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HumanCapital Consulting:

From humble beginnings, Human Resource (HR) consulting services have become a global phenomenon and grown into a multibillion dollar industry. Management Insider explores the work of these guns for hire and their staff specific expertise. 

With unheralded interconnectedness between developing nations, the rise of new middle classes with more disposable income, and enhanced trade agreements spanning the globe, HR services have become key in supporting commercialism, capitalism and the globalisation of economies. In recent times, HR consulting services have been estimated to have a net worth of $28.7 billion, or approximately 12% of the global consulting market. Behind the success is organisations choosing to outsource their HR processes to expert consultants, who streamline and organise, improving overall efficiency for the organisations they serve.


Cambodia has seen a recent surge in the demand for HR consulting services, with a rapid influx of new companies looking to establish themselves here, as well as an influx of foreign investment – from Japan, Korea, China – that is creating new employment opportunities across the country. Firms are working to customise and implement sound HR systems to keep pace with the rapidly changing local business landscape.

Shaping the Scene

A HR consultant has to be able to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas for his/her clients – it is this dynamic formula that ultimately drives success. Today, HR consultants are recognising the opportunity that the domestic market represents and are helping shape the HR landscape of Cambodia. HR consulting services include all aspects of advisory and implementation activities related to the aspects of people management, and, carried out strategically, create value and boost organisational performance. The key lies in the experts understanding the internal workings and needs of your organisation before recommending any kind of transformation to support human capital issues.

HR consulting services have been estimated to have a net worth of $28.7 billion, or approximately 12% of the global consulting market.

This should not be confused with HR management, which is an internal function of an organisation that focuses primarily on recruitment and people management. While parts of HR management can outsourced to HR consultants, both HR consulting and HR management can very easily act as complimentary services, improving and supplementing each other when an organisation makes the decision to utilise an HR consultant on top of its HR management scheme. Yet, hiring an HR consultant is a luxury, while HR management is most considered to be a necessity for any organisation.

Value for Money

HR consulting services, which are both tangible and intangible, come at a cost but should be considered as a long-term investment in an organisation’s HR strategy. There is no doubt that large organisations can greatly benefit from hiring an external HR consultant. With a larger amount of employees and a higher recruitment rate, the number of tasks to manage, from health and benefits to human capital, can become overwhelming and create mistakes and inefficiencies. But for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which make up a significant part of Cambodia’s business world, can we consider if this is a model that is suitable for them?

Any firm or organisation can benefit from an outside-in perspective, however depending on what stage of maturity and growth the company is in, the range of offerings requested will vary. For example, a startup may seek assistance for daily HR tasks like payroll management, understanding labour laws and so on, while a more mature organisation might seek support with building critical skills, executive coaching and other such services.

Different Strokes

Consultants can provide SMEs with customisable services to support certain HR tasks like recruitment or even litigation. However, ineffective recruitment strategies can easily incur heavy losses, potentially thousands of dollars, for a SME. The use of consultants can bring about a more productive workforce, through more suitable strategies that will effectively minimise the cost per hire. Similarly, litigation can become a heavy burden for a SME, many of which do not have an HR team dedicated to this. Consultants can again provide solutions such as handling and investigating formal and informal complaints about employment practices, and can help mediate workplace disputes that in effect helps save considerable amounts of resources that would be otherwise spent on litigation.

Today, HR consultants are recognising the opportunity that the domestic market represents and are helping shape the HR landscape of Cambodia.

While full HR consulting services can be costly, they can help companies, big or small, invest in more efficient HR strategies for the long run. Cambodian companies have an opportunity to function at Western standards, from an HR perspective, which adds great value to the overall business strategy.

A variety of HR consulting services target specific outcomes

HR Audit

– Build an efficient HR department that is dynamic across all divisions, while improving inter-organisational HR communication tools

– Assess current HR capabilities and build the training and coaching plan of your key HR people

– Forecast HR requirements for the coming year: How many staff, and what skills will be required?

– Assure overall compliance with the local labour regulations

Recruitment & Retention Policy; Talent Management

– Audit your current reward programme in order to achieve optimum efficiency

– Align the value of reward programmes with individual performance, business performance and work culture

– Undertake all steps of talent management to support the development of your key staff

Compensation & Benefits Policy; Salary Benchmark

– Identify salary and benefit trends and keyfacts within your industry

Employee Engagement Survey

– Understand employees’ perception, satisfaction, motivations and effectiveness at work

– Identify key drivers of teamwork, dedication, turnover rates, absenteeism

– Improve HR policies and people management to decrease turnover rates, and increase engagement and productivity

Personal Record Administration, Payroll, Outsourcing

– Outsource employee administration to experts

– Save time by outsourcing monthly payrolls


Words by Vivaddhana Khaou