21 Aug 18+ Best HR Consulting Firms For Every Organizational Need
In a fast-paced and dynamic business landscape, human resources (HR) plays a crucial role in shaping the success and growth of organizations. Whether an organization has a robust internal HR function or seeks to establish one, HR consulting firms can provide strategic guidance and implementation support.
The difference between scaling up to support the next growth phase or maintaining the status quo will be impacted by an organization’s HR capability. By collaborating closely with key stakeholders, HR consultants can understand an organization’s objectives and culture. Leveraging this knowledge, HR consultants can develop comprehensive programs and practices that align with these goals.
How? Use an HR consultant to assess strengths and areas of improvement, identify skills gaps and develop training programs, craft recruitment and talent acquisition strategies to attract and retain top-tier candidates, implement a robust performance management system, and leverage HR analytics to help make decisions.
In this article, we explore the benefits HR consulting firms bring to organizations as a complement to an existing HR function or as an outsourced solution, proving how their services can be a game-changer for achieving sustainable growth and embracing change in a competitive marketplace.
HR Consulting Services: What Are Your Needs?
Whether you are creating HR policies from the ground up to be in compliance, making large-scale updates to policies and practices, or aligning your HR practices with business strategy, navigating the world of HR can be a challenge. This is why businesses and nonprofits of all sizes turn to HR consulting firms for expert guidance.
As with all types of professional consulting, HR support can vary greatly, with each firm offering different expertise, specialties, and approaches.
Before researching consultants, your organization should have an idea of what you need and why. From there, you can begin to speak with providers with whom you can share your thoughts and interests, and in turn, they will ask you questions to help you better identify your needs. You can determine who has the expertise to provide the best support both in technical ability and fit for your organization. To kickstart your search, here are some top HR consulting firms broken down by specialty:
- Full-Service HR Support
- RealHR Solutions
- Benefits & Compensation
- Astron Solutions
- Alliant Benefits
- Vanguard Benefits
- Organization & Culture
- Inspire Human Resources
- Crothers Consulting
- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)
- Weekes in Advance Enterprises
- Jennifer Brown Consulting
- K. Craft Associates
- Staffing & Executive Search
- McDermott & Bull
- Luisi Tromba Advisors
- Beacon Hill Staffing
- Premier Payroll Solutions
- HR Software
Best Full-Service HR Consulting Firm: RealHR Solutions
Overview of this HR Consulting Firm
A company’s most valuable asset is its people; managing, nurturing, and developing your employees is paramount to sustained success. This is where RealHR Solutions steps in as your trusted partner toward achieving HR excellence. Over the last 17+ years, RealHR has established a reputation as a leading full-service HR consulting firm providing services to for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Our mission is to provide customized, high-quality, and efficient HR services that help our clients meet their organizational goals and objectives and foster a culture of engagement and productivity.
Whether you’re seeking to streamline recruitment processes, enhance employee engagement, optimize performance management, or ensure regulatory compliance, our HR professionals will partner and collaborate with you to craft tailored solutions that seamlessly align with your strategic objectives. When you work with RealHR, you hire a team of experts and benefit from our collective experience. The consultant best suited to your needs will provide dedicated, one-on-one support. At the same time, you also benefit from involvement from one of our partners and the help of an entire team with deep, functional knowledge of all HR areas.
RealHR Solutions offers a uniquely wide range of HR services, including:
- HR set-up services for growing organizations
- HR audits and assessments
- Employee surveys and workplace investigations
- DEI initiatives and support
- Organizational strategy and development
- Recruitment strategy and executive search
- Coaching and training for staff, management, and executives
RealHR Solutions started with the goal of bringing HR policies and practices to growing organizations without professional HR expertise. From there, our offerings have grown to encompass broader and more strategic human resources challenges that organizations encounter across the entire employee lifecycle.
We especially pride ourselves on the flexibility of our services and the tailor-made solutions we offer to clients. Our team can help your organization with project-based support or on an ongoing basis as an advisor or outsourced business partner. Whether you need short-term HR set-up, long-term recruitment or organization strategy support, ongoing compliance advising, quick investigation services, or more, we can help.
HR Consulting Firms for Benefits & Compensation
Benefits and compensation programs and practices have significant financial implications for an organization’s bottom line, and they require partnering with HR specialists. How you compensate employees, both directly and indirectly, for their contributions communicates a lot about your organization’s values. In addition to compliance necessities, any changes or updates to your benefits and compensation should take pay equity and employee retention goals into consideration.
Compensation can get complicated quickly, so many organizations turn to experts for support. These HR consulting firms stand out for their benefits and compensation expertise:
Astron Solutions is a leading HR consulting firm that specializes in compensation strategy for small to mid-size businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Their emphasis on total rewards compensation allows Astron Solutions to approach each of their clients with a flexible, fully customized strategy. In addition to organization-wide and executive-level compensation consulting, they can also develop and execute custom compensation surveys to give your organization a complete view of where you stand with employees and in your sector.
With 20 years of experience, Astron Solutions is an ideal partner for organizations that need one-on-one compensation support.
Alliant Benefits is another HR consulting firm specializing in benefits and compensation support.
Alliant Benefits stands out for its sector-specific expertise, particularly in retail, healthcare, and international manufacturing and services. In these complex markets, retaining employees with competitive benefits and compensation packages is critical.
Alliant backs up its recommendations with comprehensive industry benchmarking which can ensure your own organization offers packages in line with or beyond what top talent is receiving elsewhere.
Vanguard Benefits is another HR consulting firm specializing in benefits and compensation support.
For decades Vanguard Benefits have been taking an honest and innovative approach to providing winning employee benefits strategies that aid employers with cost efficiency and recruiting.
With a focus on education, their concepts reduce health insurance and benefits costs while creating strategies that stabilize them permanently. By educating employers one employee at a time, their solutions increase ROI and employee satisfaction. Their approach is designed specifically for each of their clients through an extensive review of their business goals and a dedication to developing long-lasting relationships.
HR Consulting Firms for Organization & Culture
Organizational development and internal culture play important roles in your business or nonprofit’s ability to attract, engage, and retain talent. Turnover is costly and disruptive to business, so it is important to devote time and resources to organizational planning, employee development, and building a supportive culture. Not to mention, your organization’s reputation (largely driven by your culture) is an increasingly critical factor in the decisions of consumers, investors, donors, or partners to join you.
For many growing organizations, employee development and culture can be easily neglected in lieu of other pressing business concerns. However, the cultural foundations you lay down, whether at the very start or later on in your organization’s lifecycle, will have a long-lasting impact. Here are a few top HR consulting firms with proven track records in the realm of organization and culture:
Inspire Human Resources
Inspire Human Resources is an HR consulting firm that understands and advocates for the importance of culture and belonging in the workplace.
Their team will assess your organization’s culture, analyze the full employee experience, and offer the training and coaching you need to improve your engagement strategies. When needed, Inspire Human Resources can also step in with interim HR staffing to keep everything running smoothly.
Inspire’s clients have seen some impressive results, like 24% increases in employee retention and 9% profit growth, thanks to their expert guidance on how to build and maintain a productive, engaging culture for all employees.
Crothers Consulting is a human resources consulting agency that helps organizations navigate the cultural challenges that come with periods of change.
Specifically, Crothers Consulting specializes in working with small to mid-size businesses experiencing high-growth periods or undergoing mergers or acquisitions. During periods like these, maintaining and actively guiding your culture can all too easily fall by the wayside, which can have serious repercussions down the line.
With their experience and emphasis on leadership team building, Crothers Consulting can help your organization navigate change with confidence.
HR Consulting Firms for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)
Fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment is crucial for an organization’s success and their ethical responsibility.
A DEI consultant often brings specialized expertise, ensuring that an organization’s commitment is not just a statement, but rather a tangible reality. From conducting comprehensive assessments and crafting tailor-made strategies to providing training and coaching to employees at all levels, these experts help organizations develop customized solutions. Here are a few top picks to consider when searching for a DEI consultant:
Weekes in Advance Enterprises
Weekes in Advance Enterprises, led by social change expert Melinda Weekes-Laidlow, is an organizational development consulting firm.
Weekes in Advance specializes in helping organizations in the arts, entertainment, nonprofit, and social innovation sectors achieve their visions of success. Their team offers a broad range of HR and DEI-related services, including anti-racism training, meeting design and facilitation, process and experience design, and change consulting.
Weekes in Advance is a trusted partner of big-name social change, arts, educational, and religious organizations. Their track record of success and flexible service offerings make them a top choice for DEI support.
Jennifer Brown Consulting
Jennifer Brown Consulting is an HR consultancy specializing in helping organizations build (and make the business case for) more inclusive cultures.
This firm offers a full range of consulting services focused on resource groups, organizational change management, executive diversity storytelling, and more. Along with their 6-week online DEI Foundations course, Jennifer Brown Consulting can provide your organization with everything it needs to make and sustain meaningful change for employees.
The Jennifer Brown team has worked with a broad range of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and nonprofits.
K. Craft Associates
K. Craft Associates is a management consulting firm that offers a range of DEI and organizational development services.
Specifically, the K. Craft team can help your organization with DEI, executive coaching, leadership development, and organizational change. Their DEI consulting takes a comprehensive approach, including defining a vision for change, formulating a strategy, executing awareness and skills training, and more.
Importantly, K. Craft Associates also provides holistic support for DEI-infused recruiting, development, and retention. Their diversity training programs are another valuable choice, whether used as part of a broader initiative or as a system intervention.
HR Consulting Firms for Staffing & Executive Search
Organizational success will always hinge on the people who make up your team. That is why strategic and competitive hiring practices are critical to your success in recruiting the right talent for your organization. At a time when the competition for talent is more intense than ever, understanding your specific needs and the realities of the marketplace is required. A well-defined recruiting process is imperative and often can be enhanced by the expertise and assistance of a staffing or executive search firm that understands your hiring goals and can tap into the appropriate candidate pool in a timely and efficient manner.
To help fill critical gaps in their staff and leadership teams, many organizations partner with staffing and executive search consultants. Here are a few top providers to consider:
McDermott & Bull
McDermott & Bull is a leading executive search consulting firm that specializes in a number of sectors, including consumer brands, education, nonprofits, healthcare, financial services, and more.
Its offerings focus on two key areas: executive search and interim leadership staffing. The specific functional areas that McDermott & Bull supports include boards, executive leadership, finance and accounting, marketing and sales, HR, IT, and operations.
McDermott prides itself on finding and elevating the best possible candidates for clients. Their team understands that the right fit in any position can positively impact your organization in wide-reaching ways and drive more growth and stability over time.
Luisi Tromba Advisors
Luisi Tromba Advisors is an HR consulting firm that offers an exceptionally broad range of executive search and leadership development services.
Specifically, their team offers executive search, leadership development solutions, and broader consulting and advisory services. Plus, Luisi Tromba’s guiding philosophy stands out. Their Integrated Engagement approach prioritizes true collaboration and integration with your organization to understand its culture and priorities on a deeper level.
By avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach in this way, Luisi Tromba offers its clients leadership precision—the right candidate for that particular role, organization, and culture.
Beacon Hill Staffing
Beacon Hill Staffing is one of the largest and most established HR-related consulting firms and staffing agencies in the world.
This means that when you partner with Beacon Hill, your organization will tap into an extensive network of staffing and leadership resources, job seekers, and other partners. Beacon Hill’s complete ecosystem includes specialty divisions that can handle staffing and leadership needs in practically any sector.
Plus, this firm offers broader workforce consulting and custom executive search services for a more hands-on approach. Whatever your needs, Beacon Hill Staffing can likely handle them.
As HR consultants and professionals focus their energies on talent acquisition, development, and overall workforce management, payroll companies complement their efforts by streamlining and optimizing the complex task of payroll processing and administration. This strategic alliance not only allows HR teams to allocate more time and resources to core HR functions, but also ensures accurate and timely compensation for employees, adherence to regulatory compliance, and the maintenance of comprehensive payroll records. Here are a few top providers to consider:
Premier Payroll Staffing
Premier Payroll Solutions is a partner-run organization that strives to deliver superior service to its clients.
They’re always working towards being an extension of their clients’ businesses to ensure that the payroll process goes smoothly week in and week out. With a team that has a collective industry experience that exceeds 125 years, they bring comfort to their clients.
Their philosophy is to always take care of their work family and help those in communities that we serve the best they can.
Gusto is a cloud-based payroll provider, ideal for small and mid-sized businesses.
The platform offers a wide range of features, including automated payroll processing, tax calculations, direct deposit, employee onboarding, time tracking, and benefits administration.
With Gusto, organizations can reduce the likelihood of payroll errors but also ensure compliance with various tax and labor regulations.
Justworks is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) that helps organizations manage payroll-related taxes, certain human resources functions, provides access to benefits, and other employer-related functions necessary to run a business.
Their mission is to help entrepreneurs and business owners grow with confidence.
Top HR Software Providers
In a rapidly digitizing world, dedicated HR software has become necessary, streamlining logistics, simplifying employee record management, and providing valuable historical data. However, it’s important to note that HR software does not replace the need for HR consulting services. While it empowers organizations, HR consultants’ expertise and personalized guidance remain indispensable for strategic HR functions.
By embracing a comprehensive approach that combines technology with human insights, organizations can maximize their HR potential and pave the way for sustained growth and success. Here are a few top HR software providers:
BambooHR is one of the most comprehensive and popular HR software providers today. Its platform contains everything your organization needs: core data and analytics features, hiring and onboarding tools, time tracking, compensation and PTO management, and performance management, among other tools.
BambooHR stands out for its comprehensive, out-of-the-box functionality, making it an ideal choice for small shops that need professional-grade human resources tools quickly.
Flare is a web-based talent management platform designed and produced by one of the top HR consulting firms listed above, Astron Solutions. This platform takes a modular and highly customized approach. Rather than potentially overwhelming your organization with too many or redundant features, Flare instead allows users to pick and choose the modules and features that they need.
The top modules include performance reviews, sales-based compensation tracking, total rewards statements, exit interviews, and more.
Paycor is another leading provider of HR software for organizations of all sizes. This platform offers a full range of robust features for payroll, talent management, workforce management, benefits administration, and more. What differentiates Paycor is its track record of success serving specific industries with unique needs. Organizations in healthcare, nonprofit, education, manufacturing, and retail have all found success with Paycor’s features and support.
HR Consulting Firms: Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, we’ll answer some of the most common questions surrounding HR consulting firms, shedding light on their role, benefits, costs, and how to make the most of your partnership. Whether you’re a small business looking to optimize your HR operations or a large corporation seeking innovative solutions, we provide the answers you need to make informed decisions and embark on a successful HR transformation journey.
What is an HR consulting firm?
An HR consulting firm is a specialized organization that provides professional Human Resources (HR) advisory and support services. These firms often have a team of HR experts and consultants who offer strategic guidance and practical solutions to address various HR challenges and optimize HR practices.
HR consulting firms cater to various HR needs, such as talent acquisition, employee training and development, performance management, compensation and benefits, organizational design, workforce planning, and compliance with labor laws and regulations. They collaborate with clients to understand their unique needs and design tailored solutions to enhance HR efficiency and effectiveness.
What is the difference between in-house HR and an HR consulting firm?
In-house HR refers to an organization’s department that is responsible for handling HR-related functions and tasks. These internal teams are directly employed by and work exclusively for an organization. They handle day-to-day HR operations, employee relations, talent management, and other HR functions specific to their organization.
HR consulting firms often operate externally and independently from the organizations they serve. They are specialized agencies that provide HR-related services to multiple clients across various industries. HR consulting firms bring a broader perspective, industry insights, and best practices from working with diverse clients. HR consulting firms often offer services where in-house HR may need more expertise or bandwidth, such as organizational restructuring, HR audits or assessments, and talent acquisition strategies.
How much does it cost to work with an HR consulting firm?
Cost can vary significantly depending on the scope of work, project duration, customization, etc. Before beginning any engagement, communicate any budgetary constraints and clarify any expected outcomes with an HR consulting firm.
HR consulting can be a game-changing investment for organizations of any size. Whether your business or nonprofit is looking for full-service support from an expert or guidance in a more specific area of expertise, there is a wealth of options to choose from. Start by defining your needs, goals, and vision for success. From there, begin researching top candidates like the ones on this list. Take your time, get to know your candidates, and weigh your options—you’ll be working with the perfect partner in no time.
How do I know if my organization is ready to work with an HR consulting firm?
Determining if your organization is ready to work with an HR consulting firm involves considering several factors. Here are some indicators that your organization could benefit from partnering with a consulting firm:
- You’re dealing with complex HR challenges or sensitive employee relations matters.
- You want to determine if your in-house HR department is operating efficiently and has compliant practices.
- You want to understand how your organization as a whole is interacting with the HR department and if they feel supported by current policies and practices.
- You want to align your HR practices to your business objectives.
- You want a fresh perspective and creative ideas to revitalize your organization’s HR strategies.
- You’re experiencing an influx of employee turnover or increased recruitment needs that are putting strain on your in-house HR team.
How can I get the most out of my partnership with an HR consultant?
To make the most of your partnership with an HR consultant, consider the following:
- Clearly define objectives— communicate your challenges, goals, and desired outcomes.
- Involve key stakeholders to ensure alignment between HR initiatives and broader organizational strategy.
- Act on recommendations; a successful partnership depends on the organization’s commitment to translating insights into actions.
- Be open to change and adaptable to new approaches.
- Foster open communication to facilitate a collaborative and productive working relationship.
Navigating the HR Consultant Hiring Process
Hiring an HR consultant can be a strategic move to enhance your organization’s human resources functions and ensure compliance with industry regulations. Here are a few steps to guide you through the process:
- Identify your needs and goals: Before you begin the search for an HR consultant, determine your specific needs and goals. Are you looking for assistance with employee relations, talent acquisition, compliance, or HR strategy? Clarifying your objectives will help you find a consultant with the right expertise.
- Determine your budget and establish your timeline: Determining your budget and timeline before seeking out an HR consultant is essential for a smooth and successful consulting engagement. It lays the foundation of transparency and allows you to find a consultant who can meet your objectives and deliver value to your organization.
- Research and Referrals: Start researching reputable HR consultants using online platforms, industry associations, or networking events to identify potential consultants. Also, seek referrals from colleagues or other business owners who have worked with HR consultants in the past.
- Initial Consultation: Arrange an initial consultation with the shortlisted candidates. Use this opportunity to discuss your organization’s needs, challenges, and goals. Be mindful of how well the consultant understands your requirements and offers potential solutions.
- Proposal and Scope of Work: After the initial consultation, request a detailed proposal outlining the scope of work, project timeline, deliverables, and pricing structure. Ensure that the proposal aligns with your expectations and clearly defines the consultant’s responsibilities.
- Assess Fit and Compatibility: Evaluate how well the consultant’s approach and working style will align with your organization’s culture. Effective communication and a positive working relationship are crucial for a successful partnership.
- Contract Execution: Once you’ve selected a proposal and a consultant, move forward with contract execution. Finalize data-sharing logistics, project milestones, confidentiality agreements, and any other relevant terms.
- Begin your Partnership: Schedule an initial kick-off meeting to officially begin the engagement. During this meeting set expectations for reporting and updates.
- Ongoing Collaboration and Communication: Throughout the engagement, maintain open lines of communication with your HR consultant. Regular check-ins and updates will ensure that the project is progressing as planned and allow for adjustments as needed.
- Long-Term Relationship: If the engagement is successful, consider building a long-term relationship with the HR consultant. They can continue to provide valuable insights and support as your organization’s HR needs evolve.
By following these steps, you can identify, hire, and collaborate effectively with an HR consultant who aligns with your organization’s objectives and contributes to its overall success.
Hiring an HR consultant can be a game-changing investment for organizations of any size. The intricate landscape of modern business demands adept management of human resources to stay competitive and compliant. An HR consultant can bring a fresh perspective, specialized expertise, and industry knowledge. By partnering with an HR consultant, your organization gains access to strategic insights, best practices, and tailored solutions that align with your organization’s unique goals and challenges.
Open the door to a trove of strategic insights, refined best practices, and meticulously tailored solutions and develop a symbiotic partnership that paves the way for a more agile, responsive, and forward-thinking approach to human resource management, one that not only addresses existing challenges but also proactively identifies growth opportunities.
To learn more, keep exploring with these additional resources:
- HR Assessments 101: What You Should Know & How to Begin. Most engagements with an HR consulting firm will begin with a review of your existing processes. Learn more about why and how to take stock of your organization’s current systems.
- HR Audit: Free Checklist & Tips for Getting Started. HR audits allow you to identify areas of improvement, mitigate potential risks, and enhance efficiency. Learn more about HR audits in this guide.
- Performance Reviews: Overview & Tips from HR Experts. Performance reviews are important opportunities for you and your employees to evaluate current performance and set goals for the future. Learn more in this guide.