An HR consultant posture: consultation VS the advisory role

The posture of a consultant offering a human resources service is essential to understand, because we offer business leaders or managers less experienced in the field, both an advisory role and consultation on a known problem. For us who are HR experts, this implies an in-depth understanding of customer needs, always relying on the mapping of the HR process, in order to optimize internal practices. This article elaborates on the importance of our expert posture to promote the implementation of HR programs/practices or simply to succeed in the advisory role on existing HR practices.

Client posture in a consultation process

Understanding of customer needs

For entrepreneurs less familiar with human resources management, we must as experts ensure we understand the needs and always work together with internal process mapping. This will promote recognition of gaps and opportunities for improvement. So, in this context, your HR consultant has partial information that the client will have provided beforehand, even a historical context, which gives a good understanding of the HR problem presented. Furthermore, the consultant in their role as expert must collect the missing information and evaluate it before issuing any recommendations. The questions asked will therefore target the needs and the client must be in a good mental position to welcome this data collection, in addition to trusting the process.

If we were to take a company in legal services as an example, this would resemble taking charge of a case, collecting data, asking questions to target the strategy and preparing a pleading.

Finally, the role of the client in this situation is to provide the internal vision of their context while the consultant provides the external vision, helps to gain perspective and explore the problem in a global way rather than in a very specific way.

Effective collaboration

As HR professionals, we actively encourage our clients’ participation in developing solutions. This collaboration goes beyond simple data collection, it involves co-creation. Combined with the client’s internal HR mapping, this guarantees a shared vision and a common understanding of the steps to follow, thus strengthening commitment and the effectiveness of the solutions proposed.

Also, and for entrepreneurs less familiar with human resources management, a first collaboration with a consultant can be intimidating or even energy-consuming. However, you must keep in mind that being actively involved will promote the optimization of internal processes, thus allowing better adherence to the recommendations issued by your HR expert.

Approach of the HR advisor in an advisory role

Expertise and analysis of the situation

As an experienced HR professional, we must be able to mobilize our expertise to precisely identify the real causes of the issues experienced by the client. This analysis goes beyond the simple identification of symptoms, it requires that we dive underwater, to the heart of the issue at the source of the problem. This is where the importance of the HR professional comes from, who will know how to ask the most effective questions and encourage personalized recommendations and rapid decision-making.

Personalized recommendations

The advisory role arises unforeseen, on an ad hoc basis and most of the time, following a known problem. Thus, the experienced HR professional, once a quick analysis of the real causes, must offer personalized recommendations, tailored to the client’s context. In this case, we are not trying to complete partial information or make an evaluation before making recommendations, as we would do in a consultation process.

Conclusion

You are required to use your expertise on a specific need and to support the client in their reflection. Thus, we offer clear, adapted recommendations that facilitate decision-making.

In conclusion, as an HR professional, it is important to adapt your style to the context of the required service, for business leaders or managers who are less experienced in the field of human resources.

Author

Noellie Dias

Organizational development consultant

Specialized in human resources


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