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How Consulting Platforms Have Changed the Consulting Industry

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Published:
August 31, 2021
Reading Time:
7 minutes
Gizela
Gizela has almost two decades of experience within the Digital sphere and eagerly awaits the day she can be cloned so she can finally get everything on her daily to-do list done

When it comes to the consulting industry, many of those in the know simply do not follow the old expression of “eating your own dog food”. While contract consultants are quick to encourage clients to accept and adapt to change, they often simply fail to practice what they preach. Unlike the practices that consultants encourage their clients to embrace, the old model of consulting is slow to adapt and unsustainable. However, with the advancement of technology and an increased emphasis on efficiency, a new consulting model is disrupting the industry.

But just what is bringing about this change?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the traditional recruitment process and break down how consulting platforms are flipping this narrative on its head.

In order to look ahead though, we need to take a step back.

The Origins of the Consulting Industry

Up until the turn of the 20th century, consulting firms were pretty much unheard of. In order to start a business and thrive, business owners had only their own instincts and advice from others to fall back on. This is where small consultancy firms found their gap in the market and took full advantage.

By the 1960s, consulting firms were booming, sweeping across Western markets and experiencing an unprecedented period of growth over the next 30 years. Huge consulting firms such as McKinsey & Company, Booz Allen Hamilton and The Boston Consulting Company emerged, taking over the market and generating billions of dollars in revenue each year.

However, by the time the 2000s came around, needs had changed and limitations within the old consulting model were starting to show themselves. And this is where the advancement of technology began to change the status quo.

In addition to the change in the consulting industry, digitalization began to play a massive role in the transformation of the recruitment industry. And with the introduction of the Internet, came a huge shift in the way companies hire talent.

Recruitment websites made way for a space where companies and new talent could meet each other half-way and this revolutionised the business world.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” - John F. Kennedy

How Consulting Platforms Emerged

While huge consulting firms are still in demand, they do have several limitations to their model. For one, not every business can afford exorbitant, long-standing contracts and two, some businesses are looking for more modest requirements. And while big corporations cater to other big corporations, smaller businesses remain in need of consultancy services just like their wealthier counterparts.

It was for this reason that consulting platforms emerged.

In the past, companies could spend months developing strategies around how to cope with new developments in their respective industries. In today’s fast-paced business environment, this approach would result in the developed strategy being redundant by the time it’s presented.

Thanks to the rise of the Internet and the digitalisation of the corporate world, businesses can now access the expertise of a knowledgeable contract consultant. They can do so according to their individual needs, at a price they can afford, through the help of an online consulting platform. But just how do these platforms source consultants who are willing to work on a freelance basis?

The Rise of the Freelance Army

It’s 2021 and we’re in the midst of a freelance revolution, with freelancers making up approximately 36% of the global workforce, according to an Upwork study. Driven by global connectivity, a need for flexibility and a better work-life balance, what was once deemed as a niche life choice has now become mainstream.

consulting platform, How Consulting Platforms Have Changed the Consulting Industry

More and more consultants are leaving their 9-5 jobs in favour of working on their own terms and the ability to work on projects that they’re passionate about.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only helped fuel this trend, with an increased emphasis being put more on skill than physical location. And as a knowledge-based profession with low overheads, consulting presents a good choice for freelancers, many of which are jumping ship from big firms in favour of setting up on their own.

How Consulting Platforms Can Benefit Businesses and Freelancers

For most companies, hiring talent is one of the top objectives. Whether the talent comes from a large firm or an online consulting platform, the semantics don’t really matter. In fact, according to research conducted by Odgers Connect, up to 40% of businesses report an even split between consulting firms and freelance consultants.

And due to the rise of remote and hybrid work models, more and more businesses are looking to the Internet for new talent, regardless of location. This means that a business in London could hire a consultant in South Africa, making the work model a lot more flexible. The online consulting marketplace has made it easier than ever for freelancers and businesses alike to find each other, bridging the gap between the two and making the recruitment process a lot simpler than it was before.

By enlisting the services of an online consulting platform, businesses can avoid the stress and anxiety related to scouring dozens of CVs, contacting endless job references and conducting long, boring interviews. Consulting platforms have access to an extensive database of qualified freelance consultants who have the expertise and experience to assist them.

And the process of hiring a consultant using one of these platforms is straightforward and simple. Companies chat with a representative of the platform, who then listens to their requirements and sends them profiles of handpicked freelance consultants. They then go through the profiles, select the consultant they feel is best-suited and the work begins.

In a professional environment where efficiency and adaptability are key, you should always choose the route that gets the best results, for the best price. Now is the best time to enlist the services of an online consulting platform. There is no time like the present to achieve your business objectives without the stress and worry of having to find a consultant yourself.