Human resource consulting involves a firm contracting an individual or a specialized HR consulting firm to help solve or give insight on certain worker management issue. Generally, HR consultants are tasked with ensuring that the labor resource at the disposal of a company is serving the company’s best interests. HR consultants strive to achieve a situation where the company’s personnel work to realize stated goals by constructing a HR model that mirrors the firm they work for. They are also tasked with ensuring a high working standard and efficiency from the workforce.

New companies have been known to use the services of human resources consultants to aid in establishing various policies and procedures as well advice on legal matters pertaining employee hiring. Although very rare, some firms also use these consultants to overhaul a whole workforce.

Types of HR consultants

Human resource consultants can be categorized into two wide classes. These are:

  1. Process or people consultants – these try to solve problems for the company using ways that enable their employers to apply the solutions themselves.
  2. Expert resource consultants /– these use their expertise and experience to find and suggest solutions and help in implementing the same.

Specialization in Human Resource Consulting

It is common for HR consultants to specialize in a single field. Although the smaller companies may be better served by a jack of all trades, the more established firms prefer a firm with a specialized area. Some of the prime areas of specialization include:

  1. Employee benefits – these specialize in creating or assessing and improving a company’s employee benefits program. They ensure that the plans in place are cost effective for the company and compare how competitive they are.
  2. Employee engagement – these consultants are involved with employee performance and engagement levels. This is a broad category and some firms seek to specialize in sub-categories under this category such as leadership transformation, performance management and structure design.
  3. Mergers and acquisitions – these help firms during the transitioning period following takeovers and acquisitions. They help reconcile the different values and cultures of the companies involved.
  4. Compensation – under this specialization, firms draw and look after compensation programs for employees. These will relate to stock plans and wages as well as bonuses. They also venture into creating salary structures and evaluating employee positions.
  5. Actuarial and retirement – firms under this specialization provide ways of managing cost and increasing the effectiveness of retirement schemes.