The time will come when you ask yourself; “Do I need to hire an HR consultant?”
Picking an HR Consultant can be a daunting task. The best way to find an HR Consultant is from a referral, ideally a contact who’s worked with a consultant and knows their work. There are many consultants who although they have been effective in HR positions or practicing law, they don’t understand business or the industry aspects of the companies they are trying to help. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been asked to come in and clean up problems for trainers and consultants who were in over their proverbial heads in industries they knew absolutely nothing about.
Ask yourself where you want to end up, what is your goal? What are you looking for? HR management, especially hiring employees is a top challenge for organizations, and many choose to delegate that work to HR consulting firms. Recruiting is time consuming, it doesn’t take many poor hires to pay someone who specializes in recruiting and hires effective team members.
In this article, we’ll talk about the responsibilities of an HR consultant and what you should really be looking for while considering one.
Read More: Working With HR Consultants
The duties of an HR consultant
Here are some of the main duties of an HR consultant:
- Training and development
- Create and develop HR policies and procedures
- Source and recruit employees
- Complete Human Resource audits
- Counsel or terminate employees
- Coach ownership, and management teams, on compliance
What are things to consider when hiring an HR consultant?
If you are hiring someone who works for a large HR consulting firm, you are normally assured to get an educated professional that has credentials and they are normally experienced, but here are some factors to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.
Don’t hire someone stuck in the past
HR consultants all have previous experiences, but your consultant should not be stuck in the past. What worked in the 1990’s probably isn’t what you want today. Your consultant should be well-acquainted with the latest trends, technology, and an understanding of trends in the field and industry. If your consultant doesn’t seem to be up-to-date with trends and laws be certain what they bring to the table is what you need and is still relevant.
Look at the industry or industries that your consultants have worked in. Hiring a consultant that has only worked with bankers might work for you if you are in you are in an industry that mirrors their experience, but trying to bring a consultant into a Manufacturing or Construction environment with no industry experience is setting yourself up for failure. In early 2020 DHRS completed a successful training program in one of the largest construction companies in the state of Ohio and have worked with many other Manufacturing firms of every size and scale.
Interview the Consultant and talk about their previous work
Consider what type of projects the HR consultant has completed with previous clients, and talk about results. The consultants normally won’t hesitate to give references and you should do your due diligence and make some calls. Many times you’ll know quickly whether or not you are going to click with a particular consultant. This isn’t a marriage, start small and see how things work out before jumping all the way in.
Read More: What Does an HR Consultant Do?
Areas of expertise
Each consultant has areas of expertise, however no HR consultant is an expert in all aspects of HR. Figure out what your company’s needs are and find a consultant whose experience best meets them.
How committed is the Consultant?
Successful consultants are always in demand. Most successful consultants are working with various clients at the same time. Set your expectations with the HR consultant to ensure the consultant is committed to your organization and has time to be effective and take on your organization’s project(s) seriously. They may know their business, but you want the consultant to also take the time to learn about yours.
Skills to look for in your HR consultant:
- Motivation and Positive Energy: You want a consultant who will motivate every member of your organization, one who knows how to shift gears if others bring in negativity. Understanding that positive attitudes and energy are contagious is important.
- Presentation Skills: Anyone can present information, but everyone doesn’t present it the same. Often presentations need to be prepared differently to suit the audience, whether that be entry level employees, team leads, supervisors or upper management. Can your consultant adapt and communicate effectively to various levels in your organization?
- Time Management Skills: HR consultants have to handle various HR tasks. Is your consultant timely and efficient? Can your consultant hold the attention of the respective audience?
- Human Resources Knowledge: You are hiring a consultant to either help do things you don’t have time to do, or to bring skills and knowledge to the table that you don’t possess. Find someone who brings that knowledge as well as an understanding of your industry.
Picking a consultant can be one of the best decisions you make as a business owner, an HR professional, or a manager. Regardless the size of your organization your company will benefit from training your employees, as well as having an experienced set of eyes looking out for you on everything from compliance to policies to hiring or promoting decisions. A Human Resources Audit can be the best place to start. Human Resources Consultants are not all created equal and the customer/client relationship can be stopped at any time. Find a consultant that makes sense for you.
I appreciate you reading my article, and better yet checking out DHRS.
Stay strong, stay positive, and watch where you step in the field!
Derek Dozer, SPHR-SCP, SHRM
Chief Human Resources Strategist, Dozer HR Solutions
We all want to get to do what we love and to love what we do. I’m doing it. Dozer Human Resource Solutions is our Training and HR Consulting business. We live in Central Ohio and serve the Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Wheeling, Charleston WV, Indianapolis, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Lexington KY, Dayton, Newark, Cambridge, Zanesville, Marietta, New Philadelphia, Canton, Akron, Toledo, Parkersburg, and surrounding areas.
The author Derek is a certified senior HR professional who has worked in HR over 25 years. He has extensive experience in the automotive, industrial, foundry, metals, food service, and government sectors. He’s been involved in heavy negotiations with America’s largest unions, including USW and UAW negotiations in periods of economic difficulty.
- Labor relations
- Conflict resolution and mediation
- Talent management
- Organizational development (OD)
Derek is a certified trainer for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®), and Development Dimensions International (DDI.)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA), Business Administration and Management, Franklin University, 1997
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in Human Resources and Business Management, Urbana University, 1993