HUD Human Capital Management: Comprehensive Strategic Workforce Planning Needed

GAO-02-839 Published: Jul 24, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 24, 2002.
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Looming retirements during the next 5 years at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have brought the need for workforce planning to the forefront. HUD has done some workforce planning and has determined how many staff it needs to meet its current workload, but it does not have a comprehensive strategic workforce plan to guide its recruiting, hiring, and other key human capital efforts. Workforce planning steps taken include a detailed analysis of HUD's potential staff losses and completion of HUD's resource estimation and allocation process, which estimates the staff needed to handle the current workload in each office. Some of the Public and Indian Housing (PIH) managers and staff reported that the lack of workforce planning makes it difficult to accomplish mission-related activities and provide customer service. The issue of greatest concern for PIH managers and staff is the staffing shortage. Because HUD lacks a comprehensive strategic workforce plan, some PIH managers and staff were uncertain about what work should be done and the best mix of staff knowledge, skills, and abilities to do it.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Housing and Urban Development The Secretary of HUD should develop a comprehensive strategic workforce plan that is aligned with its overall strategic plan and identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities HUD needs and the actions that it plans to take to build its workforce for the future.
Closed – Implemented
HUD's Office of Human Resources contracted with Logistics Management Institute (LMI) to develop a Strategic Workforce Plan for its four program offices, which it completed in September 2004. The plan was aligned with HUD's strategic plan as updated in 2003, and included analyses of what staff should be doing now and in the future; the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to accomplish those tasks; and current skills gaps. It also included recommendations for workforce planning strategies. In April 2005, they completed a Departmental Implementation and Action Plan to outline strategies and milestones for addressing its human capital needs. According to its FY 2005 Annual Performance Plan, HUD is in the process of conducting a comprehensive workforce analysis and developing a workforce plan for each program office to address mission critical skill gaps. The findings of these analyses will be used in the agency's strategic planning, including budget and hiring decisions, and in individual office plans regarding the consideration of e-Government and competitive sourcing, and changes in the offices' mission and goals, products and services, and service delivery. In FY 2004, HUD completed workforce analyses in some HUD offices, identifying the knowledge, skills, and abilities present and needed to accomplish its mission activities. HUD plans to complete this analysis for all HUD offices by the end of FY 2005. As of April 2004, HUD awarded a contract to Logistics Management Institute to create a comprehensive workforce plan. The contractor is currently conducting its analysis of the core HUD offices of Fair Housing, Housing, Public and Indian Housing, and Community Planning and Development. The estimated completion date for the combined workforce plan is September 30, 2004. In addition, HUD contracted with the HUD Training Academy to do an analysis of the "critical skills" needed for its key corporate positions, data which HUD plans to use in training, hiring, and, eventually, performance management. These data will also be used to help the agency fill skills gaps identified by the workforce plan. Ms. Richardson indicated that it was her understanding that all of these processes would be coordinated with the strategic and succession plans once they are completed. To build its workforce in the future, HUD has maintained its entry-level intern program and created an "Emerging Leaders" program to train mid-level staff for management, "Operation Braintrust" as a mechanism for staff nearing retirement to pass on knowledge through training, and the "Living Legacy" program for current senior-level employees to train staff in management techniques within the agency.

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