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Hiring an HR Consultant: 5 Things You Need to Consider

Hiring an HR Consultant: 5 Things You Need to Consider
Photo by Campaign Creators / Unsplash

Workforce management has transformed over the last twenty years. With a plethora of information about job hunting required for today's candidates and employers, it is understandable that many HR managers may feel lost when it comes to how to implement this.

While there are typically many areas of skill associated with hiring - such as interview skills - there are also often many areas of expertise in the field. For instance, instituting recruitment strategies or conducting employee awareness sessions are two examples of HR tasks that require specialized knowledge.

This is one of the reasons that hiring an HR consultant is becoming a popular choice. An experienced HR consultant will be fully aware of all relevant job hunting and hiring practices as well as having the knowledge and expertise to successfully implement them across the workforce. With this in mind, it becomes clear that they are a valuable resource - particularly if you are looking to implement new practices or improve existing ones.

However, it's often difficult for employers to assess whether or not they should hire an HR consultant. With a number of different options available, it's difficult to determine who is the best fit for their needs. In order to assess whether an HR consultant is the right fit for you this article will help you examine what criteria the HR consultant must possess if you are to seek their help.

The Duties of an HR Consultant

Before hiring an HR consultant, it is important to understand what they do and what they will do for your business/organization. Here are some of the key roles HR consultants perform:

* Setting up new processes and procedures - This includes tasks such as setting up a training program, strategy or protocol

* Preparing tools and resources - This includes procuring procedures manuals and creating/updating training courses

* Providing on-staff HR support - This includes preparing updates to the training programs in conjunction with your employees

* Conducting employee performance appraisals - This is often carried out by the person in charge of HR, but may also be done by the HR consultant.

* Conducting annual reviews - This is a way of measuring the success of your HR programs and implementing changes to them.

* Providing hiring and employment training - These are normally organized to ensure that the correct skills are being acquired

* Providing ongoing HR support - This means that an HR consultant is in place long after their initial engagement has concluded. For example, they will complete performance reviews or help implement new policies. The relevant tasks may also vary from consultant to consultant depending on their recommendations.

How much does Hiring an HR Consultant Cost?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average hourly rate of an HR consultant is $158. This, however, varies widely depending on their area of expertise. For instance, an experienced recruitment specialist may charge a higher rate than someone who specializes in developing policies that are efficient and beneficial to your organization. SHRM noted that:

"Managers and human resources professionals with salaries at least 25% above their industry's average earned about $12 million more in annual wages. Those with salaries 20-25% above the industry's average earned about $9.7 million more in annual wages, and managers and human resources professionals with salaries below their industry's average earned about $0.5 million less."

In addition, the cost of hiring an HR consultantdepends on a number of factors. These include:

* The time period for which they will be required - This is entirely dependent on how long you feel that your HR strategies are effective and what you anticipate them to achieve within this timeframe.

* The activities that they will be involved in - This will depend on the amount of support that you are willing to afford them.

* Whether they will be required to visit your office or if you will be happy to work with them remotely.

* The location, region and size in which they operate - all of which may affect the cost.

NOTE: In order to analyze the cost of hiring an HR consultant, it's important to assess the relevant areas of their duties. Once you've done so, you'll be able to determine whether they're a good fit for your organization.

Areas of Expertise: What to Look for When Hiring HR Consultants

While hiring an HR consultant is not a decision that can be based solely on one's personal preferences, it is easy to overlook the fact that there are many different options available. To help you assess whether or not you should hire an HR consultant, here are some of the key areas in which they may be qualified to assist you with:

1. Recruitment -Those who work in recruitment will have a large amount of experience with sourcing and recruiting candidates for the specific field associated with your organization. For example, if you are hiring for a biomedical research and development center then you'd want to look for one that specializes in this area.

2. Employee/Staff Relations -Those who work in HR will typically have a strong understanding of the employee relations process, employment law and a jurisdiction's provisions for labor disputes. This means that they are able to assist you with vital HR tasks such as handling general inquiries, disciplining an employee, mediating disputes and more.

3. Managing Expenses -When recruiting an HR consultant for the management of your organization's expenses, it is important to find out whether or not they are experienced in specific expense management programs such as those offered by Ariba. This will ensure that they are fully aware of all relevant details regarding the processes and are able to quickly resolve any issues.

4. Recruiting -An HR consultant who specializes in recruitment is likely to have a large amount of industry experience and a solid understanding of where to source candidates from. They'll also be able to provide candidates with the best possible employment package.

5. Performance Management -When hiring a consultant who specializes in performance management, it's important to ensure that they are experienced in a range of different technologies and tools that are commonly used by HR departments. This will help them to get your staff not just up to speed but also improve their efficiency and productivity significantly. They'll also assist you with creating an employee assessment program and offer additional guidance on how they can improve your current processes and evaluate the effectiveness of these changes.

6. Payroll -If you need assistance with your payroll program, it's best to hire a consultant who is familiar with the various payroll software programs that are currently available. Their experience and knowledge will help them to quickly ascertain the issues involved, in order to ensure your team can continue to be paid on time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.     Why should you hire an HR Consultant?

As HR consultants have proven knowledge and experience in the relevant areas of human resources, they are able to quickly solve common problems, promote compliance with the law and in general help your team overcome any obstacles that may arise. According to HRCI (HR Certification Institute),

"The success of a company depends on its ability to attract, develop and retain employees who are talented in their respective fields."

2.     Does Hiring an HR Consultant Guarantee Success?

According to SHRM, an HR consultant can play a vital role in ensuring that your company successfully manages its human resources. However, this alone is not enough to ensure your success and is simply the foundation that you need in order to get the best possible results. In order for your organization to thrive, additional factors need to be considered.

3.     Why do companies hire HR consultants?

According to SHRM, companies hire HR consultants because they are able to provide the following:

* Expertise in key HR issues

* knowledge of the skills and capabilities of the employees within the organization

* ability to assist with addressing and resolving issues that arise within an organization

4.     How do companies decide on an HR Consultant?

The type of HR consultant that you choose will depend largely on your decision-making process. There are a number of different factors that you'll need to consider, including:

* How will they be managing my team?

* What experience do they have in the field?

* Which consultant offers the best value for money?

* What are their credentials so that I can verify their skills and expertise?

5.     Are Human Resources Consultants Necessary?

Organizations can more than likely succeed without hiring an HR consultant. However, this will depend on the type of company you are and how prepared it is for the challenges that it may be presented with. For example, if you are working in the healthcare industry and you don't know how to handle multiple insurance providers, an experienced HR consultant can help you to overcome these obstacles.

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