Why Would You Need a Human Resources Consultant?

HR Consulting

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Times are a changing, aren’t they? In just a few short months the workforce has changed tremendously. Well, it feels like a lifetime ago these changes were made. Here are some of the things that have transpired. The unemployment rate increased to unbelievable levels; working from home has become somewhat standard; and businesses have learned to operate differently across all industries. Through it all, one thing has remained the same, the need for Human Resources. Why would you need a human resources consultant? An HR consultant can partner with your business to help in various ways. If you are behind on projects or the tactical day-to-day work is overwhelmingly taking over your current HR department, a consultant can help. To put it bluntly, a human resources consultant will have no distractions and partner with your business exclusively to get the job done quickly.

Human Resources Consultants

Human Resources Professional Consultant

Human Resources Consultants can add significant value to your business. You may have an HR department of one that needs help organizing and/or working on out-of-scope projects. Maybe your organization is embarking on a new merger and acquisition project or implementing a new software. If the answer is yes, HR consultants have experience doing all of these things. They can help you navigate the process from a business perspective and training/implementation follow. A human resources consultant has your businesses best interests in mind and has the previous experiences to help make it done right!

A couple of years ago, I left the corporate world to work as a human resources consultant and spend more time on this site. I wrote about my journey to this decision in an article called HR Pro-To-Go, For Now. It is an interesting read! This is my definition of consulting, which may be a little different than others. You be the judge!

Human Resources Projects

Human Resources Consultant Projects
Photo by Tranmautritam

Has your organization ever started a project only to never finish it? In my experience many times. When was the last time you finished a project you didn’t really fully grasp, implement, and/or use all of the features and benefits? In my experience, all too often. Hiring an HR consultant can help tremendously. Prior experience helps to make sure you fully integrate and have the best success. This is a true value-add that extends beyond the project. Here are some examples of projects and/or situations where an HR Consultant can add tons of value.

INTERIM HR Generalist/Manager/Director/etc.

My human resources consultant journey started here. With the HR Manager leaving the company, they needed someone with experience to jump right in and pick up where they left off with minimal training. Unsure what they wanted to do with the HR position moving forward, I stayed in that role for about 4 months. When the HR Director was hired, I trained her for about 1 month. Then, went on to do several other projects.

Mergers and Acquisition (M&A)

At the beginning of every M&A journey, human resources can help with various information gathering tasks. These range from people analytics and comparison analysis of job titles, salaries, and benefit costs to employee policy and handbook review and comparison. In addition, this work can be tedious and time consuming. Sometimes it is difficult for the HR department to do all of this and their positions. Other times companies start this process anonymously as to not draw attention to something that may not happen and distract the everyday on-goings. This is a perfect opportunity for an HR Consultant to come in and get the job done. In my experience, working within organizations as an employee and a consultant has helped in this journey and I enjoy the consulting bit!

Software Integrations

An HR Consultant can help companies with new HRIS/HCM systems especially if they have gone through a recent merger. Transitioning from current to new software can be difficult. An HR Consultant can help to make this process smoother. Most experienced HR Professionals have been through this process more than once. They can help the HR team ask the right questions, build the right systems prior to signing the final documents, and/or help in the transition and training of new software.


Human Resources Consultant: Audits and Checklists
Photo by TeroVesalainen

There are a plethora of audits that can be done to help insure compliance with the various regulations and laws that govern hiring, employment law, benefits, etc. A human resources consultant can help companies by doing internal audits and facilitate training. We can also develop processes to be prepared in the event a company is audited by an external agency. Here are some examples of the most common HR audits:

  • A Compliance audit reviews federal and state regulations. These impact record keeping, reporting and HR program administration.
  • A Benefits program audit reviews plan design, regulatory compliance, benefits processing/administration and reporting.
  • An I-9 audit reviews active and terminated I-9 forms. Many companies now use e-Verify. This helps in the process but there are still additional record keeping measures that take place offline.
  • An HR program or function audit may cover a review of any individual HR-related functional areas (listed below).
  • A full HR audit covers a review and evaluation of everything above as well as all other HR functional areas. These include staffing/recruitment, job analysis/descriptions, compensation/benefits programs, performance management, training/development, employee relations/policies, and HR metrics.

Right-Sizing & Reorganizations

Fortunately and unfortunately, I have been a part of all of these. A reorganization is generally imminent when a company goes through a merger or acquisition. Often times, it happens several times throughout the first couple of years. These situations scream for an experienced HR consultant. Their experience will make sure all of the ‘i’s are dotted, ‘t’s crossed and can train others! The way this process is communicated along with severance deliverables can be difficult for many. There are experts who handle this very well. Why? Experience whether personally or as part of their HR role. Unfortunately, I have been through it both ways more than once. Read about my take on being severed and how it should be viewed as an opportunity. It is all about the conversation and the way it is handled.

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So, why would you need a human resources consultant? I’ve outlined many reasons! In addition, I’ve created some space in my consulting schedule to help others both virtually and/or on-site. I’m available for resume review and redo, advice on how to move forward with a particular project, employee relations situation or audit. With 16+ years of experience, I am happy to share tips, tricks, and advice on anything HR-related. I have experience in all of the consulting options listed above plus a few more. Here is the recap below:

  • INTERIM HR Generalist/Manager/Director/etc.
  • Mergers and Acquisition (M&A)
  • Software Integrations
  • Audits
  • Right-Sizing & Reorganizations
  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Resume Review
  • Employee Relations and Investigations

Will business concepts ever go back to pre-pandemic levels? Only time will tell. If you are in need of a human resources consultant, please don’t hesitate to reach out: judean@hrwhat.com.

all the best……judean

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  1. It’s great that you described how HR consultants improve and train a company. I heard my cousin’s HR area has unsolved issues that are leading to employee rotation. He wants to tackle them because he’s spending a lot on recruitment, so I’ll suggest he finds an HR consultant this month.

  2. I like how you said that they can help with audits. My brother was wondering if he should hire an HR consultant. I’ll make sure to pass this information along to him so that he can know the benefits.

  3. I was an HR consultant many moons ago when a foreign company needed someone to handle on boarding benefits for the US staff. So many projects that HR consultants are needed for nowadays.

  4. I used to think all HR did was do interviews but it’s actually amazing everything they do! I would like to start my own business one day and have always thought about taking an HR class or at least additional management classes. I have a business degree but I’ve never been great at managing or delegating to people. So I figured it would be necessary to have HR in place especially for the training aspect, setting rules/expectations in place to new hires, etc. Hiring an HR consultant would be great for a small business that I have in mind to start!

    1. For sure because they can suggest things that may not be on the minds of a small business owner. Even the littlest task is important in HR!

  5. I recently spoke to a small business owner who was having trouble getting his employees to comply with new policies. He said he hired a woman full time as an office manager thinking that it would help. It didn’t. I advised him that what he really needed was an HR Consultant. He took my advice, and 3 months later, things are going much better for him and his business! Worth every penny!

  6. Definitely a necessity for any workplace! I am an Admin Coordinator and could never ever navigate the HR world on my own! We do need professionals!

  7. The last company I worked for could have desperately used your expertise. It’s unfortunate how many small business owners don’t recognize the need.

    1. I think its a little scary because of the cost. However, the benefits far outweigh the costs in my opinion. You can hire on a FT HR person with benefit or hire a consultant which can focus completely on the project, get it done quicker without distractions, train and work with the HR person onsite and done. The benefits outweigh the costs for sure.

    1. Don’t underestimate the challenges – they are ongoing and it is difficult to actually win work that would be full-time. It is a struggle at times but once you get going, it works!

  8. Great suggestions! I remember for my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees I had to take an HR class in each one and there are so many things that go into it that people don’t realize.

  9. HR consulting is such a great option for those small and start-up companies that don’t have the budget for a full time HR professional but need some support. It’s nice to have a resource to point them to.

    1. Agree! And virtual can be just as successful as onsite! I have been off and on virtual/working from home since 2008. My experience is that I work longer hours at home and get more done because there are no distractions!

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