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The Top 10 Soft Skills to Look For When Hiring a Consultant

When hiring a consultant to help with your marketing, communications, program, and project management needs, you will undoubtedly require a certain level of technical expertise. And these hard skills will likely vary based on the project's scope, the tech tools necessary, your specific objectives, and so forth. However, while the hard skills you'll require of consultants will depend on the position, the soft skills you'll want to look for in candidates should be relatively similar.

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The soft skills consultants possess play a significant role in their ability to deliver exceptional results and build positive working relationships.

Following are 10 consultant soft skills you'll want to look for in potential candidates:

  1. Clear and effective communication: Consultants should excel in their ability to simplify and communicate complex ideas. Effective written and verbal communication enables them to explain their recommendations and strategic plans in a way that is crystal-clear to clients and key stakeholders.
  2. Active listening: Consultants must be skilled listeners who can genuinely grasp the full scope of their client’s challenges and objectives. This soft skill allows consultants to gather valuable insights and tailor their solutions accordingly.
  3. Problem-solving: A consultant's problem-solving ability is critical to their success. Consultants with strong problem-solving skills showcase their capacity to think critically, analyze data meticulously, and develop innovative strategies that enable them to overcome obstacles and facilitate positive change. 
  4. Adaptability: When it comes to marketing, communication, program and project management – the business landscape is constantly evolving, and exceptional consultants know how to adapt to these changes – fast. This soft skill requires consultants to be flexible, resourceful, and open-minded, which helps them adjust their approach, embrace new technologies, and stay ahead of the curve. 
  5. Empathy: This consultant soft skill is the bedrock of building strong client relationships. Consultants with a high level of empathy are more equipped to truly understand their client's needs, concerns, and aspirations. This intimate knowledge helps these experts build trust and tailor solutions that address clients' unique challenges. Empathy also plays an essential role in conflict resolution, stakeholder engagement, and change management, as it helps consultants navigate an array of perspectives and build consensus. 
  6. Collaboration: Successful consultants should actively engage with clients and colleagues, fostering a collaborative environment that encourages the sharing of ideas, knowledge, and expertise. 
  7. Time management: Consultants often juggle multiple projects simultaneously, making effective time management critical. This soft skill helps consultants prioritize tasks, meet all deadlines, and, ultimately, deliver high-quality work. 
  8. Leadership: Leadership skills are vital for consultants, as these experts often play influential roles within client organizations. Consultants should inspire and motivate teams, drive key initiatives, and help guide organizations through complex transformations. 
  9. Client-relationship management: Finding consultants with a proven track record of building strong client relationships is important as it shows their ability to establish trust, build rapport, and deliver top-notch customer experiences. 
  10. Commitment to ethical conduct: From building trust and confidence to maintaining confidentiality and avoiding conflicts of interest – abiding by a strict code of ethical conduct is essential. Consultants who prioritize ethical behavior demonstrate their commitment to their client's success and contribute to the consulting profession's overall integrity. 


If you need help finding consultants with the soft skills and technical ability you need, partner with Simplicity. With years of experience, Simplicity prides itself in matchmaking clients with the on-demand experts they need in the marketing, communications, program, and project management sectors.

Our extensive network includes strategic consultants who excel in driving impactful results through project-based work. When you partner with Simplicity, our process begins by understanding your organization's unique needs and project requirements. Through collaborative discussions, we help outline the project scope and identify the skillset and experience necessary to achieve your goals. Leveraging our expertise, we curate a shortlist of consultants best suited to meet your needs, considering your project objectives and budget considerations. You can engage with the top consulting candidates, gaining insight into their thought processes, strategic approach, and working style during a working session. These working sessions will also let you better get a feel for the soft skills candidates possess. And finally, we guide you through the selection process.

Once you have identified the ideal consultant for your project, you will be matched with a dedicated client success manager who will be your trusted point of contact throughout the engagement. With their expertise and support, you can expect a seamless experience from Day One.

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