Widespread and ambitious change will be required to achieve Project Ireland 2040 and the public sector has a crucial and central role in delivering this plan. Change is nothing new to the public sector, the scale and challenges that faced civil servants as Ireland moved out of recession were significant. In this, many public sector organisations were supported by RSM, writes Head of Management Consulting, Catherine Corcoran.
With clients including National Transport Authority (NTA), Commission for Regulation of Utilities, Citizens Information Bureau, Office of Government Procurement, Housing Agency and Fingal County Council, RSM has established itself as a leader in supporting the public sector in meeting challenges related to human resources.
How can RSM help?
Making sure an organisation is fit for purpose
Project Ireland is a job description as to what’s required over the next 20 years and its people, technology and processes that will help deliver that. Key to any transformation is truly understanding the purpose behind it. This is RSM’s forte, working collaboratively with clients to agree a common objective and organise a unified strategy which can deliver results that safeguard their mission and ensure they are fit for purpose.
To build a workforce that can deliver the agreed vision, an organisation needs to have the right people in the right place at the right time. Workforce planning and resources reviews are the mechanisms by which this is forecasted. RSM have worked with a number of organisations drawing together essential ingredients including staffing, skills, learning and development, financial resources, and succession planning.
RSM was invited to work with the Dublin Technological University Alliance in work that helped facilitate their successful joint application for university status. The Charities Regulator called in RSM to advise on creating an organisational structure to enable delivery of their strategic objectives. As did the Housing Agency, which has significant output required in Project Ireland 2040.
RSM also worked with Fingal County Council to produce a pioneering medium-term labour market strategy, investigating the supply and demand of labour and the actions which might stimulate economic development. This was the first local authority strategy of its kind in Ireland and will form the blueprint for skills development in the Fingal region in the future.
Innovation through people/ talent management
People should come before process; people must stand in front of you and your policies and procedures behind you. This ‘people before process’ approach has earned RSM its reputation as an industry leader in providing HR support, being named as Advisory Team of the Year at the Irish Accountancy Awards in May 2019.
Policies and procedures are needed in the workplace but when the rule book becomes the raison d’être, organisations lose the essence of innovation that is critical to the growth and development of talent. Far too often the creative value that can be added by people is not harnessed, leading to a lost opportunity as well as unmotivated staff. One of the reasons that this happens is that in many organisations, both in the private and the public sectors, there is a lack of meaningful and true conversation. Organisations benefit enormously when people have the courage to have real and authentic conversations.
A lot of RSM’s work with the public service is in encouraging those conversations with the goal of delivering more innovation through people. The RSM team have worked with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, The Office of Public Works and Department of Social Protection and are currently working with the ESB, delivering of a suite of training services for personal and business skills across their entire staff.
Success in any organisation hinges on its people and when it comes to recruiting talented individuals, the competition is fierce, and the work time consuming and laborious.
A Department of Public Expenditure and Reform report in 2017 predicted 10,000 retirements in the Irish Civil Service over the next decade, it is against this backdrop that Ireland needs to invest in both pipeline and future leaders.
RSM have a strong team of experienced recruitment specialists and HR practitioners that have the ability and experience in sourcing, attracting and processing applications for a range of roles including executive and professional levels.
What differentiates RSM in this work is a deep familiarity with public service HR processes, having worked with over 10 public sector bodies in the last year including the National Transport Authority and the Commission for Regulation of Utilities. They have a multidisciplinary team of highly knowledgeable and experienced Management Consultants and Practitioners in the area of recruitment, as well as a dedicated resourcing solutions unit focused on sourcing top talent. As a top 10 business and advisory accounting firm with global reach, there is a very strong bench of experienced, seasoned and pragmatic professionals on the team.
RSM provide tailored end-to-end recruitment solutions for clients, managing campaigns which would be time intensive, costly and disruptive to business as usual. Using a cloud-based workspace to document progress, clients have full transparency of the process and seamless access to updates.
Operational HR support and outsourcing
Behind every smooth-running organisation are effective day-to-day HR processes. RSM are experts in this as acknowledged by the Chartered Accountants Ireland who invited me to co-author a recently published handbook on best practice for HR in Irish organisations.
RSM provides operational support to a variety of public service organisations including the NTA and the Citizens Information Board, this support extends to the provision of on-site resourcing solutions for clients on an outsourced, co-sourced or permanent basis.
RSM has supported the NTA and other public sector organisations by providing seconded staff to their team. This sort of flexible and collaborative approach ensures that public service organisations don’t need to recruit for peak periods or for specific projects, and that their team is enhanced with supplementary knowledge and access to the in-house team of multidisciplinary experts at RSM.
With technology playing a key role in the changing world of work, RSM also support key government departments with technology consulting in building structures that maximise effectiveness and assisting with security issues, ensuring that internal processes are resilient.
We do a lot of preventative training in terms of respect and dignity and we’ve trained many different government departments in relation to protected disclosures and how to manage them and create awareness within public sector departments. RSM are on the panel for workplace investigations services and protected disclosure investigations and are currently carrying out independent investigations for government departments and have carried out many independent workplace investigations for companies in the private sector.
In a perfect world, such services would not be needed, and potential clashes would be nullified at their roots. This is a world that RSM are doing their bit to create, being strongly of the view that the more training carried out now, the fewer the disputes that will need to be resolved in the future.
RSM offer a comprehensive dispute resolution service, with a three-pronged approach of education, mediation and investigation. Pivotal to this, is their discernment when it comes to their clients’ needs of honesty, fairness, diligence and discretion.
RSM Ireland is one of the top 10 accountancy and advisory firms in Ireland specialising in providing audit, tax, consulting services and transaction advice. Established in 1987, it is the biggest first-generation accounting firm in Ireland, and is one of the fastest growing firms serving the midmarket, employing 185 professionals.
Part of the RSM Global network with member firms in 116 countries, RSM Ireland collaborate with their international colleagues worldwide, benchmarking global best practice and applying this to their work. RSM was named Leading Advisory Team of the Year at the Irish Accountancy Awards 2019.
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