Freelance consultants: Mercenaries or dedicated experts?



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Are consultants true mercenaries in search of the best rates, or experts dedicated to the success of companies?
In this article, we delve into the heart of the debate, analyzing the reasons for this market context and the motivations of consultants, demystifying the widespread perception of them. What are the essential qualities of a good consultant that you need to be vigilant about to meet the challenges of transformation? Finally, discover how the role of the consultant will evolve in a future where the demand for external experts and the integration of new technologies will redefine the consulting landscape.


Why are some consultants sometimes perceived as mercenaries, focusing primarily on their financial motivations? It seems that what many consider to be the apparent problem is really just the tip of the iceberg. What if, rather than consultants looking to outbid each other, the situation wasn't due to a genuine talent crisis in freelance consulting?


Consultants, like professionals in other fields, seek to enhance the value of their expertise by setting appropriate fees. In a market where, for certain areas of expertise, demand outstrips supply, they are often in demand and inclined to accept the most attractive rates.

Olivier, Partner at FocusTribes since 2019, testifies to the complexity that young freelancers often face in determining their pricing: "I'm often contacted by consultants who want to become freelancers and ask me for advice before taking the plunge. The question of billing rates is very often put to me, as it's complicated for a consultant, often an ex-employee of a large firm, to know how to value their expertise at the right price."


As in all other professions, consultants act according to market conditions, and must also look after the fact that they may have some months without invoicing if they are on holiday, sick or don't take on a succession of assignments. The imbalance in the market currently puts service providers in a strong position in many areas of expertise. Nevertheless, it is crucial for a consultant to focus above all on the benefits of the assignment, both in terms of personal fulfilment and because this new experience will be all the more valuable for the rest of his or her career if it is rich and valuable.


Due to the shortage of talent on the market, companies are having to widen their search to find consultants suited to their needs. This situation is made all the more complex by the fact that decision-makers need to be able to commit quickly! Indeed, in certain highly sought-after areas of expertise, a good consultant profile generally remains on the market for less than 48 hours. It's essential to surround yourself with reliable partners to guarantee the quality of the service providers you recruit.

At FocusTribes, selecting the right consultants is part of our day-to-day work. Former consultants to major firms and managers of large corporations, the 3 partners have built their concept on this simple observation: customers need to be reassured and consultants less isolated. In today's complex business environment, finding the right partner who can guarantee a high level of service, without driving up prices, is crucial.

Mathias, CEO and co-founder of FocusTribes, adds: "Large companies often hold back, thinking that freelance consultants are unreliable, that they can leave when better-paid assignments come along, and that good resources are in short supply. Yet we forget that freelancers are entrepreneurs first and foremost; customer satisfaction is even more important to them. "




As external experts, consultants occupy a central position between players, processes and projects within companies. He adapts easily within the organization, forging close links with stakeholders while retaining indispensable objectivity. His role as catalyst enables him to provide a strategic vision, drive change and propose innovative solutions to meet the challenges of transformation.


Beyond technical skills, the human qualities that make a good consultant. Empathy, the ability to listen and an understanding of customers' specific needs help establish a relationship of trust, fostering open, constructive communication. The consultant positions himself as a facilitator, partner and revealer, demonstrating the added value he brings to companies. Yet these skills, which make the real difference, are often difficult to grasp.


Aurélie, Marketing and Talent Acquisition Director, who was behind the creation of the FocusTribes Tribe of experts, explains: "We have a selective community that develops through co-optation and recommendation, with an accreditation system. Before integrating a consultant into our community, we spend time with him to fully understand his expectations, but above all to make sure he has the right soft skills."

A good consultant is also committed and dedicated to the success of the project, showing initiative to propose appropriate solutions and redirect strategies in the event of change. By combining technical skills with human qualities, consultants become essential partners in the success of projects and the growth of companies, revealing their potential for innovation.



How can a company quickly find the right talent to cope with peak workloads on transformation projects? What qualities distinguish a good independent consultant from a bad one?


Read our article "How to choose the right freelance consultant" with the participation of Isabelle Kinderf, Finance Director at Danone on our blog via the link below:

Click here to read the article




Faced with the scarcity of talent, companies can develop solid partnerships with specialized players like FocusTribes, who carefully select the best independent consultants. These partnerships provide companies with rapid access to competent, reliable profiles, reducing search and recruitment times, and the risk of surrounding themselves with the wrong people.


Consultants need to highlight their expertise and skills, both technical and interpersonal, to stand out in a competitive market. Creating quality content in the form of blogs, videos or white papers can help reinforce their credibility and attract the attention of companies.

Consultants can set themselves apart by offering first-rate customer service. By being responsive, engaging, listening and providing tailored solutions, they earn the trust of companies and increase their chances of securing recurring assignments or positive referrals.


"A telling illustration of this commitment occurred at FocusTribes," testifies Aurélie. "A FocusTribes community consultant on assignment with one of our client had to suddenly stop his contract for personal reasons. However, aware of the difficulty he was putting us in, instead of simply withdrawing, he was keen to find a solution. He offered us the services of a colleague with whom he had already worked, who was perfectly capable of continuing the mission in his place. This attitude shows a real willingness to contribute to the success of the project."

At FocusTribes, the careful selection of consultants is based on the conviction that these independent professionals are entrepreneurs motivated by customer satisfaction.


With the rise of the gig economy, companies are likely to call on external consultants more and more for specific projects, rather than hiring full-time staff. This trend reinforces the role of the consultant as a key partner for companies seeking agility and flexibility.



Consultants will have to adapt to the rapid evolution of technologies and working methods. The use of artificial intelligence, data analysis and project management tools will be essential to deliver innovative and effective solutions to their customers. It is therefore crucial for them to keep up with the latest developments, so that they can continue to add value and keep abreast of tomorrow's challenges.


Consultants play a crucial role in the business world, helping companies to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals. Although the quest for the best rates is an economic reality, the perception of mercenaries is often skewed by the talent crisis in the consulting field.
By focusing on their technical expertise and human qualities, consultants can set themselves apart and become essential partners in the success of corporate transformation projects. By collaborating with specialized players, companies can gain rapid access to competent profiles and strengthen their agility to meet the challenges of a constantly evolving market.
The role of the consultant will continue to develop in the future, with growing demand for external experts and the integration of new technologies to offer ever more innovative solutions. As FocusTribes emphasizes, trust and commitment are at the heart of the relationship between consultants and clients, making consultants true contributors to business success.



Are you about to embark on a transformation project? Do you need quality consultants to strengthen your teams?

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To find out more : 
- Project management: Overcoming the talent shortage without compromise
- Talent shortage: could freelancers be the solution?
- The 3 advantages of a good project management partner