What the Best Consulting Firms Have in Common

A pen in hand and the words helpful and tips

As a senior financial consultant, you need access to a wide range of industry leaders, emerging organizations and other potential clients to keep your business profitable. Since reaching out to your contacts may not be enough to land your next position, find out more about consulting firms that specialize in staffing senior-level interim management and project roles.

Before you engage with a firm, follow these four tips to ensure you register with the right fit for you:

1. Consider the consulting firm's reputation

Consulting firms with the best reputations have strong rapport with the best companies, and their recruiters have valuable connections. These established relationships and industry alliances mean top consulting firms will know about jobs that haven't even been posted. Look for a firm that has a proven track record, access to free training and values personalized interaction with its consultants.

2. Consider the consulting firm's size

Larger, established firms have more recruiters to cover more ground and unearth more potential opportunities for you. They have a broader reach and, if you're interested in relocating, will know of jobs outside your current area.

3. Consider the consulting firm's service

You want a recruiter who will take time to get to know you — preferably over the phone and in person — and who can understand and market your skills effectively. You also want a consulting firm that keeps you current on industry trends and continuing education and training opportunities.

4. Know when to decline

Be mindful of red flags that can signal less-than-effective consulting firms:

  • The firm doesn't specialize in placing financial consultants. The firm may seem perfect otherwise, but your senior-level job search should be handled by someone who thoroughly understands your skills and experience. The best consulting firms are led by account executives who are themselves former finance and accounting professionals, commonly having held CFO positions, senior accountant jobs, senior business analyst jobs or senior financial analyst jobs.
  • The firm charges for its services. Reputable consulting firms will provide all of their services — including training, placement and other ancillary benefits — at no cost to you.
  • The firm has a record of consumer complaints. Recruiters should be glad to provide lists of satisfied clients. Be wary of legitimate complaints such as those that appear on Better Business Bureau's lists or review sites — or if there's no track record at all.

Engaging with a consulting firm is a wise move, but evaluate your options carefully. Customer-oriented consulting agencies that are well-connected in the finance, accounting and business worlds can keep you engaged in positions that are a good match for your talents and career goals.

Learn about the advantages of working with Robert Half Management Resources to find your next consulting opportunity.