Becoming an HR consultant can provide you with a great career and the freedom to work on a freelance basis. However, it is important that you know what you have to do in order to reach this goal. There are a number of steps that need to be taken to become an HR consultant.
The Education Requirements
You need to have a bachelors degree as a minimum if you want to work as an HR consultant. There are some companies that want their external consultants to have masters degrees and you need to consider this. The degree that you have should incorporate courses such as business management, HR management, operations management and marketing coordination for business. These courses provide the knowledge that you need to be successful in this career.
Once you have your degree, you will need to gain work experience. An HR internship during your studies is a good option, but you can also wait for entry-level work once you have completed the degree. Working in an HR department is a requirement if you want to become a consultant and you need to have a few years of experience.
Specialized Or General
As you gain experience in the field, you need to consider if you want to work as a general HR consultant or if you want to specialize in a certain aspect of HR. There is no right or wrong answer with this and companies will need consultants with all skills. However, gaining some specialized skills and knowledge can be helpful.
This is due to businesses often hiring HR consultants to fill knowledge and skills gaps that they have. The problem with specializing is that you could be limiting your prospective client pool. However, you may be able to charge more because you are providing specialist skills.
The Required Skills
Having the right education and experience is important, but you also need to have the right skills for this career. A good HR consultant will have strong communication skills both verbal and written. You also need to have a desire to work with people of all backgrounds and ages. If you are not a people person, this is not the right career path for you.
You should also have good computer skills, but this does not mean that you need to learn software coding. Knowledge of HR software and database programs is also required. A positive attitude and outgoing personality will also be helpful.
If you want to become an HR consultant, you need to first get a bachelors degree with relevant courses. You also need to have work experience and the right skills for the job.