The HR Paradigm Shift and the Federal Human Capital Opportunity. (Human Resources Management)

By James, Kay Coles | The Public Manager, Winter 2001 | Go to article overview

The HR Paradigm Shift and the Federal Human Capital Opportunity. (Human Resources Management)


James, Kay Coles, The Public Manager


The director of the office of personnel management (OPM) shares her views on solutions for improving the federal government's ability to attract and retain top talent.

Prior to the tragedy of September 11, those in government were presented with a unique opportunity to reform the federal pay system and the rules under which it operates. Consensus on the need to reform exists among the administration, Congress, the General Accounting Office, and multiple stakeholders including unions and professional organizations. Since the events of September 11 and our nation's initiation of the war on terror, the challenge and the opportunity are that much greater. In this time of unparalleled national challenges, Americans are increasingly looking to their government for guidance.

The only way government can produce the results the president has asked for--the results that the American people want and deserve--is through the people who are in government. Steve Case, chairman of AOL Time Warner, once said: "Vision without execution is called hallucination." Government can have the best vision statement in the world, but if it does not execute it well and produce results, then government is just hallucinating.

Therefore, focusing on how to get the right people in place to pull everything together and execute plans of action needs to be a top priority.

Paradigm Shift in Human Resources

In meeting with the President's Management Council, cabinet secretaries and their deputies, and human resources (HR) professionals, I strive to make everyone aware of the paradigm shift that has occurred in HR.

Government is more than a decade behind the corporate world in many sectors, especially HR. The consequences, if this problem is not addressed, will be quite serious. Government must change its concept of human resources people and what they have to offer in order to operate effectively in the marketplace.

Long ago, the term "personnel bunny" was used to describe a young clerk or secretary in an office--almost always a woman--who would fill out applications and answer questions on benefits in her spare time. That was then-personnel as an afterthought.

As the company grew, the "personnel bunny" became a personnel director, but the skill set did not change significantly. This involved being able to fill out more forms, administer benefits, and answer more employees' questions. Beyond those tasks, management did not utilize HR people as a resource. Generally, meetings involving strategic planning, budgeting, and the direction of the company did not include HR personnel.

A New Profession

Today, that paradigm is no longer valid, especially in the most dynamic and successful corporations. This is the fundamental paradigm shift. A new profession has developed--human resources professionals--who help their employers strategically manage their workforce.

Corporate titans like Sears, IBM, Federal Express, and Xerox no longer fill their HR departments with paper pushers who process applications and forms, who speak only when spoken to, and who stay out of the way of the strategic thinkers and planners of corporate America. They are now hiring professionals who are involved at the executive level, in the boardroom, in all aspects of corporate decision making.

These modernized HR departments help their corporate executives determine future workforce needs with strategic planning and competitive analysis and provide a firm foundation and a business case for workforce recruitment, retention, compensation, and employee training programs. Corporations have learned that looking at human capital as an asset to be invested in and managed strategically rather than as a cost of doing business provides them with the competitive edge.

Government needs to recognize that corporations are not just competing with one another for workers, they are also competing with government. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The HR Paradigm Shift and the Federal Human Capital Opportunity. (Human Resources Management)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.