Human resources (HR) management is one of the most important aspects of running a business. While many companies have a dedicated HR department, there are those who choose to outsource their recruitment, hiring, training, and employment moderation needs.
If you’re a human resource professional and you’re looking for ways on becoming a successful consultant then this blog is for you! Today, we’ll be exploring the things you need to pursue this career path.
Let’s get started!
An HR consultant is an independent professional who helps companies recruit, choose, and hire people according to the latter’s needs and goals. They also help in evaluating employees and bridging workers and employers in matters pertaining to compensation, benefits, and company policies.
The responsibilities of an HR consultant can be grouped into three categories: HR management, project management, and business process design.
HR consultants are expected to have extensive knowledge on labor laws, compensation structures, employee benefits, recruitment processes, hiring, and retention procedures.
Apart from having an aptitude for this technical knowledge, HR consultants should also be excellent communicators and they should know how to amicably work with people within an organization. They should also have excellent people skills to effectively mediate issues, resolve conflicts, and convey company policies.
Typically, consultants can earn more than in-house HR professionals because of their work flexibility, level of expertise, and the fresh point-of-view they can bring to the table.
The salary of HR consultants can vary depending on the industry they are in.
In general, however, HR consultants can earn $65,000 annually in the US. Entry-level salaries can range from $40,000 to $45,000 per year. Meanwhile, experienced HR consultants can earn up to $75,000 annually.
Becoming a consultant can be a lucrative move for HR professionals. However, you need to have the right set of skills, experience, and business acumen in order to succeed in this career path. Here are some useful tips you can follow to become a successful HR consultant:
Generally, companies hire external consultants to bridge any expertise gaps that they have internally. So it goes without saying that you need a considerable chunk of expert knowledge under your belt for businesses to even consider hiring you.
Clients often look for HR consultants with several years of experience in the field on top of a master’s degree or equivalent certification. Human resource management is a very experienced-centered profession.
Successful consultants worth their salt are those who combine what they’ve learned from the academe and while practicing their profession in coming up with solutions to HR issues within a company. This allows them to make quick, often high-level decisions that can turn a company around for the better.
There are three approaches you can take when pursuing a career in HR consultancy. You can offer generally HR services, focus on your stronger points as a specialist, or offer a combination of both depending on the client’s needs.
Generalist HR services can help bring in more clients quickly. The caveat is that given its nature, you won’t earn as much compared to if you’ll be offering specialized services. This is, however, a great option if you’re taking HR consultancy as a side hustle, if you’re still testing the waters, or if you’re just starting out.
Specialist services, on the other hand, lets you focus on areas that you have in-depth knowledge of. Your experiences and expertise are at the forefront in this approach which means you can charge a premium for your services. This is excellent if you want to capture a niche in the HR sphere and be the go-to for companies whose needs can be solved by your services. However, this might not be what the market always needs so you need to really build your brand and establish your presence so that potential clients can seek you out.
The third approach is offering a little bit of both types of services. This blended approach lets you capture a wider section of the market. You can cater to companies who are looking for general HR support while also targeting companies whose needs align with the niche you’ve carved out for yourself as a specialist. With this approach, you can develop tiers or service packages that clients can choose from based on their needs or even their budget.
Becoming an HR consultant effectively means you’re building your own business. In this regard, you will need to have a solid business plan to guide your decisions from this point forward.
So before going out there and announcing to the world that you’re offering HR services, take the time to figure out the following:
As an HR consultant, one of your most valuable assets is your network. If you want a constant stream of clients knocking on your door, you need to build an extensive network.
You can do this by developing business relationships with other HR consultants and adjacent service providers in your locality. By joining your local community of HR professionals, you can exchange leads and even work together on projects.
Don’t forget the power of online spaces like LinkedIn. This is a great platform to reach clients who may not be in your immediate area. It’s also a great way to communicate and build relationships with HR professionals from all over the globe.
There’s also value in joining events like job fairs and symposia. Not only can you meet potential clients and business partners in events like these but you can also brush up on your pitching skills.
Finally, don’t hesitate to remind your existing clients to their network. Word-of-mouth and personal recommendations from people and companies you’ve previously worked with is an excellent way to get leads.
In today’s digital era, having an online presence is a must for building your brand as an HR consultant. Being in social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook allows potential clients to know you exist. You can use these online spaces to establish your credibility as an HR practitioner by joining in on conversations or starting up conversations on your own social pages.
Another way to build an online presence is by having your own website. Think of it as a prime piece of online real estate dedicated to your brand and services. You can use your website as a way to highlight your expertise and services and to give your potential clients a simple way to get in touch with you.
Furthermore, you can also use your website as a place to share valuable information about human resource practices. If you have a penchant for creating content, you can write blogs, develop infographics, or produce videos that people may find valuable.
To have a steady stream of clients as an HR consultant, you need to know where people who need your services hang out. While social media and even your website is a great way to attract potential clients, nothing quite compares to being in a space where people are actively looking for the services you already offer.
This is where freelancer marketplaces like FreeUp shine the best. These online platforms help make the hunt for clients much easier and more streamlined.
Here, businesses can put up freelancer requests with the specific tasks they need and their budget. As a service provider, you can sort through these requests and if something catches your eye, you can easily apply for it.
It’s a simplified approach to landing clients that lets you focus on what you do best instead of burning time chasing after work opportunities.
HR consultancy is an exciting career path to take. With the right skills, education, and experience, you can have professional independence and the chance to earn more than in-house HR professionals.
Are you ready to start your journey as an HR consultant? The FreeUp marketplace can help you out! Simply sign up as a freelancer to get notified when project leads come up.
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