Hiring an HR consultant can be a difficult and stressful task. The individual you hire must be someone who can not only provide an unbiased interpretation of “human resources policy and offer advice on its implementation in [your] organization or business”, but who can also understand your company and know your employees, likely without ever having met them.
HR consultants usually work remotely and handle more than one company, which makes it entirely possible that no one in your company will ever meet them face to face. Although working remotely is becoming more and more common in many fields due to new technologies that make such a task easier, it still requires a different level of trust than what many companies are used to.
To make the task slightly simpler, here are our top 4 suggestions on what to look for when hiring a new HR consultant.
- Experience with companies like yours. Look for a consultant who has worked with companies similar to your. All companies are different, but finding a consultant who understands your company culture and is used to working with companies with a similar structure and system will make things run more smoothly right off the bat. It’s also a good sign that they will know what strategies work for a company like yours.
- Specific areas of expertise. Human resources covers a wide variety of tasks. Chances are that you will need help with specific projects: whether it’s developing a new employee handbook or improving your benefits system, look for someone who has experience in the areas you need help with.
- Up to date with latest trends and practices. This doesn’t necessarily mean to hire a young, fresh face, but it does mean to avoid consultants who have not kept themselves up to date on newer practices. Technology and platforms are constantly evolving, so make sure you find someone who has kept themselves educated on the changes.
- Client project references. Collecting references from previous employers when hiring someone is a given, but make sure that any prospective consultant has at least 3 strong references from previous clients they’ve completed projects for. This means putting a bit more time and legwork into reference checks, but if you feel pretty confident in the new prospect, it will be worth the extra effort.
Hiring a new employee can be a daunting task, especially for positions like an HR consultant, where you can anticipate having very little face-to-face contact. This may feel like a loss of control or a leap of faith, but if you put in the time and effort to find the correct person for the job, it will make all the difference in the world. If you are currently hunting for a new HR consultant, or have hired one recently, comment below to let us know what you think of our tips.