space is free. When it comes to building teamwork and acceptance, appearance and proximity matters.
Shut Down Negativity When It Pops Up
If you catch wind of gossip in the group, if you suspect someone is sabotaging the consultant or you continue to get resistance from a team member, address it head-on. Have an open and frank discussion with the employee causing the negativity. Allow them to ask any questions and respectfully air their feelings, but make it clear the behavior will not be tolerated. Negativity spreads quickly, and failing to address it can put the consultant’s success in jeopardy.
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If you are looking for skilled, experienced IT professionals to help your business grow and prosper, contact the IT recruiting experts at PEAK Technical Staffing today.