Areas of Overlap with Other Clients
1. Identify the areas of overlap in the new client organization with others that have had as clients. If you have limited experience with these types of problems, be sure to research common issues to complete this question. As a human resources consultant that has been recently hired, my first priority would be to understand the organizational needs as it relates to the human resources consulting project. It is through this particular process where previous experiences in gathering information would be invaluable. In most human resource consulting initiatives the client will request particular services to be performed in one or all of the following areas: talent, compensation, benefits and policy development. However, a client may also request services in succession and performance plan development. Regardless of the tasks that are being requested, the consultant must exhibit integrity in regards to protecting clients proprietary information. Having integrity means adhering to deeply felt ethical principles in business situations (Boone & Kurtz, 2011, p. 40). Yet, the possibility for potential ethical dilemmas can still exist.
Possible Ethical Dilemmas
2. Explain the ethical dilemma(s) that may arise if you use your expert knowledge of other organizational HRM strategies with the new client. The utilization of any other client HRM strategies should be very limited in their scope to avoid any accusations of impropriety. Another ethical dilemma that may arise is related to legal issues arising from the use of a competitors HRM business strategies. In most consulting agreements there is specific language that addresses how gained information may be used as well as the consequences if compromised. The ethical dilemma of the consultants professional reputation can also be jeopardized if they use anothers HRM strategies with a new client. Therefore, the best strategy to eliminate this dilemma is through the customization of human resource strategies for each client.
Approach to Customizing HR Strategy
3. Discuss your approach to customizing HRM strategy to business strategies. In customizing an HRM strategy with a particular organization business strategy would be to fully understand the desired end state that the organization requires. However, if the end state is unknown then it would be my approach to gather the necessary information to understand the organizations business strategy. In understanding the business strategy then the necessary HRM strategies can be developed and implemented effectively.
Often, HR consultants are involved in situations where they need to facilitate conversations among two or more individuals. Whether a consultant is involved in individual coaching or facilitating large-scale projects, there are specific skills that make some more successful than others (shrm.org). Therefore, it would also be my approach to ensure that I possessed the necessary skill sets to ensure that the organization was provided with a successful consulting experience.
Establishing HR Strategies for Competitive Advantage
4. Emphasize the important of establishing HRM strategies to improve a competitive advantage. In a world of transparency, your competition knows more about your workforce than you do, and you have the same ability to know more about their workforce than they do (Talent Magazine, 2012, p. 14). Therefore, organizations must use this information effectively in order to gain and maintain a competitive edge. Organizations are striving to obtain and retain high-potential talent. The ability to maintain such talent requires an organization to develop professional opportunities as part of its retention strategy. In addition, to its professional opportunities an organization must provide competitive salary and benefits. It is through the development and execution of such strategies that an organization will increase its competitive advantage.
In conclusion the consulting role has the ability to assist an organization in achieving its strategic business goals. However, the consultant must possess the necessary skill sets to ensure that an overlapping of competitive strategies is not compromised. This may be achieved through professional and ethical behaviors. Another approach to diminish any overlapping strategies is through the development and implementation of customized strategies for each client. However, it is important that the consultant provide the client with the necessary services in order for them to maintain a competitive advantage.