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Creating People Advantage in the Public Sector

Improvement in HR strategy and processes is essential for public sector reform and transformation. Indeed, HR costs represent a large portion of the cost of public organizations.

Managing human resources strategically is one of the most efficient ways to achieve major transformations of public organizations. HR teams have a role to play here by delivering high-quality services in areas such as mobility, talent management, and training. Costs associated with reshuffling those core missions remain marginal when compared to expected benefits of reforms.

Proven practices can enable a quantum leap in HR management in public sector organizations. These include:

  1. Anchor HR strategy in a long-term and evolutionary vision of required resources. Strategic workforce planning provides a compass to effectively align HR policies (including recruitment and training) with transformational efforts. It helps seamlessly integrate HR decisions into strategy and organizationwide operations.
  2. Lead ambitious and structured talent management. Managing talent includes talent pool segmentation, attractive practices such as scholarships and competitive compensation structures, and career paths that develop and promote talent.
  3. Design and implement advanced infrastructures for training and development. Leverage e-learning tools and rely on training content that develops complementary capabilities—operational, strategic, personal, and behavioral—at each leadership level. This will help develop talents, redeploy skills efficiently, and monitor recruitment levels.
  4. Foster active internal mobility and job-repurposing solutions. Creating more opportunities will enable a better match between demand and skills. In addition, it will mean richer career paths and higher engagement for employees.
  5. Optimize the HR function to increase its efficiency. Businesses must run lean processes, build strong links between HR teams and strategic executives, and create high-quality HR services to support operational teams locally. Those changes will help build strong connections with operational managers. An ongoing flow of HR data and performance indicators can effectively support strategic and operational decisions. Digital technologies are an excellent enabler of this major shift.

Public Sector

How Government Agencies Are Rethinking HR Strategy

Around the world, BCG's Agnès Audier sees governments taking new approaches to overcome a surge in retirement, budgetary pressures, and digital demands that require new skill sets.

The Emerging HR Challenge in the Public Sector

Ensuring that people possess the skill sets needed to tackle the emerging challenges in the workplace demands new and more sophisticated solutions for people and talent management in the public sector, explains BCG's Danny Werfel. Among these is workforce planning, the director says, which identifies the skill gaps now and in the future to ensure that a dynamic rather than static HR plan can be devised.

Public Sector
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