The Professional Consultants Association of Central New York prides itself in setting standards that every consultant should follow in working with their clients. A big part of that responsibility is helping clients determine when and how they should go about the process of hiring a consultant. We tend to believe that it's not ethical to come in and perform work where our presence isn't needed.

To that end, we believe that these are the steps all clients should use to make the proper determinations needed to help both the consultant and the client:

Before You Hire A Consultant

  • define your problem as specifically as possible
  • determine if you can solve it in house
  • calculate the economic impact

Use A Consultant When You Need

  • special expertise / experience
  • a catalyst for change
  • an impartial viewpoint
  • confidentiality

Don't Use A Consultant:

  • unless your internal resources are exhausted
  • without management support

When You Decide To Use A Consultant

  • Member speaking with trainerchoose from a recognized association, i.e. PCA of CNY
  • weigh the following:
    • size of the organization
    • specificity of skills
    • breadth of experience
    • availability
    • age of business
    • reputation in community
    • has there been repeat business?
    • is service provided by principal or subordinate?
  • check references with the following questions:
    • the nature of the work done
    • was consultant competent / objective / ethical?
    • was compatibility with staff achieved?
    • was work adequately supervised?
    • was work timely / appropriate?
    • was the fee fair?
    • what is the overall impression?
    • would the consultant be retained again?

After Deciding On Several Candidates

  • hold preliminary discussions
  • determine if charges are applied to this visit
  • explain the problem
  • access if styles are compatible
  • determine the approximate cost
  • request a proposal

After You Have Selected A Consultant

  • promptly notify all contenders
  • draft a written acceptance of the proposal
  • prepare a termination agreement

During the Process Your Role Is To

  • provide continuous management support
  • keep employees informed / an internal liaison
  • honor your financial commitments

During The Process, The Role of Your Consultant Is To

PCA of CNY members discuss an issue
  • submit a proposal which should include:
    • definition of the problem
    • objectives / scope / nature of project
    • recommendations of program / methods
    • names of personnel who will be involved
    • time needed
    • fee
  • calculate fees by considering:
    • salaries
    • travel
    • materials
    • research
    • overhead
    • experience / expertise
    • reputation of client
  • recommend solutions
  • implement solutions
  • be independent / objective / impartial viewpoint
  • provide special expertise / experience
  • use any of the following billing methods:
    • hourly / daily
    • bracket (minimum and maximum)
    • lump sum
    • contingency

Do an analysis of your results

At Completion, Measure Success By

  • the quality of the service provided
    • timely
    • fulfilled the proposal
    • provided professional conduct
    • met budget specifications
    • clearly communicated throughout
  • the impact on your operations
  • a cost / benefit assessment
  • provider is a candidate for repeat projects