What does a Consultant do?
Companies use the services of a Consultant for a variety of reasons, such as gaining input and assistance with strategic, structural, managerial or operational challenges. For example, they can supply specialised knowledge or skills that a company lacks, provide an executive team with strategic advice or suggest new processes to improve productivity and reduce costs. The job involves highlighting problem areas, offering innovative solutions and assisting companies in successfully incorporating change into their day-to-day operations. Consultants typically remain involved with a company or project until the necessary transitions have successfully taken place.
Consultant skills and qualifications
A large part of the job of a Consultant is to listen to the needs of clients and then propose solutions in a clear and direct way. In order to successfully implement change within an organisation, they need to foster trusting relationships with employees. It is therefore essential for Consultants to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. A successful Consultant candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:
- Flexibility and the ability to cope with change, as the job involves working with a variety of customers
- Excellent problem-solving skills and strategic thinking to devise effective business solutions
- Commercial acumen and a solid understanding of business environments
- Foreign language skills when working with companies that serve international clients
- Extensive project management skills, as the job typically involves creating and implementing projects
Consultant experience requirements
The amount of experience a Consultant needs depends on the position. Whereas some companies require the services of an Associate Consultant to assist with basic business analysis, others may need of a Senior Consultant to completely overhaul business processes. Depending on the position, candidates may need previous experience in a consulting position and may have to show a working knowledge of consultancy methods and approaches. Candidates may also need demonstrable experience in shaping and leading the delivery of projects, as well as a proven track record in business development.
Consultant education and training requirements
Consultants typically hold a bachelor’s degree in subjects like business studies, finance, project management or economics. Candidates can also hold a degree in an industry-specific field like civil engineering or information technology. Although it’s not a requirement, a postgraduate qualification like a master’s in business administration will be advantageous. Candidates can further develop their knowledge by obtaining professional qualifications. The Institute of Consulting (IC), for instance offers a variety of relevant qualifications, such as a Level 5 Certificate in Professional Consulting or a Level 5 Diploma in Business Support.
Consultant salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Consultant in the UK is £54,106 per year. However, salaries differ depending on variables like level of experience, industry and location.
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