June 11, 2024

Business leaders within small companies continually strive to do more with less. One area in which corners cannot be cut is compliance. When resources are limited, you may be wondering what solution is better to meet all obligations – seek help from an HR attorney or an HR consultant. Both play significant roles in managing and advising on HR matters, but they have distinct functions, expertise, and responsibilities. Here’s a breakdown of their differences:

HR Consultant

Roles and Areas of Expertise:

  • HR consultants provide advice on HR best practices, policies, and procedures. They often help organizations develop and implement effective HR strategies.
  • They typically possess extensive knowledge in various HR areas such as recruitment, employee relations, performance management, compensation and benefits, training and development, and organizational development.
  • HR consultants are often brought in for specific projects such as restructuring, change management, employee engagement surveys, or to address specific HR challenges.
  • While they provide guidance on compliance with labor laws and regulations, they do not offer legal advice or represent clients in legal matters.

Typical Services:

  • Designing and implementing HR policies and procedures.
  • Conducting HR audits and assessments.
  • Developing and delivering training programs.
  • Advising on talent management and succession planning.
  • Assisting with organizational development and change management.

HR Attorney

Roles and Areas of Expertise:

  • HR attorneys provide legal advice on employment and labor law matters. They ensure that organizations comply with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations.
  • They have in-depth knowledge of legal issues related to employment, including discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour laws, employee contracts, and labor relations.
  • HR attorneys represent organizations in legal proceedings, such as lawsuits, arbitration, and negotiations with unions. They can draft and review legal documents, represent clients in court, and handle disputes.
  • They help organizations mitigate legal risks by advising on the legal implications of HR decisions and policies.

Typical Services:

  • Providing legal counsel on compliance with employment laws and regulations.
  • Drafting and reviewing employment contracts, handbooks, and policies.
  • Representing clients in employment-related litigation and disputes.
  • Conducting workplace investigations and advising on disciplinary actions.
  • Advising on labor relations and collective bargaining.

Who Will It Be?

Whether an HR attorney is better than an HR consultant depends on the organization’s needs and circumstances. An HR attorney is better when dealing with legal disputes, complex legal issues, high-risk situations, and ensuring strict compliance with employment laws. On the other hand, an HR consultant is better suited for strategic HR initiatives, operational efficiency, and general HR management. They provide valuable insights into HR best practices and help organizations develop and implement effective HR strategies. 

We’ll call this match up a tie. In most cases, organizations benefit from leveraging both HR attorneys and HR consultants. To learn more, schedule a call with a Counter Point HCM Consultant.

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