7 signs you need an HR consultant

Have you considered bringing an HR consultant into your business?

Someone with a specialised skillset who can take an objective view and (gently!) shake your people and culture into better shape.

If you’re reading this, we’re guessing you’ve thought about it. But if you’re still wondering if now’s the right time, here are some clear tell-tale signs you should invest in an HR consultant sooner rather than later.

1. Lack of HR expertise

\Does your business have a dedicated HR team or staff member? If not, you may be lacking the in-house skill set needed for HR success. You wouldn’t rewire your electrics yourself, so why leave your HR in the hands of non-experts?

An HR consultant can advise and support your business to create and implement effective HR strategies and policies that align with your business goals and values.

They also have the expertise to research, analyse and recommend best practices. Plus, they can work with your management and employees to improve communication and build strong relationships.

Working with a team of HR consultants with diverse backgrounds and experience can be especially valuable in designing effective solutions.

2. High employee turnover

 If your employee turnover rate (the average number of people who exit your business during a set period of time) is high, this is often a clear indication that something isn’t working internally.

Around 10 per cent is generally considered healthy. But check your industry figures, as they can vary quite a bit.

While people leave for personal reasons, such as a change of career path, if it’s happening a lot, resignation can be a sign of poor management and HR practices or a toxic culture.

An external HR consultant can help you identify the root causes of your high turnover rate and work with you to develop strategies to address them.

3. Poor employee performance

 Are your managers and employees performing below expectations?

Poor performance can indicate inadequate training and development, performance management processes, and communication and feedback. It can also suggest a lack of employee engagement and connection.

All of these can be solved with the advice and solutions of an HR consultant.

For example, an HR consultant can help you boost employee engagement by improving workplace culture, creating opportunities for employee involvement and empowerment, and providing rewards and recognition for good performance.

4. Solution blindness

 When you’re immersed in your company culture day-to-day, you can usually feel when something isn’t working. But it can often be difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is as you’re too involved in the details—the old wood for the trees analogy.

Even if you can see what’s not working, solutions don’t always come easy, as tunnel vision makes it difficult to see beyond the existing status quo.

Coming in as an outsider, an HR consultant can assess your business and culture objectively. Because they’re not part of your culture, they can more easily see the big picture without bias and develop effective solutions.

5. No established HR/people frameworks

 Having established frameworks is a must for HR success.

HR frameworks are a structured and systematic way to align your HR policies, practices and procedures with your organisation’s goals and objectives.

The key people-focused frameworks needed to underpin company culture include:

  • Engagement survey cadence
  • Discussion templates (giving feedback, difficult conversations)
  • Learning and development strategy (L&D)
  • Human resource information system (HRIS)
  • Performance management process
  • Change management process
  • Organisation design/review process


If your HR/people frameworks are lacking, your company’s ability to deliver on its mission, goals and objectives will be greatly hindered. It can also lead to inconsistencies, reducing employee satisfaction and engagement.

The solution? Bring in an HR consultant to help you set them up.

6. A plethora of people issues

If your team is growing and/or you’re finding yourself spending more time on people issues than business issues, it’s again time to think about bringing in that HR consultant.

People issues can be everything from employee conflict to communication problems and discrimination and harassment. As well as eating into your time, these types of issues can also be tricky to solve.

An HR consultant can stop the unwanted knocks on the door by using their expertise to deal with these issues effectively and bring your people, teams and culture together to work more harmoniously.

7. Lack of time for the fun stuff

 Does that culture survey or team engagement initiative keep getting pushed to the bottom of the to-do list or thrown to next month?

These are the fun bits of HR, so if you’re struggling to put your time and energy into these, it’s a clear sign you need a little help.

An HR consultant can come into your business and make these things happen. They can start the ball of culture insight rolling and make plans to get your team together to learn, share and build stronger bonds.

They have the time and expertise to turn your ideas into reality where you don’t.


Build a great culture and have fun!

If you’ve been nodding your head as you’ve been going through this list, an HR consultant might be just what your business or organisation needs right now.

As well as helping you overcome specific roadblocks, an HR consultant can work with you to build a great company culture to help you keep existing employees and attract quality talent. A big tick in today’s tight market.

You might be surprised at what a fun and insightful experience partnering with an outsourced HR consultant can be!


If you think your business is ready to reap the benefits of hiring an HR consultant, let’s chat.

Meet the author: Stacey Kelly

Stacey brings extensive industry experience and knowledge, as well as the energy, passion and inspiration of a great leader. She previously held senior people/cultures roles in private and public organisations, including Hunter TAFE and Insurance Australia Group (IAG).

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