What Does An HR Consultant Do? - The Full Guide


HR consultancy includes a number of roles and responsibilities including consulting, education, training, and human resource solutions for corporate and small business clients. A HR consultant is often seen as a jack of all trades as they have a plethora of tasks that fall under their job role too, anything from business research, analysis, planning, to management counselling is all in a day’s work. Lastly, the main aim of a HR consultant is to advise clients on building a healthy and well-suited business and human resource policies.

HR consultants need to be reliable and goal oriented, with plenty of experience in planning and implementing solutions! 

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Table Of Contents
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What Is the Role Of An HR Consultant?

Often, if a business isn’t happy with its own current human capital management, the decision will be made to bring in or hire a HR consultant to improve its employment efficiency. A HR consultant will do this by coming up with company specific plans and models to showcase where the changes can be made. So, it is up to this individual to determine where the company’s weaknesses lie in its firm capital and to develop solutions to those problems. 

Companies are always trying to find new solutions to make their human resources more efficient and effective. But many of these companies will have budget restrictions and cannot afford to hire HR professionals full time, hence the need for a HR consultant. These companies partner with HR consultants in order to receive experienced advice on how to improve without spending beyond their budget. As a result, the HR consultant role is highly in-demand, and it is a good idea to be familiar with all of the key responsibilities if HR consultancy is something that you are interested in.

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Contracts and Obligations Of An HR Consultant

If you are an HR consultant, you would be hired externally on a contractual basis. This is different to an HR director or manager, who works for the company and therefore will usually be hired internally. Being hired on a contractual basis has its benefits as well as drawbacks, for instance; by not being tied to one company alone you are able to progress on to more job opportunities and clients. Of course, this does mean that an HR consultant is always having to hunt for job opportunities and the work may not be as steady. 

Additionally, HR consultants get many more opportunities to work with enterprises across a whole plethora of industries and fields, which is an opportunity that other HR professionals, such as HR managers may not get. While this comes with its fair share of demands and challenges, this can lead to a more diverse professional experience. Having this additional experience helps HR consultants bag better compensation and ultimately, have a more successful career.

One of the main motivations for businesses to hire an HR consultant is the sheer financial efficiency of the arrangement. A company can spend much less resources hiring an HR consultant than offering full-time employment to an HR specialist or manager. This means, the consultant has less commitments with the company and can simultaneously counsel other businesses too.

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Responsibility as An HR Consultant

HR consultants must be problem solvers with the ability to plan and foresee any issues and advise on company weaknesses. This is why companies expect a consultant to advise them on many things, including management, hiring procedures, and other issues related to human resources that need dealing with in the short term. 

But unlike an HR specialist, who will often be expected to just focus on just hiring resources or developing further administrative roles, an HR consultant will need the ability to switch and provide solutions within different HR sub-departments. Employers will frequently expect the HR consultant to understand and implement solutions for almost anything, ranging from providing employee training and support to planning a new or more efficient payroll scheme.

Companies will also seek out HR consultants to help them with more long-term business needs. This is a requirement that involves designing complex programs or collating data to investigate a specific problem within the company.

Some of the main responsibilities that an HR consultant will have are as follows;

  • Creating new employment programs to help the HR team execute various job roles and plans.

  • Conducting research and survey plans to help target underlying issues within the business.

  • Providing advice on how to manage employees and further management.

  • Assessing the businesses compliance with the various laws and regulations set by the region or state.

  • Establishing a program to ensure compliance with efficient human resource practices.

  • Giving advice on proper human resource technology, depending on the specific needs of the company.

  • Being able to locate trends in the company's failures and come up with solutions to rectify these issues.

While all HR consultants must of course follow general consulting practices, often expert consultants will automatically adjust their skills related to their company’s specific needs. Let’s take, for example, a resource hiring program that should be different for medical institutions and small IT businesses. Any new IT startup company might be open to hiring much less experienced individuals but will really need an HR manager who can be highly proactive and can help to adjust to the dynamic workflow. But certain companies, for example a medical institution will employ someone with a medical degree who can perform specific human resource tasks long-term without compromising the effectiveness of the team overall.

SO, a HR consultant's role is to support clients with tailor-made solutions and implement plans on how those solutions will take effect. The HR consultants' responsibilities will usually come to an end when their solutions help achieve a specific goal. However, it is in the HR consultant's best interest to provide top-quality service,programs and solutions that will deliver excellent value to the company.

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Final Thoughts

Companies want to hire an external HR consultant to benefit from their experienced point-of-view and human resource abilities, while not having to pay for a full time, salaried employee. It is hardly surprising that most clients of HR consultants are either startups that want to build a quality human resource department or older, fixed companies looking for a fresh new approach to HR because they’re current approach just isn’t cutting it. An experienced and valuable HR consultant will help to achieve very diverse aims more effectively, and if a good precedent is set and a relationship forms, many business clients will become their long-term partners, confiding and hiring them again and again if a new project or a fresh start is needed.

The total responsibilities for the HR consultant role will look very different within different companies and industries. While you can specialise in HR, in most cases, consultants within a particular sector will gain a varied experience working in multiple industries. Despite some drawbacks, the role of an HR consultant is a beneficial and a crucial one. Be mindful that if you are looking to work in HR you need to achieve significant technical expertise and extensive professional background to become a skilled HR consultant.

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What Does An HR Consultant Do? - The Full Guide
James Wilson

After graduating from McCombs School of Business in Texas, James joined ThePayStubs as a CPA to make sure the numbers we provide our clients are correct. Read More

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