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TitleAnalysis and Benchmarking of State DOT Human Resource Activities (in process)
ShortDescriptionThis benchmarking study identifies gaps and best practices of state Department of Transportation human resources (HR) activities. It includes an online survey and in depth interviews on this topic. The study also reports on states' experiences with outsourcing HR functions and the relationship of HR system functionality to meeting strategic human resources and workforce goals.
LongDescriptionMany state Departments of Transportation (DOT) and other transportation agencies face recurring pressures to reduce staff, curtail recruitment, trim administrative costs, and outsource activities. At the same time, these agencies work to maintain high standards of service to transportation-system users, taxpayers, and other stakeholders. The tensions created by these opposing forces have given rise to both managerial innovation and the need for management tools that can help senior agency officials determine when the agency's essential human resources (HR) capabilities are at risk. The innovative strategies and tools agencies have devised to deal with these issues can be useful to other agencies facing similar pressures. This situation is not unique to DOTs; experience gained in the private sector and elsewhere may be useful to transportation agency management. Yet there currently is no mechanism in place for the sharing and comparison of HR best practice benchmarks for DOTs seeking to define the HR resources that are essential to the agency's core competencies. In addition, there is no mechanism available to maintain those core competencies when downsizing and outsourcing decisions must be made. A summary review of experiences and best practices would be of great value to senior agency managers. Such work as the Transportation Research Board Special Report 275, The Workforce Challenge: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Qualified Workers for Transportation and Transit Agencies and National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 323, Recruiting and Retaining Individuals in State Transportation Agencies could provide a useful starting point for the review. The review would likely describe how agencies have determined what are the essential core competencies they must maintain to fulfill their missions, how agencies have used recruitment, hiring, training, and other HR actions to assure they have the HR capability to maintain these core competencies, and how agencies have responded to external pressures for agency downsizing and service outsourcing. The objective of this project is to analyze and benchmark HR best practices for determining what are the essential core competencies an agency must maintain to fulfill its mission, how agencies have used HR actions to assure they have the capability to maintain these mission core competencies, and how agencies have responded to external pressures resulting from agency downsizing and service outsourcing within this context of maintaining core competencies.
SourceAuthorEllin Reisner
OrganizationTransportation Research Board, National Research Council
ContactAddressWashington, D.C

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