Pricing Models for HR Consultants: Maximizing Profitability and Value

Most HR professionals, when they first come out of corporate, feel battered. They’ve been battered because they feel isolated and alone. They’re under-resourced, overworked, burnt out, and blamed for everything.

So, is it any wonder that when they come out, they undervalue and sell their time at a low price point, not recognizing their true value?

When it comes to building profitability in the business, the quicker you become good at something, the less time it will take you, ultimately resulting in earning even less if you are charging on an hourly basis. Get where I’m coming from?

What’s the point of that? You’ve left corporate to increase your income and have autonomy. First things first, you need to really map out how long everything takes.


How long does planning take? What about the account management side of things? What about communication? How long does it take you to write and send your emails? What about tasks like talking to other associates? The administrative aspects of the account?

There’s time spent when your client asks for just a moment, and you don’t really bill them for that.

Also, consider the time spent thinking about specific client issues. By now, you’re probably recognizing a pattern of undercharging even for your time.

Now, I want you to consider the worst-case scenario…

I’ve been in a similar situation where you invest your time, which is why I’m going to suggest adding 20 to 30% to that cost.

That’ll give you a cushion.

Once you’ve done that, the next step is to evaluate the outcomes you’ve delivered for the organization.

Does the pricing you’ve set reflect the value you provided to the business? Only you know that deep down. What’s the clients perceived value of your services?

Now, it’s time for you to be brave and start testing some of this pricing with your clients. But I also hear you asking, “What happens if this project goes way over budget, and I’ve committed to a fixed cost?”

That’s a valid concern, and here’s how you address it: in your statement of work or contract, clearly outline what’s included.

For this type of package, if unexpected situations arise (X, Y, or Z), it will incur additional costs.

Let me provide an example.

If you’re working on a large project that requires you to work outside of regular hours and on weekends, your hourly rate might increase from $250 to $350, and you will bill for every hour worked.

I understand that certain tasks, like handling employee relations and grievances, can’t be charged hourly, but they should be factored into your overall pricing structure.

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