Do You Need a HR Manager or a HR Consultant? | performHR

If your organisation has HR requirements that are going unmet, you’ll be looking for the knowledge and skills either through internal or external HR expertise. But which will be the right choice for your needs? Let’s look at the role of a HR consultant and HR manager and see how the two roles compare.

A HR consultant vs HR manager: what’s the difference?

In the simplest definition, a HR manager works internally in your business and a HR consultant is engaged externally. The two are not mutually exclusive – in fact, many organisations gain the full advantage with both an internal HR manager and external HR consultants.

The role of a HR manager

A HR manager will typically be an employee (part-time or full-time) whose role covers a wide range of HR functions within the business. These can include developing long term HR strategy, managing payroll and benefits administration, handling employee relations and disputes, training and development plus recruitment. Your HR manager may also lead and manage other HR professionals, if you have a HR department.

Human Resources managers have an important role to play. However, in some cases an organisation will either not have enough HR demands to justify an internal HR manager, or in contrast its HR requirements may be too large or complex for its internal team. Enter the HR consultant.

The role of a HR consultant

A HR consultant can fulfil the HR needs of an organisation wherever its internal resources don’t match up with its HR challenges. Compliance, employment disputes, HR strategy sessions, managed HR support and a broad range of HR solutions – they can all be accessed via outsourced HR consultancy.

A HR consultant can also be beneficial because they bring an outside perspective and neutral point of view to your business. This can be very useful in situations such as a workplace investigation, implementing a new HR initiative and for your overarching HR strategy.

Skills required for a Human Resource manager

The skills required for a great HR manager can run the gamut from interpersonal skills through to business and leadership skills. The following skills can be advantageous:

  • Social perceptiveness and emotional intelligence
  • Leadership and team management skills
  • Up-to-date awareness across compliance and workplace laws
  • Negotiation and mediation skills
  • HR certifications such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Human Resources
  • Complex problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Performance management skills and experience
  • Training and education expertise
  • Financial and resource management skills

As you might imagine, it can be difficult to find one or two professionals holding all of these skills – which is why HR consultancy can provide so much value.

HR consultant skills to look for

Key HR consultant qualifications and skills have a lot of overlap with a HR manager, from compliance awareness through to workplace mediations. Our HR experts together provide the above skills, in addition to:

  • Human capital management skills
  • Motivational, mentoring and leadership skills
  • Active listening skills, and
  • People assessment skills

The key thing to remember is that by working with a HR consulting firm, you can access a far deeper and broader range of HR consultant skills than you might find with just one team or professional in human resources.

What’s the right choice?

Using either a HR manager or HR consultant, or both, you can free up your time to focus on your business and optimise your HR function. If you’re looking for permanent services, you might consider either hiring a HR professional or using managed HR support. If you require HR expertise for a short-term project, initiative implementation or a particular challenge, HR consultancy can be ideal.

And, if you are searching for a skilled HR consultant in Sydney, Newcastle, Parramatta, Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane, get in touch with the team at performHR today.

“HR manager works internally in your business and a HR consultant is engaged externally”

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