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 a consultant you can have all the right qualifications, knowledge, and know-how, but without certain behavioural competencies you’ll likely still find yourself struggling to understand and positively influence your clients.

    I’ve developed a consulting framework based on over 20 years’ experience to guide you through the key competencies you need to be developing and honing in order to make a real impact.

    These are the Consulting Skills & behaviours you need to master, over and above your technical expertise.

     1)    Analysis and Planning

    Analysis and planning work hand-in-hand: without carefully considering relevant information and data, your plans will simply be a stab in the dark. Do your initial research well, and planning becomes more relevant, unambiguous, and constructive.

     2)   Build relationships and collaborations

    Not only will mastering relationships enable you to better understand specific projects, the ability to do so will also lead to future projects and on-going collaborations. A win-win for both your clients and your business.

     3)   Develop Strategic Partnerships

    On-going collaborations are helpful for both you and your client, as they allow greater insight into businesses - resulting in more strategic partnerships. After all, if you work with a client for five years, you’re far more likely to understand not only what makes them tick, but key strategies to help them achieve results.

     4)   Decision making and Problem Solving

    If you deliberate over decisions, clients will - at best - feel that you’re wasting their time (read: money), and at worst, not understand the value of your expertise to their business goals. Timely, informed decisions that account for facts, goals, constraints, and risks showcase your knowledge, ability, and confidence, as well as validate your value to clients.

     5)   Innovation

    Finding creative solutions to problems means embracing innovation. Take a long-standing issue and find a solution for it. Discover a simpler way of working and implement it. Identify an area for improvement, and make it happen. Don’t take things at face value and simply go with the status quo. Innovation is key to making a real, valuable, tangible impact for your clients.

     6)   Drive for Excellence

    No-one wants to give or receive a half-hearted effort so having a drive for excellence is a highly valued behaviour in consulting. This means the ability to identify areas for improvement, but equal desire and passion to make the changes happen via on-going enthusiasm and willingness to encourage the change of systems, workflows, procedures, and more. 

     7)   Effective Communication

     I can’t over-emphasise how important clear communication is as a consultant. You can have the best ideas in the world but, without the ability to effectively communicate them with your clients, they will fall flat. Taking your clients on the journey with you - making sure they understand your thoughts, ideas, and methodology - will help keep them invested.

     8)   Impact and Influence

    In addition to communication skills, we must master the ability to persuade others into following a proposed course of action. You’ve been hired for a reason, and it’s not to follow blindly, but to share your subject knowledge and expertise in order to bring a positive impact. Speak up, using both emotional and rational reasoning.

     9)   Initiative and Ownership

    Coming up with new ideas and solutions takes initiative, seeing changes through takes ownership. There’s no point in one without the other. To act as a responsible and reliable consultant you must take accountability for tasks and actions.

    10)  Emotional Resilience

    Projects don’t always run smoothly; I know I’ve had hiccups on my road to success. If you can acknowledge that setbacks do happen (and that they happen to everyone), take them in your stride, and learn something from them - you’ll be able to remain focussed and determined to complete assignments.

    11)  Flexibility and Adaptability

    Similar to the above, as consultants we need to be flexible. Adapting behaviours, processes and plans as projects - and clients - develop and grow. I would actually argue that changes should happen as we progress through projects, and that if nothing is changing, we should be identifying areas where it can.

     12)  Curiosity

    As Steve Jobs often said: Stay Curious. And it worked out well for him. Curiosity is the key to learning and developing; as consultants we need a micro and a macro approach to this. Micro: learn about your clients, what works for them and what doesn’t. Macro: take the time to learn about your wider industry via white papers, attending conferences, and, well, reading newsletters like this one!

     13)  Self-Confidence

    The key behaviours mentioned above are all well and good, but really amount to nothing if you don’t have the self-confidence to speak up, make a stand, and see your ideas through: from conception to implementation. To achieve a feeling of self-confidence and self-assurance it’s vital that you understand your own abilities and qualities. Thinking of everything you’ve achieved in your career so far is a good starting point.

    14)  Self-Management

    Likewise, without being able to manage your time, priorities, and resources, it will be difficult to get projects off the ground. Invest in project management skills to better understand effective ways of working.

    15)  Professionalism

    Last but not least: professionalism. With all the technical expertise and will in the world, if you don’t conduct yourself with professionalism, you’ll find doors closing around you, not opening. Being professional is simply the way you represent yourself in business and will likely mean something different for all clients. It could be anything from dressing well, turning up to meetings on-time, keeping calm in stressful situations, and being reliable.

    I hope this list has shed some light on important areas for you to assess and develop, in order to help achieve your HR consultancy goals.

    We have developed a 360-degree feedback questionnaire around these behaviours so that you too can get feedback as an independent consultant and for you to continue to develop in the role.

    This also comes with the option of 1 x 1 coaching.

    As always, if you’d like more information about how you can improve in any - or all of them, I have various ways in which I can help.

     -     To start your 360 Feedback:

    -      Buy my book: Leap into HR Consulting

    -    Attend a free Consulting Skills webinar

    -       Join our HR Bootcamps

    -       Contact me today for a Discovery Call

    Until next time, onwards and upwards!


    Sarah Hamilton-Gill FCIPD

    In the past two years, my team and I have supported over 100 new start up consultants. We know what it takes to succeed and have helped many people - just like you - to achieve their goals.

  2. Confidence. It sounds simple but isn’t always easy to master. Often, we have some elements of it, but not others. The good news is, there are ways to build up your confidence.


    There’s no shying away from the fact that to be an HR Consultant you need to be enthusiastic, friendly, positive, independent, and yes - confident!

    You may have mastered many of these attributes but need a little help with finding your confidence.

  3. Everyone’s at it! From your favourite sports star, award-winning actress, to your favourite soap star or most-listened-to musician. In fact I'd take a bet that your former boss and the business leaders you most admire are all doing it too!

    Doing what?
    I'd take a bet that they are all having coaching or mentoring sessions, to improve their game, whatever their game is. 

    As leaders in their fields, they know they need to stay ahead of the crowd. Coaching helps them do this, and it will help you do the same! 

    In this blog I share with you my 7 ways in which coaching will help your career and much more: 

  4. 1st and only UK accredited HR Consultant programme

    Do you know what CPD stands for?

    As an HR professional, you will either be a member of the CIPD or have attended training workshops or events with them. They are the good standards mark for HR, well-being and people related industry. Being a member shows you invest in your future, keep up to date with the latest developments in your field of expertise and are focus driven to continuous learn and develop, to be the best that you can be.  

    We believe that our Bootcamp Plus and Bootcamp Flex fit perfectly into the above, and therefore we applied to the CPD Standards Office to be accredited.  

    I’m delighted to say that this week we have received official notification that our Bootcamps are now CPD accredited. This is a huge achievement for everyone involved.  This truly demonstrates that we provide training you can trust. 

    I am also honoured to report that we are also the very first HR consulting programme in the UK to be awarded this accreditation. 

  5. Our HR Consultant Bootcamp

    What if I were to tell you I can pinpoint the one thing that is stopping your business from reaching new heights?

    Better still, what if I can tell you what you need to do to overcome it? And that by doing so you can build your business in ways you had never imagined?

    You would want to know the answer, right?

    Truth be told, the answer is simple.

    The one thing that is holding your business back and getting in the way of its success is…you!

  6. 2When I decided to self-publish my book ‘Leap into HR Consulting: How to Move Successfully from Corporate to Consulting’ just a year ago on 5th November 2020 I really hoped it would be favourably received, as it truly came from my heart. I had been drawn to writing it so that could help others follow their dreams and transform from being an employee to having their own consulting business.

    I could hardly believe it when it soon went to Number 1 on the Amazon Business Consulting Book List, where it continues even a year later to dip in and out of the hot seat. To top it off, it was then announced as a finalist in the Most Inspirational HR Business Book in the Book Awards 2021.