Five Ways to Know Your Knowledge Experts are Credible
Knowledge experts are in high demand, and while there are many so-called “thought-leaders,” there are also some false prophets that claim they know more than they do. Thought leaders, credible experts, and knowledge experts are all terms that have a vague meaning depending on who you speak to. So, the question remains, how do businesses know if the knowledge expert they are talking to is credible?
First, what do we mean by knowledge experts? At HyerTek, we define a knowledge expert as someone with 10 plus years of experience, up-to-date credentials, and actively take part in industry-shaping conversations. Here are 5 ways to help determine if the knowledge expert you are speaking to is credible:
- Many expert networks are trying to just check a box that you are speaking to anyone that has worked in an area remotely related to your research questions. However, are they genuinely knowledgeable with years of experience? Many often are college students conducting the research and matching you with “knowledge experts” that may have a few years of experience (if you’re lucky). If you want a broader picture of an industry, look for a seasoned industry professional with 10 plus years experience with executive-level skills.
- Has the research expert published literature on the topic he or she is advising on? Have they spoken at industry conferences or events frequently? Being a published author in their fields and speaking at industry-wide events, are tell-tale signs you are dealing with a thought leader that can provide you one of a kind insight in their industry.
- While there are many successful individuals in business that are not college graduates, don’t automatically rule out those who do not have traditional education credentials. Do they have certifications or advanced degrees? Have they taught the topic that they are purported experts in? If the answer is yes, and they have checked one of the other 5 items on the list, then they are most likely a thought leader in their trade.
- Do the experts give back to the community or the industry? Do they serve as mentors, board members, or participate in different groups within their industry? A person who gives back to their community is respected, it gives them authority in their industry. It establishes a level of trust you cannot buy. When you find a thought leader that is a respected member of his/or her community and not only on a business level, you have also found your gem.
- You need to do a bit of investigating on your experts before you hire them.
Today social media and Linkedin are perfect place to start your search for knowledge experts. Platforms such as Linkedin are also a place to verify the expert at hand is well-respected, knowledgeable, and has the experience you are looking for. That said, Linkedin is not the end-all-be-all. You do need to ask some qualifying questions before you engage with the expert. Like an interview, experts should be qualified in advance.
Bonus Tip: Ask them how many networks they are affiliated with?
While these are 5 great ways to help you determine if you are dealing with a “true” knowledge expert, these are just a great start in the right direction. If you are looking for technology experts in areas such as finance or education that are pre-vetted, HyerTek has professionals that are thought leaders across their industries. You want well-vetted experts, with an average of 20+ years worth of experience. That is where many expert networks fall short.