Jan 7, 2007

HR case studies



For the HR event at Great Lakes, I had to make a small role play for the participant B Schools to act out. All of them did a pretty good job of the scenarios that I had handed out :-) The B Schools were ISB, NMIMS, JBIMS, SCMHRD, XLRI and FMS.

The scenarios are given below. How would you carry these conversations as a HR or OD professional? You can leave your comments :-) and I'll let you know how you did vis-a-vis the participants :-))

The Scenarios:

1. The HR head has discovered that his recruiting head has been taking kickbacks from recruitment consultants for selecting their candidates. Play out the difficult conversation that you as the HR head will have with your Recruitment head following this accusation. Please note that you have no proof but just the accusation of one rejected candidate.

2. According to the performance management system the bottom 5% of the 500 employees in the sales organization need to be asked to resign. However, the Sales Director accuses you, the HR VP of coming up with a change in the system and of coming up with an "arbitrary system" to specifically target the Sales function as compared to other functions. The fact is that the Sales function is the largest group in the organization and identifying lower performers is relatively easier compared to R&D and marketing which have less than 50 employees each. Role play the discussion you have with the Sales Director.

3. As the HR Manager of a business unit in a large telecom firm you have been facing large scale attrition in your business. You find recently from the market that one of the Operations Manager of your business is going to attrite to a competitor and is also planning to wean away his full team of 12 engineers. The reason is because the competitor has no team ready and the skills are rare to get, and that he is comfortable leading the people he already knows. He is also going to get a hefty referral bonus if he gets them to the new firm. Play out the conversation that you will have with him.

4. As the HR head of a large pharma company, you have been hired to make the transition in terms of culture from a Indian organization to a global pharma company. The firm has grown inorganically from a small generic pharma company. The R&D head has been throughout the growth period. However, the CEO and you have come to the conclusion that he will not be the correct person to lead the R&D efforts of a global firm. What is the conversation you and the CEO will have with the R&D head.

5. You are the Learning & Development head of a large consulting firm. The new managing partner of the firm has asked you to present your plans for the learning and development 250 consultants and 60 support staff. In the past you have primarily addressed only initial orientation training and 10-15 soft skills programs when demanded by the consulting practices. The new managing partner wants to link learning and development more closely to business. You know that is not going to be easy as the various practice heads and major engagement managers arrange their own technical training without any inputs from your group. In your meeting with the partner share your struggles as well as your plan for the future of learning in the firm.

6. You are the OD Manager of a Indian private bank. Your CEO is concerned that the gender diversity of your firm is much lower than your competitors. You have found out that your organization's driven culture and 'macho' brand image is what keeps women away from your firm. HR policies and processes also do not help. The rest of the top management is however not concerned over such comparison so long as the top line and bottom line is taken care of. What will your approach be to convince them on the need for a more diverse workplace as well as what will be your plan to be given to your CEO to change the status quo.