Federal HR Skills Tested in 2017

The Year 2017, is now in our rear-view mirror and for Federal Human Resource practitioners, it was a year of highs and lows.

At the end of 2017 HR practitioners were still trying to create innovative ways to deal with leadership turnover, technology upgrades, the streamlining administrative systems, labor and management concerns, and employee demographics shifts, employee retention/engagement, to highlight a few.

In the Management Concepts Human Resources classrooms, the 2017 buzz centered around “2” critical themes that impacted day-to-day operations:

  1. Plans to Reform the Federal Government and Reduce the Federal Civilian Workforce
  2. Overhaul of Federal Human Capital Practices

Classroom participants also pondered what would be needed in the way of skills to support implementation of the work ahead.  Below are highlights of these “2” themes.

Theme 1 –Reform or not to Reform the Federal Government

It all started with a 1 -page Presidential Memorandum Regarding a Hiring Freeze , dated 1-23-2017.  That was followed up by the 14-page memo “Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government and reducing the Federal Civilian Workforce” from the OMB director.  It was issued on April 12, 2017, and laid out the foundational blueprint on how government executives can create, within their agencies, long-term plans to reduce overlap and outdated programs, rules, and processes that are not working in support of government.  The memo was also full of critical milestones that supported the implementation of the plan.


Federal Human Resource (HR) practitioners in their role as agency business partners provided key support in the development of the downsizing proposals in four categories: eliminate activities, restructure or merge, improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness, and workforce management.  But HR practitioners expressed initial concern about their readiness to complete the tasks ahead.  Many identified the following skill areas as essential to their ability to support this ongoing transition:  job analysis, position classification, position management, and workforce planning.

Theme 2 – Overhaul of Federal Human Capital Practices

After a couple of years of waiting, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued the long-awaited HR Policy Final Ruling on the revamping of the Federal human capital practices.  The new Human Capital Framework (HCF) replaces the Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework (HCAAF) and offers comprehensive guidance on strategic human capital management in the Federal Government. The framework provides direction on human capital planning, implementation, and evaluation in the Federal environment.  It also gave agencies with much needed relief by reducing and clarifying the HR reporting procedures that agencies are required to implement.  It also lays out how to utilize the data-driven review process (HRStat) and describes the required workforce planning methodologies to be followed.  Again, practitioners identified several key learning areas that would support their ability to implement this new requirement:  analytics and evaluation.

Click here for additional information on The Structure of the Human Capital Framework (HCF)

As the Year 2017 came to an end, it did not eliminate the need for HR practitioners to obtain key knowledge, skills, and abilities, but instead heightened the awareness of that need.

As you move forward in 2018 and beyond, know Management Concepts strives continuously to provide a diverse offering of HR courses that can support HR practitioners in the implementation of current and future skill-based needs.  Learn more about the sampling of courses below or visit our website.

Written by:

Human Capital & Human Resources
Media Type:

Adaptability: The Underestimated Skill
Mentoring: A Win-Win Situation