Are you considering hiring an external HR or People Consultant to support your business? Before making this important decision, it’s essential to note some important points to ensure you’re making the right choice. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process and provide insight into selecting the right HR consultant for your needs.

What are the key areas you should consider when appointing an external HR Consultant?

1. Experience and Qualifications

One of the first questions to ask is about their experience and qualifications. It’s vital to inquire about their relevant experience and track record in delivering successful projects or assignments. Do they have industry-specific experience, and is it necessary for your particular needs? Many successful HR practitioners have a wide range of sector experience, which can bring valuable perspectives. Additionally, check for any qualifications they hold, such as CIPD accreditation, MA, MSc, MBA, or Qualified By Experience (QBE). For your reassurance, we at Sleek HR hold relevant education, CIPD accreditation, and QBE.

2. Staying Up to Date

In the fast-changing world of business and employment law, your HR consultant must stay up to date. Ask about how they keep themselves current with industry trends and legal changes. Attending regular employment law updates is a basic requirement, and a strong network can demonstrate their ability to contribute to emerging trends and bring innovation to their services.

3. Handling Incorrect Advice

While it’s not pleasant to think about, it’s crucial to discuss what happens if your HR consultant provides incorrect advice. HR decisions can be complex and risky, so it’s essential to ensure they have professional indemnity insurance to protect both parties. Confirm they have a clear complaints process to address any issues. Working under a Code of Conduct ensures ethical and professional standards, as we do at Sleek HR, following the CIPD Code of Conduct and Ethics.

4. Consultancy Setup

It’s important to understand how the HR and People Consultancy is structured. Ensure they are registered with relevant bodies such as Companies House, HMRC, and ICO, demonstrating legal compliance. At Sleek HR, we confirm our registration with all the relevant bodies mentioned.

5. Data Security

Given the nature of HR and People consultants’ work, they may have access to your company’s sensitive data. Ask about their data management and security policies. Inquire about the IT systems and platforms they use, email encryption, and password security. Also, clarify how long they will retain your company and employee data.

6. Project Management and Communication

Effective project management is key. Discuss how they plan to manage the scope of work and keep you informed. Automation tools like Asana, Trello, or Gantt Chart can help, ensuring timely updates and issue resolution. As a busy business owner, you need to have reassurance that things are progressing as planned.

7. Pricing and Payment Terms

Understanding the cost is essential when hiring an HR consultant. Ensure their proposal clearly states the deliverables, what’s in and out of scope, and their pricing structure. They may charge based on time (hourly or daily) or offer a fixed fee. Be clear on their invoicing process and payment terms, ensuring it aligns with your preferences.

8. Fit for Your Business

Finally, it’s crucial that the HR consultant aligns with your business’s culture and values. Ask about their own values and drivers to assess compatibility. Don’t hesitate to bring in someone with a different perspective to introduce objectivity and constructive challenges to your organisation. Request testimonials from other clients to gain confidence in their professionalism and ability to work effectively.

Selecting the right HR consultant is a critical decision for your business. At Sleek HR, we are ready to answer any questions you may have about us and provide all the necessary information upfront. Contact us at or call us at 0330 133 6377 for support with your HR projects or queries. Your business’s success depends on making the right choice in HR consultancy to partner with you.