HR Consulting

Human resource (HR) consulting, also referred to as HRM consulting, encompasses advisory and implementation activities related to the management of an organisation’s human capital and the HR function. The scope of services range from overarching work on human capital strategy, the design and deployment of a compensation & benefits framework down to the transformation of the HR function.

HR consulting services

The market for Human Resource consulting services consists of five main disciplines: Organisational Change, Talent Management, HR Function, Benefits & Rewards and Learning & Development. An overview of the key expertise areas per discipline:


Human Resource consulting market

The markt for human resource consulting services is estimated to be worth $28.7 billion, representing approximately 12% of the total global consulting market. In 2011 and 2012 the HR consulting market grew with more than 5% per year, as a result of the aftermath of the economic crisis growth rates have since slowed to between 3% and 4%. For 2015 the outlook remains positive.


What does an HR consultant do?

Human resource consultants are generally hired by three types of clients. Firstly, HR advisors support HR Directors and Managers of client organisations with improving the performance of the HR function - examples include implementing a HR Business Partner Delivery Model, redesigning HR processes or implementing a HRIS system. Secondly, HR consultants are hired by clients –  business, HR or works councils – to support broader human capital issues, this can range from providing HR support on M&A programmes to managing a cultural transformation or developing a new talent management strategy for critical business functions.

Lastly, HR consultants are typically staffed on large transformations to ensure that the necessary people and human capital expertise is on board, complementing the traditional 'hard' functional skills that already are part of the project. In this case, the client is often an internal consulting department that leads the engagement delivery. For example: a Finance Transformation programme at a client will be led by the Finance service line, which subsequently will call upon human capital consultants to covers areas such as Leadership Alignment, Change Management, Learning and Communication.

HR consulting firms

Analysts typically distinguish between three types of HR firms: the large global players that specialise in Human Resources (e.g. Aon Hewitt, Hay Group, Mercer, Towers Watson), consulting firms that have a separate HR consulting unit and niche players - local players that focus on a specific discipline/market.

See the 'Human Resource' section under Consulting Firms for a list of renowned HR consulting firms.

HR consulting news

Review the below expertise areas for the latest news related to key HR consulting disciplines: