What Does an HR Consultant Do: Skills & Responsibilities

HR consultants offer their services to business owners and managers who need help to solve different issues, find and hire the right people, and improve their human resource policies.

If you are wondering whether you should hire an HR consultant, you first need to better understand the services and the advice they can provide.

So, what does an HR consultant do? Let’s find out.

1. Getting hired by businesses on a contractual basis

HR managers or directors usually get hired by a company and can enjoy a stable situation. An HR consultant, on the other hand, usually gets hired on a contractual basis.

This means they get to work for different businesses, possibly even in different industries. While this offers them many opportunities, it also comes with important challenges. If they want to work, earn a salary and advance their career, they constantly have to be on the lookout for new clients.

For businesses, the perspective of externally hiring an HR consultant can be a lot more interesting and more affordable than hiring an HR manager full-time.

2. Looking at HR practices and procedures in place

One of the things an HR consultant can do is take a good look at the HR practices of the company that hires them. The company manager likely hired an HR consultant because they had problems with their HR practices or procedures.

It’s up to the HR consultant to analyze these practices from within and figure out the problem. To do so, they can conduct surveys or research different aspects of their client’s business. They also have to know their client’s goals and recommend solutions that will help them reach them.

For example, a company may need assistance implementing an office policy about bringing pets to the workplace. Likewise, an office may need help assessing how to switch to a hybrid workplace. Due to the complexity of the problems, HR consultants need to have great problem-solving skills.

3. Making recommendations to improve HR practices and procedures

After looking at their client’s HR practices and procedures, an HR consultant must develop recommendations that will help improve their policies and operations.

These recommendations can concern HR management, company policies, company culture, hiring procedures, employee training, HR technologies, and many other aspects of their client’s business.

HR consultants are there to offer advice and guidance and recommend concrete solutions. They can also help their clients find ways to implement these solutions, but it’s generally not up to them to implement them.

4. Ensuring compliance with best HR practices

An HR consultant can also be hired to help ensure their client’s compliance with labour laws and regulations.

They must help develop efficient HR practices to ensure employees are treated fairly, enjoy safe working conditions, and are satisfied with their situation and remuneration.

Depending on their client’s industry, HR consultants can be called upon to establish different programs or to oversee safety training.

5. Assisting businesses with recruitment and retention

HR consultants can assist their clients with their recruitment and retention efforts. Since they can work in different industries, they need to understand what their current client is looking for in terms of talent and to help them develop the right hiring program.

They can help search for employees and screen candidates, but it’s also their responsibility to make recommendations on retaining these employees once they have been hired.

This is about finding out what employees want, what they need to be satisfied, and what can be done to ensure their loyalty to their employer.

6. Guiding the remuneration of employees

A business can hire an HR consultant to help them improve their payroll system. HR consultants can provide advice regarding the fair remuneration of employees, just as they can be tasked with finding solutions to payroll issues or recommending efficient payroll processing software.

HR consultants can oversee and approve the compensation and benefits packages offered to employees to ensure they are fair, competitive and attractive.

7. Assisting managers with legal matters

Finally, HR consultants can assist their clients with different legal matters, whether it’s about handling a dismissal, disciplinary procedures, or a claim raised by an unhappy employee.

Despite having good intentions, some managers don’t know much about employment laws or human rights and privacy legislation. On the other hand, employees are becoming increasingly aware of their rights and insist on being treated fairly.

This is where an HR consultant can be called upon to educate managers about law and compliance and advise them on improving their practices and relationships with their workforce.

HR consultants can help prevent employee complaints and know how to handle them, making them precious allies for big and small businesses.

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