Although we've looked at the duties of a Consultant and considered when to use one, there was nothing that pointed our attention to the official Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) in order to get the official word on what a consultant does. So let's resolve the mystery. Let's turn to the OOH and get more information.
It helps to know where to find it. It's a publication of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Once you've reached the OOH page, you'll discover there are a lot of ways to explore occupational titles and classifications. You career coaches probably already know about the Handbook and use it to discuss career options with your clients. And during these horrid economic times (complete with lack of jobs in particular titles) you recruiters undoubtedly use it to help your clients discover alternatives to what used to be the right fit for their personnel.
Technology is changing many things. Demand for certain types of work as well as certain types of skills are just two examples.
But we have something specific in mind, a Consultant, so let's examine how to find that classification. We can go to the alphabetical index and select "C" in order to search for our term. Unfortunately, it only lists "Consultants, financial" and tells us to see "Personal Financial Advisors." That's not quite what we had in mind. We want information about a Management Consultant. Sometimes the best thing to do when the answer is too difficult to find is to use that trusty site search box. The Government's works very well; it provides us with quite a few titles that fit our query. The four that are closest are
- Management Analysts
- Operations Research Analysts
- Human Resources Managers
- Administrative Services Managers
Each of these titles is slightly different from the others and can sometimes simultaneously serve two or three of the roles defined by the OOH. Fortunately, there's also the last classification, Administrative Services Managers, that can be considered an outside specialist who performs more executive management services on a contract basis an could in many instances be a long-term relationship rather than provide ad hoc support.
The Human Resources Manager principally focuses their efforts on the matters connected with personnel issues. The Management Analyst could also be called the solutions person as they look at more of the internal issues that impact the company's overall financial status. Many times these issues derive from the same source. So it's important to carefully consider what needs to be addressed so that you can identify and retain the right type of specialist and carve out the terms of engagement that most accurately fit your needs.
There's more useful information in the OOH that will help guide you to more satisfying engagements. It's a good idea to explore it even in a limited way so that you have a good starting point for remedying your needs or counseling your clients.