Personnel Consultant

Personnel consultants act as mediators between employers and job seekers. There are two types of consultants: Permanent placement personnel consultants: the main task of these consultants is to recruit suitable candidates on behalf of employers for job vacancies Temporary personnel consultants: these consultants specialize in finding suitable candidates to fill temporary positions in companies

After a job order is received from an employer to fill a vacancy, the process to select suitable candidates begins. Personnel consultants recruit candidates through newspaper advertisements and from recommendations and applications received by the personnel agency. They interview suitable candidates to obtain their details and their curriculum vitae (CVs). They might conduct skills tests, or send the candidates for psychological profile tests to determine their potential skills.

An important task of personnel consultants is to contact the referees to see if a person is suitable for the vacancy. They arrange meetings between employers and potential candidates. Once a suitable candidate has been offered the job, they may assist the employer and selected candidate by sorting out details such as starting date, salary level and other conditions of service. Once the candidate starts employment, the employer pays the personnel consultant the applicable fee.

Temporary placement personnel consultants need to keep a record of candidates available for temporary assignments, what skills they have to offer and when and where they are available for work. They also consider the employer of the temporary worker, so they have to keep a record of the hours worked, so that the temporary worker can be paid for work done on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and pay the worker’s income tax to the South African Revenue Service, etc. The temporary employer pays the personnel consultant for the hours worked by the temporary worker.

Personal Requirements

  • good communication skills, both in speech and writing
  • enjoy working with people
  • knowledge of human behaviour
  • good interpersonal skills and judge of character
  • strong negotiating skills
  • tactful and empathetic
  • reliable and have integrity
  • preferably over the age of 25

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Some personnel agencies require a degree or diploma.

Degree: BA and BCom degrees in Psychology, Personnel / Human Resources Management, Administration, Industrial Psychology

Diploma: N.Dip: various appropriate fields - most universities of technology

The Education Institute for Personnel Service Consultants (IPSC) offers various training courses for personnel consultants. Many private, technical and correspondence colleges offer courses

Experience and knowledge are often gained through in-service training. Aspects such as interviewing skills, the writing of advertisements, reference checking and negotiation skills are covered.0


  • personnel agencies
  • self-employment, skilled and entrepreneurial personnel consultants can start their own businesses

Further Information

The South African Board for People Practice
Willowbrook House, 1st floor Constantia Office Park 
14th Avenue & Hendrik Potgieter Street 
Weltevredenpark Roodepoort 1715
Tel: (011) 045-5400

The Association of Personnel Services’ Organisation of South Africa
Unit H3
Isando Business Park
Cnr Gewel and Hulley Roads
Isando, JHB
Tel: (011) 773-6222

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work in a personnel agency
  • speak to a personnel consultant about this career

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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