First of all, a business continuity planner should have extensive knowledge of business processes and how they can be disrupted. They should also have a good understanding of the various types of disasters that can occur and how they can impact businesses. They should be able to develop plans that can be implemented in the event of a disaster. These plans should be designed to help businesses resume operations as quickly as possible. Finally, a business continuity planner should be able to train employees on the plans that have been developed. They should also be available to answer any questions that employees may have about the plans.
When it comes to hiring the best business continuity planner, there are a few things that businesses should keep in mind.
- Make sure that the planner is reliable
- A certification would be great
- Are they a good fit for your business?
- Make sure that the planner is affordable
- Good communication skills
- Familiarity with industry-specific regulations
- Ability to work well under pressure
- Necessary skills and knowledge
- Flexibility in the budget
- Local presence
- Interview the planner
- Get everything in writing
- Check their references
- Perform a background check
- Have a contract
Make sure that the planner is reliable
As a rule of thumb, a business continuity planner should have at least 3 years of experience in a related field. For example, someone who has worked in emergency management or disaster recovery would be a good candidate. While experience is important, it’s also important to make sure that the planner is someone who you can rely on. After all, they will be responsible for developing plans that could potentially save your business in the event of a disaster.
A certification would be great
There are a number of different certifications that a business continuity planner can hold. Some of the most common include the Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) and the Certified Continuity Manager (CCM) designation. While having a certification is not always a requirement, it does show that the planner has the necessary knowledge and skills to develop effective plans.
Are they a good fit for your business?
Not all businesses are the same, so it’s important to find a planner who is a good fit for your specific needs. For example, if you have a small business, you may not need someone who has experience developing plans for large businesses. Conversely, if you have a large business, you may need someone who has experience developing plans for businesses of your size.
Make sure that the planner is affordable
One of the most important factors to consider when hiring a business continuity planner is their fee. While you shouldn’t necessarily choose the cheapest option, you also don’t want to overpay for their services. Be sure to get quotes from a few different planners before making your final decision.
Good communication skills
A business continuity planner needs to have good communication skills. This is because they will need to communicate with a variety of different people, including employees, vendors, and government officials. They should also be able to communicate effectively in writing, as they will need to develop plans and reports.
Familiarity with industry-specific regulations
Depending on the industry your business is in, there may be specific regulations that you need to comply with. For example, businesses in the healthcare industry are subject to HIPAA regulations. As such, it’s important to find a planner who is familiar with these regulations and can help you develop a plan that will ensure compliance.
Ability to work well under pressure
A business continuity planner needs to be able to think clearly and work well under pressure. This is because they may be called upon to develop a plan in the midst of a crisis. For example, if a hurricane is headed toward your city, the planner may need to develop a plan on how your business will continue to operate if the office is damaged.
Necessary skills and knowledge
Necessary skills do not only include knowing how to develop a business continuity plan. The planner should also be familiar with risk management, business impact analysis, and how to conduct a business continuity exercise. For instance, if the planner can only develop a plan but has no knowledge of how to test it in a simulated environment, then their skills are limited. And if the planner does not understand how to perform a business impact analysis, they will not be able to identify which processes are critical to your business and need to be included in the continuity plan.
Flexibility in the budget
The business continuity planner should be flexible in their approach. This means that they should be willing to tailor their services to meet the specific needs of your business. For example, if you have a limited budget, the planner should be willing to work with you to develop a plan that meets your needs without breaking the bank. On average, startup and first-year costs often fall between $30,000 and $40,000. On the other hand, microbusinesses often cost less than $5000. As such, the business continuity planner should be able to adjust to a business’s shape and need.
If your business is located in a specific city or region, it’s important to find a planner who is familiar with the area. This is because they will be familiar with the local resources that are available and the specific risks that your business may face. For example, if you’re located in an area that is prone to hurricanes, the planner should be familiar with the evacuation routes and the shelters that are available.
Interview the planner
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential planners, it’s time to interview them. This is your opportunity to ask them questions about their experience, their approach to business continuity planning, and their fee structure. It’s also a good time to get to know them as a person and to see if they’re someone who you can work with.
Get everything in writing
Once you’ve decided to hire a business continuity planner, be sure to get everything in writing. This includes the scope of their services, their fee, and the timeline for completing the project. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings down the road.
Check their references
Before you hire a business continuity planner, be sure to check their references. This is an important step in the hiring process, as it will allow you to speak to other businesses that have used their services. This will give you a good idea of what to expect and whether or not they’re a good fit for your needs.
Perform a background check
In addition to checking their references, you should also perform a background check. This is especially important if you’re going to be working with the planner on a long-term basis. You’ll want to make sure that they don’t have any skeletons in their closet that could come back to haunt you later on.
Have a contract
Once you’ve decided to hire a business continuity planner, be sure to have a contract in place. This contract should spell out the scope of their services, their fee, and the timeline for completing the project. This will help to protect your interests and ensure that both parties are clear on what is expected.
Also, if you have any specific requirements, be sure to include them in the contract. For example, if you want the planner to develop a plan that is compliant with HIPAA regulations, be sure to include that in the contract. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings down the road.