Chief Human Resources Officer
DefinedThe Chief Human Resources Officer is responsible for managing all human resource planning, management, policies, and operations for the agency.
Challenges and OpportunitiesIn your role, what are the most critical challenges and opportunities? Looking across the agency, what capabilities are required to successfully take them on? How can you help build the necessary capabilities? The first step is to understand these challenges and opportunities in terms of the major change forces that are driving them.
|Change Forces||Challenge/Opportunity||Your Responsibility|
|Workforce Evolution||When tenured staff retire, it creates an experience gap in the agency, as well as opportunities for introducing new skills and perspectives. At the same time, new expectations of millennials in the workforce are creating a need for new ways of selling the benefits of working in a public organization.||Attracting and Retaining. Advance agency talent acquisition and retention strategies to close experience gaps when tenured staff retire and to understand and respond to the needs of the new generation of workers.|
|Technology Advancement||Technology advancements impact the skills and abilities needed by the agency, but acquiring these new skills is challenging because they are also highly sought after in the private sector.||Aligning Skills to Needs. Lead the agency in developing strategies to improve the agency’s competitive advantage to recruit and retain staff with technology-focused skillsets.|
|Shift in Role and Focus||This shift in role and focus impacts the agency knowledge, skills and abilities needed and may affect the organizational structure.||Operations Focus. Help the agency’s workforce to efficiently and effectively deliver on its new business direction.|
|Legislation, Regulation, and Funding||Responding to new legislative requirements may require new knowledge, skills and abilities.||Agility and Resilience. Lead the agency in developing mechanisms to quickly adapt its workforce to respond to new legislative requirements.|
Strategies and Resources
What strategies can you apply now to meet today’s challenges and prepare for future opportunities? What resources are available to help support these efforts?
Where to Begin
- Interview agency managers to understand emerging skills gaps (in collaboration with Knowledge Management Lead)
- Monitor leadership and staff bench strength and provide guidance on organizational adjustments that may be needed to align skills with strategies (in collaboration with CEO/COO)
- Review workforce management and succession planning guidance documents
- Investigate noteworthy practices for understanding and addressing competencies, capabilities, knowledge, skills and abilities needed in the future transportation agency
- Develop new or modified position descriptions for future workforce needs
- Develop new recruitment strategies to appeal to a new generation of workers, consider career changers and non-traditional applicants, emphasize work life balance and other advantages of public agency work
- Talk with HR Leads in other DOTs to learn about noteworthy practices and lessons learned
- Monitor new federal requirements, confer with agency policy leaders, and identify and close related workforce gaps
- Workforce Plan Assessments – to support organizational changes made to align the agency organizational structure with its business objectives
- Recruitment and Retention – to improve the agency’s ability to attract and retain talent
- Succession Planning – to ensure seamless transition of processes and staff turnover
- Employee Engagement – to improve productivity and effectiveness to adapt to change forces
- Professional Development – to close gaps in competencies, capabilities, knowledge, skills and abilities
- Organizational Structure – to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization to meet new challenges and leverage opportunities to improve
- Performance Management - to ensure the agency is able to measure and achieve recruitment and retention outcomes
- Knowledge Audits – to understand current workforce skills and gaps
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics
- AASHTO Committee on Human Resources: Workforce Toolkit
- AASHTO Committee on Human Resources
Includes tools and resources for HR professionals, including contact information research, a toolkit and salary survey
- NCHRP 08-125: A Comprehensive Study of Future Competencies for Transportation Planners
The objective of the project is to (a) identify competencies, capabilities, and knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed by transportation planning professionals serving state transportation agencies and other organizations with similar responsibilities and interests within the United States; and (b) develop talent selection and performance management tools for use by transportation agency management and human resource staff to recruit, retain, evaluate, and develop such professionals. These tools could include position descriptions, education and training curricula, critical competency profiles, evaluation metrics, and others.
- NCHRP Synthesis 323 Recruiting and Retaining Individuals in State Transportation Agencies (2003)
As part of TRB’s NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 33-08, Synthesis Report 323: Recruiting and Retaining Individuals in State Transportation Agencies examines various state and Canadian province departments of transportation (DOT) employee recruiting and retention strategies, and highlights those practices that might have the greatest potential for success and implementation in other DOTs.
- NCHRP Synthesis 362 Training Programs, Policies, and Practices (2006)
As part of TRB’s NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 36-07, Synthesis 362: Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices examines the program components required to have a sound set of policies, processes, and procedures for planning, developing, implementing, funding, and evaluating state department of transportation training, development, and education programs. The report provides background on the issues related to the need for robust training, education, and development programs; the administrative infrastructure to sustain robust programs. It summarizes the results of a survey of state DOTs and contains a discussion of successful practices from both industry and government, and insights acquired from thought leader interviews.
- NCHRP Report 693 Attracting, Recruiting, and Retaining Skilled Staff for Transportation System Operations and Management (2012)
TRB’s NCHRP Project 20-86, Report 693: Attracting, Recruiting, and Retaining Skilled Staff for Transportation System Operations and Management, provides guidance to aid transportation agencies recruit and retain qualified professional staff in the systems operation and management (SOM) area. The report explores SOM career paths, skill requirements, and training needs and identifies successful programs, state-of-the-art initiatives, and best industry practices. A set of tables showing SOM job categories, number of positions, and educational requirements for all 50 states was published as a additional to this report.
- STEM and Our Future Transportation Leaders (2016)
This report, for the Georgia Department of Transportation and FHWA, reviews state DOT involvement in transportation related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach programs and identifies opportunities to engage kindergarten through high school (K-12) students in STEM programs to enhance their interest in the transportation field.