Why NOT to Hire an Expert: Experts Can’t Fix this

Why NOT to Hire an Expert: Experts Can’t Fix this

So far, we’ve discussed reasons why you hire an expert. Specifically, the first blog was about hiring an expert because you don’t know what you don’t know, and the second was about when you know things so well that you’re overlooking all the holes into which everyone else is going fall. But what about why NOT to hire an expert?

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When Hiring an Expert is a Plus

To be clear, experts are a great answer for a lot of issues and can be used in many ways. They can help you figure out your goals, they can give you strategies to go about pursuing those goals, they can get you plans to execute the strategies, and they can give you metrics to see if the plans are being executed successfully. They can even consult with you to help you fill in gaps, or get clarity.

The whole point of hiring an expert is to facilitate a faster and easier path. The problem is that experts are not equipped to fix everything. The good ones do feel a bit like fairy godmothers, but their magic fairy dust only goes so far. Even Cinderella’s ball gown didn’t last all night.

Why Not to Hire an Expert

There are things that experts are not capable of and problems they cannot solve. Here are the reasons NOT to hire an expert.

To force yourself into something

If your company has decided it “should” be doing something (and we all know how I feel about the word should), a common approach is to hire an expert. On the surface, this might look like a growth hire, so the company can avoid the Dunning Kruger effect. However, the usual outcome here is that the project completes but there isn’t any retained value. Not because the expert didn’t know what they were doing, but because there was no willingness on the part of the company, the business owner, or the department to embrace the change.

I experienced this first-hand when a company I worked for decided to become ISO 9001 certified (it’s a manufacturing quality management system). The expert was hired, we went through all the motions and passed certification, but the only difference afterward was we had a certification. No real improvement was achieved in the way we worked.

You’re unwilling to participate

Even if you’re hiring an expert in a completely done-for-you situation where they are handling the whole project, the hardest job an expert ever has is not the tactical execution, or the plan, or even getting information out of the client. The hardest part is getting the mindset change that is required to move you from where you are today to where you want to be. No expert on the planet is capable of changing your beliefs for you.

The best experts have developed an additional set of skills to help guide you through the transition, but that STILL requires you and the organization to be willing to do the emotional heavy lifting of changing your beliefs.

You won’t let them do their job

It’s my theory that there is no successful service provider out there who isn’t also part coach. Experts who help organizations achieve real transformation are able to lead the client not just to the agreed-upon destination, but also smoothly through the journey. Many experts have been hired into organizations that are not ready to let go and allow the expert to do their job.

Know Why or Why Not to Hire an Expert

To determine whether or not to hire an expert, use these questions:

Is this an expertise issue or a cultural issue?

Either way, you might realize you need an expert, but the one you need is going to be very different depending on the answer to this question.

What are we willing to do? What are we unwilling to do?

It can be difficult to be brutally honest with ourselves here, so looking back at vendor relationships might give you insights into the organization’s behavior.

Are we capable of letting them do their job?

This can be a really uncomfortable question to ask because, of course, we think we would let an expert do their job. But you might want to look at how previous expert engagements went.

There has to be an inherent willingness or openness to the change when working with experts for the efforts to be valuable long-term.

Should You Hire an Expert?

When determining why or why not to hire an expert, use these scenarios and questions to ensure you know what you need. There really are no business scenarios where an expert can’t help. The real magic comes in how the team and organization are able to utilize them. Hiring experts into the wrong scenarios or setup can result in frustration, failure, and all-around undesired outcomes.

How Can We Help You Improve?

We’ve all made investments that didn’t work out as planned. With this information, I hope your next expert hire has a better chance of meeting or exceeding your expectations.

Every team needs some occasional magic to make it to the ball; we just want to be sure we have the pumpkins and mice, if that’s what’s needed to get us there.

Make sure you aren’t caught off guard when your carriage turns into a pumpkin at midnight. Experts can help you with a lot of things, but there’s limits to their fairy godmother-like magic. At FieryFX, we’re experts in websites, analytics, smart business, and technology. Plus, we know a thing or two about getting the most from working with experts (and why not to hire an expert). Be certain you can hire the right expert for the right reasons by booking a consult with us.

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