Alders and Richardson

Diagnosing a Problem with the HR Department

Writing Style Guidelines and Parameters:

Case responses should not exceed 4 pages (this total does not include cover page and References page). All writing for the Case should adhere to APA formatting regarding spacing (double-spacing), font style (Times New Roman) and font size (12), cover and references page. Responses to case questions must be accurate, detailed, and substantive. Students must support their responses to case questions using in-text citations when the idea or quote to which they are referring is based in the course text or another source. Students, in addition to the course text, may include other sources to strengthen their case question responses. Students should be careful to use credible and scholarly resources. Failure to approximate responses using the above guidelines will result in a lower point total for this component of the course. Spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation, writing mechanics, and over clarity and accuracy are also evaluated.

Signature Assignment # 2: Case Study Essay:

Case Context

Alders and Richardson is a medium sized company that manufactures and sells high tech athletic clothing to University Division 4 athletic programs in US and Canada. The company has a flawless reputation for providing high quality clothing that is durable and “performs” for competitive athletes. Alders and Richardson has seen its revenues grow at a steady 7% clip for the last 8 years. However, despite the revenue growth, Alders and Richardson has seen its costs skyrocket. After an internal audit on the performance on each of its departments as “cost centers,” the executive team discovered that much of the cost overrun could be traced directly to the human resources department.

As a management consultant specializing in human resource processes, you have been retained by Alders and Richardson to address this issue in depth. You were told by the company president that the executive management team (the “C-suite team”) has attempted to address the issues with the VP of HR. She has refused to take any blame for the underperformance of HR citing external labor market trends and intense competition within the industry.

The first phase of your data gathering process has found the following evidence. First, there has been a steady flow of new hires who do not have the necessary qualifications and competencies required for the wide range of work at Alders and Richardson. Second, established employees are not staying current with cutting edge research, knowledge, skills, and a strong understanding of the manufacturing processes. Third, talented and high potential employees are leaving Alders and Richardson for other competitors after no more than 1 year.

As you have taken a closer look at HR, you have observed that the department is following the classic HRM process model. This is, of course, good news for as a consultant who specializes in HR, you put a high degree of importance on clear and structured HR process for organizations such as Alders and Richardson. Nonetheless, there is something unsettling that begins to emerge as you drill down deeper into the way Alders and Richardson’s HR department uses the HR process model.

You have identified a number of gaps or weaknesses in the way the HRM process model is being used by Alders and Richardson’s HR department. You have determined that these gaps or weaknesses are directly linked to the 3 data points mentioned earlier. The weaknesses include:

  1. HR’s inability to identify, select, and accurately place competent employees into positions where strengths are properly aligned with tasks.
  2. HR’s failure to provide training and development that address the acquisition of cutting-edge skills and specialized knowledge necessary to perform tasks with excellent and efficiency.
  3. HR’s failure to retain high-performing employees.

Your report to the senior executive team of Alders and Richardson includes an explanation and recommendation for actions to address the issues in the HR department.


  1. Identify the factors that could be creating the deficiencies described in 1, 2, and 3 above.
  2. What specific recommendations would you make to the senior leadership team at Alders and Richardson to correct the deficiencies in each phase of the HRM process that is creating problems for the HR department at Alders and Richardson.
  3. What will be the measures or metrics used that would indicate that your recommendations in #2 above are having a positive impact on the Alders and Richardson HR process? What measures or metrics would indicate that your solutions are not having the intended impact?
  4. What do these HR failures and the VP of HR’s resistance to address these issues suggest about the collaboration and communication on the executive management team?
  1. What recommendations would you have for the president of Alders and Richardson regarding the VP of HR and HR’s ongoing under performance?
  2. What might be the sources of resistance to your recommendations and intervention?

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