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Hiring, developing, and promoting a competent workforce creates the backbone for excellence in service to the public. This book is intended to assist city and county executives, department heads, and other supervisory employees of relatively small jurisdictions, as well as students who will be serving in smaller local governments, in implementing sound human resource management practices.

The contents of this guide

The principles and practices explained in this guide cover the whole range of goals and activities associated with human capital management:

  • Linking human resource management to desired general governmental outcomes by taking stock of existing jobs, such as performing job analysis, planning the nature and number of new positions, and determining appropriate compensation levels.
  • Attracting a high-performance workforce by recruiting, testing, and hiring the best possible applicants and properly orienting new employees.
  • Retaining and developing an excellent workforce by nurturing a highperformance work culture and providing effective evaluations, training, educational opportunities, financial incentives, and promotions.
  • Maintaining labor peace by working with unions during the certification process, in collective bargaining sessions, and in administering the union contract; in general, moving toward collaborative and interest-based bargaining strategies.
  • Avoiding legal liabilities by maintaining up-to-date personnel policy documents and respecting the rights of job applicants and employees.
  • Creating an environment for excellence by offering attractive pay and benefit plans.
  • Strengthening a high-performance organizational culture by clearly communicating ethical standards, as well as employee and employer responsibilities.
  • Limiting organizational damage by dealing with a problem economy, as well as with problem employees, in a timely manner.
  • Applying the most effective human capital management practices despite limited resources by using technical assistance services offered by public and private entities around the country. Membership in a professional organization often includes access to an e-mail list where questions and answers about personnel matters can be shared.