HR consulting is all about helping companies to optimise the effectiveness and efficiency of their HR departments. HR needs to keep both the employee and management happy across a company’s divisions in line with various budgets, business strategies and industry regulations and legislation. It’s a juggling trick to say the least, and that’s why an external HR consultant is often just the ticket! They provide a fresh set of eyes and top HR expertise on how things are running and how they can be improved.
HR consulting involves plenty of time on site with the client. They could be called in to tackle one or two particular aspects of HR, such as employee relations, or else they might focus on the whole department – even across a number of offices across the country or on an international basis.
The lowdown on HR consulting
During this time HR consultants work closely with management in the department and analyse how it works. Over time, they are able to advise on the best ways to deal with employees, handle complaints and disciplinary issues, streamline procedures, regulatory obligations, administration and recruitment processes optimise communication between employees, HR representatives and management based on their findings.
It’s therefore not surprising that HR consultants have to be very good with people! They have to communicate what’s going wrong to their clients in an informative, tactful manner, and must be able to come up with solutions. They are natural problem solvers and have to possess up-to-the-minute commercial awareness and industry knowledge to help their clients.
They must be able to network and have flexibility in their approach; particularly independent consultants (the majority are employed by specialist consultancies or professional services firms).
How do I become a HR consultant?
Consulting is a very competitive field, and HR consulting is no exception. The most common route is through a graduate scheme or graduate level entry role with a specialist consultancy or professional services firm. During training there may be opportunities to develop HR as a specialist area. Salaries in this area tend to be generous, ranging anywhere from £30,000 to £70,000 or more depending on experience and employer.