Most companies would rather focus on their core business instead of the necessary but supplementary human resource function. This is time-consuming, costly, and can create additional stress for managers and CEOs. Fortunately, HR can be outsourced and managed in part, or entirely, by an external HR consultancy. Doing so can reduce overheads by eliminating an entire department or those aspects for which a company needs assistance. So, what does the role of human resources consultant entail?
Becoming a Human Resources Consultant
Human resource consulting is usually an outsourced function. For an example of what is HR outsourcing, visit G&A Partners. An undergraduate education is the lowest qualification needed to become a human resources consultant. This can be accomplished online. Companies will want to hire someone with the right background and training. Some of the degrees that are suitable are Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Business/Human Resources Management, Bachelor of Science in Business Education/Training & Development, Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management & Development, and Bachelor of Arts in Labor & Employment Relations. One of these qualifications can be followed by a Masters’ degree. Having a postgraduate degree will set the consultant apart from other consultancies.
Human resources certification provides an extra edge to the practicing consultant as it demonstrates to potential employers that the practitioner has stayed abreast of new developments in the field. Laws change and new practices and software are continuously being developed. Studies have shown that certification can make an important difference to the career path and income of an HR consultant.
Additionally, experience must be gained, preferably working for a business in their HR department. A minimum of three years is usually required for the consultant to understand the work and the role that they play in an organization. This is also useful for grasping the strategic role of the HR consultant. Internships offer an alternative means to acquire experience.
Many human resources consultants have started their journey by taking on an entry-level job, such as payroll administrator, and working their way up in the company. Whichever approach is taken, experience is a must for the person who wants to establish their own human resources consultancy.
Talent Acquisition and Staff Development
What does the actual work entail? One of the core functions of the HR consultant is talent acquisition. This involves recruitment and onboarding, learning and development, performance management, compensation management, and succession planning. One of the key skills that will be required to perform these tasks is marketing, which covers talent acquisition, employer branding, and diversity.
An essential aspect of marketing is to present the client’s company in a good light when practicing recruitment. This is important for talent acquisition so that the right people are attracted to the firm and starts with branding. Potential employees seek out companies with matching values and a good reputation. Almost two-thirds of prospective employees make their decision about a company during the search phase before they ever contact a recruiter. It means showing future staff the benefits of working for that company. Online marketing has enjoyed much success in this regard. Studies have shown that many potential employees will only work for a company that has a similar value set. For example, millennials are concerned with environmental issues and expect their employer to care about the environment too. The onboarding process plays an important role too. It informs the new employee about the company and work benefits and assists with staff retention.
Retaining intellectual capacity and key skills is an extension of attracting employees in the first place. Here, a functional performance management system is a must as it tells employees what their deliverables and standards are and grants them the opportunity to excel.
Job satisfaction is key to staff retention. When other options present, experienced staff may leave the company for more pay and benefits unless they see an opportunity for growth and promotion in their current employment. The main reasons staff leave a company are lack of opportunities to advance their careers, inadequate recognition, an absence of professional development, and boredom.
Succession planning follows on from performance management. This strategy ensures that people in the company are being prepared to fill key positions when the incumbents are promoted, retire, or leave the company. This goes hand-in-hand with a solid retention strategy and staff development. It tells staff that they have a future within their organization.
Important Issues for Human Resource Consultants
The HR consultant has a strategic role to play for their employers; it is more than just carrying out the necessary tasks that have been agreed upon. Modern employers expect an integrated service that ties in with the rest of their business.
Another requirement is the ability to manage HR functions by making use of suitable software. This will also help with integration. As businesses have evolved, technology has continued to exert a greater effect on them, and this is no less true in the HR consultancy field. Software will be needed for the recruitment process, payroll administration, and the procurement and management of staff benefits. When gaps in performance, skills, or knowledge are identified, e-learning can provide tools for supervisors and their staff members.
Keeping up with changes in legislation will be needed to guide the company correctly and ensure adherence to laws. This includes a robust health and safety system.
Finally, the HR consultant has the opportunity to work as a specialist or to offer a set of generalized services, depending on their skill set. A generalist will be able to take on the full HR function, while a specialized consultant will market their services based on their talents and experience and fill a niche.
Setting up a business as a human resources consultant is both rewarding and challenging. It requires an entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to work independently at a high level. The human resources consultant will play a definitive role in the performance of the companies they work for.