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Job description: HR consultant

Written by: Hazel Mason
Published on: 26 Jun 2019

An HR consultant is an integral asset to any HR team. They are usually responsible for ensuring an organisation’s capital serves the best interests of the company and advising on a number of issues involving a company’s workforce.

Job description HR consultant

Each day is different for an HR consultant as they are pulled onto different projects and required to anticipate and advise on various business concerns, meaning they need to be organised and able to think on their feet. As such, HR consultants need to have an in-depth understanding of human resources management to succeed.

What are the duties of an HR consultant?

HR consultants are great communicators with in-depth understanding of business policies and procedures. As such, their day-to-day can vary. Here are some of the key duties required of an HR consultant:

  • Advising management on the administration of human resources policies and procedures
  • Leading, managing and influencing other members of the team and employees across the business
  • Serving as internal consultants by analysing a company’s current HR programmes and recommending solutions
  • Improvising and adapting to organisational changes as and when they arise 
  • Developing, revising, and implementing HR policies and procedures
  • Ensuring HR programmes and services are in compliance with established policies and procedures and UK laws and regulations
  • Preparing and maintaining reports and business plans related to specific HR projects
  • Assisting with the development and coordination of recommended changes regarding workflow
  • Developing methods for compiling and analysing data for reports and special projects
  • Conducting audits of HR activities to ensure compliance
  • Presenting training sessions related to specific HR programs
  • Building relationships both with employees and clients
  • Working with HR systems and IT programmes ie. payroll, excel etc.

What salary can you expect as an HR Consultant?

The average salary for an HR Consultant in the UK is £41,186. But the wage can vary a lot, with entry level consultants earning from £29,000 and more experienced professionals making up to and in excess of £58,000.

HR consultancy is one of the highest paid HR roles in the UK.

What personal qualities and skills are required to be an HR consultant?

An HR consultant needs to have an in-depth understanding of human resource management, with experience in consulting. They will be strategic thinkers and problem-solvers with excellent communication skills.

Key requirements for an HR Consultant are typically:

  • Proven experience as an HR consultant
  • Experience in project management, preferably HR related
  • In-depth knowledge of HR principles, functions, methods and best practices
  • Solid understanding of research methods and analysis
  • Computer savvy with working knowledge of human resource IT systems such as ATS and payroll
  • Ability to strategise and formulate business plans
  • An analytical mind with problem-solving abilities
  • Excellent communication and consulting skills
  • A team player
  • BSc/BA in human resources, business administration or relevant field;
  • MSc/MA in human resources will be a plus

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What qualifications does an HR consultant require?

An HR consultant does not require any specific qualifications. However, they will need a thorough knowledge of human resources management, so a BSc/BA in human resources, business administration or relevant field would be a great starting point to distinguish themselves from the competition.

An MSc/MA in human resources would boost an HR consultant’s chance of securing a good job with a higher salary once in the job market.  

For those not wishing to attend university, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) offers a wide range of qualifications from which they can garner the skills required to be an HR consultant. These qualifications include:

Or you can search for shorter specialist courses here.

There are also opportunities to study some of the above qualifications as part of an apprenticeship programme. Find out more about HR apprenticeships here.

What career progression opportunities exist for HR consultants?

HR consultant is a very important role within the HR department and offers an individual the opportunity to gain insight into many areas of the business and potentially specialise into specific HR areas.

As such, this well-rounded role offers many opportunities for progression and growth, dependent on the organisation. HR consultants can progress to more senior consulting roles or onto HR manager, HR director or head of human resources roles.

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