Public employment and management

The Human Resources Profession


Central Human Resource Agencies
The majority of OECD member countries have a central human resource management agency responsible for at least some key human resource management functions (see the country profiles for links to member countries’ central human resource management agency).  In some countries, a central human resource management agency exists but plays more of a co-ordinating role across line ministries and is not formally responsible for human resource functions. As governments delegate responsibility for human resource management to line ministries, however, the role of the central human resource management agency is changing from implementing human resource policies to developing policies and setting minimum standards.


Public Service Reform and Change Management
OECD member countries’ lengthy experience and wide variety of public service reforms provide a rich source of information for anticipating and dealing with common challenges.  One lesson is that human resource management reforms should not be approached as stand-alone modernisation initiatives.  Rather, they should be based on an overall view of how government should function in order to meet emerging challenges and be consistent with public service values and other reforms. Strategic human resource management reforms should be shaped by the centre of government and should embody a clear vision of the connections between the features of the human resource management system – such as how people are recruited, organised and motivated – and the objectives and priorities of the public service.


Human Resource Professionals
Building capacity for strategic workforce management requires the development of a corps of human resource professionals who are responsible for more than daily personnel processes.  For example, the U.K. Cabinet Office has established standards for its human resource professionals to enable them to support organisations in achieving their objectives.  These standards include: understanding the organisation and how human resources can best contribute to its success; understanding and delivering human resource practices suitable for the organisation which leads to organisational success; making organisational change happen; and personally demonstrating the organisation’s values, building trust with partners in the organisation, and contributing to organisational success.

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