Elon University / Today at Elon / Business students apply HR strategy skills for local organizations

Students in the Human Resource Management Strategy and Consulting course worked as consultants during service-learning projects for Habitat for Humanity of Alamance County, Open Door Clinic of Alamance County, Elon’s Accelerated 3 + 1 Dual Degree program and Elon’s Office of Human Resources.

As part of the Human Resource Management (HRM) Strategy and Consulting course, 20 Martha and Spencer Love School of Business students applied their HR and business strategy knowledge to complete service-based projects addressing organizational needs for Habitat for Humanity of Alamance County, Open Door Alamance County Clinic, Elon’s Accelerated 3 + 1 Dual Degree program and Elon’s Office of Human Resources.

In teams, students worked as consultants to develop recommended strategies and materials the organizations could implement in the near future. At the end of the spring semester, teams presented their work to representatives from the organizations.

For the Open Door Clinic of Alamance County, a team developed a training manual for use in the onboarding process for new volunteers.

The team working with the Office of Human Resources created a standardized process from pre-hire to post-hire and developed a DEI manual for faculty and staff hiring.

The Accelerated 3 + 1 Dual Degree team revised the program’s existing competency model for student success, developed content valid interview questions for program applicants, and created a new evaluation rubric for use in the interview process.

Two teams worked with Habitat for Humanity of Alamance County, with one conducting a benefits benchmarking study for full-time employees and surveying full-time employees on their benefits awareness and perceptions of importance, and the second team creating an interactive onboarding presentation for new board members. Both teams worked together to redevelop and improve the employee handbook.

“I was so impressed by the students’ work, and most especially by their very insightful reflection,” said Sara Beth Hardy, assistant director for community partnerships for the Kernodle Center for Civic Life, who viewed the Habitat for Humanity presentations.

Taught by Associate Professor of Management Brian Lyons, the HRM: Strategy and Five people standingConsulting course covers various strategic HR perspectives and how they can lead to greater organizational performance. The service-learning projects serve as a culminating experience for the HRM major and offers Experiential Learning Requirement credit for those interested in HR.

“This part of the course is designed to be a win-win for our community partners and students,” Lyons said. “Our students receive experience working on a timely HR-related problem with their community partner and in turn, provide them a tangible solution. Our community partners therefore receive a high-quality deliverable that they can immediately implement in their organization. The final presentation is a joyful moment for our students, community partners and, quite honestly, me. ”

“This project served as a wholistic capstone for my time at Elon as the project challenged me to reference knowledge bases from prior years to help me complete a project in a disciple I wasn’t experienced in,” added Haille Rutsky ’22, who worked on the Accelerated 3 + 1 team. “A project this long often feels daunting, yet I believe this to be one of the most realistic project experiences I have completed and going forward I feel much more confident to move onto future employment.”

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