30 Great Side Hustles for HR Professionals, While Working Your Full Time Job – Part 1 of 2

Important Note: This article kicks off my series featuring 30 HR side hustles ideas. The first 15 are here – 15 more will follow. Stay tuned!

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by Alan Collins

Are you in an HR day job, but want to monetize your HR expertise even further and in new ways?

Then now may be the perfect time to consider a side hustle.

Why? Because with today’s up and down economy and technology giving all of us the ability to “work-from-anywhere” — it’s never been easier!

Besides the extra income a side hustle can potentially provide, it can also enable you to:

Intrigued? Here are the first 15 ideas to stimulate your thinking even more.

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HR Side Hustle #1:
Teach classes at a local university
or college.

For years, my buddies Larry Pearlman and  Steve Merkin taught a Change Management class to graduate students in HR at the University of Illinois School of Labor & Employment Relations.

They did this while holding down their full-time HR day jobs. The class was three hours a week and they taught it as a partners.

They were so great at it that they were voted among the top 10% of the instructors at the university for four straight years!

And here is what’s so great about this…there’s nothing stopping you from following in their footsteps. 

Local universities, junior colleges or their extension campuses are always looking for part time adjunct instructors to teach courses who have real-life, in the trenches work experience like Larry and Steve. In most cases, this requires a master’s degree and relevant work experience.

To capitalize on your HR experience, check with the business school or psychology department for colleges in your area. Every year, each school determines how many adjuncts it needs and for what courses. The pool of available talent changes from semester to semester too.  So, if you strike out the first time, don’t give up. Be persistent.

Some schools are even open to you proposing a new course, and if it fits their needs, it can be added to their curriculum with you as the instructor!

Also, with the growth of online learning and remote work, many institutions are moving many classes online allowing you to teach from home.

On average, adjunct instructors earn $2,000 to $5000+ per course. Besides the cash, landing a side teaching gig can help you polish up your presentation skills and your confidence — while you’re molding young minds and future leaders.

What’s interesting also is that a lot of colleges allow you to record your lectures and use the content for whatever purposes as you see fit.  This is content that you can further monetize. Hint, Hint.

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HR Side Hustle #2:
Offer consulting services
in your specialty.

There are consultants for practically everything in HR. Consulting is about using your specialized HR expertise to provide specific problem-solving advice or troubleshoot vexing organization issues — such as acquiring retaining talent, building high performing teams or creating  innovating pay practices.

Here’s the difference between consulting and coaching (Side Hustle #15). Consulting focuses on helping your client address HR issues facing their organization and is usually more lucrative than coaching, which focuses on helping your client address issues with themselves. 

As you consider offering your expertise as a consultant, think about what are you an expert in for which others might pay for your advice?

With platforms like Clarity.fm, you can get paid for your knowledge, on the side, with rates starting at $60/hour but averaging closer to $100-$300/hour.

You can consult for Clarity on a huge list of topics related to human resources, employee relations, talent acquisition, performance management, job search, managing careers, taking your performance to the next level and much more.  Here are just a few HR folks offering their expertise on Clarity. 

Even billionaire Mark Cuban thinks this is one of the best side hustle ideas… he consults for Clarity at $166.67/minute!

Here’s how it works:

In the old days, as an HR consultant, you’d have to beat the bushes, book an appointment and then travel to meet your client. Now, through Clarity, you can just get on a call with them instantly.  All you need is a Skype or Zoom account.

It’s important to remember that businesses tend to only work with consultants they trust and feel confident with, so you’ll need to work hard to build your credibility upfront.  You’ll also need to make yourself available to your clients, which can cut into your primary HR career. If you’re not careful, consulting can turn into a full-time job.

Once you’re established, however, the results can be tremendous. The mean salary for consultants with five or more years of experience is $90,860. Not bad for a side hustle!

Want additional details about pricing your advice and consulting pitfalls to avoid?  Check out my article on getting started doing HR consulting on the side.

In any event, this is a great way to utilize your HR expertise and get paid in the process.

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HR Side Hustle #3:
Help job seekers craft
their resumes.

Good at writing resumes?

If you’re a pro at talent acquisition or if you eyeball resumes all day long as a generalist, there is a massive opportunity to help job seekers with their resumes and cover letters.

Since the payoff of landing a job is so high, thousands of applicants every month pay for assistance in preparing their job search documents.

In fact, according to Indeed, roughly 71% of employees are looking for new jobs at any point in time, which gives you the perfect business opportunity to work as a resume coach.

With so much competition, having a good resume is more important than ever to gaining an interview with your dream job and people are willing to pay for that skill.

However, the documents job seekers ask for are not only resumes, but also involve:

All these job search needs can be combined into a potentially lucrative side gig opportunity for you.

Another additional benefit is that most resume writing jobs are remote, meaning you can work with clients all over the world from the comfort of your home. This makes it a perfect side gig since you can work on it when you’re not at your regular 9-5 job.

Alex Benjamin is a great example of doing all of this and more.  I learned about him on one of the Side Hustle School podcasts. He operates his resume writing business on the side and offers a few different options:

  1. a professionally written resume for $179.
  2. a professionally written resume and a LinkedIn profile complete with keyword optimization for $299.
  3. a professionally written resume, a LinkedIn profile complete with keyword optimization, a customized cover letter template, and a customized “thank you” letter template for $399.

Alex says that he averages roughly 8-9 clients a month and brings in an extra $1500—just using a skill that he already had!

If you’re interested in following Alex’s lead in resume writing, there are several resources available to you. The National Resume Writers Association is a nonprofit that offers opportunities for resume writers to show off their skills in writing competitions as well as offering webinars, certification, and client matching services.

You can also use LinkedIn and other professional sites to advertise your resume writing services…as well as search for work on platforms like Indeed and Upwork.

To launch, you might want to begin small by doing a few resumes for free to grab some positive testimonials, then attach a price tag to your services.

For Additional Resources for setting up your own resume writing business, check out ResumeBiz.com

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HR Side Hustle #4:
Become an interview coach.

If you offer resume advice, interview coaching is a slam dunk additional service to offer.

Interview coaches help job seekers ace job interviews and land offers. 

They typically provide their clients with a personalized plan to ensure they go into their interviews with supreme confidence. This can include:

When positioning yourself as an independent interview coach, you should highlight your specialty (e.g. new college grads, tech positions, executive roles, health care, education, government, finance jobs. etc.).

This is important because clients are looking for a coach who knows their field cold, someone they’d feel comfortable and confident talking to and who will “get them.”  They consider these kinds of coaches well worth the investment.

To learn more and get started, you’ll want to get yourself listed in LinkedIn ProFinder 

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HR Side Hustle #5:
Create your own line of
branded HR merchandise.

What am I talking about here? Well, specifically:

How can you get started?

Check out Merch by Amazon. Amazon makes it easy for you to create, promote and market your own own branded merchandise with no risk and no up-front costs.

Let’s say you want to dip your toe in the water with your own line of Human Resources-related t-shirts.

You simply supply Amazon the artwork, choose the product type and color(s), and then promote your products in your app, blog or on social media. Amazon takes care of the rest, including production, sales, shipping and creating a product page on Amazon.com – all at no cost to you.

This makes this a totally hands-free operation, with no upfront costs and no need to keep any inventory.

It does however require that you create provocative, innovative designs and have the ability to reach the right audience with your products.

If you want to expand beyond t-shirts into a much broader array of branded merchandise — like pillows, posters, mugs, handbags, tapestry, socks and lots of other items — check out Teespring,

Caution: While, selling your own branded merchandise can be very profitable side hustle, it’s not as easy as it seems. There are some hidden pitfalls. One of the best articles on the realities of profiting from this kind of side hustle can be found here.

Nevertheless, despite the pitfalls, this side gig is definitely worth checking out.

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HR Side Hustle #6:
Turn your HR expertise
into an online course.

If you have a specialty in HR, you can package that expertise up into an online course and sell it online.

The process of creating and selling online courses is easier than ever before with platforms like Udemy or Teachable.

My personal favorite is UdemyIt’s an impressive online education platform where you can create your own course around a topic you’re an expert in and set your own tuition rate. 

Students can then take your course online and go through it at their own speed.

This is the best part: once you create your course because it’s digital, you only need to make it once. You can then sell your course an unlimited number of times, over and over again. All you have to do is respond to the (pretty infrequent) student questions or comments.

Here are just a few of the HR-related courses on Udemy people have purchased: 

How much can you make with an online course?

The range is super wide for this side hustle, and it all depends on the demand for a course, and how many people want to learn from you. The top producing course creators have made over $10 million with their courses on Udemy, but these are businesses that do it full-time.

For those doing it as a side hustle, the average price of a course is around $100-$200. Some are priced as low as $12.95.  The more expensive ones can range anywhere between $500 and $3000.

While this is one of the best side hustles, it does take a significant amount of work to create, market, and launch your course. The flip side is that once you’ve done it, you’re in complete control of a product that can produce a fairly passive, hands-free income for years.

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HR Side Hustle #7:
Provide expert answers.

If you’re a qualified expert in your HR specialty, but not ready to create an online course, you can cash in on the side by providing expert answers to questions.

PrestoExperts lets you register as an expert in anything from Employee Relations to Compensation to Career Coaching to Resume Writing, although you’ll need to apply with evidence to support your choice.

On PrestoExperts, you can earn upwards of $2 per minute for simply answering questions.

Clearly, this isn’t a side hustle you do for the bucks. 

But it will allow you to showcase your HR knowledge to a different audience and to determine what kinds of issues and problems you might choose to consult on or write about later. 

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HR Side Hustle #8:
Write your own HR book.

The next four side hustles are all writing related.

It’s never been easier to create a book of your own and put it up for sale on Amazon.

Two of the best books I’ve ever read were written by full-time HR leaders who published on the side.  They are HR on Purpose by Steve Browne and The 9 Faces of HR by Kris Dunn.  What makes their books great is that they dig deep and share their personal authentic stories and experiences in HR.

Folks in HR are hungry to learn what you know and benefit from your lessons in the HR trenches — both the good, the bad and ugly. So share them.

An impossible idea, you say?

I say, not really.

Alisa Charles (pictured right) is another example of someone who’s done it well.

She’s a full-time HR director with a team of direct reports and has published two books on Amazon on creating mentoring programs and running new employee orientations — all while raising a husband and three kids.  Check out her full story here.

Nothing keeps you from doing the same thing and writing a short book on a project you’ve completed successfully or a vexing problem you’ve solved that plagues other HR or talent management folks.

Just do as Alisa did.  Lay out your book revealing the steps you followed to address that HR problem and how you overcame the big obstacles that stood in your way…and you can become a rock star!

But wait, I know what you’re thinking. Shouldn’t you be concerned about revealing confidential information or creating a potential conflict of interest situation with your employer?

Yes, you absolutely should!  So don’t reveal anything at all that would violate your company policies or put your own day job at risk.  If in doubt, check with your boss and the lawyers in your organization before you launch.

However, there’s another option…and that’s to avoid HR topics entirely. 

That’s what Savannah Horlich has done. Savannah is an HR manager at MedCo Services and she capitalizes on her imagination by writing young adult fantasy novels under the pen name Savannah J. Foley. This has been a passion of hers since she was 15 years old.  She’s written 10 novels so far. That’s right, ten!  Oh yes, she came to my attention because she was featured a few years ago in HR Magazine as one of their “Top 30 Under 30 Rising Stars in HR!” So she’s obviously making her mark in HR, while side hustling too. Wow!

As you can see, there are lots of possibilities for you here.

When writing HR books, there are two “must have’s” for success:

So let’s sum all this up by talking dollars. 

The average price you should charge for your paperback book should range anywhere between $9 to $29. That’s the sweet spot. On Amazon, you’ll typically earn around $40% for every paperback copy sold. 

You can also create a kindle version of that same book, where you can earn 70% royalty if you price your book between $2.99 and $9.99. Outside of that range, it’s 35%. 

And yes, you can also create a Audiobook from your paperback as well. 

That gives you three products you can create from one book.

An additional reference:  If you want to get an HR book done faster than you imagined and get a step-by-step plan on how to get it done? Then check out, WRITE YOUR OWN HR BOOK FAST!  Take Your Career in Human Resources To The Next Level By Authoring Your Own Book — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible & On The Side! 

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HR Side Hustle #9:
Create your own line
of “short reads.”

Don’t have time to write a book? I understand. But what about a tiny, short book instead?

Think about this way.  There are lots of different ways of making money in the pizza business.

You can sell whole pizzas or you can sell pizzas by the slice. The same is true of your HR expertise. Turning your HR expertise into books are like whole pizzas.

Turning your HR expertise into short reads are like pizza slices.  Short reports solve ONE specific problem, take less time to consume and are in huge demand too!

Did you know Kindle, Amazon’s ebook store, has special category called Kindle Short Reads for books that range from 1 to 100 pages and take anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours to read.  It’s become one of the most popular areas of their site.  Here’s how it breaks down:

Kindle Short Reads
<15 minutes (1-11 pages)
<30 minutes (12-21 pages)
<45 minutes (22-32 pages)
<One hour (33-43 pages)
<90 minutes (44-64 pages)
<Two hours or more (65-100 pages)

Amazon offers these types of books because most people these days are time strapped, have the attention span of a fly and don’t have time to read 200-300 page books.

All this has created a huge demand for quick reads.  They’ve found that more of us are reading on our tablets, kindles and phones in short spurts which has driven this trend towards shorter books.

This is potentially great news for you.  What this means is that if you can take an HR topic you’re an expert at and put a quick read together of a few short pages, you can create a viable product in a few days or weeks…without writing a traditional thick book.

Most Kindle Short Reads sell anywhere from 99 cents to $2.99, the author earning 35% or 70% commission.

Obviously, one short read is not going to do much for your bank account.

But if you put together an entire series of short reads on a specific HR-related topic, it’s probably a very worthwhile side gig to consider.

As a best practice example, The Center for Creative Leadership has developed over 68 guidebooks that they call their Ideas Into Action Guidebook Series. 

Each of their guidebooks is a “short read” of 20-40 pages and is intended to be a quick read for managers and employees at all levels.

A few of their examples are pictured above. They sell these guidebooks for $15.95 each or you can buy the complete set of 68 guidebooks for $495.

…And they have been best sellers for over 20 years!

Their short reads provide practical advice on coaching, feedback, teams, conflict, innovation, career success, resiliency and more.

They also offer them on Amazon and in both softcover and kindle ebook formats.

The potential for scaling up your income selling “short reads” is huge. And your chances for success are greatly enhanced if you have a vision for success and can put out an entire series of them.

An additional reference: Want a game plan for creating your own line of “short reads” that is small reports, white papers and short ebooks that address pressing issues or solve vexing problems?  Then check out: YOUR HR GOLDMINE:  How To Turn Your Human Resources Know-How Into A Lucrative Second Income…Without Leaving Your HR Job!  This book will provide you with tons of ideas and a step-by-step plan for putting them into action. You can get all the details HERE.

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HR Side Hustle #10:
Post articles on Medium.

I’m a fan of posting articles everywhere on earth that make sense.

It’s a terrific way of sharing with others the valuable HR experiences you’ve had or a successful project that you’ve worked on — in about 300-500 words (roughly 1 to 2 pages). Obviously, there’s no limit to the number of articles you could write.

But here’s what’s really interesting.

Just as kindle ebooks revolutionized the book industry, I see sites like Medium revolutionizing how articles will be written and marketed in the future. And this excites me to no end.

Here’s why? Anyone can join Medium’s Partner Program for free and earn money when any Medium member reads their articles. All you need to do is write on topics close to your heart and present a unique perspective to readers.

On Medium, you’ll see plenty of articles on Human Resources, Talent Management, Talent Acquisition.  A few of the more active HR article posters are David Smooke and Richard Lewis-Jones.

Once you become a member and submit your idea, an editorial team will review your article. If it passes their quality standards, they will recommend it to readers interested in that topic.

I’ve just enrolled in Medium Membership Program and plan to post many of my existing articles to their platform.

Why? Because, it doesn’t matter if you’ve posted an article somewhere else, you can also post (or re-post) the exact same article on Medium!  It’s a great way to build up a portfolio of content, that you can later combine into your book or online course.  In the meantime, you can actually make a buck or two.

What about earnings?  The way Medium calculates earnings is pretty unique. You will earn a monthly payment based on the number of Medium members who read your posts. The longer a member reads your article, the more money you will earn.

While only 8% of active Medium writers earn more than $500 a month, if you have strong writing skills and are consistent, you could potentially earn a lot more than that.

The highest paid Medium author for the month of November 2019 earned $22,658.57.

My hat’s off to this earner — they can officially call Medium their main hustle!

Finally, there’s an often overlooked additional benefit of writing articles appearing online: Google will index them so they show up globally in online searches. This provides a terrific way of building your reputation in HR and getting your name and brand more broadly publicized.

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HR Side Hustle #11:
Launch your own HR blog.

First of all, take 90 seconds and check out this video…

In the above clip, two of the most brilliant minds in business Seth Godin and Tom Peters, give you their perspectives on the value and importance of blogging

So why must YOU blog if you’re an HR pro? 

For me, Seth makes the most compelling statement of all when he says that you should be blogging EVEN IF..


Ten years ago, when I started writing this blog I didn’t realize that it would become THE single biggest asset and catalyst for my career in HR.  Just about everything I do now begins first as an idea on this blog. 

Your own blog can allow you to do this as well.

It can be your vehicle for standing out from the HR crowd, become known as a thought leader in your own HR specialty and will positive impact others enabling you to make a bigger difference in our profession.

If you can spare a few hours a week, can write e-mail length messages and enjoy sharing your ideas with others…then you’re in a great position to capitalize on your very own blog. Through your blog you can showcase your unique HR insights and experiences in an in-depth way.

Need further inspiration?  Check out the HR blogs of:

It takes a lot of work to get your blog off the ground and success isn’t guaranteed, even if you are an amazing writer. In the beginning, you’ll make nothing. But if you stick it out, it can be worthwhile financially. Here are just a few ways you can monetize your blog:

An additional reference.  Interested in blogging and want to get help in starting up yours from scratch? Let me shamelessly plug my start-up package. It’s called…START YOUR OWN AWESOME HR BLOG: “The Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Launching Your Own Outrageously Successful Human Resources Blog …Easily, Quickly and Simply!”  You can get all the details HERE.

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HR Side Hustle #12:
Develop your own iphone
app for HR.

Yes, I confess, this is a totally out-of-the-box idea.

But is it?

Apple iphone and other mobile apps continue to grow exponentially.

So it’s not surprising that there are some very serious apps being developed to help job seekers and HR professionals.

A few examples:

Just about any routine HR activity can be turned into an app.

Got a great HR idea you want to turn into an app, but you’re not a techie?

No problem.

There are plenty of programmers and mobile app creators around the globe on Upwork, Fiverr or Freelancer.com anxious for you to put them to work dirt cheap. 

All you have to do is lay out your HR idea, get some quotes for building your app and let them amaze you with what they can design for you.

It’s more affordable than you think and may become your new HR side hustle project.

Like I said, it may be out-of-the-box.  But it’s not beyond the realm of reality and it could be lucrative opportunity for you.

With all that said, let’s float back down to earth, with the following…

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HR Side Hustle #13:
Sell HR templates, worksheets
and checklists that save time.

What am I talking about here? Well, here are a few examples:

These kinds of tools provide shortcuts for busy HR people or small business owners and are in high demand.

In fact, any template, checklist, worksheet or tool you’ve developed that enables you to do your HR job faster, smarter and cheaper will be in very desirable by others who want to do the same thing.

Where can you market items like these? Try Etsy. In fact, all of the above listed HR tools are currently being sold successfully there right now.

Etsy is an online marketplace that provides the perfect platform for you to offer your own unique, time-saving tools. Setting up shop there is relatively easy, making it easily accessible even if you’re new to online selling.

It’s one of the largest growing online marketplaces for professionals and hobbyists online with 1.7 million active sellers and 28.6 million active buyers. Etsy takes 3.5% of your sales, but everything else is profit for you. That’s an excellent deal.

Louise Verity, a 34 year old HR administrator in England, started selling on Etsy while working a full time in HR. She started a side business selling HR templates and then started copying prints onto book pages and framing them into block frames and sold them on Etsy. This became a pretty lucrative side job, which eventually became her full-time job!

Besides the above examples, there are several directions you can take your HR skills to generate some side income.

Want ideas? Take a look at your strengths and interests and then do a search of “human resources templates” or “employee templates” on the Etsy platform and you’ll generate all kinds of possibilities for this kind of side hustle.

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HR Side Hustle #14:
Public speaking on the side.

This is a side hustle that most HR folks don’t think about because they often think that it is just too hard to get started with. And candidly, public speaking is a daunting field to break into.

There are usually four main reasons why speakers are hired and paid to do what they do.

  1. They are good at speaking in front of crowds and can command an audience’s attention.
  2. They are an expert in their field and have a lot to teach others about their field of expertise.
  3. They are an authority on the given issue, and can be trusted to bring a certain level of knowledge to the speaking event that will prove quite beneficial to the end-goal.
  4. They are already famous or well-known, and hiring them is a good bet if the goal is to bring in a crowd and get a lot of attention

Years ago, I was thinking about trying to get into public speaking. I did a bit of research, but decided that I preferred my writing, consulting and other side hustles better.  So I didn’t put much effort into it.

But I stumbled into it anyway.

Here’s what happened.

I was teaching an undergraduate class at Purdue University’s Northwest extension campus on the side in the evenings. After class, I’d typically meet up with a few of students at a nearby bar for an hour or so to bond and informally trade war stories about HR, talent and leadership.

But little did I know, I was making some great connections with a couple of the managers and small business owners who were attending the evening class to earn their degrees.

One evening after class, one my students who was a small business owner, asked me out of the blue if I’d be interested in speaking in not just one, but two of his offsite events he was coordinating for twenty front-line supervisors in his organization.

He wanted me to provide them with tips for leading their teams and providing a positive workplace environment — topics we had discussed extensively in class. I called the class “Leading People & Performance: 10 Strategies For Getting The Most From Your People.”

For one of these engagements, he insisted on paying me $2000 for a few hours work and I accepted under the condition that I’d do the other as a favor and at no charge to him. I did both these on a Saturday morning and we had a blast!

In return, he introduced me to other really cool people in his network that were entrepreneurs and small business owners. And these connections opened the doors to other speaking opportunities.

This is how I accidentally stumbled into the world of public speaking!

I was now being asked to do several engagements every year, for pay, while holding down my day job.

And I had a blast doing them for a few years, with my boss’ approval, using my vacation time. Today, I’ll still do one or two presentations every year on the side, but my interests lie elsewhere.  So I refer just about all the speaking invitations I now get to others in my network who are frankly much better speakers and workshop leaders than I am.

However, based on my experience, there is a formula for picking up speaking engagements — and it looks something like this: 

Step 1:  Pick out a topic you love, are passionate about and that addresses a topic or pain point your audience is experiencing. The title you select is also critical. Here are a few HR titles and topics that have recently caught my eye:

  • Best Practices For Conducting Simple & Painless Discussions With Poor Performers
  • How To Use Your Company’s Compensation & Benefits Program to Build Your Personal Wealth
  • Overlooked Secrets For Assessing & Picking The Best Candidates in Interviews

Step 2: Network, make contacts and become known as a leader on that topic in your local community.  These contacts can be found by reaching out and contacting your  local SHRM chapter, church and within networking groups you’re a part of. Make yourself as visible as possible in these organizations so that people who may be looking for a speaker like you can find you.

SHRM chapters, in particular, around the country are always looking for enthusiastic presenters with practical, real-world, in-the-trenches HR experience. Become that presenter.

Step 3: Offer to teach others about it for free or for a fee. Bring as much value to each of your presentations as possible. As you gain experience, you will undoubtedly be sought out.  Don’t turn away small groups.  This is how you build this side-hustle up.

How much can you earn?  Beginning speakers can expect to earn from $300 – $2000 for one engagement.  Experienced speakers can earn up $2000-$10,000+ or more per presentation.

Here’s the bottom line.  As an HR pro, if you’re good on your feet and love spreading your knowledge on topics that are going to help and inspire others, then odds are good that you have at least a decent chance of becoming pretty successful speaker.

As an additional reference if you want more step-by-step guidance for launching this type of side gig, check out Jeff Greene’s, Speaking on the Side: The Definitive Guide to Earning Money and Happiness Without Quitting Your Day Job on Amazon.

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HR Side Hustle #15
Offer one-on-one personal coaching
remotely by phone or via Skype.

This is a big one!

Coaching is an ideal side hustle.

Why? Because these days it can be delivered remotely by phone or Skype…as well as in person, face-to-face. (For the difference between coaching and consulting, see Side Hustle #2 above). 

I learned about this first hand, when as a side gig I remotely coached a brilliant and successful small business owner. 

His business was home improvement and lawn care, which he started by himself with two employees.

Over the years, his business grew phenomenally and it required that he hire more staff, workers and supervisors.

After ten years, he had 125 employees, but he still found himself doing lots of the work himself and working 20 hours a day.  

He was also losing talented people who complained about his harsh micro-managing style and inability to trust them, let go and delegate.

Burnt out himself, he reached out to me for guidance through one of my family members.

We wound up working together for eight months assessing his management style, shifting his mindset and helping him delegate the time-consuming work to his people.

I used a 360 survey, had phone chats with a few of his team members and provided him with a “leadership toolkit” I had created and used in coaching managers in my day job.

When we ended our engagement after eight months, things still weren’t perfect.  But he had made tremendous progress and was extremely pleased with the results.

He had a happier team, a more balanced work life (only 12 hour days now) and more useful “tools” he could use to better manage the people in his business.

But here’s the kicker…

Because of our busy day jobs, we only
met in person one time over lunch.
The rest of our work occurred
by phone, email, text and Skype!

It was a terrific and eye-opening experience for both of us.

You may think remote coaching would be a poor substitute compared to face-to-face interaction.

But the truth is, hundreds of professional coaches work remotely for one key reason: it works!

And people (and organizations) are willing to pay up for confident and strong coaches who can deliver results.

With your day job, coaching remotely is a great option because it enables you to coach people from all over the world with no travel or fuss. 

Just pick up the phone, close the door, walk a trail or even sit outside with your favorite adult beverage and you can have a great coaching conversation.

Skype coaching calls, in particular, can be as valuable as in-person sessions. This is because they allow you to read your client’s non-verbals and adjust the impact of your words on the conversation.

How does phone/Skype coaching typically work?

1. Once you’ve lined up a client, you send them a pre-coaching questionnaire so that you can understand their key issues and goals for the session and to enable you to prepare ahead of time.

2. You then schedule the best time and date for your session with the client.

3. You then direct them to PayPal to process the payment for your session.

4. You then get in touch with them within 48 hours to confirm your session date and time and to answer any quick questions they might have.

5. Finally, do the coaching call and agree on any next steps, if appropriate.

It’s that simple.

Generally speaking, there are 3 main ways that you can charge for your coaching services:

By session. For example, charging $125-300+ for an hour-long coaching session.

By month. For example, $600-1000+ per month which may include 4-5 multiple coaching sessions and access to other assessments or valuable content you might provide.

By package. For example, a 6-month package for $3000-5,000+ this may include a number of weekly or bi-weekly phone coaching sessions and perhaps a couple of in-person sessions.

What kind of coaching services can you get paid for? 

Well, that depends on your skills and experience.  Here are just a few examples already being being done right now by HR pros:

1. Coaching to Enhance Personal Effectiveness

In this type of coaching, you use assessments such as 360 surveys, Myers-Briggs, Kolbe, DiSC and other tools to help your clients understand themselves more deeply, capitalize on their strengths or overcome their weaknesses.

You then work with them to interpret the results of their assessments and help them establish professional development plans based on the results and other relevant data.

2. Leadership and Executive coaching

As this type of coach, you work with leaders for an agreed duration or number of coaching sessions.

This role obviously requires strong coaching abilities, leadership credibility and personal savvy because you’ll be helping experienced leaders enhance their impact.

This can involve identifying their strengths and weaknesses through assessments and feedback; recommending ways to enhance their emotional intelligence and leadership capability; overcoming derailing behavior; and/or prepare for them advancement.

3. Performance Coaching

As a performance coach, you help your client improve their performance on the job.

This involves working with the client, their bosses, and others in their workplace to help the employees close performance gaps, strengthen their performance and develop plans for further professional development.

4. Personal/Life Coaching

This is coaching targeted at individuals of any type, age or profession.

As a personal/life coach you help your clients take the steps necessary accomplish their personal goals; clarify their values, purpose, priorities and dreams; better understand their thoughts, feelings, and options; and create a more fulfilled life.

5. Coaching for New Leaders

The major focus of this type of coaching is on helping the client transition from individual contributor to leader of a team.

This includes clarifying with the new leader’s key constituents the most important responsibilities of his/her new role; helping them define the results needed in their first few months of the new assignment; and ways to set expectations, motivate and inspire their new team.

6. Coaching High-Potentials or Succession Candidates

As this type of coach, you work with organizations to develop the potential of individuals who have been identified as key to the organization’s future or are part of the organization’s succession plan.

The focus of the coaching may include 360 assessments, feedback and personal development planning emphasizing leadership development programs or strategic or stretch assignments that will grow their skills.

7. Legacy Coaching

This is an unusual coaching specialty, but is emerging quickly as Baby Boomers continue to leave the full-time workforce.

As a legacy coach, you help your clients — particularly those leaving from a key leadership role — decide on the legacy they would like to leave behind. You also provide counsel in how to transition into a fulfilling second career …or side hustle! 

Any one or combination of these are coaching specialties can become terrific side gigs for you.

Finally, what about licensing or certification requirements?

There are none necessary to be a coach in the United States. Therefore, nothing keeps you from stepping up and starting your own own coaching side business.

However, if you want to be truly successful, it does require work.

The best coaches invest in upgrading their coaching skills and many pursue a coaching certification to help validate or enhance their credentials. The International Coach Federation (ICF) is the most well-known among the many coaching certification organizations.

With that said, let’s move on to…

*  *  *

HR Side Hustles #16 – #30:

The remaining 15 side hustle
ideas can be found here.

*  *  *

Okay, before moving on, let’s summarize.  

I believe everyone in HR should have at least one side hustle.

Besides some extra cash, a good side gig will enrich your career, unleash your talents and make you a better HR pro in your day job.

Plus they’re fun and can give you a nice change of pace from dealing with tough people issues all day. Hopefully, the ideas above will stimulate your thinking.

Again, these are the first 15 HR side hustles — you can find the remaining ones here. 

What are your thoughts?

Anything resonate for you?  What do you think? What questions do you have?  What’s been your own experience in side hustling?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.


* * *

About the author: Alan Collins is Founder of Success in HR, Inc. and the author of ten best selling books for HR professionals. These include three resources for HR side hustlers, Your HR Goldmine, Write Your Own HR Book Fast and Start Your Own Awesome HR Blog. He was formerly Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where he led HR initiatives and teams for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses.

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20 Responses to “30 Great Side Hustles for HR Professionals, While Working Your Full Time Job – Part 1 of 2”

  1. Wesley McKenzie Says:

    Thanks for the great ideas! I’ve been trying to come up with some and this helps a lot!

  2. Alan Says:

    Awesome, Wesley! Thrilled you’ve found these ideas helpful. Stay tuned! More to follow.

  3. Tamara Trummer Says:

    Thanks, Alan! I have been teaching university HR courses at night for 4 years now, as well as HR Consulting, resume & cover letter writing. Am eager to try some of your writing ideas as well!

  4. Alan Says:

    Very impressive, Tamara! Absolutely love what you’re doing, especially the university teaching work. I’m of the belief that everyone in HR should have at least one side hustle. One of my favorite types of side hustles are those that involve writing because you can do them anywhere – at home, at lunch, on breaks, while traveling or late at night (especially if you’re an insomniac like me). The flexibility and mobility is unmatched. Keep me posted on your continued progress and success. Stay safe.

  5. Connie Roberts Says:

    Alan, many thanks for all these eye opening side hustle ideas; Wow, never imagined any of these,but am glad to announce to you that I have immediately started working on two different side hustles. Thanks so much for always working tirelessly to build minds like mine.

  6. Alan Says:

    Terrific, Connie! So many HR folks wait and just overthink things instead of taking action, moving slowly and letting experience be the best teacher. Glad to hear you’ve got a couple side gigs going. Wish you much success!

  7. Yvette Weekes Says:

    I have been teaching undergraduate, post-graduate and corporate HR courses at a local university on a part-time basis for over 11 years. I also provide HR consulting services to SMEs and interview coaching to job seekers. I have been putting off writing but I love your ideas. I am looking forward to using my HR experience and expertise to apply more of your suggestions. I am truly thankful. May God bless and keep you safe.

  8. Alan Says:

    Very, very impressive, Yvette! 11 years teaching part-time plus consulting & coaching. Wow! Thank you for sharing. I’m sure you have your hands full. Your activity is another great example for others in HR and elsewhere about the potential for leveraging one’s HR talents. Wish you much continued success!

  9. Laura Mick Says:

    Thank you so much Alan, these are thought-provoking. I am currently looking to change jobs and thinking through and possibly launching one or two of these may help me bridge the gap.

  10. Alan Says:

    Appreciate the kind comments, Laura. Suggest making sure your main gig is nailed down and pumping out paychecks first, before launching side gigs to bridge the gap. Doing otherwise can be risky. Just sayin’. Want you to stay safe.

  11. Albert Gayle Says:

    As someone attempting to solidify my experience after getting my foot through the HR door, I welcome the side hustle suggestions and will definitely seek to implement one of these great ideas!

  12. Alan Says:

    Awesome, Albert! Make it happen.

  13. Grace Says:

    Thank U so much Allan.
    I am going to cast my net into resume and interview coach with a specific target group.
    Am also challenged to have my own blog…there is a lot l believe l can share.
    Cant wait for the next 16 ideas.

  14. Alan Says:

    Fantastic, Grace. Keep us posted!

  15. Mohammad Mashequr Rahman Khan Says:

    Excellent effort. Best Wishes

  16. Shahana Says:

    Fantastic article! Thank you for sharing stories, your personal experiences, as well as all the helpful links.

    After soul searching fueled by the lockdown during the pandemic, I launched my website last month. Would love to know what you think! https://www.justhumannotresources.com

  17. Christian Says:

    wonderfull. thank you very much for this post.

  18. Ayo Says:

    Alan, this is a fantastic article. I have been tinkering with the idea of consulting on the side as an extra source of income but am not sure how to start. Do you have any suggestions on the ways to acquire clients as a new business?

  19. Alan Says:

    Ayo, my best advice is to just let people in your network (especially previous work colleagues who have moved on to other organizations) know you’re open to consulting as well the type of projects you’re willing to take on. Also ask them for referrals. Many may be unaware of consulting your side hustle. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing starting out. Also as you begin taking on projects, keep your network up to date on your progress. Wish you much success.

  20. Carl Says:

    Thank you! This is golden, I am more confident now moving into the next phase of my career in HR.