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TitlePublic Transportation Operating Agencies as Employers of Choice
ShortDescriptionThis report documents practices in workforce recruitment, development, and retention. It includes a companion document, 'Communications Strategy and Implementation Plan, Positioning the Public Transportation Operating Agency as an Employer of Choice', and a Toolkit that assists transportation officials in implementing more effective human resources business-planning processes.
LongDescriptionThe success and overall competitiveness of the public transportation operating agency is directly tied to its human resources, or the quality, responsiveness, and commitment of its employees at all levels. At a time of sharply increased demand for its services, the public transportation industry faces serious problems in recruiting, developing, and retaining a skilled workforce. The public transportation industry would like to be positioned as an employer of choice. Research reveals that public transportation operating agencies have struggled with integrating human resources into strategic business-planning processes. Today, public transportation operating agencies are facing workforce changes that threaten their traditional patterns of recruitment and retention. Some of these are general trends in the society: demographic changes, changes in worker expectations, and changes in education and training. Other challenges are more specific to the public transportation operating agency. The public transportation operating agency is increasingly less attractive as a career choice in part due to its image, work culture, and compensation. Traditional sources of transit recruitment are no longer as productive as they were in the past. Today, operating agencies are also challenged to use technology to recruit and develop their workforce. Although research has been completed on workforce challenges in public transportation, there are still significant gaps. Building on the work that has been completed to date, the Toolkit is designed to provide U.S. public transportation operating agencies with a variety of resources, methods and techniques for workforce recruitment, development, and retention. Watson Wyatt Worldwide prepared this report for Transit Cooperative Research Program Project F-11. The project's objective was to assemble a toolkit based on principles, techniques, strategies, and available resources. This can be used to recruit, develop, and retain the public transportation workforce, thereby positioning public transportation agencies as employers of choice. A comprehensive literature review was undertaken to identify factors that positively affect public transportation operating agency workforce recruitment, development, and retention. To ensure that the Toolkit would be responsive to the needs and concerns of the transit industry, Watson Wyatt Worldwide conducted interviews, surveys, and focus groups to solicit input from public transportation operating agency employees on their perceptions of (1) the positive aspects of the public transportation operating agency as an employer and (2) the obstacles preventing the public transportation operating agency from being an employer of choice. The information gathered from the data-collection effort shaped both the content and organization of the Toolkit. The Toolkit includes strategies and best practices that address how a public transportation operating agency can become an employer of choice.
SourceAuthorWatson Wyatt Worldwide; Focus Group Corporation
ReferenceTCRP Report 103
OrganizationTransit Cooperative Research Program

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