Perception of Consultant Quality Still Trails Staff

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<p><strong>Philadelphia &mdash; Nov. 6</strong><br />Hiring managers nationwide rate the quality of their permanent staffs higher than the quality of their consulting staffs, according to a survey conducted by Yoh, a provider of talent and outsourcing services and a unit of Day & Zimmermann.<br /><br />The survey asked 899 randomly selected hiring managers outside of Yoh&#39;s customer base to grade the quality of their permanent workforce on a report-card scale, from “A” for “excellent” to “F” for “failure.” Further, 513 managers in this group also using consultants rated the quality of that staff as well. The results were as follows:<br /><br />&bull; A mere 15 percent of employers rated their consultants as “excellent.”<br />&bull; Only one out of every three managers rated their permanent staff as “excellent.”<br />&bull; Nearly 58 percent rated their consultants as above average, grading them with an “A” or a “B,” which trails the grades given to full-time employees.<br />&bull; Conversely, 83 percent graded permanent workers as above average this year, compared to 80 percent last year.<br />&bull; Both types of workers had about the same number of “D” and “F&rdquo; ratings &mdash; 7 percent for permanent staff, and 8 percent for consultants.<br /><br />Yoh believes several factors are causing hiring managers to rate full-time staff higher than consulting staff. For example, many companies are reluctant to fully invest in or integrate their consulting staff with permanent staff. This lack of investment and assimilation can lead to less-than-ideal hires, inefficient teams, a divided workforce, and mediocre output. And, to retain consulting head count, organizations will move consultants into roles they aren&#39;t qualified to handle, such as changing a software engineer to a user-support role once a new technology is launched, or moving an individual contributor into a management role. This unfairly sets up consultants to potentially fail in their new role.<br /><br />”Consulting talent is not a commodity, yet many employers and staffing firms continue to view it that way,” says Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of strategy and marketing at Yoh, which places consulting and permanent professionals in companies. “Companies stand to achieve optimal results from both consulting and permanent staff if they understand their business needs, communicate those to a capable staffing partner, integrate teams and commit resources to finding and training quality consultants.” </p>

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