May 3, 2005

Sanjay's blog on HR consulting

Sanjay Lakhotia who's a strategic HR consultant in India with one of the largest US based HR consulting firms, writes in his blog about client expectations

95% of the time (I have no way to scientifically prove this) the solution to all problems posed to the consultants probably lies in very obvious commonsensical solutions. I have been guilty of suggesting those obvious solutions to clients because there is nothing else and in many cases being told "Oh so how did you add value, we already knew this". The urge to find complex solutions to simple problems always leads organisations to push consultants to come up with something out of the world and the consultant has to hide behind jargons to make simple solutions sound interesting and unimplementable which client would not have thought of.I have always faced this request, we want to be the best employers so tell us how. I have always said we would have to do certain unique things that would differentiate you as an employer from what others are offering and we would have to find things which make sense in your context. To everything that you want the client to do, they ask, so who else has done it.
I guess they are confused about whether they want to be the best employer or the best follower of best employer practices.

Sometimes internal HR folks get caught in the same debate with line managers. The short term vs the long term interests. The urge to customize enterprise wide policies to specific business units. Sometimes the best skill to have as a HR professional is to have a Point Of View and the ability to Constructive Confront. Yes we are internal service providers, but additionally and more importantly we are the providers of systems that are long term solutions.