Inside COMATCH

How to Create Better Client-Consultant Matches

  • Dr. Jan Schächtele
  • January 21, 2021

There is no question that professional expertise and work experience are the most important criteria to consider when looking for the right candidate for a project.

But how can you perform well on a change management project without having a diplomat who seeks consensus and moves people forward? Or perhaps you need an enforcer with the skillset to restructure a project and make tough decisions. These examples demonstrate that “softer” factors should play a crucial role in the selection process and achieving project success.

Unsurprisingly, clients prefer to work with people who fit well into their working environments. Consultants, on the other hand, want to be recognized for strengths like their communication and working style. Ultimately, they want to be a good fit for the project just as much as the client wants to find the right consultant. At COMATCH, since the very beginning, these needs have been accounted for during our matching process. By talking to our clients and consultants, we have been able to facilitate great matches and ensure greater project success. But now, we are also doing this in an automated way with our new feature StyleMatch.

StyleMatch, developed by COMATCH and CatchTalents, is based on a work-psychology model tailored to the consulting environment. It assesses the preferred working style and strengths of a consultant; professional competencies do not play a role in this assessment.

Why does StyleMatch provide better (matching) results and contribute to a higher project success rate?
Over the years, we have proven how quickly and reliably our innovative technology can find the right expertise for our clients. With StyleMatch, we have added a crucial dimension that makes our matching process not only more comprehensive but also less biased. This ensures better matching results and differentiates COMATCH from other consulting marketplaces. StyleMatch enables us to find a better fit for clients and consultants by considering the consultant’s working style as well as the client’s working environment.

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How does it work?
StyleMatch surveys the preferred working style and strengths of each consultant and helps to clearly define the project. Consultants are able to identify their StyleMatch results quickly and easily with a survey that consists of 28 questions. These questions are split up into four dimensions, communication & leadership, working methods & approach, collaboration, and preferred project framework. Upon completion, the consultant is assigned one of eight different working styles—either a Collective Thinker, an Individual Thinker, a Diplomat, an Enforcer, an Analyzer, a Doer, a Structure Fan, or an Explorer. This is visible in the consultant’s profile and provides the clients with more information.

In the project briefing, the clients have the opportunity to explain their project requirements more precisely. A match between a consultant’s StyleMatch result and a client’s project requirements is then presented to the client in the candidate proposal making the selection process much easier.

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How did we develop it?
With the introduction of StyleMatch, we created a feature that is not only unique but also based on empirical data. It was developed in collaboration with Catch Talents, a company specialized in recording and matching personality traits and developing preference-based algorithms for personnel selection. The questionnaire is based on the 4 dimensions highlighted by the Team Management Profile (TMP), a globally recognized psychological model that assesses a person’s personal preference for a work-related activity. These existing items have been adapted to a consultant-specific model and have been tried and tested by our network. Independent consultants have assessed whether or not the items are suitable for them, contain a bias, or could be misunderstood.

In sum, StyleMatch has the potential to create better, more effective client-consultant matches thanks to its reliability and setup. Because working with the right people not only creates a vibrant and exciting collaborative environment but also ensures greater project success.

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