The Open University since 2006
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
All in the Mind - Summer 2016: All in the Mind Awards Ceremony from the Wellcome Collection in LondonTuesday, 28th June 2016 21:00 - BBC Radio 4Claudia Hammond presents the series that explores the limits and potential of the human mind. Read more: All in the Mind - Summer 2016: All in the Mind Awards Ceremony from the Wellcome Collection in London
Genius of the Modern World: NietzscheTuesday, 28th June 2016 23:00 - BBC Four
City in The Sky: AirborneWednesday, 29th June 2016 02:45 - BBC Two
All in the Mind - Summer 2016: All in the Mind Awards Ceremony from the Wellcome Collection in LondonWednesday, 29th June 2016 15:30 - BBC Radio 4
Genius of the Modern World: NietzscheAvailable until Friday, 29th July 2016 00:00Bettany Hughes takes us on an exploration of Friedrich Nietzsche's life and works. Read more: Genius of the Modern World: Nietzsche
Canals: The Making of a Nation: HeritageAvailable until Wednesday, 27th July 2016 20:30
Thinking Allowed 2016: A special programme on Pierre BourdieuAvailable for over a year
The Big C & Me: Episode 2Available until Sunday, 24th July 2016 02:05
Where do we get the help that really counts?When only one third of people with mental health symptoms access formal channels of support due... Read more: Where do we get the help that really counts?
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
The value of coffeeThis free course explores the economic and cultural value of coffee. You will follow the chain of... Try: The value of coffee now
Introduction to bookkeeping and accountingLearn about the essential numerical skills required for accounting and bookkeeping. This free... Try: Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting now
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.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
All our alternative formats are free for you to download, for more information about the different formats we offer please see our FAQs. The most frequently used are Word (for accessibility), PDF (for print) and ePub and Kindle to download to eReaders*.
- Word (789 KB)
- PDF (1.6 MB)
- ePub 3.0 (617 KB)
- ePub 2.0 (618 KB)
- Kindle (253 KB)
- RSS (141 KB)
- HTML (639 KB)
- SCORM (638 KB)
- OUXML Package (23 KB)
- OUXML File (67 KB)
- IMS Common cartridge
- Moodle backup (679 KB)
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.