· Features

Eight tips on becoming a great HR consultant

Angela O’Connor, CEO of consultancy the HR Lounge and former chief people officer at the National Policing Improvement Agency, reveals the top eight traits you need to succeed when setting up an HR consultancy.


1. Not every good HR practitioner will be a good HR consultant. Those who need regular patterns of work and a regular income, stop now, this is not for you. 

2. You have brilliant organisational skills. You juggle tasks, work strange hours, travel at short notice and produce great work to challenging deadlines without support.

3. You love your clients. You need to be fully invested in their success. Never work for clients you don’t respect, it won’t work.

4. You have not escaped bureaucracy – ignore it at your peril. You will need insurance, tax advice, and must understand how to run a business legally and competently. No short cuts with HMRC please.

5. You are pragmatic, what works in textbooks doesn’t usually translate to the real world. You are an expert in your field and understand theoretical frameworks, but can translate these into workable solutions for clients.

6. You have business acumen. HR skills on their own won’t cut the mustard, you have to understand the bottom line.

7. You are professional, you hold yourself to the highest level of ethics, confidentiality and integrity. In this role we see and hear a lot and it’s imperative our clients trust us.

8. You are a great networker because you love it. That’s where you meet clients, create collaborations with other consultants and keep in touch.


Further reading:

HR consultancy to boom in 2022