GUIDE 2024

12 Best HR Consulting Services for Small Business 2024

Do you find managing human resources overwhelming? Are administrative tasks diverting your attention from growing your business? 

If so, it might be time to consider hiring a Human Resources (HR) Consulting Service. These professionals help businesses manage their workforce efficiently, provide strategic guidance, and ensure compliance with HR laws and regulations. Small businesses can especially benefit from these services as they often lack a full-scale in-house HR department.

Outsourcing HR tasks to a professional consulting service allows small business owners to focus on what they do best: growing their business. Instead of being bogged down with administrative tasks, they can devote their time and energy to strategic initiatives.

What do HR Consulting Services do for Small Businesses?

HR Consulting Services assist businesses in managing their human resources effectively. They cover a broad spectrum of HR tasks, including recruitment, onboarding, employee training and development, performance management, payroll, and benefits administration.

These services also ensure compliance with HR laws and regulations, reducing the risk of costly lawsuits and penalties. They assist with strategic HR planning, helping businesses align their workforce strategy with their overall business goals.

Moreover, they implement HR technologies to streamline HR processes and improve efficiency. From cloud-based HR systems to advanced analytics, they use technology to enhance HR management.

Capabilities of HR Consulting Services

HR Consulting services offer a range of features that are specifically designed to support small businesses. These features, which vary from one provider to another, essentially aim to optimize the HR function. Here are eight key features that you should look for in an HR Consulting Service:

  • Comprehensive HR Solutions: An effective HR consulting service should offer a comprehensive suite of HR solutions. This includes everything from talent acquisition and management to payroll processing, benefits administration, compliance assurance, and employee training and development. Such an all-inclusive service ensures seamless integration of all HR functions.
  • Customization: Every business has unique needs and a good HR consulting service should be able to tailor its solutions to suit these specific requirements. This could mean creating customized HR policies, designing unique training programs, or developing a recruitment strategy that matches your business’s unique culture and needs.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, your HR needs will change. A quality HR consulting service will be able to scale its offerings in line with your business growth. This ensures that you always have the right level of HR support, whether you’re just starting out or expanding rapidly.
  • Technological Proficiency: HR technology has evolved significantly in recent years and a good HR consulting service should be adept at using these technologies. This could include everything from cloud-based HR management systems to HR analytics tools, which can help drive efficiency and provide valuable insights.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Compliance with HR laws and regulations is critical, and an effective HR consulting service will have the expertise to ensure you meet all your legal obligations. This can help you avoid costly penalties and protect your business’s reputation.
  • Strategic HR Planning: The best HR consulting services will go beyond day-to-day HR tasks and help you develop a strategic HR plan. This involves aligning your HR strategy with your business goals, planning for future HR needs, and implementing initiatives that enhance employee engagement and performance.
  • Industry Knowledge: While general HR expertise is valuable, knowledge of your specific industry can add significant value. An HR consulting service with experience in your sector will understand the unique challenges and opportunities you face, and can provide targeted, effective solutions.
  • Employee Engagement and Development: A focus on employee engagement and development is a key feature of quality HR consulting services. This could include everything from designing effective onboarding processes to creating training and development programs and implementing employee engagement initiatives. This focus can help you attract and retain top talent, enhancing your business’s performance and growth.

Benefits of Hiring HR Consulting Services for Small Businesses

Hiring HR Consulting Services can bring multiple benefits to your small business. Here are eight significant advantages that can make a difference to your business operations and growth trajectory.

Expertise Access

Small businesses might not have in-house HR experts, and by outsourcing, they gain access to specialized knowledge and skill sets. These professionals are updated on the latest HR trends, laws, and best practices, ensuring your business benefits from their expertise.

Efficiency Increase

HR consultants can help streamline your HR operations, making them more efficient and less time-consuming. From simplifying recruitment processes to automating payroll and benefits, HR consultants can help increase your operational efficiency, saving time and resources.

Risk Management

HR laws and regulations are complex and ever-changing. An HR consulting service helps ensure compliance with these laws, reducing the risk of costly lawsuits and penalties. They stay abreast of changes and can implement necessary adjustments to your policies and practices.

Cost Savings

Outsourcing HR functions can lead to cost savings. Instead of hiring full-time staff for different HR roles, you can access a team of specialists from an HR consulting service. This approach saves on overheads like salaries, benefits, training, and infrastructure.

Strategic HR Planning

HR consultants can assist with strategic HR planning. They can help align your HR strategy with your business objectives, plan for future human resource needs, and implement programs to develop and retain talent. This strategic focus can support your business growth and success.

Employee Development

HR consultants can help design and implement employee training and development programs. These programs can enhance skills, boost productivity, and improve employee satisfaction and retention. This focus on employee development can lead to a more skilled and motivated workforce.

Flexible and Scalable

HR consulting services offer flexibility and scalability. You can scale up or down the services as per your needs, making it a cost-effective solution. Whether your business is expanding rapidly or going through a quiet period, your HR service can adjust accordingly.

Better Focus on Core Business

With HR responsibilities handled by experts, business owners and managers can concentrate more on core business functions. This focus can lead to better decision-making, improved products or services, and ultimately, business growth and success.

12 Best HR Consulting Services for Small Businesses

Choosing the right HR Consulting Service can significantly impact your business operations, efficiency, and growth. To assist you in your decision-making process, here’s a list of top HR consulting firms that are renowned for their services tailored to small businesses.

1. Bambee

Bambee tops our list, specializing in providing affordable HR services to small businesses. Bambee offers an array of services such as HR policy development, HR compliance, and employee training. What sets Bambee apart is their focus on crafting customized HR policies that cater to individual business needs.

Their affordable pricing model allows small businesses to have access to top-notch HR services without breaking the bank. In addition, Bambee’s team of certified HR managers work directly with businesses to understand their specific needs, ensuring the delivered solutions are both effective and tailored.

2. Mercer

Next on our list is Mercer, a global leader in talent consulting. Mercer prides itself on providing comprehensive HR services including talent management, health, benefits, and retirement planning. They have a global footprint, which allows them to offer solutions that take into account both local and global market trends.

Their strength lies in their ability to combine rigorous data-driven analysis with an understanding of organizational culture to produce effective HR solutions. Mercer’s vast experience and ability to handle complex HR issues make them a reliable partner for small businesses.

3. Insperity

Insperity is another strong contender in the HR consulting arena, offering an all-in-one HR solution that includes everything from payroll and employee benefits to risk management and HR compliance. Their full-service model makes them a convenient option for small businesses looking to outsource all their HR needs to a single provider.

What distinguishes Insperity is their dedication to crafting personalized HR solutions. They take the time to understand your business before recommending strategies, ensuring that their services align perfectly with your needs.

4. Aon Hewitt

Aon Hewitt stands out for its broad range of HR consulting services, which includes talent management, HR function transformation, and benefits consulting. They provide scalable solutions that cater to businesses of all sizes, making them a reliable choice for small businesses.

Aon Hewitt’s solutions are data-driven, leveraging their extensive HR databases to provide meaningful and impactful recommendations. Their focus on innovation also ensures that you’re getting the most up-to-date and efficient HR solutions.

5. TriNet

TriNet provides full-service HR solutions designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. Their services cover everything from payroll and benefits administration to risk mitigation and compliance, all delivered through a cloud-based platform.

TriNet distinguishes itself through its industry-specific solutions, which cater to the unique needs of different sectors. This approach ensures that their services are tailored to your business’s specific requirements.

6. IBM Talent & Transformation

IBM Talent & Transformation offers a robust portfolio of HR consulting services. They leverage their expertise in AI and automation to provide innovative solutions that enhance efficiency and deliver superior results.

Their approach is to transform HR functions into a strategic driver for business growth. They not only help businesses manage their HR tasks efficiently but also assist in developing a forward-looking HR strategy that aligns with business goals.

7. Paychex

Paychex is a comprehensive HR and payroll service provider that offers solutions designed to streamline HR processes. They offer a wide range of services, including payroll, benefits, hiring services, and HR administration.

What sets Paychex apart is their powerful online platform that offers businesses complete control over their HR processes. Their platform integrates all HR functions into one system, making HR management simpler and more efficient.

8. ADP

ADP is a well-known name in the HR industry, offering a range of HR, payroll, and benefits administration solutions. Their services are powered by technology, providing businesses with efficient, easy-to-use tools to manage their HR tasks.

ADP is known for their reliability and high-quality service. They have a large team of experts who can provide guidance and support, ensuring that businesses have the resources they need to manage their HR effectively.

9. Gartner

Gartner offers HR consulting services that help businesses optimize their HR function and drive better business results. They leverage their extensive research and insights to provide recommendations that are evidence-based and effective.

Gartner’s strength lies in their ability to provide strategic advice. They assist businesses in aligning their HR strategy with their business goals, driving growth and success.

10. Deloitte

Deloitte offers a broad range of HR consulting services, including HR transformation, talent strategies, and change management. They combine their deep HR expertise with their understanding of business strategy to deliver solutions that drive business growth.

Deloitte’s approach is to put people at the center of everything they do. This approach ensures that their solutions not only meet business needs but also engage and empower employees.

11. Accenture

Accenture is a global professional services company that provides a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology, and operations. Their HR consulting services focus on creating a high-performing HR function that improves business performance.

Accenture leverages their global resources and cutting-edge technology to deliver innovative HR solutions. Their strength lies in their ability to integrate technology and human potential, driving business growth and success.

12. Towers Watson

Towers Watson, now part of Willis Towers Watson, is a leading global advisory, broking, and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. Their HR consulting services focus on talent management, benefits, HR function optimization, and change management.

Towers Watson is known for their evidence-based approach, leveraging data and analytics to drive effective HR strategies. Their comprehensive range of services and global expertise makes them a reliable partner for small businesses.

How to Choose the Best HR Consulting Service for Your Small Business

Choosing a HR Consulting Service for your small business is a critical decision that can have a significant impact on your operations and growth. Here are seven key factors you should consider when making this choice.

Industry Experience: The relevance of the consulting service’s experience to your industry can make a significant difference in the quality of their advice and service. A service provider that understands the specific challenges and needs of your sector can offer more effective and targeted solutions. Make sure to research their clientele and their expertise in your industry.

Range of Services: HR covers a wide array of functions, and ideally, your consulting service should offer comprehensive solutions to cater to all these areas. Whether it’s recruitment, talent management, employee training and development, payroll, benefits administration, or ensuring compliance with HR laws and regulations, a full-service provider can deliver seamless, integrated support.

Scalability: As your business grows, your HR needs will change and expand. The ability of an HR consulting service to scale its offerings in line with your growth is crucial. Look for providers that offer flexible, scalable solutions that can evolve with your business over time.

Customizable Solutions: Every business is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach might not yield the best results for your HR needs. The HR consulting service you choose should be capable of tailoring their solutions to suit your specific requirements and budget constraints. Customizable services indicate a customer-centric approach and a willingness to adapt.

Technological Capabilities: In today’s digital age, leveraging technology for HR functions is essential for efficiency. Your chosen consulting service should be proficient in the latest HR technologies and capable of integrating them into your business. This could include everything from cloud-based HR systems to advanced analytics.

Reputation and Client Feedback: A strong reputation and positive client feedback are good indicators of a reliable and effective HR consulting service. Check online reviews, ask for client references, and assess their track record to get an idea of the service quality they offer.

Strategic HR Planning Capabilities: Your HR strategy should align with your overall business objectives, and the HR consulting service should be capable of facilitating this alignment. Look for a service that offers strategic HR planning, helping you not just manage your current workforce, but plan for future human resource needs in line with your growth goals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about HR consulting services for small businesses.

1. What is an HR Consulting Service?

An HR Consulting Service, often run by dedicated HR professionals, is a professional entity that assists businesses in managing their human resources effectively. These services, sometimes referred to as HR consultants, offer a comprehensive suite of offerings covering recruitment, onboarding, employee training and development, performance management, payroll, benefits administration, and ensuring compliance with HR laws and regulations.

2. How can small businesses benefit from HR Consulting Services?

Small businesses can greatly benefit from HR consulting services, especially those that don’t have their own HR consulting businesses or HR departments. They can gain access to expert advice and resources, streamline their HR processes, ensure legal compliance, and implement effective HR strategies. Moreover, outsourcing HR tasks can save time and allow the business owner to focus on strategic growth initiatives.

3. What services do HR Consulting Services offer?

HR Consulting Services, or HR outsourcing companies, offer a wide array of services. These include, but are not limited to, talent acquisition and management, employee engagement and retention strategies, payroll management, benefits administration, ensuring compliance with labor laws and regulations, training and development, performance management, and HR strategic planning.

4. What are the benefits of hiring an HR Consulting Service?

Hiring an HR consulting service or partnering with an HR consulting firm can provide several benefits. These include increased efficiency in HR processes, access to expert advice and resources, risk mitigation by ensuring compliance with HR laws and regulations, and assistance in strategic HR planning. The outsourcing firm’s brand may also add credibility to your business.

5. Is it worth investing in HR Consulting Services?

Yes, investing in HR consulting services is generally worth it, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. These services can provide valuable expertise and resources that a business may not have in-house. They can also save time, streamline HR processes, ensure legal compliance, and contribute to the overall growth and success of the business.

6. How to choose the best HR Consulting Service for my small business?

When choosing an HR Consulting Service for your small business, consider factors like the firm’s experience in your industry, the range of services they offer, their ability to scale with your business, their technological capabilities, and the strength of the HR consulting firm’s brand. Look for a service that offers customizable solutions to fit your unique needs and budget. Finally, check client references and online reviews to assess the firm’s performance and client satisfaction.

Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.