We’re a growing business and network, constantly evolving and working with new clients and experts to help deliver the products and services you need to help your business prosper. We’ve covered some of the main questions we get asked by clients below…
Is HiveMind a consulting/expert marketplace?
Only partially. One key and critical word sets us apart from the multiple marketplaces. Accountability. Talent Marketplaces don’t take accountability for the people they connect you with or the results you’re after. Check their small print. We do. It’s a BIG difference.
How many experts do you have in the network?
We’ve around 2000 and are growing at about 20-30 a month. We’re cautious on our growth to maintain quality. It’s important when you think about our key differentiation above. All experts are interviewed, continuously assessed and references taken. Membership can be terminated for poor performance and/or violation of our core principles, so we try to get admission right.
Are you a consultancy or a recruitment firm?
OK we’re going to sound a bit pedantic on this one!
We’re actually a professional services network, underpinned by a rapidly evolving dual sided platform. So in reality a hybrid of the consulting firms like PwC, Deloitte, EY, KPMG, etc, (without their day rates) and the on-line marketplaces such as upwork and toptal.
What this means is we provide professional services to our clients via a network of independent specialists and entrepreneurial microfirms.
As HiveMind we take accountability and responsibility for the services that these member deliver to our clients. Most of our clients think of us as a consulting firm!
Is it cheaper to simply "go direct" to your expert associates?
Yes it is. When we started HiveMind it wasn’t as an alternative to the ever increasingly crowded recruitment market, it was to provide a smarter, more cost effective alternative to the larger consulting and system integration companies. Which is founded on sharing expertise, collateral, best practice models, expert back-up, etc, rather than just “body-shopping”.
If you choose to go direct we assume that these additional elements built into engaging via HiveMind are less important to you and your business and as such we do still offer a handling charge only model which is a service charge of 12%. In this model HiveMind has no liability or responsibility for the standard of service delivered.
What type of experts do you have in the network?
A diverse and highly experienced community.
When we started out our initial members had strong IT backgrounds however since then we have actively sought to broaden the skill base to reflect the fact that modern business solutions require a diverse range of skills. So today we’ve people and firms with marketing, information technology, finance, hr, operations, sales, procurement, design, manufacturing, data science and analytics in the community who’ve served almost every sector.
Do you only work with larger organisations?
Absolutely not. We’ve worked with startups, through to global companies and all sizes in between. Our model means we’re highly affordable, as well as effective.
How does HiveMind make it's money
We make money via member subscriptions, day rate charges and fixed price work packages.
Does it cost me money to become a client member?
No. We offer free guest membership, and then a range of different memberships dependent upon how you wish to use HiveMind. We have long term clients who have remained as free guest members for two or more years.
You state that your more affordable than your competitors. By how much?
We consider our competitors to be management consulting firms and system integrators. We are typically 40% to 50% lower costs than these organisations. We pride ourselves on having some of the highest quality experts in the world as members of HiveMind, and with our model “normal” companies can afford them.
What type of margin do you make on an expert?
We make between 12% and 35%. This is dependent upon three factors; The level of risk, the scarcity of the expertise and the urgency it’s needed. We believe this compares favourably with the old-school consultancies who typically make a margin upwards of 50% on their people (often freelancers!)
You state that as a client, I'm only paying for expertise when I'm happy with the engagement. How do you operate that in practice?
Most clients buy “Network Units”. These provide your engagement flexibility and are held in your secure account to be called upon for HiveMind services and expertise. These Network Units are consumed, based on your affirmation of quality. If for any reason the work undertaken is not up to the standard you expect, the units are not consumed until we’ve rectified the problem and you see the value intended. If we are unable to solve the problem via additional expertise or services then the Network Units are credited back to your account.
Is my business in the UK exposed to IR35 due to your associate model?
No. HiveMind is a consulting and advisory firm. Clients engage with HiveMind via four configurable service models. Our members provide services, not bodies.
How do you ensure consistency and quality of service?
There three ways in which we ensure quality and consistency;
1. We operate Communities of Excellence where HiveMind members can share insight, expertise and non-commercially sensitive collateral to help maintain best practice approaches across the community.
2. We adopt and adapt open framework models wherever they exist.
3. We operate a client and peer feedback model called “HiveRank” which means each and every member undertaking work for HiveMind is scored. HiveRank covers skill based capability and performance as well as values based behaviour. We seek to be great to have around as well as great at what we do. Members falling below an agreed level are ultimately removed from the community.
Who's liable for the quality of the work delivered?
This is a very important point for HiveMind, which clearly sets us apart from the standard “experts on demand” platforms. HiveMind takes accountability for the work delivered by any of our experts when engaged through a HiveMind service engagement.
What governance do you put in place to ensure the quality of the engagement
The governance models we use are related to the different engagement models available to our clients, these are;
Subscription Models: For our trusted advisor and non-exec style engagements the client is able to choose from a number of subscription models. The Executive Partner responsible for delivering the service then works with their client typically around a day or two a month. On a quarterly basis the regional commercial director will undertake a formal review in conjunction with the client, ensuring they are receiving the value they expect. The commercial director is empowered to make changes in the Executive Partner if the service being delivered is not meeting expectations.
Consulting Engagement: Two key roles exist to ensure our consulting engagements deliver to the quality expected. The Client Delivery Partner (CDP) and the Regional Commercial Director (RCD). The CDP is accountable for the quality of deliver, any/all consultants working on the engagements deliverables and review of key artefacts and delivery to budget and timescales The RCD is responsible for commercial negotiations and managing any issues the client has around the CDP. Formal meeting schedules are agreed as part of the consulting proposal.
Coaching & Mentoring Engagements: Effectively same approach as for subscription service.
Outcome Delivery Engagement: Effectively same approach as for consulting engagements.
What do I do if I'm not happy with the service?
Initial point of escalation is with the Regional Commercial Director, then country Managing Partner and then CEO.
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