MODERNIZED STAFFING AND PLANNING
Public Service Commission analyzes personnel data with SAS®
Effective human resources management is fundamental to the success of any enterprise and especially vital for large, multifaceted organizations. As Canada's largest and most diverse employer, the federal Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) has a major interest in any tool that can support human resources planning and improve efficiencies in the staffing system. Recently the PSC and SAS combined their expertise to develop such a tool.
Mandated by Parliament to oversee the integrity of recruiting, hiring and promoting federal employees, the PSC is evolving to align with recent legislative changes. Adopted in November 2003, the Public Service Modernization Act (PSMA) includes a new Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) that will dramatically change the way public servants are hired and managed. Under the new act, managers will have increased authority for staffing positions, but they will be held strictly accountable for their decisions. The PSC will audit departments and agencies to ensure the values of fairness, transparency and equity of access are respected.
Modern planning and trend analysis
Using online analytical processing (OLAP) and applications development technologies from SAS, Sinclair's team created a solution that delivers advanced analytics, generated from vast amounts of detailed data, in a clear, user-friendly format.
"SIS gives us the ability to manipulate large chunks of data into reliable, accurate information that managers can use to make staffing decisions," says Harris Sinclair, manager of the PSC's Data Services Division. "Often our clients are not statisticians. They're human resources specialists, so we're giving them a user-friendly tool that has a lot of power."
For example, human resources specialists can identify and compare patterns and trends in mobility or retirement and sort data by job classification, department, age group and region or province. "We can identify the regions that are most attractive to people with specific occupational qualifications," says Sinclair. "This is information that can be used for trend analysis and planning purposes. It will have an impact on recruitment and training plans for the future."
Supporting new and existing policies
Department and agency managers can use the application to report staffing activities back to the PSC, which Parliament holds responsible for ensuring that staffing processes remain respectful of the Public Service values. Thanks to the accuracy and advanced reporting capabilities of SIS, members of Parliament know the information presented in the PSC Annual Report is an accurate reflection of how well the staffing system is operating.
According to Sinclair, the data provided by SIS is also useful to the PSC's policy designers, who are working to develop a new framework of appointment and accountability policies and guidelines while the PSMA continues to be implemented in stages through the end of 2005.
"Currently, there's a movement towards something we call National Area of Selection," says Sinclair. This program encourages Canadians throughout the country to apply for any Public Service job, without restricting candidates to specific geographic locations. "SIS will help the PSC track our progress on this issue," explains Sinclair. "Using SIS we can easily see how well the government is able to attract applicants in every region."
In conclusion, Sinclair says SIS encourages long-term human resources planning. "The more information you have available on your desktop, the easier it is to work on some of the important issues, like ensuring the integrity of the staffing system," he explains. "This customized online application allows us to understand and analyze complex data about a very large, very diverse work force, and it supports the ongoing planning processes that will make Canada's Public Service a model for the rest of the world."
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Manager of Data Services Division
Public Service Commission
Understand and analyze complex personnel data on a large and diverse work force.
A customized online reporting application analyzes personnel data for every public service position.
“ This customized online application allows us to understand and analyze complex data about a very large, very diverse workforce, and it supports the ongoing planning processes that will make Canada's Public Service a model for the rest of the world. ”
Manager of Data Services Division