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

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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.

Business owner surrounded by paperwork, indicating the need for HR outsourcing

How outsourcing HR can save money

If you own a small or mid-sized business, you understand how frustrating it can be to spend time and money on tasks that don’t generate revenue. The costs of building an HR department from the ground up can prove astronomical. 

When you’re launching your small business in a foreign country, especially, you’ll need HR solutions before you open your doors for daily operation. Europe HR Solutions can help.


The right outsourced HR team can reduce your ongoing costs in the following ways:

  • Payroll administration:

By outsourcing your HR, you can bring in vetted professionals to set up and administer your payroll system. This team can train you to ensure a seamless transition after their service contract is completed. 

You won’t have to stress over hiring long-term employees to take care of payroll, or training payroll administrators.

  • Benefits implementation:

Your outsourced HR team can help you to select the right benefits software package and enroll the employees of your small business.

  • Human resources management:

Outsourcing your HR can prove to be a game changer for your overall human resources management, too. HR consultants contribute through a wealth of experience in compliance, employee relations, and recruitment.

This saves valuable time for small business owners, mitigates the risk of legal issues and delays in operations, and provides access to the latest industry best practices and trends.

When it makes sense to outsource HR for small businesses  

International companies with fewer than 50 employees are considered small businesses, and rarely expand to Europe with an inhouse HR team already in place.

For US and UK-based small businesses that launch European operations, there’s usually a CFO who oversees broad HR tasks. 

However, the CFO or other executives managing HR for a small business launch in Europe often lacks the country-specific legal and HR expertise necessary to ensure innovative solutions that reflect the country’s best HR practices and legal compliance.

It’s important to consider the following when determining whether or not you should outsource your HR:

  • What specific HR services and support does your business require?
  • Do you have anyone on your team who’s well-versed in country-specific employee regulations and labor laws?
  • Will you need management compliance training and support?
  • Will your current employment handbook, policies, and procedures translate to adhere to the needs of employees in different countries?
  • Do you have a small HR department in place that may need help implementing payroll, benefits, training, and development?
Time is money. Outsourcing HR saves time, letting you focus on what matters.

What to expect with Europe HR Solutions

By outsourcing your HR, you may find it’s easier to take care of your daily operations and to strategize and prepare for the launch of your small business in Europe. Europe HR Solutions has supported countless small, mid, and large-sized businesses in their international HR needs.  

Whether you need our team to manage your HR and implement solutions, or you need us to help guide the HR professionals you have on staff, we can sweat the small stuff to ensure your big picture remains intact. 

You can expect Europe HR Solutions to do the following:

Act as your representatives:

We’ll act as an extension of your small business. This means we will collaborate with you and ensure we’re promoting your vision and standards in any HR matters we handle for you.

Ad hoc requests:

We understand that you may have ad hoc requests. We’re used to fast-paced, high pressure situations, and will ensure your needs are met in a timely manner.

Assist with HR strategies:

We’re committed to providing HR services that help your business grow and succeed. We’ll make certain that the innovative solutions we offer adhere to your overall business and HR strategies.

Create and implement policies and procedures:

We’ll strategize with you to create and implement your company’s policies and procedures and ensure details are in place that will help your employees thrive and create a positive work environment.

Handle employee contract needs:

We’ll help to create and manage your employee hiring processes (including talent acquisition, interviews, and onboarding checklists), employee complaint procedures, performance reviews, and off-boarding processes.

Legal compliance:

Europe HR Solutions will use our thorough knowledge of the various nuances in employment regulations and labor laws to keep your operations, policies, and procedures within legal compliance. This will help reduce your liability risk should issues with employees arise.

Manage employee and management training and development: 

We can cover government-mandated and specific position training programs to support your employees to work with excellence and grow in their positions. This includes compliance training for managers.


We can utilize the latest in talent acquisition trends and industry best practices to make sure you attract the talent you deserve to fill your staffing needs. We want to help you to build the best team possible to create a positive work culture and  a productive team.

The cost of outsourced HR services for small businesses

When to outsource your small business’s HR could be determined by your available budget. The cost of outsourcing your HR may be an upfront expense, but in the long run, it can save you significant money and protect your revenue.

The services offered by Europe HR Solutions can vary in cost, and are dependent on the extent of service you require. We can determine the cost based on the scope of the project.

For example, you may need us to manage a specific, well-defined project that allows us to estimate the cost involved. However, you may require our services on a daily basis, for an extended period of time, or find you need support in an immediate HR emergency. This may mean we will need a retainer payment or charge for an hourly rate.

How to determine your HR outsourcing needs

Before you decide to outsource your HR, it’s vital to determine what type of services you require. It can be overwhelming to discern your needs, but reflecting on and strategizing about specifics can be beneficial.

Answering the following questions may help you to understand what services you require:

  • Do you need an outsourced HR professional who takes the time to know and understand your business, staff, and culture?
  • Do you need HR professionals who are available on a daily basis?
  • Are you in dire need of help with critical talent acquisition?
  • Do you require flexibility and a large scope of HR tasks?
  • Are your needs limited to legal compliance and knowledge?
  • Do you need help developing your workplace culture?
  • Do you need to overcome language barriers?
  • What are your long-term HR needs?

Other benefits of outsourcing your HR

Once you’ve determined when to outsource HR for your small business, you may find that it allows you to streamline your operations and focus on your overall business strategy.

This strategic move reduces your administrative burdens of managing payroll, benefits, and other HR tasks in-house. The cost-effectiveness of outsourcing becomes evident as it eliminates the need for investing in HR infrastructure and ongoing training. 

This newfound flexibility can enable your small business to adapt quickly to market changes and allocate resources more efficiently. Ultimately, an outsourced HR team becomes a strategic partner, and empowers you to prioritize your employees, enhance organizational efficiency, and thrive in the competitive European business landscape.

Contact Europe HR Solutions

Europe HR Solutions understands how crucial HR is to the foundation of any successful business. We can consult with you to determine when it’s best to outsource HR for your small business, and customize innovative solutions with you. 

Your HR needs remain our greatest priority, and we want to support you in ways that promote legal compliance and allow you to see your small business dreams come to fruition. 

Connect with Europe HR Solutions today for a free consultation and be sure to check out our blog for the latest HR insights, tips, and trends. The road to success for your small business is just an HR step away.

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    Inez Vermeulen

    Inez Vermeulen

    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.