I- Role of Human Resources

The Human Resources group plays a key role in achieving the Organisational Development Strategy through developing an integrated suite of Human Resources systems and developing capability across the organisation.

Together, the change in the Ministry’s role and the shift towards accountable leadership internally and externally is a significant challenge. This challenge is being addressed through the Organisational Development Strategy. This strategy has a three-year timeframe. Over this time we will focus on building the Ministry’s management and specialist technical capability to achieve our role in leading the implementation of the government’s economic development programme. As part of the OD&S Branch, Human Resources will contribute to our efforts to:

  • Strengthen the leadership capability of our managers;
  • Build our coaching and account management skills to support managers;
  • Develop the Ministry’s technical skills; and
  • Reduce the compliance cost of our systems and support services.

To successfully implement the Strategic Priorities requires strong accountable leadership across MED. HR has a significant role is developing systems that develop our leadership capability, minimise compliance costs, and assist mangers in meeting their accountabilities.

This position has a lead responsibility to design and drive HR infrastructural improvements, design, deliver and support HR initiatives (such as the graduate recruitment programme) and to monitor and report on departmental and organisational performance. This position also has an important role in assisting the Director HR to meet the wider requirements of the State Sector Act and in contributing toward the achievement of the Ministry of Economic Development's Goals. To be successful in this role the person must be able to build effective relationships with key people both internally and externally to HR and MED.

The HR Advisor - projects will be required to provide the highest quality advice to the HR Director, the Chief Executive DS OD&S, and to the various Branches of the Ministry on complex organisational issues arising from the work of the Ministry or on issues that affect the Ministry. They will be expected to stay abreast of leading technology and development in the field. The HR Advisor will be expected from time to time to back-up for other HR Advisors when unavailable, so this roles requires a good HR generalist understanding and capability.

The requirement for strong people leadership requires that managers are fully capable. To help managers to meet their people management accountability the HR group, along with their own manager, will become a key source of coaching and support.

Role Purpose

To support managers meet their people management accountability through the provision of efficient tools which support all HR functions such as recruitment, information sharing, and performance management systems.

Role Accountabilities

Areas of Accountability Typical Behaviours which Demonstrate Work at the Appropriate Level
Develop, implement and improve Ministry-wide capability systems, including Information sharing, talent management* and HR systems in accordance with the OD strategy

*Talent management – may include recruitment as well as performance management initiatives
  • Develop and implement a range of capability development systems including Information sharing, talent management and HR systems and frameworks to support the outcomes of the OD strategy
  • Work in an integrated manner with Account Managers and Learning and Development to assure solutions/enhancements are implemented in a systematic and highly integrated manner
  • Systems performance is monitored and action is taken where opportunities for improvement are identified
  • Monitor the implementation and impact of various HR/OD&S strategies
  • Accurately provide reporting and inputs to meet compliance requirements of the ministry
  • Design, implement and support effective communications strategies for HR with the organisation as a whole
  • Advise Branch Managers, Dir HR, DS OD&S or CE where integrity of the including Information sharing, talent management* and HR systems are at risk
Support managers and HR account managers across the ministry to meet their people management and capability development accountabilities by providing provides timely, professional and operational advice, systems and services to the whole organisation
  • Work closely with payroll and other systems to assure that HR information is readily available to managers provide them with information for more effective human resource management
  • Developing an understanding of the business plan, priorities and issues for the Branch by reading their business plan, discussing issues with the branch, considering HR implications and reflecting this in HR initiatives to support Information sharing, talent management* and HR systems
  • Building HR/branch working relationships, and HR credibility through the provision of sound advice and assistance/behaviour modelling
  • Identify the need to involve support from outside the HR team to assist in specialist areas
  • Stay abreast and investigate innovative approaches to Information sharing, talent management* and HR systems
Advise the Dir HR, DS OD&S or CE on significant Information sharing, talent management* and HR systems issues and provide strategies to mitigate them
  • Directly advise the DS OD&S and Dir HR on significant HR issues in the Ministry
  • Advise the DS OD&S, Dir HR and CE on the application of HR systems in the Ministry
  • Audit the application of key HR systems in the Ministry
  • Meet all external reporting and information requirements
Effective membership of the HR team
  • Contribute to the debate and development of HR strategic direction and governance
  • Support the director through adding value to her thinking across all areas of HR
  • Understand the work of colleagues and make them more successful through that contribution
  • Openly discuss the opportunities to improve the performance of the HR group and the Ministry
  • Model behaviours consistent with MED values
  • Test ideas and push the boundaries with the team on ways to add value to the organisation.
  • Be available to provide back-up for other staff members when needed
  • Contribute and represent the HR team as an efficient, professional and capable TEAM
  • Understand and integrate HR initiatives with the strategic business priorities

Minimum Capability Necessary to Work to Role

Capability Area Description
Cognitive Power
  • Capable of integrating pathways, significant capacity to work with complex ideas
Knowledge and Skills
  • Tertiary qualification in a relevant discipline
  • Working knowledge of HR systems in large organisations.
  • Demonstrated experience in running projects in diverse and large organisations
  • Demonstrated experience in project management – both methodology and practical aspects
  • Demonstrated experience in people management
  • Proven ability to think strategically at SII/III.
Emotional Intelligence (Judgement, temperament and influence)
  • Discerning judgement in the face of ambiguity/uncertainly
  • Ability to influence internal and external stakeholders, earn their respect and take them to you
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills
  • Ability to coach and mentor managers
  • Ability to influence and work through others where a direct reporting relationships does not exist
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with managers, and colleagues in the wider public sector
  • Self motivation and persistence in challenging existing frameworks and pushing hard issues
  • Capacity to deal with conflict and opposition.
Valuing Work of Role
  • Desire to work on whole of organisation/whole of government /whole of public sector issues
  • Desire to support the strategy and effective delivery of policy through the group
  • Appetite to work on influencing and persuading others


II-The Role Of Human Resources Management

The Human Resources Management (HRM) function includes a variety of activities, and key among them is deciding what staffing needs you have and whether to use independent contractors or hire employees to fill these needs, recruiting and training the best employees, ensuring they are high performers, dealing with performance issues, and ensuring your personnel and management practices conform to various regulations. Activities also include managing your approach to employee benefits and compensation, employee records and personnel policies. Usually small businesses (for-profit or nonprofit) have to carry out these activities themselves because they can't yet afford part- or full-time help. However, they should always ensure that employees have -- and are aware of -- personnel policies which conform to current regulations. These policies are often in the form of employee manuals, which all employees have.
Note that some people distinguish a difference between between HRM (a major management activity) and HRD (Human Resource Development, a profession). Those people might include HRM in HRD, explaining that HRD includes the broader range of activities to develop personnel inside of organizations, including, eg, career development, training, organization development, etc.
There is a long-standing argument about where HR-related functions should be organized into large organizations, eg, "should HR be in the Organization Development department or the other way around?"

The HRM function and HRD profession have undergone tremendous change over the past 20-30 years. Many years ago, large organizations looked to the "Personnel Department," mostly to manage the paperwork around hiring and paying people. More recently, organizations consider the "HR Department" as playing a major role in staffing, training and helping to manage people so that people and the organization are performing at maximum capability in a highly fulfilling manner.


III- The Role Of Human Resources Departments

Some human resources (HR) departments (sometimes called personnel or a current new name) really add value to a company. Some don't. That's no surprise. But what sets apart the good ones from the bad ones? Here's one way of looking at it. Some human resource departments have maintained an old command and control mentality, where they see their jobs as making sure managers and employees are doing what they are s'posed to. Is everyone on time? Why not? What about sick leave? Are all the rules being followed? It's not that these departments are misguided, because some rules, (e.g.. hiring practices, safety, harassment, etc.) ARE important and need to be handled centrally by a company. Or, certain programs and procedures may best be handled by a central department because of the need to coordinate some actions across the entire company. Problems arise, however, when the HR departments forgets that it's purpose is to serve the needs of the company, the managers and the employees, to help THEM get the work done.
After all, is your company's human resources department a PROFIT CENTER? Of course not. The HR department doesn't produce anything or sell anything but it can help the rest of the company make things or sell things by smoothing the path on some matters.

What sets apart good HR departments from bad is that the bad ones lose their service orientation, and forget that if they don't help others get their jobs done, they won't get cooperation from those they should be helping. The good ones recognize that while they are obligated to do some regulation of some processes, that they can play important leadership roles in the organization. And that does NOT mean dictating but balancing off the needs of the organization with the needs of the managers and employees.


What would this look like? Let's take an example: performance appraisal. Poor HR departments go about performance appraisal this way. They devise a set of rules and forms on their own, then go forth (if they have executive support) and TELL managers and employees what they SHALL do. They tend not to consult, or if they consult just forget to listen to the people who have to use these sometimes monstrous procedures. What happens is that since HR tends to be somewhat distant from the users of the system, the process misses. Managers and employees see the process as another hoop to jump through, and stall, or avoid doing what they are s"posed to. What happens is that HR then has to move into the police or enforcer role, to try to coerce managers to do what they are s'posed to. That gets everyone frustrated and drives wedges between HR and the rest of the company.
The good HR department goes about it differently. While they recognize that performance appraisal needs to be, in some respects, a central organization process, they also recognize that if the process isn't responsive to at least some needs of managers and employees, it will never succeed. So rather than dictating the procedures, forms and minutiae, the smart HR folks create (in consultation with both managers and employees), a skeleton outline of the process. This skeleton outlines the basic components, but leave the details to the managers. So rather than telling managers they much use the twelve page form provided, they simply say that managers must document the performance discussions, and forward them to HR at least annually. See the difference? The shift here is from dictating details to providing a framework and helping people work within that general framework. It's a SUPPORTING function, and not a lead actor.

Everyone benefits (including the HR staff) by backing off and recognizing that one can both support and lead at the same time without dictating. The bottom line is that the more HR dictates and plays enforcer, the less managers and staff feel they need to take responsibility for the functions HR is dictating. The more dictation the more resistance from the rest of the company.


IV-The New Roles of the Human Resources Professional

Some industry commentators call the Human Resources function the last bastion of bureaucracy. Traditionally, the role of the Human Resource professional in many organizations has been to serve as the systematizing, policing arm of executive management.

In this role, the HR professional served executive agendas well, but was frequently viewed as a road block by much of the rest of the organization. While some need for this role occasionally remains — you wouldn’t want every manager putting his own spin on a sexual harassment policy, as an example — much of the HR role is transforming itself.

The role of the HR manager must parallel the needs of his changing organization. Successful organizations are becoming more adaptable, resilient, quick to change direction and customer-centered. Within this environment, the HR professional, who is considered necessary by line managers, is a strategic partner, an employee sponsor or advocate and a change mentor.


Strategic Partner

In today’s organizations, to guarantee their viability and ability to contribute, HR managers need to think of themselves as strategic partners. In this role, the HR person contributes to the development of and the accomplishment of the organization-wide business plan and objectives.

The HR business objectives are established to support the attainment of the overall strategic business plan and objectives. The tactical HR representative is deeply knowledgeable about the design of work systems in which people succeed and contribute. This strategic partnership impacts HR services such as the design of work positions; hiring; reward, recognition and strategic pay; performance development and appraisal systems; career and succession planning; and employee development.


Employee Advocate

As an employee sponsor or advocate, the HR manager plays an integral role in organizational success via his knowledge about and advocacy of people. This advocacy includes expertise in how to create a work environment in which people will choose to be motivated, contributing, and happy.

Fostering effective methods of goal setting, communication and empowerment through responsibility, builds employee ownership of the organization. The HR professional helps establish the organizational culture and climate in which people have the competency, concern and commitment to serve customers well.

In this role, the HR manager provides employee development opportunities, employee assistance programs, gainsharing and profit-sharing strategies, organization development interventions, due process approaches to problem solving and regularly scheduled communication opportunities.


Change Champion

The constant evaluation of the effectiveness of the organization results in the need for the HR professional to frequently champion change. Both knowledge about and the ability to execute successful change strategies make the HR professional exceptionally valued. Knowing how to link change to the strategic needs of the organization will minimize employee dissatisfaction and resistance to change.

The HR professional contributes to the organization by constantly assessing the effectiveness of the HR function. He also sponsors change in other departments and in work practices. To promote the overall success of his organization, he champions the identification of the organizational mission, vision, values, goals and action plans. Finally, he helps determine the measures that will tell his organization how well it is succeeding in all of this.