Most managers in organizations have dealings with consultants on a regular basis. The days are when organizations hired staff to cover all their needs. For example OD consultants are now engaged to help the organization through any necessary process or behavioral change in it.
In HR, external consultants are used particularly in the recruitment, payroll, training and occupational health and safety.
We need to develop common understanding what is meant by the term ‘consultant’, and to develop a common model for consulting process. Here we would discuss the role HR manager as internal change agent. In this role the often begin with changing HR process themselves. As internal change agent, they serve more as a consultant rather than an administrator or manager. Therefore, HR specialist need to have the ability to influence and change the attitudes of management and staff. As consultants, HE specialists provide services to its client, which are their line managers.
Now we would discuss external HR consultancy. Bratton defines consultancy in the following terms:
Management consulting is an advisory service contract for and provided to organizations by specially trained and qualified persons who assist, in an objective and independent manner, the client to:
- identify management problems,
- analyse such problems,
- recommend solutions to these problems, and
- help, when requested, in implementation solutions.
Thus human resource consulting is concerned with the provision of human resources services to assist management in day to day operation of the organization. By its nature, the consultancy service must also adequately provide for the needs of individual employees.
It is therefore most important to discuss service requirements openly with all stakeholders in the organization. Stakeholders include managers, employees, shareholders, unions, and general community, all of whom have a legitimate interest in HR services, decisions made and performance of companies.
Human resource services include the full range of HR activities offered in an organization. They may include strategic advice, procedural advice, employee training, auditing section processes, arranging a service or offering services in:
- staff recruitment and selection
- assessment and development centers
- performance appraisal and counselling
- personal career development planning
- induction and orientation programs
- career management systems
- succession planning
- competency selection and development processes
- training need analysis
- education and training programs
- self-analysis and self-assessment
- remuneration/benefits and rewards
- flexible work arrangements
- industrial relations advice
- occupational health and safety
- workers’ compensation
Source: Human Resources Management by Jeremy Seward, Tim Dein