HR Consulting



1 Summary 3

2 Introduction 5

3 Importance of Management Consulting for Organizations 5

4 Biography of Arthur Dehon Little 8

5 Consulting Tools 12

5.1 SWOT Analysis Tool 12

5.2 Change Strategies 14

5.3 Strategic Planning 16

5.4 Comparison and Contrast 17

6 Conclusion 19

7 References 20

8 Appendix 21


The research paper commenceswith an introduction on human resource consulting. It is a counselingand advisory service offered to businesses by consultants on ways ofmanaging their human capital. In addition, HR consultants informbusinesses on how they can improve their human resource function.Generally, HR consulting works towards improving a business.

The paper then discusses theimportance of HR consulting for organizations. One of the mainobjectives is to provide employers with ideas on how to ensure theiremployees are happy and successful. Second, consulting assistsemployers to create ideal hiring processes. All companies requiremanagement consultancy to enhance the general performance of theentire company. Consultants act as experts who advice businesses ontheir weaknesses and on strategies to improve the weaknesses.

A significant consultingpioneer, Arthur D. Little, has been discussed in the paper. Thediscussion focuses on his life and contributions in the field ofconsulting. He established the first consultancy company, “ArthurD. Little.” Little worked on convincing companies, on why it wasimportant for them to invest in research and development. He believedthat through innovation, businesses would have a competitiveadvantage, as innovativeness enhances success. To date, his idea thatinnovation results in the profitability of a business continues to bethe underlying principle of modern consultancy.

In addition, the paperintroduces consulting tools used by human resource consultants. Theyinclude SWOT analysis, change strategies and strategic planning. TheSWOT analysis, change strategies and strategic planning consultingtools comparison derives from the fact that, their purpose is toimplement change in an organization in the most effective way. Thedifference apparent in the consulting tools is that they usedifferent approaches to provide feedback to consultants about abusiness.


Human resource (HR) consultingdeals with decisions related to human resource management. It is aform of advisory service, whereby consultants advise their clients onhow to manage human capital, as well as the human resource function.In HR consulting, human capital is the economic gain that workersbring to an organization through their expertise. In addition, HRconsulting acts as a counseling service, used by organizations toenhance their relationship with personnel. Companies hire HRconsultants to assist them in achieving their competitive advantages,which can be realized by improving human capital and HR processes.Also, the consultants offer their opinion on how internal proceduresand guidelines in a company can be improved.

3Importance ofManagement Consulting for Organizations

One of the main objectives of HRconsulting is to provide employers with ideas on how to ensure theiremployees are happy and successful (Kubr, 2002). Most organizationshave established human resource departments to deal with employeereward systems. However, employers cannot be sure that the rewardsystems improve employee satisfaction. Hence, consulting is importantbecause consultants help companies to create systems for not onlyrewarding workers, but they also develop rubrics that act as anobjective way of assessing employee satisfaction. The consultantsadditionally work to ensure that while an organization strives toreward its employees, it does so in a cost effective manner. Forinstance, they advise on the best and most suitable benefit programsand healthcare plans.

Another major objective of HRconsulting is to ensure that employers have ideal hiring processes(Kubr, 2002). Consultants analyze how an organization advertisesjobs, how interviews are conducted, and the offers made to potentialemployees. Based on the analysis, they introduce ideas on how toincrease diversity and attract individuals from differing educationalbackgrounds, or with skills needed for an advertised job. The successof a company is based on having the right employees. Thus, HRconsulting assists a company in targeting and hiring the bestworkers. Once workers have been hired, consulting also makes certainthat organizational leaders are trained on how to relate with theirjuniors. This ensures that the working environment is favorable andsupportive of all employees, which in turn enhances output from thehuman capital.

All companies require managementconsultancy to enhance the general performance of the entire company.The objective is to work towards the development of every aspect ofan organization. Management consultancy assists a company to exploitavailable resources and make maximum use of its human capital (Kubr,2002). The main responsibility of human resource is to hireemployees, deal with payments, and handle issues related toemployees’ benefits and salaries. Thus, the HR departments ofcompanies are restricted in their effort to work towards improvingthe wellbeing of employees within the entire organization. This makesmanagement consulting important because consultants work with all thedepartments in a company. They work together to calculate theprospect outcome of the actions taken by an organization and alert onthe need for taking proactive measures that avoid losses.

Consultancy involves advisingbusiness owners on how to improve their weaknesses. In order for thebusiness to meet its long term objectives, it ought to be aware ofthe areas where it has weaknesses and focus on solving the weaknesses(Kubr, 2002). It requires honest advice, which is hard to get fromthose within the organization. But with the assistance of managementconsultants, business can be guaranteed that they will receive honestopinions and critic concerning their operations. The consultants makecareful calculation for an organization and works towards strategydevelopment. They are able to receive unbiased information fromemployees concerning improvements they think should be made in thecompany. In addition, they are get feedback concerning issues thataffect the wellbeing of workers. The consultants then communicatethese issues to business leaders, something that would not beachieved without the help of consultants (Kubr, 2002).

It is important to note thatmanagement consulting does not merely target large organizations.Emerging and small business owners can benefit from the consultancyservices provided by management consultants. Small businesses canhire the services of consultants to troubleshoot (Kubr, 2002). Thisinvolves asking the consultant to determine why some workers arefailing to meet productivity targets. The consultants are also askedto offer recommendations on how employee productivity may beenhanced. The problems addressed by HR consulting do not only focuson employee productivity, but any other issue that may emerge in acompany.

4Biographyof Arthur Dehon Little

Arthur D. Little was the firstperson to create a consulting firm in 1886. The company, referred toby his name, is one of the many international consultancy firms.Little was the first born son and had three brothers. He “was bornin 1863 in Boston, Massachusetts (TheChemical Engineer, 2011).”Although he made significant contributions in HR consulting, hisinitial interest was in chemistry. After an encounter with atraveler, who introduced him to scientific experiments, Little wentahead to perform the experiments on his own in the school laboratory.His interest in chemistry continued to develop, resulting in hisenrolment at the “Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT” in1881, to advance his knowledge in chemistry (TheChemical Engineer, 2011).

Although Little was a firstlearner, he was forced to drop out of MIT and discontinue his studieswhile in the third year. He did not graduate because his family wasunable to support him financially in completing his studies. However,he was offered an employment opportunity by the “Richmond PaperCompany.” At Richmond, he first worked as an entry-level chemist,but was later promoted to become the plant superintendent. Whileworking for the company, Little discovered that he was working on apaper mill that was faulty. He begun to work on how he would fix thepaper mill and in the process, he became an expert in the technologyof paper processing.

As he continued to work atRichmond, Arthur D. Little met Roger Griffin, with whom they formedthe first consultancy firm. Griffin and Little created their firstcompany, “Griffin and Little: Chemical Engineers,” that acted asan analytical laboratory as well as consultancy (TheChemical Engineer, 2011).Following the death of Griffin in 1893, Little continued to work onhis own, focusing more on consultancy. He was aware of thesignificance of long-term industrial study. As the nineteenth centurywas approaching, the world experienced rapid industrialization,resulting in the establishment of numerous industrial procedures.Nevertheless, little effort had been made in industrial research.There were no attempts to interpret discoveries made in laboratories,like the changes Little had made to the paper mill, into industrywide production. According to Little, “academia was blind to thechallenge and opportunity that research presented,” leading to hissecond attempt at consultancy (TheChemical Engineer, 2011).

In his second attempt, Littleworked with a chemist from MIT, William Walker. Unfortunately, whenWalker was later appointed to a better position at MIT, he was nolonger interested in consultancy. But Little was determined to createa consultancy company hence, he decided to continue working on hisown and created “Arthur D. Little Consultancy.” From thebeginning, his interest in investigating ways of improving processesand how to make products better, led to the success of the company.Little worked on convincing companies, on why it was significant forthem to invest in research and development. Many companies expectedinstant returns from R&ampD services offered by little’sconsultancy firm, which made it had to convince them that consultingdid not provide immediate pay-offs (TheChemical Engineer, 2011).

However, he did not give up andcontinued to advocate on the significance of consulting in enhancingbusiness efficiency. His advocacy was successful as the consultancybusiness started to peak slowly in the 1900s. By 1909, Arthur D.Little comprised of a number of departments “with specialistscovering fuel engineering, forest products, textiles, fermentationand plenty more (TheChemical Engineer, 2011).”The first major breakthrough for Little’s consultancy company wasin 1911. He was consulted by General Motors (GM) to create and findemployees for the company’s “first-ever centralized researchdepartment (TheChemical Engineer, 2011).”Little successfully delivered the services needed by GM, leading toadditional scientific study as well as process design tasks fromother companies. The company, which had initially been started as ananalytical laboratory, had advanced into a major industrial researchfirm. Through the firm, different specialists worked towardsexploiting possible breakthroughs in the industry for the differentcompanies the consultancy firm represented.

All through his life, Littlebelieved that science had the ability to improve life. He explainedthat “to those with vision, science is bringing countless newopportunities for constructive and profitable effort, while it islikely to take whatever they may have from those who will not see(The Chemical Engineer,2011).” To date, thenotion that innovation results in the profitability of a businesscontinues to be the underlying principle of modern consultancy.

5Consulting Tools

In order for a consultancy firmto offer its services to an organization, it relies on consultingtools to learn more about the organization. The tools make itpossible to analyze a business, learn about the challenges thebusiness faces and work on ways to improve operation. Some of thesetools are discussed below. In addition, this section compares andcontrasts the different consulting tools.

5.1SWOT Analysis Tool

The SWOT analysis tool is used“for establishing the company’s strengths, weaknesses,opportunities and the threats, and analyzing the output as part ofperformance improvement processes or in strategy formulation(Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010).” It is an important tool that makes itpossible to have a summary of the strategic condition of a companyand can be used on all types of businesses. Strengths and weaknessesfocus on the internal aspects of a business, which comprise oftechnological knowledge, specific company resources, competitiveabilities and intellectual capital (Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010). Strengthsdeal with issues relating to the quality of a product or service, forinstance a company’s strong point could be that it has properlytrained personnel, which results in the development of qualityproducts. Weaknesses refer to issues relating to the internaloperations of a business that reduces competitive advantage.Opportunities and threats basically emerge from an organization’sexternal environment (Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010). Opportunities refer tofactors that are external to a business, which when exploited willbenefit the business, while threats reduce the competitive advantageof a company.

The consulting tool is mainlyused to identify areas that need improvement in a company. Hence, itis necessary for consultants to take several factors intoconsideration. One, a consulting firm should not presume thatcompletion of the SWOT analysis resonates to a full analysis of thecompany. This is because, although the strengths may be more than theweaknesses, the severity of the latter may outweigh the strengths.This means that while a business may have just one weakness, theweakness may threaten to cause immense harm to the business such thatits strengths become irrelevant (Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010). Second, itis important to note that the issues represented in the analysis area snap-shot of a specific time. This is because the changing businessenvironment causes changes to the factors affecting business. TheSWOT analysis tool is important as the output makes it possible toevaluate the pressures that a business faces. Also, the tool is usedto clearly indicate how well a business is performing. Using theanalysis, it becomes possible for the consulting firm to make changesto the business operations, which are aimed at reducing threats andweaknesses and improving strengths and opportunities(Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010).

5.2Change Strategies

The objective of consulting isto implement change within an organization. However, change cannotjust be imposed on people, which makes change strategies an importantconsulting tool. Prior to implementing change in an organization,consultants must ensure that they have support for the suggestedchange policies. Support derives from the senior most levels ofmanagement in a company. It is also important that other individualswithin the business accept the change. Once change has been accepted,it becomes possible to plan on business changes aimed at improvingorganizational performance (Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010).

There are five changestrategies, which can be used by organizations to make alterations toits operations. The consultants must ensure that business owners areaware of all the strategies and assists in selecting the approachthat is most suitable to the business. One is the directive strategy.This strategy is based on the use of authority. Management uses itspower to implement the changes that are needed in an organization.The advantage with this strategy is that any changes are implementedat a fast rate. The disadvantage is that the directive strategyenhances resistance to change by employees (Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010).Second is expert strategy. It applies to technical issues that mayarise in a company. For instance, when a business owner plans tointroduce new information communication systems in an organization,it is important to consult experts on the best way to implement thenew systems. The strategy is mainly effective when only a few workershave knowledge of the proposed change (Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010).

Third is the negotiatingstrategy. It involves communicating with the employees that arelikely to be affected by the change, negotiating and possibly makingadjustments to the proposed change. The strategy acknowledges thatall individuals are important to a business and thus their input isrequired prior to implementing changes within an organization(Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010). Negotiating strategy is highly effective dueto the reduced possibility of resistance to change. The downside isthat implementing change will require a lot of time when seekingconsensus. The fourth strategy is educative, which entails makingalterations to people’s beliefs as well as values, to ensure thatthey support proposed change. The educative strategy is complex as itcomprises of educating and persuading employees that change isimportant (Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010). The advantage is that once thesuggested change is accepted, the individuals affected remaincommitted to its implementation. Last is the participative strategy.The strategy involves both management and employees, in the processof implementing change. This ensures that changes are widely acceptedwithin an organization (Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010).

5.3Strategic Planning

The consulting tool is used byconsultants to understand the current position of a business. Inaddition, strategic planning makes it possible to understand what abusiness plans to achieve (Lasonde, 2016). Many businesses hire theservices of a consulting firm to receive advice on how they canimprove operations and in the process meet their strategicobjectives. As a result, consultants must be able to understand thestrategic objectives set by a business in order to provide counsel onhow they can be met. Consultants rely on the use of strategicplanning tools, which makes it possible for them to evaluate thegoals of an organization and create a strategic plan that workstowards meeting them.

One such tool is Porter’s fiveforces. The tool provides a fundamental structure that is effectivein analyzing a company through its suggested market forces. These arerivalry, new entrants, suppliers, buyers and substitutes(Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2010). Using the model, the consultants can accessthe current position of a company in comparison to the market inwhich it operates. Porter’s five forces, makes it possible forconsultants to identify where a company needs to make changes in itsstrategy. Consultants are not only required to have strategicplanning tools, but they should also have knowledge on how to use thetools. This is because they provide knowledge on the currentstrategic position of a company, which consultants use to plan onensuring that the company continues to be competitive.

5.4Comparison and Contrast

The consulting tools discussedhave some similarities and differences. The SWOT analysis, changestrategies and strategic planning consulting tools comparison derivesfrom the fact that, their purpose is to implement change in anorganization in the most effective way. SWOT analysis entails theevaluation of the business strengths, opportunities, weaknesses andthreats. By using this tool, consultants are able to learn about thecompetitive advantage of a business and work on ways to improve theweaknesses and threats. In the process, changes are implemented,which focus on enhancing the strengths and opportunities, resultingin a business that is highly competitive. The change strategiesidentified focus on ensuring that any proposed change in anorganization is readily accepted by management and other employees.The strategies minimize resistance to change and just like SWOTanalysis, ensures that a business implements changes that make itcompetitive. Likewise, strategic planning tools focus on ensuringthat consultants provide their clients with the best advice onapproaches to take in making changes to their business and in theprocess remain ahead of their competitors.

The difference apparent in theconsulting tools is that they use different approaches to providefeedback to consultants about a business. SWOT analysis involvesanalyzing the different SWOT components. In addition, the consultantsevaluate the interrelationship between these components to determinehow, for instance, improving the strengths of a business willincrease opportunities or reduce threats. Contrary, consultants usechange strategies to inform clients on the change that is needed inan organization, as well as suggests the most appropriate way toimplement the change. Strategic planning tools focus on issues thatmay reduce the competitive advantage of a business. For instance, hownew entrants in a market may affect the success of an existingbusiness. The consultants then use the information to deviseapproaches their client can use to reduce the threat posed by the newentrants.


HR consulting is very importantfor any business. It is through consulting that a business is able toimprove its human capital and in the process remain competitivedespite operating in a constantly changing business environment.Consultancy was introduced by Arthur D. Little, who emphasized on thesignificance of scientific research in improving the operations of abusiness. Consultants use several consulting tools, which includeSWOT analysis, changes strategies and strategic planning. These toolsare similar because they result in the effective implementation ofchange in an organization. The disparity is that each tool uses adifferent approach in implementing change. HR consulting ensures thata business exploits available resources in the most beneficial way.


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