HR consulting providers should also develop your in-house expertise

Building internal capacities by making sure knowledge transfer is written into the contract
By Susan Singh
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/22/2005

Consultants sometimes joke that clients bring them in to tell them what they already know. Indeed, there are certainly times when consultants can lend credibility and confirm the business case for internally generated proposals for organizational change.

More often than not, however, HR departments turn to external experts to supplement scarce resources or provide specialist knowledge. When using HR consultants to solve a resource problem, the challenge for organizations is to build internal resources even as they contract out.

As Debbie Fischer, senior vice-president, organizational development and strategic projects at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, puts it: “If the organization is going to spend the money on external advice, then you want to ensure the consultant leaves behind the knowledge and tools to sustain the recommendations. We negotiate this into the contract according to the nature of the assignment.”