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What Recession? Weather any Economic Environment with Project Consultants

September 12, 2019 by Robert Stanley

There have been hints of a recession in the last few months, and many organizations are bracing for  it. However, a down-turn in the market doesn’t necessarily mean that your business growth must hit pause.

Energy companies are all too familiar with this fluctuation. And other companies can leverage this knowledge to help THEIR business. Oil prices go up and down constantly. The almost hourly shift may make long-term business planning seem difficult. Yet, many companies in the energy industry will use contractors or project consultants to subsidize the employment of staff so they can fluctuate headcount numbers as needed. Many companies will use ratios like 70% full-time employees and as much as 30% project consultants. This allows companies to weather the changing economy without detrimental effects to their business and financial planning. Here is how you can use those best practices for your business.

Benefits of Project Consultants during High Growth
In the energy business, there can be periods of rapid growth and companies don’t usually want to hire new full-time employees for two reasons:

  1. It’s incredibly difficult to hire quality employees that quickly, and
  2. Volatility of the market means there is a good chance full-time employees will be let go in the future – likely before they create a positive ROI for the company.

Therefore, project consultants become a great asset to both backfill and provide tactical support for key initiatives. The use of consultants can provide leadership and project management over the execution of a project or can simply provide additional arms and legs. With an interim contract employee, the business continues as usual and growth can be managed much more efficiently.

Benefits of Project Consultants during Low or No Growth
Project consultants are usually needed only when there is a specific project to manage or execute. Therefore, during low-growth periods, these contractors do not need to be on the payroll. Their contract status makes separation a breeze, whether the parting of ways is permanent or temporary for the duration of the downturn. By using contract project consultants, the company can avoid lay-offs and the negative effects that come with them. The interim position of a project consultant provides the support that a business needs without the time and expense of onboarding or exiting a full-time employee.

How This Helps Your Business
This common business practice for energy companies is a very smart tool for any business, especially when preparing for a possible recession. By bringing in interim employees or project consultants for limited times throughout the life of your business, you are protecting a number of company assets, including your full-time employees. When you give your team this extra resource, you avoid burnout and turnover by taking some of the work load off their plates.

The only thing you can predict about the economy, and about business, is that it will change. With that in mind, consider your upcoming projects and your critical headcount needs and see if you can benefit by utilizing project consultants. If hiring project consultants sounds like the solution you’ve been looking for in your business, let us know! We place top-performing project consultants in the energy sector and can help you achieve your growth goals quickly.

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