In the business world, the human resource (HR) department is responsible for the recruitment and management of a company’s workforce. In large firms, the HR department is usually overseen by a vice president who assigns several managers to head sections within the department. These managers lead teams of consultants, the most senior of whom are referred to as lead consultants. Due to their experience and seniority, lead consultants are often relied upon by managers to provide leadership and guidance to junior team members and to offer advice and support to senior members.
In human resources, there are two main areas of concern: recruiting new talent and managing the current workforce. Lead consultants who specialize in recruitment are responsible for finding the best talent for their companies through research, networking, and advertisement. Lead consultants typically make first contact with potential candidates and perform preliminary interviews. They may be authorized to make special offers to particularly desirable candidates. To become successful recruiters, lead consultants develop their networks and hone their “people skills." Lead consultants who work in benefits, compensation, and other areas related to the current workforce focus on enforcing and improving company policies to protect both the firm and its workers. Lead consultants may also develop training programs and materials to inform workers about new policies, procedures, and innovations within the firm.
Consultants typically work in standard office environments and use computers to handle most of their work. For lead consultants in benefits and compensation, a 40-hour work week is typical, while recruiters may spend additional time socializing during off hours to improve their network. HR consultants must be well versed in basic computer and be familiar with relevant local, state, and federal regulations. Lead consultants have a proven track record of dispute and grievance resolution, as well as a demonstrated ability to recruit and retain top talent. Most HR consultants have at least a bachelor’s degree in business, human resources, psychology, or a related field and many firms express a preference for a master’s degree in these areas when recruiting lead consultants. Lead consultants also must demonstrate a broad range of HR experience, as well as expertise in their particular area of HR.
Lead Consultant, Human Resources (HR) Tasks
Advise managers on organizational policy issues and recommend needed changes.
Lead a team of HR staff to develop, plan and implement various HR initiatives such as compensation, benefits and performance management programs.
Analyze HR practices, and recommend employee relations, employment, compensation and benefits policies to establish competitive programs and ensure legal compliance.