A Brief Overview of Human Resource Management Issues in the Public Sector
University of New Mexico
This paper is based on interviews with professionals in the human resources and management/supervisory fields soliciting their views as to what they considered to be the main issues confronting them in their jobs from a human resource management point of view. Open ended questions were asked of each respondent in an effort to solicit knowledgeable responses from informed sources. Although human resources and management issues are diverse and seemingly innumerable, a few basic issues rose to the forefront during the separate interview ...view middle of the document...
She has served under the auspices of three different city administrations, and is directly responsible for the supervision of three employees, in addition to her duties as the Director of Human Resources. She is also the municipal safety coordinator, which entails visiting work sites, participating in ride alongs, and taking photographs of workplaces. There are approximately 137 employees in her area of jurisdiction. She has held the position for 10 years.
Respondent B is the Program Manager for Personnel Misconduct Investigations for the U.S. Forest Service nationwide. He is a Washington, D.C. employee domiciled in Albuquerque. He is a federal public employee and supervises 4 full-time investigators stationed around the country, as well as two ad-hoc employees and a human resources assistant all of whom are in Albuquerque. Part of his responsibilities include investigating complaints phoned into the Inspector General’s anonymous hotline. In addition to his managerial duties, he is also certified as a Human Resources Professional by the Society of Human Resources Management, and is a member of several human resources organizations and subscribes to a number of related professional journals. R Respondent C is a public services librarian and acting Director of the city public library in a mid-sized town in New Mexico. As acting Director, she directly supervises five employees, and is considered to be a municipal public employee. Respondent C appeared to be the least aware of human resources and employment laws, as she was just named acting Director while the city is in the process of hiring an active director. Her normal duties are “just as a regular librarian” (Respondent C, personal communication, September 16, 2014). She refers to her supervisor (the City Clerk) or the Director of Human Resources for the city if she has any employment law questions.
According to McDowell and Leavitt (2011), there are three main organizational units that share responsibility for human resource functions that must share the responsibility for said functions and must work together as a team to successfully resolve human resource issues: managers and supervisors, human resource professionals, and attorneys. Despite widespread changes in human resources management over the years, ongoing employment legislation and inter-agency policy changes and amendments virtually guarantee that the field will continue to grow at a substantial rate in the coming years. The present number of laws governing the field of employment is truly staggering, requiring human resource managers and field supervisors to...