If you think all IT consulting companies are the same, you're probably missing opportunities.

The quality of an IT consulting company has a direct
influence on getting the independent consultant the
caliber of projects and clients he or she wants.

But can "quality" be defined-and quantified?

Yes.

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T he purpose of an IT consulting company is to provide clients with the best, most qualified IT talent that gets results. Logically then, "quality" is how well the company performs this role in the eyes of the client. How is this important to the independent consultant? Because a consulting company that is a proven performer is a surer path to better customers and projects.

Can performance (and thus quality) be quantified? It can - as illustrated in this case study of a Chicago area Fortune 500 company which tracks the 18 participating vendors in its Key Supplier program. Four key metrics are numerically tracked and vendors are ranked quarterly. The results of a recent period are detailed here.

The significance of these metrics is:

(a) The quality of an IT consulting company can be quantified.
(b) Consultants aligned with a proven quality consulting company are more likely to be favorably viewed at the outset by clients.
(c) Oak Enterprises' high quality is validated here by an objective 3rd-party.

Metric A: Percentage of resumes submitted by vendor compared to the number of hires
Oak's Performance: 1st place
Details / Significance: For every 7 candidates presented by Oak, 3.4 were interviewed and 1 was hired.

Other vendors averaged 19 candidates presented for 4 interviews and 1 hire. This is a measure of efficiency, understanding client needs, finding the best candidates and saving the client time.

Metric B: Average time from requisition to submittal of resumes by vendor
Oak's Performance: 2nd place
Details / Significance: Oak averaged a 3-day turnaround during this period.

While turnaround is important to clients, it is not that meaningful unless the resumes/candidates submitted indeed fit the client's needs. Therefore, this metric must be balanced with the performance measured below in Metric C.

Metric C: Percentage of resumes submitted by vendors to resumes considered suitable
Oak's Performance: 1st place
Details / Significance: 86% of the resumes that Oak submitted were considered suitable (criteria included skills and rates) and passed along to the various hiring managers by the client's central vendor management office.

This is a major measure of quality, illustrating a consulting firm's key value: locating, pre-qualifying and presenting only the best talent.

Metric D: Percentage of resumes considered suitable to number of actual interviews
Oak's Performance: 1st place
Details / Significance: 49% of Oak's submitted candidates progressed to the interview stage - this compares to a 10-35% performance by the majority (80%) of other vendors.

It's important to put this into context of how this client's program functions: dozens of hiring managers submit requirements to the central program office, but only so much can be put on a simple requisition form. The hiring managers have a much more complex array of candidate traits and expertise in mind. This metric shows how well the consulting firm interprets and anticipates those exact needs - and saves the client time and hassles.

The Bottom Line
IT consulting companies render value to both clients and consultants in a number of ways - but the most compelling is bringing the right consultant to the job. And it has to be "right" for both parties. The ability of the consulting company to consistently deliver this value can be quantified.

Proven results - that's what consultants should look for in a consulting company as they look for access to top-quality clients.


Stay aligned with Oak Enterprises - a quantified quality IT consulting company

1. E-mail your current resume, project desires and availability.  
2. Sign up for our free consultant e-newsletter.