Believe it or not, HR consultants play a significant role in boosting business growth in terms of productivity, job efficiency and culture. They are the ones who are responsible for the most important resource of a company – the human resource, i.e. the staffs. So if you are considering switching you current job profile to independent HR consulting then we suggest you read the blog to know a bit more.
Here’s Why You Should Consider The Option…
Freelance HR consultants have played a crucial role in the American, Indian and Japanese workforce, especially in the IT industries where freelancers have achieved a great professional grip. But as we face the changing business culture, it has become quite apparent that independent consulting is not only for the technology realm anymore. In fact it is the next big thing in 2018 -20.
Freelance sounds all great in the beginning – being your own boss, having your own rules, flexibility, and freedom. But there are downsides if you don’t take the right approach.
More and more HR professionals today are choosing the consultation way, after getting fed up of the stringent corporate environment and wanting a change.
However, it is always not the right career option for everyone; so before you decide to dive in, do consider the following aspects of HR consulting.
How Can You See If you are Fit to Be an Independent HR Consultant?
Not sure, if the bill fits you? Here are some steps that will help you know your potential well.
Start by Evaluating Yourself
You have to know if you are fit to be an independent Hr consultant. How can you evaluate? Ask yourself if you enjoy working alone, if you are self-motivated, committed and self-disciplined without being asked to. Or do you always need a superior to guide you, to set rules for you and give you project deadlines?
Can you sell? Yes selling, it is one of the most neglected elements of consulting. As an HR, you will have to sell a job, a career, and even a company. You have to know or learn the art of cold calling to earn more clients.
Knowing the nuances of human resource management is not enough, you have to have other skills as well like social and interpersonal and leadership qualities.
If you are a sales shy HR professional, then look for firms that manage the sales and marketing elements for their consultants. Although the flexibility is less, it is a good option for starters. Once you get the hang of it, you can take over the sales part as well.
What’s Your Niche?
HR consultants can be generalists but they are there everywhere now. We encourage you to specialise in one particular niche and stop the temptation of trying to be ‘All in One Package’. It’s not worth, you know? At the end you won’t master in any. Instead, choose either one or maximum two areas of specialisation that you know better than the others.
Staying with the minimal will not only help you remain organized at work but also keep you focused. Every time you take a new project, you would know its drill and the process very clearly as opposed to manoeuvring between several areas as a generalist.
You will also create a brand value by adding specialisations in your resume. Here’s the thing, everyone can actually advise on all areas a little bit as an HR consultant, because that’s their job. But only few can give expert insights and valuable suggestions on one particular niche.
However, before specialising on a particular area, you have to do a little bit of research to find out how the market condition of the niche is. The niche shouldn’t be saturated with too many consultants and should be common problem area for employers, ideally.
Have a Clear Marketing and Business Plan
As a freelance HR consultant, your business and marketing sense should be on point, more than others. Your business plan will help you find and fill obstacles and objectives. You have to start by thinking a company name, a corporate identity and determining an office space.
You can also work from home. But you have to build an identity. That you can do by creating a good website, listing your services and specialisations in it. You can also seek legal help to find out if a company registration is necessary or you can just be a freelancer.
One of the biggest challenges of a freelancer, especially in the initial years, is continuous marketing of the business. If your marketing cycle is steady and actively running, your success and clientele rate will dramatically increase.
What’s Your Financial Expectation; Reasonable Enough?
You have to effectively manage your expectations and keep it realistic. You can’t demand more when you have just entered the business. You have to see if you have means to support yourself, at least for 6 months while you build your independent HR career.
Lack of regular income can make the freelance career challenging and stressful. Even if you have back up, you can’t think that you have lots of time to build your business. You have to have a financial planning for next one year before you start to draw a steady income.
Another option that most successful freelancers do is easing into consulting while still employed in a full time job. You can create your business plan and develop your network during the weekends and evenings. It will be a tedious schedule but you will have a financial security none the less.
Also, this protocol will help you gauge whether or not to go freelance.
Get to Know the Pros and Cons
Every career comes with its own ups and downs, so does an independent career. Although freedom, flexibility, control over time, better management of personal and professional lives are the ups of a freelance consulting career, lack of regular contact with colleagues, loneliness, lack of friends and guidance can take a toll on extroverted and outgoing people.
Common cons include lack of peer support, potential loss of health care benefits, a steady income and other employee benefits, incentives and gratuity.
You have to handle everything, from stress, accounts, finance and projects… it’s a lot but we assure you independent HR consulting could be a great career choice if you plan and execute your resources and skills effectively.