external hr consultancy extra pair of hands

External HR consultants: Need an extra pair of (HR) hands?

HR Consultants are a great way to supplement your in-house HR resources and expertise whether it is for a period of time, or to help with a specific project. In this blog, we explore exactly how to get the best out of an external HR Consultant.


Defining HR Consultancy:

So, what exactly is an HR consultant? In short, a qualified and experienced HR professional who brings their expertise to either cover a role or to support specific pieces of work. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in various HR areas, acting as trusted partners and advisors to assist businesses in addressing their HR challenges effectively. HR consultants are particularly useful when there is a sensitive piece of work, such as: redundancy exercises; complex disciplinaries; or grievances.


HR consultancies: How can you best utilise one?

Wants/Needs: If you are looking to introduce an external HR consultancy, it is important to first understand exactly what you need, so you can choose the consultancy that best aligns with those needs.  

Flexibility: With a HR consultancy you have great flexibility. So, whether you need support for a couple months to fill a gap in employment, or maybe need a specific task taken off your desk, a HR consultancy gives you the option to add to your resources flexibly and you’ll only pay for the resource you need at the time you need it. Depending on the consultancy, you may be able to ‘turn the tap on and off’ very easily, allowing you to manage your cash flow and yet effectively deliver on your HR needs.

Time: Often, HR teams have many items on their corporate ‘to do’ lists that have been languishing for a while (updating policies are a great example). You can use an external HR consultancy to supplement your existing HR team, making sure your outstanding tasks are resolved promptly.

Expertise: HR is a multifaceted sector, and sometimes you need specialist skills or knowledge to supplement your in-house capabilities. At Rainbow HR we recently placed an expert HR policies consultant with a London council to do a complete review and refresh of their HR policies, including advising and writing new ones The consultant then went onto advise and support with the sensitive introduction of new policies, ensuring they were met positively and well understood by the whole team. What would have been a time-consuming exercise for the internal team, not to mention dragging them away from their day-to-day HR duties, was delivered quickly and efficiently.



So, would you benefit from using an external HR consultancy? The short answer for most businesses is yes. HR consultants can supplement and support your in-house HR function, giving you extra resource when you need it or providing specialist knowledge and expertise to help with specific projects. Having a clear brief and understanding of what you want to achieve will help you realise that benefit to best effect. You don’t need to understand the specifics of the process (after all it’s the expert’s job to know that!) but do be clear on the outcomes you want.

We’d also recommend putting in place a trial period to help you decide if the consultant is a good fit with your organisation.

For growing businesses, HR consultancy also makes a great option to ensuring professional HR support without having to commit to the costs of employing a full time HR Manager.


Rainbow HR

Tom Waddell is a Director of Rainbow HR and Recruitment @ Rainbow HR with over 30 years of HR experience.

Rainbow HR have an experienced team of highly qualified HR associates who work and support businesses across the UK. Give Tom a call on +44(0)7960 354441 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..