“I’ve Just Landed My First HR Consulting Gig On The Side. What’s Your Advice?”

Hi Alan,

For the first time, I’m going to be doing some HR consulting on the side. 

What I should charge to create a company handbook, revise new hire paperwork, including an online employee application…and be available for phone consultation?

I want to be reasonable but also don’t want to cut myself short.  Any advice on what to charge and on agreements you have that you would be willing to share would be appreciated?


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The HR Resume I’ve Never, Ever Forgotten. Neither Will You.

by Alan Collins

I was recruiting at Purdue University, my alma mater.

This was ten years ago.

I’m on the last candidate of the day and I’m anxious to get the heck home.

His résumé is “very light” — no extra-curricular activities, no sports, no nothing. 

Essentially it says: Purdue, 3.2 GPA, Masters in Human Resources Management.

His work experience: Elliot’s Fine Dining, references on request.

After interviewing all day I’m exhausted.  I’ve seen all these top candidates come in strutting their stuff like peacocks. They’ve got 3.9 GPAs, extensive summer HR intern experiences and some have even studied abroad.

Impressive group.

And now, here comes this guy.

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The TRUTH About Seizing Opportunities in HR…

By Alan Collins

One of my executive mentors likes to tell this little story…

Years ago, he was on vacation at a tiny beach town in California.

And while there, he decided to connect with two of his former colleagues, both now successful HR leaders.

They arranged to meet one evening at a small diner to grab some steaks, beer and catch up with each other after being out of touch for years.

When they all met at the diner and walked in, there were a bunch of people sitting around the bar and others sitting at various tables eating, drinking and talking.

The place was quiet and didn’t have much atmosphere.

After placing their orders at the bar and collecting their beers, my mentor spotted an old piano in the corner.

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Awesome! Three Global Leaders Share 22 Minutes of Sheer HR Brilliance…

by Alan Collins

While scrambling to finish up a project for a client, I stumbled across the three awesome videos on YouTube — that every HR pro should watch.

I’ve posted them below.

It’ll take you just 22 minutes to view all three.

But the insights you’ll learn about HR’s role and what we bring to the table…are simply BRILLIANT!  

So go grab your favorite beverage and check them out.

If you’re busy right now, bookmark this page and come back when you have time.

But DO watch them. Even if you’ve seen these before, view them again.

Or share them with your HR colleagues.

Or your boss.

Or pick out one to spice up your next HR meeting.

In any event, check them out below and ENJOY!

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4 Ways To Create Your Own Luck & Advance Your Career in HR…

by Alan Collins

“Damn!  Another early morning HR presentation.”

That’s what Mike muttered under his breath as he slowly climbed out bed at 5 am.

He had given three presentations to different business groups around Miami.

And this would be the tenth one he’d given in the last year.

He was tired, but excited at the same time.

He had promised his good friend Cynthia, president of the local SHRM chapter, that he’d help her out.  She had lined him up yet again to give his presentation on: “The Top 10 Ways To Use Social Media To Attract Top Talent.”   

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When You Screw Up in HR, Memorize and Say These 4 Magic Phrases…

By Alan Collins

As HR pros, we all make mistakes.

Or say the wrong thing at the right time.

Or misjudge a situation from time to time.

But not everyone in our profession will confess to their screw ups…especially in high stress, corporate environments where others are watching and judging us every day.

However, I learned a very important lesson early in my career at Quaker Oats.

As a young HR director for a tiny division of the company, I reported to an amazing boss who relied heavily on my judgment and experience.

She had taken a chance and promoted me into the director role largely because of my relationships and knowledge of the organization.

But the job was a stretch for me and a bit over my head.

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21 Stone Cold Truths For Moving Your HR Career Forward…Starting Today!

By Alan Collins

Below are some stone cold truths I’ve captured as I’ve traveled through tons of SHRM conferences, read numerous HR blogs and had countless coffee chats and debates over the last year.

These ideas are not politically correct.

They don’t sugarcoat the truth.

They don’t conceal the realities of what it takes to really succeed in HR.

These are the real deal…the STONE COLD TRUTHS, if you will…about what it takes to really succeed in HR.

I tried to keep the list to 21, but I couldn’t. 

So I added a few more bonus truths at the end. 



1.  “If you’re a candidate for your dream HR job and the hiring manager spends 45 minutes talking about himself, the company or his Harley — let him.  He’s going to come out of the interview saying you’re a great candidate.”
–Kris Dunn, CHRO at Kinetix, who blogs at HRCapitalist.com


2.  “HR is not about HR.  HR is all about the business and the outcomes of doing HR work.” For example, if the HR work you do (i.e. staffing, talent management, leadership development, etc.) isn’t delivering the outcomes (increased productivity, cost savings, etc.) that are truly valued by your clients and the organization, then you’re probably not doing REAL HR work.
–David Ulrich, University of Michigan, from his most recent book Victory Through Organization


3.  “To get ahead in HR, you must continually make yourself relevant.  Don’t get trapped only learning what only applies to your organization.  Stay ahead of the curve by getting outside of your company and comfort zone regularly…to learn new ideas, meet new people working on interesting, leading edge projects and to build relationships.  Go to training sessions on topics like finance, business development and marketing that make you uncomfortable — especially if you’re the only HR person there!  All of this will help you become a better business partner and prepare you for a future of uncertainty in HR.”
–Theo Killion, Retired CEO, Zale and former SVP Human Resources at Macy’s, Lane Bryant and Tommy Hilfiger — spoken at a Future HR Leaders Seminar in Chicago


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