What Is the Key Role of a Human Resources Consultant?

Across the globe, Human Resources (HR) remains a vital component of successful business growth. However, the unique nuances of HR practices vary from country to country. When you choose to expand your US or UK-based business to European countries, it’s important that you have the right professionals in place for your HR needs.

Small and mid-sized businesses looking to expand could benefit from outsourcing HR to a team that understands the ins and outs of best employment, training, and benefits practices in Europe. The key role of a human resources consultant is to help business start ups and expansions identify their greatest HR needs and implement seamless solutions.

Let’s take an in-depth look at how an HR consultant varies from an HR manager, the key components of their work, and when it’s important to outsource HR jobs.

Human resources consultants talking about business in a conference table

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Human Resources Manager vs Human Resources Consultant

A human resources manager is typically an onsite, full-time employee of a business. In a large corporation, an HR manager is a long-term hire and works in-house to take care of human resources issues. The HR manager deals with day-to-day operations and may lead an entire department of employees.

For smaller businesses looking to expand to Europe, the necessary HR work and comprehension of different employment laws may prove too difficult for an HR manager based in the US or UK.

An HR consultant is outsourced and is typically part of an HR consulting firm. HR consultants can give excellent insight into development strategies.

The similarities between an HR manager and an HR consultant

Some of the responsibilities of a human resources manager and a human resources consultant overlap. These similar implementations of HR administration include:

The differences between an HR manager and an HR consultant

There are differences between the two roles, as well. If you’re expanding your company internationally, an HR manager may not be well-versed in Europe’s employment and human resources laws.

On the other hand, you can contract an outsourced HR consultant who has extensive and practical knowledge in Europe. Research HR consulting firms to determine which is the best fit for you.

HR managers may come from an internal talent pool, or an intense external screening process. As in-house employees, these managers will require salary, benefits, and possible training.

HR consultants can direct your strategic plans and work on a short-term contract to implement your vision for employees. These consultants can also offer an unbiased perspective on your plans and on any potential talent you want to recruit.

An HR consultant having a session meeting with a businessman

Image from Canva

The key role of a Human Resources consultant

The key role of a Human Resources consultant comes from the ability to see your company from an outsider’s view. HR consultants can audit your company and determine where actionable HR strategies are needed.

The key role of an HR consultant is determined by where a small or mid-sized company is struggling, and how they can implement plans to have their desired team in place.

Vital HR consultant duties include:

  • Developing human resources methods:
    An HR consultant can factor in the unique qualities of your company and help you implement the best tailored HR methods.
  • Policies and procedures:
    HR consultants can advise you on the policies and procedures you’ll need to have in place in order to operate in Europe. They can also draft a detailed policy and procedure plan for employees to sign.
  • Research and Implementation of conflict resolution:
    HR consultants research workplace conflicts and the best ways to resolve them. Should employee issues arise, these consultants can offer methods to swift and legal resolutions. They will also review human capital analytics to determine the return on investment (ROI) your hires will bring to your business.
  • Talent recruitment and retention:
    An HR consultant can help you to hone your job descriptions, determine the best space for job postings in your sector, recruit talented candidates, and analyze trends for employee retention in your industry.
    These consultants will help you discern the best interview processes to cull the best overall talent to retain for your company. They can also develop strategies that will help you keep your team intact.
  • Utilize human resources trends:
    In order for your business to thrive, you need a strong human resources foundation. The right professional HR consultants will have a deep understanding of current HR trends in each country in which you have operations: This team will analyze and study HR advancements and new developments to provide the services you need to grow successfully.

If you outsource your HR and choose to use an expert HR consulting firm with deep knowledge of the region to which you’re expanding, it can help alleviate the stress of expansion and allow you to concentrate on your overall vision.

HR consulting services for small businesses

You may wonder if you even need Human Resources professionals if you’re running a small business. The short answer is yes. Small businesses need HR just as much, if not more than, mid-sized and large businesses.

HR consultants are a great option for small businesses that don’t have the budget for a full-time HR department, or the time to hire an HR team. HR consultants can take over time-consuming, but necessary, tasks such as payroll, employee hiring, onboarding, and training, and the implementation of benefits programs.

You can contract HR consultants for the length of time you need to successfully expand your small business, and save significant money by outsourcing your HR. However, all HR consulting firms are not created equally: You should choose a firm with a developed, positive reputation and research the services offered.

How Europe HR Solutions can help

Our team of Human Resources professionals at Europe HR Solutions has helped many UK and US-based companies successfully expand to Europe. We understand the key roles of a Human Resources consultant, and are passionate about fulfilling these roles for our clients.

Global operations growth can feel overwhelming. With Europe HR Solutions, you can trust that your needs will be in the expert and caring hands. Let us help you develop and implement HR strategies so you can focus on pursuing your success.

Connect with us today to learn more about how we can support your small, mid-sized, or start-up business, and help your international expansion to run smoothly.

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      About the author

      The author of this article

      Inez Vermeulen is the Founder and CEO of Europe HR Solutions, with over 25 years of successful corporate and entrepreneurial experience in various global industries. She has helped grow and expand the European divisions of global companies such as Coca-Cola Company, Regus, DHL, American Medical Systems, etc. Inez has received several company awards for her entrepreneurial spirit and success.

      She owns a Bachelor’s degree in French, History and Latin, several HR global expert certifications, a Master’s degree in Metaphysical Sciences, ICF Coach Certification and has completed her Doctorate on Transformational Leadership. Inez is fluent in Dutch, English, French, Italian and German. She works in partnership with an extensive international network of independent & professional companies and resides in Belgium near Brussels with her husband Jan.