Students in the Strategic Human Resource Management specialization of the MBA program completed their HR Capstone applied learning projects and conducted final presentations, reporting on knowledge and experience gained working with their organizations to solve HR challenges.
Ellen and Rebecca conducted research for M3 Insurance about the next generation of skills needed to ready M3 leaders and employees for the future. Their project included interviewing employees in various job roles about their current skill sets, designing and implementing a skills audit survey, and comparing survey results to industry benchmarks and external research to identify critical skill gaps. In their final presentation to the client organization, they provided recommendations on how to address and close skill gaps through training and development. They also provided recommendations about how to identify needed skills in candidates during the hiring process. Their key learning takeaways were to ensure the project was fully defined and scoped, and that deliverables were reasonable to achieve given the time allowed for the project.
Rebecca and An worked with North Central Group Hotels to identify strategies for sourcing, recruiting, and retaining Millennials and Gen Z employees in critical hourly positions They visited several of the hotels to better understand the environment and job roles, and did an in-depth analysis of both the website and the recruiting process. They provided their client with a variety of recommendations for sourcing candidates and enhancing their employer brand, and suggested changes to the career site to better attract younger talent.
Joshua and Neha worked with Credit Union National Association to define a new set of HR metrics following completion of a recent HR transformation. The client had defined priority areas to measure related to turnover, movement of top talent, satisfaction with pay for performance practices, onboarding effectiveness, and employee engagement. Joshua and Neha researched HR dashboards and scorecards, as well as best practice metrics that HR departments should be tracking to measure overall departmental effectiveness and results. They presented their findings to the client organization and provided a recommended HR scorecard with guidance on how often to measure each metric based on their research. Their key takeaway was to ensure they met frequently with the client to stay aligned on final outcomes needed from the project.
WPS Health Solutions was interested in researching how to effectively implement a stay interview process to retain top talent. Brandon and Marcus conducted research on “do’s and don’ts” for conducting effective stay interviews and key questions to use with high performers. They presented their findings to their HR client and provided a list of 10 sample stay interview questions. In addition, they provided guidance on an implementation plan for rolling out the stay interview process to leaders with a goal of retaining WPS’s top talent.
The HR Capstone applied learning projects provide an opportunity for students to understand and apply effective consulting and project management skills, build their networks, gain real HR experience solving talent challenges in their client organizations, and provide valuable professional experience to bolster their resumes!
Tracy Nelson, MSOD, SPHR, CPLP, is the Executive-in-Residence for the SHRM Center and teaches the HR Capstone course.