Steven A. Harman Associates, LLC


Human Resources Consulting

Leaders in public human resources consulting

What Consultants Really Do

When I was a human resources director, the thought of hiring a consultant kept me awake at night!  I never completely understood the roles consultants play and how to select and use a qualified consultant for maximum effectiveness.


I  learned the secret of selecting the best consultant.  That secret is having a clear understanding of the various roles a consultant plays and ensuring those roles are aligned with your agency's needs, expectations and desired outcomes.  The roles consultants play are:


  • The Expert Role - the consultant is given the authority and responsibility by the client to gather information, how to move forward or to take recommended appropriate action.  In other words, the consultant solves the organizational problem.


  • The Pair-of-Hands Role - sometimes a client just needs an extra pair of hands to perform a specific task.  The consultant simply acts at the direction of the client who makes all decisions, determines the solutions and maintains control.  The consultant uses their expertise only to carry out the directions and wishes of the client.


  • The Collaborative Role - there is an equal partnership between the client and consultant.  Both share in planning, data collection, analysis and decision-making.  They collaborate and negotiate throughout the engagement with the consultant providing his or her special expertise and the client providing detailed knowledge of the organization and management problem at hand.


Each role has advantages and disadvantages.   Before taking on an engagement, our consultants spend considerable time and energy to understand your agency's needs, desired outcomes and roles we are expected to play.  Our investment of time and energy pays off in the end when we deliver a superior work product!


We would be delighted to meet with you to discuss how Steven A. Harman Associates, LLC superior approach can help your agency achieve its goals and objectives. 


Please feel free to add us to your bidders list for upcoming assignments.  We would be happy to compete for your business!