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Tool: Consulting model

Typical use (type of issue/project)

To provide a framework to illustrate the working practices of a successful HR professional.

Ease of use rating

Used by

Yourself and your colleagues.

Tips for effective use

Use the six areas to consider how you operate in your role and keep in mind that every activity should be driven by the needs of the business.

Signals of successful use

Having a systematic and memorable framework to guide you in your role, and feeling as if it was productive, memorable and helped you add increased value to your business.

Signals of unsuccessful use

You focus on the HR requirements and not on the needs of the business.

Links to other tools

Consulting process and Contracting.


Consulting model


The HR professional

  • engages with line management and views them as a client.
  • talks their language.
  • demonstrates strong commercial awareness and understanding of business needs.
  • establishes and maintains contacts internally and externally.
  • helps people share ideas and work across function.
  • identifies and manages key stakeholders.
  • uses a range of styles to influence people and a variety of strategies for approaching them.


The HR professional

  • makes effective links between HR and business strategy.
  • demonstrates awareness of commercial issues and the impact they may have on their role.
  • identifies the implications of commercial issues for people and the organisation.
  • applies strong diagnostic and analytical skills.
  • challenges ‘client’ thinking and perceptions.
  • identifies external trends and pressures for change and is able to incorporate them in the business’ strategy.


The HR professional

  • influences and shapes the change agenda.
  • identifies critical business issues and anticipates the people management interventions required to address them.
  • develops structured recommendations and strategies for implementation.
  • advises on the cost implications of business strategies.
  • identifies obstacles to change and develops strategies to overcome them.
  • helps everyone learn from previous experience as they go forward.


The HR professional

  • identifies benefits to the business and quantifies the value created by change.
  • contracts the scope, deliverables, timetables and resources for projects with clients.
  • ensures expectations are clear and service standards are agreed.
  • identifies and involves appropriate people and resources to deliver the projects.


The HR professional

  • delivers agreed outputs.
  • understands and applies project management methodologies.
  • coaches others in business changes tools and techniques.
  • initiates and ensures appropriate communication.
  • identifies and escalates risk to stakeholders (thus making risk transparent) to ensure they are able to support delivery.
  • organises their time to work across multiple activities.
  • places a focus on realising benefits.


The HR professional

  • sets and monitors performance against clear milestones.
  • encourages continuous improvement using benchmarks for evaluating performance.
  • quantifies business value of services / outputs delivered, using appropriate financial and non-financial analysis.
  • oversees related programmes identifying synergies and leveraging benefits.
  • ensures that the organisation learns from successes and failures.