Guest Blog by Ashutosh Garg of Refrens.com
Human Resource, or often called ‘HR’ works as a link between people seeking employment and (large and small) companies looking for suitable candidates to fill in the open positions at their firm. Most businesses have a dedicated human resource department. While others prefer to outsource their human resource to professionals called HR consultants.
Human resource is about recruiting, hiring, training, and assessing the people. Hence, HR consultants have a wide range of duties to fulfill because of which they are required to have good qualifications and experience in the field. Usually working independently, they are also expected to have a strong personality and self-driving energy.
Are you thinking of taking a leap and becoming self-employed? A human resource consultant has an interesting, engaging, and growth-driven career. But before you make the decision to quit your job and become an independent consultant, let’s explore more about what they exactly do.
What Does An HR Consultant Do?
Independent consultants hired by businesses or organizations, HR consultants are professionals who perform tasks to fulfill the human-resources-related need. Their role is to provide calculated solutions, give thoughtful advice, and make good recommendations to the management of the companies.
Companies hire HR consultants when they do not have internal HR expertise to support them on various important projects. It could be to hire someone for a new role, implement a new employee package, or create guidelines for their employees. In such scenarios, they go out seeking guidance from an independent professional.
Another probable reason for companies to hire an HR consultant is that they want to take an opinion from an external stakeholder. This means that they want to consider an outside perspective on a specific project, problem, or challenge.
The idea for the companies to get the work outsourced is to be able to focus on other core activities. A consultant on the other hand can focus on dealing with actual existing problems without having biases towards the people of the organization or being tangled in the organizational politics that may lead to framing good objective decisions.
Who Makes A Good Human Resources Consultant?
Before you begin to plan on your freelancing journey as an HR consultant, it is essential to know what the profile demands and whether you are a good fit for it. There is no confined job description of an HR consultant, it depends on the projects and the companies that you work with. However, these are the most common responsibilities of an HR consultant:
- Implementing various techniques using sales and marketing to attract business from clients
- Building a connection between the clients and companies by considering their culture and environment
- Understanding and optimizing the client’s requirements
- Using various methods to get the right candidatures
- Getting, examining applications, and shortlisting desired candidate profiles
- Guiding the candidates about the role, responsibilities, and benefits
- Talking to the clients and candidates about pay roles, training, and career growth
- Framing recruitment policies for clients
- Evaluating the performance of candidates
Now that we know of the responsibilities, along with the education, certifications, and experience, considering the skills, and the type of person to suit the job’s nature is really crucial when you think of making a career as an HR consultant.
These are the required skills of an HR consultant:
- Organizational skills
- People skills
- Decision-making skills
- Positive attitude
- Realistic outlook
- Business knowledge
- Communication skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Planning and relationship building skills
When working in human resources, you are expected to have a keen eye to focus on numerous details and have a seamless organization. Working under pressure, meeting deadlines, and dealing with complex tasks are all a part of an HR consultant’s job.
Post knowing the role and skills required of an HR consultant, are you ready to become one and start your freelancing journey?
7 Steps To Becoming A Freelance HR Consultant
When starting up as a new freelance HR consultant, these are the steps that you should take to ensure a good start to your career.
1. Know Your Core Strengths & Preferences
When you begin to work in an industry, you should be aware of how will you be able to add value in that field. To do so, first, you should know yourself well enough to identify your strengths, weaknesses, interests, etc.
You may know various industries and aspects of HR, but you will only be able to ace your job when you know the kind of work preference you have and are able to figure out what you are best at. Align your skills with the responsibilities of an HR consultant. The idea is to sync with the kind of work energy that appeals most to you.
2. Decode Your Motivators And Drivers
Before taking up any new job, you must figure out why do you want to enter that industry. In this case, decode the reason to become a freelance consultant or to enter the HR industry. It could be high growth opportunities, good earning potential, flexibility, work from home, no authority, etc.
Once you know your motive to take the job role and follow the work-style, you will be able to plan accordingly. Driving factors are what push you ahead to give your best and to make achievable goals for growth. Hence, examine what motivates you and what drives you towards freelancing and being an HR consultant.
3. Define Your Target Market
When starting to freelance, you have to clearly identify your target market. Generalizing and appeal to a mass set of audiences will not reap great results and will expose you to high competition. Be specific when you select the niche you want to work in. This will allow you to optimize the gaps and leverage on the opportunities existing in the field.
Many new freelancer HR consultants commit the mistake to do everything and work with all people. Remember the long-term goal for success is for you to build an authority in your niche. You cannot become an expert if you try to do everything at once.
4. Have your money planned
The initial stage of freelancing does come with uncertainties and unstable income. An employee has the surety of getting his salary every month. However, that is not the case with new independent HR consultants. Therefore, it is crucial for you to have some savings or a way through which you can get cash quickly.
Being self-employed, you will need to frame strategies that will help you generate fast short-term revenue, to begin with. It could be anything from doing a part-time job to finding short-term HR contracts to leveraging opportunities in your own network or doing small jobs for small brands that make an upfront payment.
5. Build Your Online Presence
A part-time HR consultant or a full-time HR freelancer, seeing for prospects and getting quality leads is everyone’s aim. For that, along with networking, you will have to optimize on other methods too. Create an online profile, if needed, add your qualifications and past work experiences to increase your lead conversion chances.
Make a profile on various social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. to approach more people and increase your reach. You can also build profiles on various freelance marketplace websites like Refrens.com, Upwork, Freelancer, and more. There are various methods and options available to make an online presence and leverage opportunities.
6. Frame Your Marketing Strategy
Many new freelance HR consults rely on referrals to get more work. However, it requires time, energy, and persuasion to get those referrals. Another issue with only relying on referrals for work is that they don’t last forever, they are good to kickstart your career.
You need a more long-term sustaining strategy along with having referrals. Many freelancers focus on building their personal brands. However, in the beginning, focus on having a plan to market yourself. A strong image with a powerful marketing strategy helps find new clients. The idea is to sketch out different ways to find new clients for your HR consulting business and have a set system to follow.
7. Focus On Plan Execution
Once you have meticulously planned and strategized your business. It is time to implement it to get great results. Start taking immediate actions to attain success for your business. Now is not the time to procrastinate or leverage the flexibility of freelancing. The initial period of your freelancing career will be about hustling and wearing those multiple hats. Remember you are about to begin a new journey and it is essential to give your best at it and make it a success.
Earlier it was not easy to get work as an HR consultant, however, with the rise in the gig economy, the market has become more open. Now more companies are starting to hire HR consultants to seek advice and recommendations.
Becoming a freelancer is embracing a new lifestyle, you will have your moments in deep valleys and on mountain tops. The idea is to move forward and look for more opportunities. We hope that this article has helped you prepare to start your new journey as an HR consultant. All the best!
Alternatively, if you require support in the consulting world then consider companies like Smart HR who provide expert HR management to organizations that have between 15 and 150 employees.
Ashutosh works as a Product Manager at Refrens.com – India’s most powerful platform for freelancer’s finances and growth. He has helped some renowned technology companies with their product.You can follow Refrens.com on Twitter, LinkedIn.