Looking for expert advice to help and inspire you in your HR Consulting Business, or looking for guidance and insight as you start your journey into establishing your HR Consulting business? Wherever you are on your consulting journey you are in the right place.

Check out our latest blog content, packed with interesting views, stories, advice, guidance and anecdotes from the UK's Leading Mentor for HR Consultants, Sarah Hamilton-Gill. With over 30 years experience as an HR Consultant, Sarah has much wisdom to share and is reagrded extremely highly in her field.

We hope you find our articles useful. Please do share your views in the comments.

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  1. As an HR Consultant and business owner with three decades of experience, I have witnessed first-hand the evolution of the HR consulting landscape. One aspect that remains crucial, yet often overlooked, is the importance of a consistent sales pipeline. This article aims to shed light on why prioritising sales is vital for HR consultants, especially those venturing into this dynamic field.

    Why Focus on Sales?

    Sales are the lifeblood of any consulting business. Without a steady stream of clients, even the most skilled HR consultant risks stagnancy. In the realm of HR consulting, where competition is fierce and client needs are ever evolving, a robust sales strategy is not just a growth tool, it's a survival mechanism.

    Ignoring the sales aspects of your business can lead to several challenges, and moreover, put your business at serious risk.

    The number one has to be the obvious…Financial Instability!

    Without a predictable inflow of new clients and projects, financial instability becomes a significant risk to your entire business operation.

    The next isclient diversification challenges. Relying on a few clients can be precarious. A diverse clientele, garnered through consistent sales efforts, ensures stability.

    Then there’sreduced market relevance. Your inability to attract new clients may signal outdated practices or lack of innovation in your approach.

    And, what about if you are just starting out on your HR Consulting Journey? What are the pitfalls in starting an HR consulting business without a sales plan?

    Embarking on an HR consulting journey without a sales plan is akin to sailing without a compass. I see it often. HR professionals, making the brave leap into consultancy, with excitement and expectation for a bright consulting future and they completely ignore the development of a sales strategy.

    So many new consultants underestimate the competitiveness of the market and overestimate the ease of acquiring clients. They have inadequate client engagement capability and fail to engage effectively with potential clients, missing out on opportunities to demonstrate value. Plus, the misallocate resource which impacts growth and profitability.

    A well-defined sales strategy and plan from the outset will help avoid these pitfalls.

    So, how do you build a robust sales pipeline?

    Here are 6 suggestions which have helped me and my HR Consulting mentees over the years.

    Networking and Relationship Building


    1. Leverage professional networks like LinkedIn -consistently.
    2. Attend industry events and workshops to connect with potential clients and peers.
    3. Foster relationships with existing clients for referrals.


    Establish a Strong Online Presence


    • Develop a professional website showcasing expertise and testimonials.
    • Engage on social media platforms by sharing insights and joining relevant discussions.
    • Utilise content marketing to establish thought leadership.


    Remember, this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication and consistency!

    Offer Tailored Solutions


    • Understand client-specific challenges and tailor your services to meet these needs.
    • Showcase success stories and case studies to illustrate your impact.


    Find Collaborations and Partnerships

    • Collaborate with complementary service providers to expand reach.
    • Consider partnerships with organisations or agencies that can refer clients.


    Continuous Learning and Adaptation


    • Stay abreast of industry trends and emerging HR challenges.
    • Adapt your services to meet the evolving needs of the market.


    Get Sales Focussed and Enhance Your Skills

    Actively seek out a sales mentoring programme that aligns with the unique challenges of the HR industry. These programmes can offer personalised guidance, practical sales techniques, and an understanding of the nuanced art of selling HR Consulting services.

    It just so happens that I have a brand-new programme which does this. It’s called the90 Day Client Accelerator programme.

    On this virtual group mentoring programme you will:


    • Learn effective strategies for prospecting, networking, and converting leads into paying clients.
    • Boost your confidence and expertise, so that you can stand out and showcase your value.
    • Develop a system for generating a steady stream of leads and keeping that sales pipeline nice and healthy.

     As HR consultants, we must cultivate a growth mindset where sales are not just a necessity but an integral part of our service offering. By building and maintaining a consistent sales pipeline, we ensure not only our survival but our ability to thrive and make a meaningful impact in the world of human resources.

    Onwards and Upwards!


  2. Over my 30 plus year career as an HR Consultant and HR Consultant Mentor, I've witnessed first-hand the dynamic impact that peer-to-peer groups can have on professionals, particularly those of us in the HR consulting field.

    My journey over the years has been enriched, and often transformative, by active participation in various peer and mastermind groups, so I thought in this Newsletter I would share my personal insights into why I feel these groups are invaluable, especially for HR consultants in the UK who are steering their own businesses and who want to grow both personally and professionally.

    The Essence of Peer-to-Peer Groups

    Let’s start with what a peer-to-peer group is!

    Essentially, peer-to-peer groups bring together individuals with similar professional backgrounds or interests to share experiences, challenges, and strategies. These groups provide a platform for learning, growth, and mutual support. Unlike formal training programs, peer groups thrive on shared experiences, leading to practical, real-world solutions and advice.

     You know the saying, “Been there, got the t-shirt!” Being part of a peer group also gives you an opportunity to learn from the wisdom of those who have trodden the path you are on before you, and likewise, for you to impart your own pearls of wisdom and learnings.

     Amplifying Professional Growth

    In my career, peer groups have been instrumental in accelerating my professional development. They have provided a sounding board for ideas, a source of unbiased feedback, and a repository of collective wisdom. By engaging with peers, I've gained insights that have directly impacted my HR consulting and HR training and coaching businesses, making them more effective and client-centric, plus given me the motivation to move forward and step outside of my comfort zone.

    Networking with Purpose

    Networking within these groups goes beyond exchanging business cards. It's about building long-term, meaningful relationships. I've forged connections that have led to collaborations, client referrals, and opportunities that would have been challenging to access otherwise. For independent HR consultants, these networks are invaluable, providing both business opportunities and a support system. Especially so when you are just starting out and everything feels a tad overwhelming and at times, directionless.

    Staying Abreast with Industry Trends

    HR is an ever-evolving field, and staying updated is crucial. Peer groups have been my go-to resource for the latest industry trends, policies, and best practices. Through regular interactions, I've kept my knowledge and skills relevant directly benefiting my consulting business. This can also be said for my own HR training and coaching clients who make up the  peer-to-peer network I have created at Leap into Consulting over the years.  

    Collective Problem-Solving

    One of the most significant advantages of peer-to-peer groups is collective problem-solving. Discussing challenges with individuals who have faced similar situations offers diverse perspectives and innovative solutions. I recall a specific instance where a group discussion provided me with a unique approach to a complex client issue, saving time and enhancing my professional reputation.

    Personal and Professional Support

    Running your own HR consulting business can be isolating. Peer groups offer a sense of community and belonging. They provide emotional support and encouragement, which is particularly valuable during challenging times. The reassurance that comes from others who understand your professional journey is empowering.

     A Platform for Leadership and Influence

    Participating actively in peer groups has honed my leadership skills. Leading discussions, sharing expertise, and providing guidance has not only reinforced my knowledge but has also positioned me as a thought leader in the HR consulting space. This influence extends beyond the group, enhancing my professional stature in the broader industry.

    A Catalyst for Innovation

    Collaborating with peers has spurred innovation in my approach to HR consulting. Exchanging ideas with forward-thinking professionals has inspired me to adopt new methodologies and tools, setting my services apart in a competitive market, especially in the coaching and mentoring space.

    In Summary…

    The value of peer-to-peer groups for HR consultants cannot be overstated. These groups offer a rich tapestry of experiences, insights, and opportunities that can profoundly shape your business and career. They provide a unique blend of professional development, networking, industry insight, and personal support, all crucial for the success and growth of your own HR consulting business.

    As someone deeply invested in the power of these groups, I encourage my fellow HR consultants to explore and engage with peer-to-peer networks. The benefits, as I have experienced, are not just incremental; they are transformative.

    If you’re not sure where to start, join my business growth group for HR Consultants on Facebook and visit my website for details of some of our peer-to-peer training and coaching opportunities.

    Facebook click here

  3. In my role as an HR Consultant Mentor, I've had the privilege of guiding hundreds of HR professionals on their transformative journeys in the world of HR consulting. It's a role that brings me immense joy and I’m always thrilled when I hear of the successes my mentees have gone on to achieve.

    This edition of my newsletter is more introspective than usual as I thought I'd shed a little light on how I see my role and responsibilities as an HR Consultant Mentor, and how this vital partnership nurtures the growth and success of aspiring HR consultants. I hope you find it interesting.


    “I believe my mentorship role serves as a bridge to HR consulting success”


    At the heart of my role as an HR Consultant Mentor I am a compass, collaborator, and catalyst for growth. My mentorship revolves around offering guidance and sharing knowledge to help my mentees navigate the uncharted territory of transitioning into HR Consulting. This includes providing insights into the complexities of the industry and equipping them with the essential tools for success.

     But sharing knowledge is just the beginning; it's also about creating a collaborative partnership built on trust and encouragement, and fostering confidence in my mentees, nudging them to step beyond their comfort zones, make confident decisions, and truly believe in their own abilities. Specifically, I have the privilege of helping these amazing, aspiring HR Consulting entrepreneurs to:

     Uncover their unique strengths and identify what sets them apart in the consulting arena.

    • Help them discover what they are truly passionate about in the field of HR, which becomes the driving force behind their consulting careers.
    • Provide strategic guidance on business development, client acquisition, marketing, financial management, and scaling operations.
    • Build confidence by providing feedback, support, and encouragement to help them believe in their abilities and make confident decisions.
    • Remind them of the importance of the continued professional development, so that they stay updated with industry trends, attend relevant training, and continue developing their skills so they remain competitive in the HR consulting field.

     In addition, I believe my mentorship role goes beyond crafting successful HR consulting businesses; it's about creating lives and businesses that those who make the leap into HR Consulting genuinely love. Showing them how to achieve the elusive work-life balance, where work isn't a chore but a source of fulfilment and empowering them to weave their consulting endeavours seamlessly into the broader tapestry of their lives.

    To sum it up, my role and responsibilities as an HR Consultant Mentor are diverse and have a profound impact that reaches beyond the boundaries of the delivery of professional HR Consulting services. I help people change their lives for the better. This journey is not only purposeful but also incredibly rewarding, highlighting the substantial importance of mentorship in the realm of HR consulting.

  4. As the intricacies of organizational learning unfold, consultants are perpetually threading through innovative learning realms, technological advances, and dynamic workplace environments.

    Engage with us in a podcast special that teases out vital insights from CIPD's "Learning at Work" reports (2021 & 2023) and channels them into actionable strategies for consultants navigating through the multifaceted domains of learning and development (L&D) in the contemporary and future work sphere.

     ðŸŽ™ Segment 1: The Confluence of Past and Present – Unveiling the CIPD Reports

    Andy Lancaster, an authority in L&D and Head of Learning at the Chartered Institute Of Learning & Development (CIPD), illuminates the essence and objectives behind CIPD’s research:

    • Unravelling the substantive findings and evolutions from the 2021 and 2023 reports.
    • The significance of these bi-annual reports to consultants and the L&D community at large.

    🎙 Segment 2: Pandemic and Learning - A Transformative Journey

    • Exploring the paradigm shifts in organizational learning amidst and post-pandemic.
    • The metamorphosis of learning priorities and methodologies amidst remote and hybrid working models.
    • Case studies reflecting adaptive learning structures during turbulent times.

    🎙 Segment 3: Synthesizing Work and Learning - A Symbiotic Relationship

    • The intrinsic value and practicalities of integrating learning seamlessly into everyday work (“learning in the flow of work”).
    • Strategies to embed continuous learning within routine workflows and processes.
    • Real-world applications and the resultant impact on organizational and individual growth trajectories.

    🎙 Segment 4: Digital Leaps in L&D - Navigating the Digital Wave

    • Unpacking the surge towards and necessity of digital learning solutions.
    • A deep dive into how management consultants and L&D professionals can harness digital platforms to enhance learning experiences and strategic developments.
    • Analysing the challenges and opportunities nested within the digital learning environments.

    🎙 Segment 5: Revitalizing Learning Communities - A Resurgence of Collective Wisdom


    • Tracing the evolution and newfound appreciation for learning communities within organizations.
    • Insights into how learning communities are fostering knowledge sharing, innovation, and collaborative problem-solving in today's dynamic workplaces.

    🎙 Segment 6: Empowering the Learner - Autonomy and its Multifaceted Value


    • Strategies to facilitate learners in crafting and controlling their learning paths.
    • Discussion on the irreplaceable value of learner autonomy and self-directed learning in contemporary work cultures.

    🎙 Segment 7: From Findings to Strategies - Dissecting the Latest Learning at Work Survey


    • A detailed analysis of the pivotal findings from the most recent Learning at Work Survey.
    • Unveiling the implications, insights, and potential action points for consultants and L&D practitioners to implement within their strategies and practices.


    Wrap up the exploration with a reflective conversation, piecing together the insights, and outlining the transformative potential of implementing these findings into pragmatic, future-ready L&D strategies.

    This podcast promises a holistic, insightful, and strategy-driven exploration for consultants, L&D professionals, and organizational leaders. Be part of the conversation that doesn’t just observe the change but empowers organizations to be the change-makers in the evolving world of workplace learning.

    Tune in, explore with us, and let’s script the future of organisational learning together! 

  5. When embarking on your journey into the realm of HR Consulting, it's an exhilarating time filled with boundless opportunities. At this very moment, numerous businesses are actively seeking professionals like you, who possess the skills and experience to address their unique people challenges, optimise talent acquisition strategies, elevate employee engagement, champion diversity and inclusion, refine leadership development, implement HR technology solutions, and expertly navigate the ever-evolving HR landscape with innovative insights.

    However, many HR Consultants inadvertently put themselves at a disadvantage by attempting to become a master of all trades. They often believe that offering a broad spectrum of services will attract a wider client base. Yet, the reality is quite the opposite. Specialisation often paves the way for distinction. Clients are inclined to seek out experts who can precisely address their specific HR needs. Therefore, before you dive headfirst into developing an extensive proposition designed to cater to all facets of HR, I invite you to reassess this phase of your business planning from a different angle - a perspective that revolves around the concept of 'niching.

    You see, carving out your niche as an HR Consultant is not just a strategic move; it's a powerful decision that can profoundly impact your career. In this article I share why this approach can be highly advantageous and discuss how you should approach defining your own niche, so that you can position your business in a way that truly sets you apart, maximises your expertise, lights you up and fulfils you, and ensures your long-term success in the dynamic and thriving world of HR consulting.

    What is a niche?

    I’m sure you know the term, but just in case…

    Rather than a definition copy and pasted from Google, think of it like this…

    Imagine you’re experiencing health issues. Would you prefer to see a general practitioner who knows a little about lots of medical conditions, or a specialist in the particular ailment you're facing who knows a lot about and has dedicated themselves to developing expertise in that area of medicine? The answer is clear right?

    That’s an example of a niche and the same principle applies in HR consulting.

    Why bother to niche? What are the benefits?

    Quite simply, there are so many benefits to niching your HR Consulting offering:


    1. It elevates your credibility, positioning you as an expert in your specialised field. This specialisation reduces competition, enabling you to charge premium rates and cultivate a dedicated client base.
    2. Your in-depth knowledge fosters a deeper understanding of your niche, empowering you to provide tailored, valuable solutions to your clients’ specific HR challenges.
    3. It’s much easier to target your marketing and with a specific focus makes it far easier to connect with prospective clients Additionally your specialisation builds trust and fosters word-of-mouth referrals.


    Ultimately, when you niche, there’s no mistaking who you are, what you offer and where your value lies.

    And there’s an added bonus, as niching goes beyond just business advantages. Working within your niche cultivates personal passion and fulfilment, as well as greater control over your projects, leading to higher job satisfaction. Isn’t this a big reason for leaving your inhouse HR role behind and setting up your own business in the first place?


    So, how do you go about narrowing down and uncovering your niche?

    To uncover your niche in HR consulting, follow these steps.


    1. Begin by reflecting on your passions and interests within HR. Delve into what aspect of HR excites you the most, whether it's talent acquisition, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, leadership development, or HR technology. Your enthusiasm will be the driving force behind your niche.
    2. Next, assess your expertise by taking stock of your skills and experiences gained throughout your corporate career; these will form the foundation of your niche.
    3. Conduct market research to identify niches in demand, pinpoint areas where businesses are seeking expert guidance, and consider your ideal client to refine your focus.
    4. Before fully committing, validate your niche by seeking feedback from your network, including colleagues, mentors, and potential clients.


    Remember that you don’t need to conquer the entire niche landscape at once; start small, master your initial niche, and strategically expand as your consulting business evolves.

    And that’s it!

    Choosing a niche isn't confining; it's a gateway to professional freedom and success. It allows you to concentrate your efforts, develop profound expertise, and build a recognisable brand.

    As an HR Consultant, clients value specialists who can offer tailored solutions to their specific HR challenges. So, when you contemplate your consulting career, don't merely think about what you can do; contemplate what you can specialise in and become an esteemed authority in your chosen niche.

    It's not just about carving a niche; it's about crafting a remarkable consulting journey that both you and your clients will cherish.
  6. From Free to Paid Blog

    These days it feels like wherever you look there is lots of free advice, trials and webinars.

    This is certainly true in the consulting world; it’s something I both offer myself and often advise others to do, too. Why? As a consultant, it’s a way to showcase your skills, value and worth. For your clients it’s a means of testing your services if you are unknown or starting out.

    So far so good...

    Read more..

    (99+) From Free to Paid: Steps to Seamlessly Upgrade Your Clients | LinkedIn