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The Beginner’s Guide to Becoming an HR Consultant

The Beginner’s Guide to Becoming an HR Consultant
Photo by Aiden Frazier / Unsplash

HR consulting services is a popular business, with 20,700 businesses nationally employing HR consultants in 2010. Those employers collectively spent $3 billion on this service in 2010 – up 17 percent from 2009.

HR consulting services are provided by employment service agencies, by independent consultants such as employment agencies and personnel supply firms, or by a business in-house. The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups these types of services together because they largely entail the same activities. The key distinction is that employment service agencies are usually businesses that offer their own personnel and staffing solutions, while independent consultants provide temporary employees to a company.

Who are HR Consultants?

HR consultants are usually referred to as “people professionals” or “workforce management specialists.” They are experts in human resources and are hired by companies to review, update, and make recommendations about internal policies. Their main responsibility is to increase the productivity of workers by introducing new strategies that improve the workplace culture and contribute to better business results.

What makes a good HR consultant?

A good HR consultant needs to be self-motivated, as well as a team player. They should have excellent communication skills and the ability to work under pressure. One of the most important traits that make a successful HR consultant is the ability to analyze data and problem solve on the fly. It’s also important for HR consultants to understand how their decisions impact other departments in the company, including marketing, sales, and business development.

HR Consultants Role in the Workplace

The primary purpose of an HR consultant is to ensure that companies adhere to federal and state labor and employment laws. This includes businesses with less than 200 employees or who do not employ unionized workers. HR consultants also ensure compliance with government regulations in the areas of employment, wages, occupational safety, workplace health and environmental health. HR consultants examine a company’s need for new employees and make recommendations about filling open jobs, which can range from updating job descriptions to designing a training program. HR consultants also make recommendations about how to organize a company’s workforce in order to make it more efficient. And in some cases, they make recommendations about how to enhance the workplace environment, including writing new policy manuals.

Becoming an HR consultant: Things to consider

Becoming an HR consultant is the first step in a long journey. It takes extensive knowledge of labor laws and policies, excellent communication skills, and an understanding of how to manage human resources. The good news is that it’s possible to start as an entry-level HR consultant with no significant experience. The key is to begin by learning the basics and becoming familiar with the types of jobs you might encounter as a consultant.

How to become an HR consultant

To start a career as an HR consultant, you first need to enroll in trade school or get a degree in Human Resource Management. A two-year associate’s degree is often sufficient, but those students with a four-year bachelor’s degree will have an edge over their peers because the coursework will include more advanced study and application of strategic management. Next, you’ll want to obtain certification from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

There are several ways to go about getting certified. Some HR consultants become members of the SHRM, and others decide to have their credentials assessed by a professional certification body like the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). The SHRM offers a certification called Certified in Human Resources (CHR) which is accepted throughout the US and overseas. This certification prepares you for limited research projects, but it does not provide you with the same depth of managerial skills or industry knowledge that an advanced degree provides.

Once you have your degree and certification, you can start looking for a job as an entry-level HR consultant. Although your resume does not have many years of human resources experience, remember the first rule for HR consultants: Networking is the key to knowing people and getting your foot in the door. You can also consider attending business conferences, which often have HR workshops or seminars that might be of interest.

How much do HR consultants make?

The average salary for an HR consultant is $54,450. The national average is slightly higher at around $58,000, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary is $52,400. In order to earn this amount you’re likely to work as a manager and have at least five years of experience in human resources management. Those with more experience will generally make more money than novices.

What are HR consulting services?

HR consulting services include advising an employer on how to improve employee relations and workforce management. This includes training and evaluating the practices of supervisors and managers on these topics. HR consultants are hired by businesses to conduct interviews, provide recommendations for improvements and make recommendations about how to improve workplace policies and procedures.

Is HR Consulting a Good Career?

HR consulting is an excellent career choice for those who want to work independently and have the ability to multi-task. This career can be volatile and unpredictable in terms of salary, although it is one of the highest paying careers in the business industry. A human resource consultant must be able to work with people from various backgrounds and cultures. Those who are sociable, likable, and understand how to communicate effectively enjoy working as a consultant.

Advice For Aspiring HR Consultants

The first step to becoming a human resource consultant is to start by developing a solid resume that follows all of the common formatting guidelines. Also, make sure that you have a LinkedIn profile and demonstrate an understanding of the career trajectory and skills required for consultants. Finally, it’s important to get involved in your local industry. The best way to do this is by attending HR related conferences or user group meetings where you can network with other consultants and keep up with current trends in HR Consulting.

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