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  • Writer's pictureRita Simmons

Thriving Through The Great Resignation: Employing Consultants to Overcome Staffing Shortages

Updated: Jun 30, 2022

The pandemic brought many unexpected challenges for businesses, but the Great Resignation and its impact on the available talent pool, hiring, and seamless business operations may be the most difficult challenge to overcome. It has affected almost every company and there seems to be no end in sight. The mantra from managers and business owners is “no one wants to work” – stores are having to reduce hours and the products and services they can provide. Maintaining quality and performance often means longer customer wait times leading to loss of business or customer dissatisfaction.

While everyone from economists to psychologists focus on “why” the Great Resignation continues, businesses need immediate solutions to maintain operations, fulfill their missions, and serve their customers. So, what is the answer? Add a consultant to offset resignations and talent shortages. This addition to your team can provide exactly the expertise you need and help keep your business running at full capacity.

Five ways consultants can help you meet critical operational needs:

Consultants can provide an immediate solution.

A recent LinkedIn survey found that new employee hiring is taking up to 4 months for some jobs and longer for technical and executive positions. Even after the arduous hiring process, there may be additional delays to bring the new employee on, as well as delays from onboarding and training. Bringing on a consultant negates all these steps and delays. No long interview process, in-house training, or waiting for a start date that will work for the new hire’s personal schedule. A consultant can be ready to work immediately and close your talent gap.

Consultants are trained experts.

Newly hired employees often have federal, state, and company-specific training to perform before they start work. Depending on the level of qualification of the new hire, they may need some on-the-job training to be fully ready to engage. Consultants join your team as highly trained professionals that require no job-specific training. A consultant’s knowledge and experience facilitate a seamless start and can be leveraged to enhance the quality of the work or project. In business, time is money, and a trained individual will save you time and money.

Most companies have heard of virtual assistants. Tim Ferris, in his book “The 4-Hour Work Week”, not only espouses their utility but also their necessity to work efficiently. A highly trained consultant provides far more than a virtual assistant. Consultants certainly can be hired to help with administrative tasks, but also with tasks requiring a higher skill level of experience and versatility such as project or program management, grant writing, marketing, and social media development.

Consultants facilitate continued operations.

It is almost impossible to maintain 100% operational status when you are only 80% manned. Many companies will try by either cutting services or projects, or by asking other employees to “pick up the slack”. This situation is not sustainable over the long term and will eventually negatively impact current employees and valuable customers.

Outsourcing job requirements, not only means that an employment gap is filled, but it also means that productivity can be maintained and that the tasks others were having to complete at the expense of their position requirements can be redirected. Business operations can move back to 100% and products and services are available to your customers. This arrangement will keep your company operating at full capacity and ensure your staff and customers stay happy.

Consultants enable scaling without risk.

Consultants can provide your company the flexibility to fill skill gaps without a long-term commitment, the cost of training, or added administrative expenses. Consultancy enables a business to selectively obtain only necessary support services, as you need them, allowing you to easily scale up and down to coincide with changes in your business or the economy. You may need help with a short-term project or exploring new business lines but may not be ready to hire permanent staff. Being able to add personnel to your team with niche expertise not only will improve efficiently and effectively, but will allow you to manage your costs, time, and quality.

Consultants provide long-term cost savings.

Consultants give you time to find the right employee who will be a long-term member of your team, instead of hiring someone while you are desperate. According to a recent survey conducted by Muse, 72% of workers that departed their job during the Great Resignation experienced regret, mainly because the new job did not meet their expectations. Several studies show the same story, highlighting feelings of “leavers’ remorse” and “shift shock.” Experts that study the labor market believe that once staffing demands normalize, some employees will return to their original company. A study by Workplace Institute stated that 15% have returned already and 40% would consider applying to their previous employer. Hiring full-time employees is an expensive venture, and if you must hire for the same position frequently, the impact on the bottom line becomes exponential. As the old adage goes, “good things come to those who wait.” Hiring a consultant gives you time and flexibility to ensure you have the correct fit, without the added pressure of work going unfinished.

Novelle is here to provide consultants to your team to fill gapped positions, augment your team with niche expertise, or help complete a short-term project. Our staff of consultants is committed to providing the critical support you need, from the daily operations of marketing, project management, or administrative assistance to the specialty support you need to complete a project or grow your business including technical knowledge, business development, or proposal and grant management. We want to help you do what you do best, run your business.

So, whether you need us for a week, month, or need a partner moving forward - contact us today and find out how we can help!


Rita Simmons, Ph.D., is the founder and lead consultant of Novelle, where she provides business consulting to companies across a variety of industries. Dr. Simmons leverages her drive for innovation and excellence along with her extensive executive and military experience to help companies grow their business, drive revenue, and achieve strategic goals. When you’re ready to take your business to the next level, contact Dr. Simmons at or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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