What Does an HR Consultant Do?

HR consultants offer a wide range of services, including professional consulting, education, training, and human resource solutions for corporate and small business clients. The role involves diverse tasks like business research, analysis, planning, and management counseling. The main aim of HR consultants is to advise clients on building more robust and well-suited business and human resource policies.

If a company isn’t satisfied with its current human capital management, it hires an HR consultant to create improved employee efficiency plans. An HR consultant does this by creating company-specific plans and models. Therefore, it’s up to the human resources consultant to explore and pinpoint weaknesses a firm might have in its human capital. Afterward, they develop and offer solutions that benefit the client.

Companies are constantly trying to implement more efficient and effective human resource management. However, many enterprises have budget constraints and cannot hire HR executives full-time. Hence, they partner with HR consultants and receive experienced counseling without spending beyond their limit. As a result, the HR consultant role is highly in-demand, and you should know about their responsibilities to become a skilled HR consultant yourself.

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This article will further explain the general duties of a human resource consultant, how the role looks across different organizations, and their average compensation.

The Human Resource Consultant Role

Unlike an HR director or an HR manager, who get hired internally, an HR consultant often gets hired externally on a contractual basis. Such an aspect has both benefits and detriments. Since an HR consultant acts as an external agent, they are open to more job opportunities and clients. But that also means that, unlike other HR professionals, an HR consultant has to constantly hunt for job opportunities to advance their skills and career path.

Additionally, HR consultants get more opportunities to work with enterprises across different industries and fields than other HR professionals, such as HR specialists. While this comes with its fair share of challenges, this leads to a more diverse professional experience. Such experience helps HR consultants bag better compensation and a more successful career.

Essential HR consultant skillsA primary incentive for businesses to hire an HR consultant is the financial effectiveness of the arrangement. An organization spends fewer resources hiring an HR consultant than offering full-time employment to an HR specialist or manager. As a result, the consultant has fewer commitments with the company and simultaneously counsels other companies as well.

If you wish to learn more about HR consultant opportunities and how you can train to become a talented consultant yourself, check out our courses at HR University.

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Human Resources Consultant Responsibilities

HR consultants are talented problem solvers. Hence, companies expect a consultant to advise them on management, hiring procedures, and other issues related to human resources that need dealing short term. Nevertheless, they also counsel enterprises on building effective long-term human resource capabilities.

Fundamental HR consultant dutiesUnlike an HR specialist, who often focuses on just hiring resources or administrative roles, an HR consultant possesses the ability to switch and implement solutions within different HR sub-departments. Therefore, employers expect the HR consultant to develop solutions for anything, ranging from providing employee training and support to creating an efficient payroll system.

Businesses also seek HR consultants to help them with more long-term business goals. This requirement involves designing extensive programs or collecting data to investigate a specific issue.

Some of the most common consultant responsibilities and duties are:

  • Create an employment program and help the HR team execute new job plans.
  • Create and conduct research and survey plans to pinpoint underlying issues.
  • Provide advice on managing employees and general management.
  • Assess the company’s compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Establish a program for compliance with efficient human resources practices.
  • Advice on proper human resources technology depending on the business niche.

Although all HR consultants follow general consulting practices, expert consultants will constantly adjust their skills related to their niche. For example, a resource hiring program should be different for medical institutions and small IT businesses. An emerging IT startup might be open to hiring less-experienced individuals but need somebody who’s highly proactive and can adjust to the dynamic workflow. On the other hand, a medical institution will employ someone with a medical degree who can perform specific human resource tasks long-term without compromising the effectiveness.

Therefore, the HR consultant’s job is to support clients with tailor-made solutions. HR consultants’ responsibilities conventionally end when their solutions help achieve a goal. However, it’s in the consultant’s best interest to provide top-quality programs and solutions that deliver sustained value to the employer.


Companies hire an external HR consultant to benefit from their experienced point-of-view and human resource abilities. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that most clients of HR consultants are either startups that want to build a quality human resource department or companies looking for a fresh approach to HR. A masterful HR consultant can help achieve such diverse aims more efficiently, and many business clients end up becoming their long-term partners.

The responsibilities of the HR consultant role look different across companies and industries. You can specialize in HR use cases within a particular sector or gain varied experience working in multiple industries. Regardless, it is a crucial role, and you need to achieve significant technical expertise and extensive professional background to become a skilled HR consultant.

If you are new to human resources and are looking to break into an HR Consultant role, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft a great HR resume, and earn significant experience to achieve an impressive HR Consultant role.