Being an HR Consultant

May 21, 2020


Over the years HR has tremendously evolved from being a record-keeping department to more strategic in driving employee engagement, company culture, and major changes. From a mere corner in the organization HR has moved to the Boardroom making it to be a valuable member of the executive team. Automation has been a boon in evolution by completing all mundane tasks more efficiently without any human intervention allowing the human effort to be saved. However there are many strategic HRM areas where automation has no role to play enabling the HR involvement into decision making roles impacting the organization and its functioning. This demands HR to come up with new skill sets adding value to the highest levels of the organization. It is so imperative for HR to equip themselves with Business acumen, Financial Intelligence, Analytics, Change Management, and a hybrid Leadership role. This will transform HR into more specialist HR professionals catering to the business needs of future organizations. To behave and act as a trusted advisor to business, HR should portray them as more specialized HR Consultants helping to build the future HR organization


An HR Consultant is a Management Professional who specializes in addressing human resource management tasks and decisions. They work with the motive of enhancing the efficiency of HR operations by devising and implementing appropriate policies and procedures highly compatible with the organization. Viewing the organization through Eagle’s Eye approach they can work to completely overhaul the organization’s human capital ensuring it serves the best interest of the company. An HR Consultant also performs the role of Organizational Development and Change Consulting thereby establishing a tested control system compliant with business processes and HR strategy


To be able to succeed in an HR consulting role, individuals must be armed with a solid HR education (A Bachelor or Master’s degree in Human Resource field) and plenty of experience. To deliver a successful holistic HR model an HR Consultant should have a clear understanding of all organizational functions and its alignment with HRM to easily identify related issues and inefficiencies and offer advice to remedy them. Apart from education and experience, one should have

  • Organizational and People Skills
  • Active Listening and Speaking
  • Critical Thinking
  • Negotiation
  • System Analysis & Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Service Orientation Approach

As a Senior Certified HR Professional from The Society of Human Resource Management I endorse the SHRM’s HR Competency Model because it portrays a comprehensive approach of both behavioral and technical competencies required for HR professionals


An HR Consultant addresses the actual HR issues with strategic thinking by analyzing a company’s current HR programs and recommending solutions. HR Consultant leads many diverse HR projects and provides effective human capital advice. They help the companies optimize almost every HR process as well as implement strategic HR plans and technology. According to the SHRM an HR consultant will “Perform advanced, specialized and administrative duties in a designated human resource program or section area” and is responsible for providing high-level support in the administration of a human resources program.” Human resource consultants thus shoulder the responsibility of creating and developing a robust HR Model, advise on its implementation and act as a custodian to it. From addressing questions on policy to conducting training sessions on complex HR procedures, HR consultants are largely responsible for setting up a highly compliant HR system concerning business requirements


Automation is one of the important forces which is transforming the nature of work in current organizations. Companies are now looking for new workforce strategies to maintain productivity with reduced costs. I was talking to an HR Lead of an organization a few days back, She shared her organization strategy of reducing the Recruiter job and hiring of Freelance HR Recruiter on lower cost as compared to existing staff. Often such decisions are painful and disruptive but this could be beneficial for the organization as it increases the cost and time efficiencies of the organization. Additionally it also helps the company to hire on-demand expertise even if they don’t have the budget to hire them full time, access global talent, and get the work delivered round the clock. This has given rise to a new business model called the Freelance / Consulting model which is extremely growing fast. More and more companies are now relying on this model to save on hiring expenses, reduce benefit-cost, and expedite their operations with quality deliveries throughout the day. This leaves a great opportunity for HR Consultants to emerge as a great talent pool with their knowledge and expertise as Specialists to different domains of HR


The beginning of this new decade is witnessed with the advent of start-ups and the emergence of an independent and agile workforce, with a shift from a full time 9-5 job to remote and project-based work, done by mobile and independent workers. This gave rise to a Gig Economy which consists of a large segment of self-employed, freelancers, independent contributors, and part-time workers. Where the Gig economy allows the companies to hire better talent off the balance sheet, on one side, it also helps the workers get more convenience, flexibility, and additional income. Consequently the Gig economy is becoming a norm with more countries as they start relying on more mobile workers considering it to be the most practical based solution. At the same time this has become a sweet spot for all those freelance professionals who are ready to sacrifice the corporate job and opt for the work they love and improve on their skill set. This could help them customize their services as per the needs of the organization. Companies are now counting on this Freelancer Tribe to get an immediate workforce, reduce cost, and innovate faster. The advent of this Gig economy is pervasive as it is also shaping the future of HR.


The “Gig Economy” has become a new world of employment dictionary stretching from Uber Drivers to freelance professionals. Organizations globally are reaping the benefits by offering their client a strong bench of Consultants with diverse talent and expertise. A recent study carried by Flexing It,   as ‘Professional Gig Economy 2018-19 Report Card, highlights the Gig economy as a prime feature of India Inc’s strategy. Large Indian corporates and professional services firms emerge as the largest user of flexible talent accounting for 72% of projects in 2018- 19. The top three skills in demand which account for 50% of the projects were Strategy, Technology, and Marketing followed by Finance and Human Resource. This shows that a lot of people in India also are joining the movement of the Gig workforce and are adding to the pool of talent accessible with flexibility. But the question is what does this highly flexible working culture offer to HR?? Although this possesses numerous organizational challenges it provides HR an opportunity to add value to the organization by taking on a new role as a Specialist or Consultant. The HR professionals have a great opportunity to take on a more strategic role by embracing the model first to themselves with specialist skills to serve the future organization. HR professionals have had a lot on their plates. But is the HR fraternity ready to adapt to this Gig workforce model as compared to 9 to 5 jobs? Are HR professionals ready to render their services as specialized HR Consultant?

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