The Unlocking Potential review, undertaken by the Australian Public Service Commission in 2016, identified some key gaps in the HR function across public sector agencies.
Rather than focus solely on compliance, the public sector HR function must be agile, business integrated, data driven and skilled in attracting, retaining and developing talent. The review also identified that there are critical weaknesses in workforce planning – especially due to the lack of HR and people data and the challenge in effectively interpreting data for strategy.
Furthermore, with increasing automation, there is a growing opportunity to achieve greater efficiencies. Around 21 per cent of the HR role includes transactional activities such as payroll, that can be reduced to increase strategy. The APS is striving to become more streamlined, and improved workforce planning will enable public sector organisations to meet their strategic business goals.
The prime minister has announced a major review of the APS, to ensure it can continue to serve the government and Australia in the years ahead. While we await this review and its recommendations – to be delivered in early 2019 – we already know there are key areas for improvement. There is huge potential for effective workforce planning and analytics to transform the APS, providing evidence-based strategy to lead us into a strong and sustainable future. Future focused, data driven decision making adds value and serves our communities. Now is the time to learn how to improve and do this well.
It is imperative for HR in the public sector to become more strategic, and move beyond traditional HR thinking to understand and guide the workforce in line with overarching business goals. Workforce planning and analytics provides enormous opportunities in this space.
Hear from public sector leaders and out of sector experts on how you can enhance data driven workforce planning and strategic HR at the Public Sector Workforce Planning and Analytics National Conference, 31 July to 1 August 2018 in Canberra.