How to Find a Reliable HR Consultant

August 30, 2023
How to Find a Reliable HR Consultant

Technically speaking, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) usually do not hire an internal HR team. In fact, most SMBs rely on one or two individuals wearing multiple hats to manage their workforce. Although this can seem like an efficient, money-saving method of employee management, it can often result in inefficient practices and a decrease in employee experience. Luckily, there’s another option. Finding a reliable HR consultant can provide you with what you may need to manage your team like a large corporation without spending lots of dollars on salary and overhead. To help, consider some of these tips on how to find an HR consultant.

What is an HR Consultant?

An HR consultant is an individual or team of individuals who help provide your company with human resource expertise and human capital plans. They may oversee the acquisition, HR management and experience of your employees, which can help you fuel your organizational success. HR consultants can be involved with the hiring and onboarding process, training and performance management, risk mitigation, employee benefits, payroll and more.

Factors to Consider When Hiring a Reliable HR Consultant

When you begin your search for a reliable HR consultant, it’s important to familiarize yourself with certain characteristics and skills. Otherwise, you might end up working with an HR consultant that may not fit well with your team. Make sure you consider the following factors when speaking with different HR experts.


HR services is not a one size fits all solution. Each industry is unique and requires a different approach to problems. Find an HR consultant that’s flexible in how they approach your company’s needs and policies to make the most out of your relationship. Finding solution-oriented individuals who specialize in your industry is a good way to maximize your return on investment when outsourcing HR.


Thousands of HR consultants claim to be experts in the field, but that expertise only comes with experience. The best HR consultant for your SMB should have a proven track record with plenty of testimonials and case studies to back up their claims. Don’t be afraid to ask for experience or qualifications when looking for an HR consultant for your business.


When outsourcing to an HR consultant, you need to make sure that you’re able to get in touch with them whenever you need. Therefore, excellent communication skills and ongoing availability are essential. If you’re not able to get in contact with your HR consultant, or they lack strong communication skills, it can make the entire process stressful and inefficient. Make sure you ask about their availability, look at options for communication and ask any questions you may have before working with someone.


There are several different HR technologies available to help streamline processes and improve employee experience. Look into the platforms being used by potential HR consultants to get a better idea of what to expect before working together.


If something’s wrong, or if your current policies are inefficient, you want an HR consultant who will be upfront and honest about it. You need to be able to trust your HR experts to work together efficiently.

People Assessment Skills

Since HR consultants will help you with talent acquisition, it’s important that they possess a strong understanding of recruitment needs. Experienced HR teams have dealt with thousands of individuals and know what attract candidates. This can help with hiring the right fit candidate and employee turnover.

Time Management Skills

While there’s a lot to do in regard to HR services, an experienced HR consultant will understand how to prioritize tasks and adhere to good time management skills. This helps maximize efficiency and productivity for everyone involved.

How to Find a Reliable HR Consultant

Once you better understand what to expect when working with an HR consultant, it’s time to start the process of finding the right match. Unfortunately, there are thousands of options online and sometimes, it can be a little overwhelming. To help, consider the following steps to find an HR consultant.

1. Look at Credentials

One of the best ways to find a reliable HR consultant is to review their credentials. HR consultants will likely carry at least one or more certifications in their field. When working with a professional employer organization (PEO) and their team of HR consultants, they may carry an accreditation with the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC). Additionally, individuals should have the relevant education and or qualifications from a reputable organization or university.

2. Check Testimonials

Next, it’s important to review case studies and testimonials. This will give you a first-hand understanding of feedback from other SMBs who have used their services. HR consultants with a proven track record will provide you with better peace of mind when helping your business. You won’t have to worry about micromanaging or picking up slack in areas where the consultant falls short.

Ideally, you’ll want to find an HR consultant who offers practical, real-world solutions. A reliable HR consultant will communicate with you directly rather than having you deal with automated or impersonal call centers. They’ll grow to understand the intricacies of your business, making it easy to integrate them without constantly having to re-introduce yourself or re-explain your challenges.

3. Areas of Expertise

In addition to their experience levels, you’ll also want to review an HR consultant’s areas of expertise. Some HR consultants may specialize in one or two industries or in only one part of the complete HR solution. For example, an HR consultant who specializes in financial services may not be the best fit for someone in retail or media. Make sure that your HR consultant understands your industry to actually offer valuable, personalized HR services.

Moreover, if you need comprehensive HR services, working with someone who specializes only in a few HR areas may not help. It may be best to find a full-service HR consultant who understands everything such as talent acquisition and onboarding to exit interviews and employee retention.

4. Schedule a Consultation

Once you find a few viable options, it’s good practice to schedule a consultation with them in order to ask follow-up questions and see if it’s a good fit. The ideal HR consultant is honest and actually enjoys what they do. When you work with passionate people, you’ll naturally get more out of the services being offered. When discussing your needs, see if they’re geared towards employer-focused help or company-wide help. You’ll want to consider the latter in order to maximize employee experience and ensure that your HR consultant is contributing to a positive company culture, strong employee experience and a higher degree of employee retention.

5. Ask About Benefits

During your consultation, take the time to thoroughly go over employee benefits and what the HR consultant may know about employee benefits. As an SMB, it can be difficult to provide employees with access to big company benefits, but working with a PEO who provides HR consultants may make this easier. PEOs can leverage access to big company benefits since they tend to provide services for several small businesses. This can create a better experience for your team and help you with retaining top talent.

6. Choose Your HR Consultant

Once you find someone who you feel is a good fit, ask about pricing and get an estimate. Remember, you’ll be comparing certain costs such as outsourcing to an HR consultant to the cost of hiring an internal HR team. However, choosing a reliable HR consultant may provide you with a strong return on investment without having to manage additional employees or deal with inefficient processes. Beware of choosing an option strictly because it’s “cheaper,” as the HR services may reflect the cost difference.

Working with a team of expert HR consultants can help SMBs with the HR support it needs and the business workforce with a good HR experience. HR experts not only help facilitate organizational growth but also can contribute to a better overall employee experience. To help, TriNet offers comprehensive human capital consulting solutions to help you with your toughest HR needs. Through the combination of expert HR guidance, risk mitigation strategies and headache-free payroll processing, you’ll enjoy access to HR consultants who understands industry-specific HR issues without hindering your growth. With TriNet and TriNet Zenefits, we now offer an enhanced HCM software solution. Contact us today to learn more.

This communication is for informational purposes only, is not legal, tax or accounting advice, and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

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