When NOT to Hire an Expert


Finding yourself in the situation of needing help is pretty common. And sometimes when we get into that situation, we can figure out what the next steps are ourselves. Sometimes, though, we just start overthinking, or panic, and in most of these cases, experts can help. It becomes a matter of finding the right one. However, there are some cases when your best choice is not to hire an expert. How do you know what the right option is?

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Situations to NOT Hire an Expert

Some of the usual suspects for when not to hire an expert include:

  • when you need a rescue squad
  • when you aren’t sure what you are trying to achieve
  • when you don’t like the feedback you’ve gotten about what you are trying to do

Absolutely, there are experts that will still help you. And there are people who can be successful with those experts. But I would really caution you not to hire an expert or an external agency for help in these cases if you haven’t already worked with one in this kind of situation previously.

Hiring an expert is helpful in most situations, but not everyone can be Olivia Pope. When you need a fix-it-fast solution, and you don’t have a fixer on speed dial, using a new-to-you expert or external agency in a high-stress, high-stakes situation can take things from bad to worse. Fast.

The point of getting outside help is to grow, improve, or add capacity. If your motivations don’t fall into one of these categories, you likely want to reconsider if you actually want to bring in external help.

How to Know If You Need Expert Help

The process to know if you want to hire an expert involves getting clear in these areas:

  • Where you are: a real, candid look at your situation at hand
  • Where you want to go: the goal, outcome, or result you want to achieve
  • What it’s going to take to get there (time, effort, resources, etc.); you might not know this part and that’s okay, but you still want to ask yourself this question
  • Determining if this is a skillset or competency you want to build into your team now

In our work with many other agencies and clients, the stories of things that go wrong when working with external experts or agencies typically all start out with unrealistic or unvoiced expectations.

If the experts you have or are considering hiring tell you that something can’t be done, it is worth getting a second opinion. It is true that things are impossible until they are done. But it is also worth listening to the reasons they give and evaluate if what you are attempting to accomplish is realistic.

The punchline here for when NOT to hire an expert is: Don’t hire help for a bad plan. And if you have a bad plan, instead hire help to create a better plan.

The Benefits of Hiring the Right Expert

When you have a good plan and hire the right kind of expert or external agency, the likelihood of things going well improves exponentially. If you aren’t sure you do have a good plan, you can use experts to help improve the plan and build internal competencies to identify the hallmarks of a good plan, how to put together a good plan, and how to strategically hire the right help.

The Experts You Need

Had a bad experience when working with an expert or external agency? We get it. At FieryFX, we know a thing or two about getting the most from working with experts. And we know when not to hire an expert. Plus, we’re leaders in strategy, websites, analytics, smart business, and technology. Find out how to avoid disappointment and get better results from experts by booking a consult with us.

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