Consultants is a company started by a computer
science professor. Five years ago, the professor hired three graduate students and began offering computer
services to local companies. The company grew rapidly and currently employs 30 consulting specialists. The typical specialist recently graduated from college with a degree in information management or computer
science. Each specialist is assigned to work as part of a team that focuses on servicing the needs of specific customers. To date, Technology
Consultants has not felt a need to formalize personnel practices. The professor spends most of his time hiring and training new consulting specialists. He also has a part-time administrative assistant who helps with personnel activities such as payroll.
Some customers complain about the high turnover of consulting specialists. It seems that most consultants leave within a year after being hired. From the customers’ perspective, specialists leave just when they are beginning to understand how to provide quality service. The professor knows this is a problem, and she worries that such turnover may eventually lead customers to cancel their contracts for service. In the past, she and a few key employees were able to form long-term relationships with most clients, but this is becoming increasingly difficult as the company grows.
Consultants recruits at two local universities. This practice seems to be effective, as most graduates from the programs have the technological skills needed to serve clients. The hiring process consists of a series of interviews. The professor and two other employees conducts informational interviews and then offer jobs to individuals they feel will be successful. They don’t worry much about personality traits or past achievements; they simply focus on assessing technical skills. The performance of each consulting specialist is measured against the performance of peers, and only a few to employees receive the highest ratings. Since most employees are expected to possess the technological skills they need when they are hired, Technology
Consultants does not offer opportunities for training and development.
Compensation has been a difficult issue for the company’s founder. She wants to encourage teamwork, so she has chosen to structure pay so that most employees receive similar wages. She doesn’t want to have some employees earning a lot more than others. New hires are paid approximately the same as other consulting specialists. So far, the company has found it difficult to offer employee benefits. The professor feels that the cost of the benefits is too high.
Using the about case, answer the following 3 questions.
1. Which human resource practices would you recommend that Technology
Consultants change? Why?
2. How well do the company’s human resources practices align with one another?
3. How would you approach human resource management if you were starting a company like Technology
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