How to start independently HR Consulting?

I am currently in HR and have been for 2 years now. I’m obtaining my masters degree in Organizational Development at this time. After graduating I plan to get my certifications but I want to start thinking about what exactly I want to do in HR long term. So far I have had generalized experience of HR. I always knew that I wanted to go towards HR Consulting but I never knew where to start. 

Current or Previous Independent HR consultants, what are the pros and cons? How did you start? Is it worth it? What does it take?

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    You have to have a reputation as a knowledge expert in your field.  That reputation is build on a combination of academics and, more importantly, job experience. You're going to need more than a couple of years as an entry-level HR coordinator to be a viable consultant.  

    1.  Continuing working for a company for 5+ years and try to move both into a specialty within HR and also up the management ladder.  If you haven't been an HR Director or VP, it isn't very likely anyone is going to hire you as an expert. You could also look at working for an HR consulting company for a while.

    2.  Develop a network of people who might be willing to give you your first couple of consulting gigs. 

    3.  Figure out exactly what you are offering, to what type of client, and in what way. Are you going to be an executive recruiter, or do you see yourself being asked to come in and help companies reorganize, or are you going to be doing race/sexual harassment seminars, or ???  Will you work for one client at a time or do you plan to juggle several clients at once?  How often will you be on-site?  

    4. Create a business plan.  Being an independent means you are a small business owner.  You have to do your own marketing and accounting. You have to separate your person assets from your business assets and determine what you need to be in business including office space, a website, advertising, admin staff, etc.  

    5. Put some money aside.  The first few months or even the first year of going out on your own can be slow, so you need to have enough in the bank to cover your expenses while you build your business.

  • 2 months ago

    How do you start?

    1. become an expert in your field.

    2. create a network of people who understand your value and will hire you.

    If you want to be "independent", not work for another consulting firm, it will be a minimum of 10 years before you are ready to go it alone. 

  • 2 months ago


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