What are the Main Roles of Consultant in HRD?

The Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), the public-sector steel giant very recently lost 400 of their key and middle- level executives who left to join newly formed private steel-manufacturing companies.

The chairman of SAIL in a recent press briefing lamented such large scale exodus of steel executives from SAIL would cost heavily for the organization, as in developing an executive with exposure in steel requires a time often to fifteen years.

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All such executives who have left SAIL attributed reasons which, inter alia, include absence of better career progression in SAIL and more financial benefits in private steel-manufacturing companies. Banks and other financial institutions are also facing similar unpleasant situation for recent liberalization of financial market vis-a-vis the emergence of private banks/foreign banks/global financial institutions, etc.

Very recently, State Bank of India retained the services of world famous management consultant, McKinsey for restructuring the organization, which among other things includes developing suitable career plans for their employees.

2. Manpower Planning has also become a crucial function for HRD consultants, especially in the wake of increasing manpower obsolescence for technological changes in Indian industries.

3. Similarly, in Training and Development, Performance Appraisal, Recruitment, Selection and Placement, Developing Suitable Promotional Policies, Management Succession and Management Development, etc., HRD consultants play a very crucial role.

Before engaging HRD consultants, it is necessary to consider following important points:

(i) When an organization needs to expand its capabilities on ‘Crash Basis’, i.e., on emergent basis with the sense of urgency, then under these circumstances the organization cannot afford to rely solely on untried competence of this internal resource alone. It needs to hire the services of consultants, who are having the required expertise.

(ii) Similarly, an organization may require to avail the services of specialized experts in some areas, where it does not have the requisite internal skill and knowledge. This is particularly relevant in cases like training and management development programmes where we find many organizations retaining the consultants to impart training on TQM, ISC>:9000, Quality Circles, Value Engineering, Business Process Reengineering (BPR), Benchmarking, Just-in-Time (JIT), Total Productive Maintenance, etc.

(iii) HRD consultants are also engaged in cases where objectivity or corporate strategy leverage to a job done needs to be given.

Whatever may be reasons for retaining the services of HRD consultants, we find their increasing use in corporate sector for efficient result, cost benefit, less time lag, etc.

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