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Human resource professionals in the public sector are now broadening their focus beyond cost reduction and talent management to include new imperatives that are in sync with the current economic scenario. Owing to human capital crisis i.e. skills shortage and aging workforce, there is an opportunity for HR professionals created across markets, especially in the public sector.
The global public sector HR arena is serviced by many providers, to include niche HR consultancies led by former government employees to multi-service global firms that offer increased reach across markets.
The public sector HR should possess insider knowledge on national politics, deep technical expertise and policy knowledge to influence policy and protocol changes that can promote organisational growth.
Distinguishing trends and challenges in 2015
- Austerity and uncertainties in the market have been good in a way for public sector HR organisations, as it has helped them reinvent themselves and look beyond incremental change.
- A new generation of public sector HR practitioners are emerging, who are leading the pace of change in the industry as leaders, innovators and thinkers to formulate plans and policies for business transformation. They believe in different business delivery models.
- Public sector HR should be able to support creation of next generation of public sector organisations by ensuring talent, knowledge and hierarchy is maintained in an effective manner for people and processes to function smoothly.
- Using diversity in culture to utmost advantage and benefit of the employees and organisation at large is among the key challenges in 2015 for the public sector HR.
- If lack of management support, inadequate funding and antiquated information technology systems are not enough problems for the HR professionals in public sector to deal with, they also need to constantly grapple with aging issues of the workforce and face increased competition from private sector for employees.
- Employee management and succession planning is an important tool for public sector HR departments. They further need to recognise outsourcing as a crucial need for business transformation.
- Cost seems to be a major impediment to welcoming transformation in the public sector HR domain. The bureaucratic nature of most public sector organizations and the decision-making process in itself impacts functioning of an HR and sets limits for growth in the public sector.
- HRs from a public sector enterprise should hone tact of giving employees a sense of “belonging” with the organisation and retain staff through more personal interaction and employee engagement methods.
Despite austerity being the driving force for public sector HRs, their role demands applying knowledge and skill sets to ensure people within the organisation are well placed to move forward with their career aspirations and life goals.
What remains constant in future for HR professionals, irrespective of the sector they work in or belong to, is the need to change and continuously adapt to new challenges. Two major challenges that we foresee in 2015 and year ahead, are the increasing need to collaborate across the public sector and embrace digital transformation in work spaces.
There is increasing evidence today that HR is now seen as a key partner to bring about change within an organisation, endowed with capabilities to demonstrate and deliver quicker, faster and stronger responses when odds seem to be in favour.
Strategies for human resource management in public sector entails ensuring self-sufficiency at all time to address needs of the community they serve and operate in, while delivering consistently higher standards of service.
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