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Human resources consultancies have become invaluable to businesses looking for improvements and efficiencies in their operations. This free course, Choosing a human resources consultant, explores the issues surrounding how you might go about selecting and using a consultant, examining the risks involved in the venture, fitting the consultant to the task, setting fees and evaluating work. If you are in business and looking to hire a consultant, are a consultant yourself or are studying business at masters level, this course will be useful to you.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- appreciate the characteristics of consultancy when viewed as a service offered for sale
- as client, identify suitable contexts for using consultants
- as client, identify, gather information on, and evaluate the suitability of competing consultants.
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Choosing a human resources consultant
There are a number of reasons for using consultants. These include the provision of interim or other temporary services, specialist expertise such as employment law, and general support such as coaching. They also include more substantial involvement with change, either just at the diagnostic stage or throughout the change process. There are different modes of consulting, of which the process mode is preferable whenever problems are at all complex.
This course looks both at sub-contracting particular HR services which could otherwise be provided internally, and at change consultancy, where the consultant brings an external perspective which could not be obtained in any other way. HR consultants are often called in initially for their specific expertise but many find that, even in this case, diagnosis is important, and there are often follow-on opportunities for broader organisational development. A masters degree should provide a good basis for expanding into this type of consultancy, and the ability to do so is likely to make a consultancy more financially viable.
I have chosen to start by looking at a key distinctive aspect of HR consultancy – that it is a service. Marketing a service is different from marketing something more tangible. To do it effectively you need to understand the distinctive characteristics of service provision and the impact that these have on how buyers approach a purchase.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of postgraduate study in
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Human Resources courses or view the range of currently available OU Human Resources courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 19th July 2012
Last updated on: Thursday, 11th February 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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