Depending on the week, and the news outlet, the U.S. is either heading into a recession next week, next month, or next year—and in some cases, we’re hearing we’re already in a mild one.
Recessions are uncomfortable. Beyond the general uncertainty, part of why recessions are so tough to deal with is because they don’t mean the same thing for every industry—or even every part of the industry. Tech and startup layoffs have been rampant over the past few months, but there are plenty of tech companies still hiring. U.S. job growth slowed in June 2022, but still surpassed expectations as far as how many jobs were being added.
Why are we talking so much about a recession? Well, it’s because a recession is usually mentioned in the same sentence as layoffs or restructurings. That’s not always the case, but in case you’re finding yourself as part of that story—or if you’re just looking to try a different kind of work situation than the one you have currently, consulting work may be something to consider in the midst of a strange, volatile market.
The partners we use at Carex often use consultants to build out key initiatives and programs in their organizations—they appreciate the expertise our consultants bring to the table, and they love the flexibility contract work provides, as most of the time, it’s less expensive for them to bring consultants on than full-time employees. And, it should be mentioned that during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, 99% of our consultants retained their roles—which makes news of an impending recession a little easier to deal with.
What is a consultant, anyway?
At Carex, we define a consultant as an expert or someone with a specific skill who works with one of our partners for a certain amount of time. Our typical consultant contracts are six months, with the possibility to renew or convert the role into a full-time position depending on the company.
Our consultant candidates are looking for a few things in these roles. Sometimes they’re in between roles or are weighing the pros and cons of doing something completely different, like starting their own businesses. Consultant work gives them the opportunity to work with a company for a specific time frame, for a specific amount of hours a week. They work at a company, but they work for Carex — we handle payroll, insurance, and contract negotiation.
If you’re looking for real experiences from our consultants, read this blog. Joe and Mel both loved their consulting time for different reasons, and it will give you a good idea of what to expect! Like these two, most people who have worked (or currently work) for Carex as consultants have never done so before.
Why is consulting a good move during a recession?
There are a few reasons why we think consultant and contracting work is a great move—whether the economy is in a recession or not:
Shorter hiring process
Of course, it’s important for companies to feel that a consultant will fit in with their culture, but because it’s set up to initially be a limited-term engagement, the job interview process is much shorter and goes faster than an interview for a full-time job. Often, companies are wanting to spin up a new initiative—something with transformation, or a long-term project—and they’re eager to get the talent locked in so they can get started.
Because consultants often get hired for time-sensitive initiatives, there’s a good chance they’ll get to make an impact almost immediately. Of course, our partners always onboard consultants so that they get up to speed on strategic initiatives, technology, and communication platforms—but consultants are still usually able to come in, roll up their sleeves, and get involved faster because they’re there for a specific reason.
Needed expertise and niche experience
Oftentimes, companies hire consultants because they know they need a new, fresh perspective for the work they’re doing. This is where consultants really have a chance to shine—often you’re coming in cold to a company and this means you can offer an unbiased view of what’s happening and offer perspectives.
Flexibility and work-life balance
Not being tethered to a full-time salaried job is compelling to many consultants, as it gives them the ability to learn new things, build their network, and not get stale or stagnant in their work. And, while the majority of our consultant roles are full-time, the hourly aspect means you get paid for every hour you work—and because they’re only for a certain amount of hours a week, when you’re done for the day, you’re done.
Benefits and great pay
We offer all of our consultants health, dental, 401K, and other benefits for most of our consultant contracts—and we make sure pay is competitive.
If this short list of reasons has piqued your interest and you’d like to learn more about consulting work—or explore our consultant positions—reach out and we’ll be happy to help. Or, tell us more about yourself and what you’re looking for by filling out this quick form!