Aren’t “contractor” and “consultant” two different words for the same thing? In a word, no.
George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 captured the importance of words and of the societal agreement on their meaning. In the corporate world today the true meanings of many words are distorted, misused, or simply ignored. The results can be misunderstandings, poor products, or hiring the wrong person for the job.
If you’ve fallen into the confused camp, it’s probably not your fault. Advertisers and marketers know that some words are more appealing than others. They always use the more appealing words – even when they are technically incorrect. Do this enough for long enough and you have literally changed the culturally accepted definition of dozens of words.
Did you know, for example that “gentleman” used to denote lower nobility, e.g., landowners? It did in fact. But when enough entertainers and hosts call everyone in their audiences gentlemen, pretty soon, any bloke who can half-way behave himself in public is considered a gentleman. (Alas that some men don’t reach even that lowered bar!)
One such “newspeak” example in the business world surfaces as a the confusion about the difference between “consultants” and “contractors.” All-too-often used interchangeably (albeit incorrectly), these vastly different resources should be seen as complements but never as clones. The confusion surrounding these terms, both within companies and by individuals, has blurred a very important distinction.
In order to leverage these outside forces to your advantage, you need to know exactly who these people are, what they do, and where their focus lies. Given this information, you can decide which best meets your need or how to use a combination of the two to maximize your return on investment.
In this white paper, we start with these basic definitions:
Consultant – a person or company that you hire primarily for their advice, especially if you have a problem that you aren’t sure how to solve or a goal that you’re not sure how to reach. If you find that your current CRM system no longer meets your needs, but you haven’t chosen a new system and want some advice on getting the best system for your budget, you hire a consultant.
Contractor – a person who meets a specific temporary need in a specific area and who may also have specific technical expertise that your permanent staff doesn’t have and doesn’t need. If you’re migrating to a new CRM system that you have already chosen and you need the data moved from the old system to the new one, you hire a contractor.
From there, it is a simple matter of clearly defining your need and you’ll be able to better identify and engage the right talent.
Read the entire whitepaper here.Download White Paper