The Civil Service Agency (CSA) of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a state-owned human capital management agency responsible of the recruitment process to staff official institutions; creating HR reports and the training of civil servants. CSA is currently developing an Information System (HRMIS) to support the horizontal function of Human Resources Management in all governmental institutions. This system will facilitate HR planning, civil servants recruitment, training assessments and the entire range of HRM functions. For individual institutions, the system will improve the most frequent HRM procedures and will build capabilities for HR intelligence, based on personal records kept in the database.
The introduction of new Human Resources (HR) practice in public administration structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) can be linked to the enactment of civil service laws at different levels and the subsequent creation of the Civil Service Agencies (CSAs). The BH and Serb Republic CSAs became operational in 2002, while at the Federation level the CSA was formed in late 2004.
In a relatively short period of time the CSAs managed to: establish a practice of merit-oriented recruitment and selection of civil servants; facilitate transfers of staff; introduce assessments of individual performance and check almost all the appointments and educational credentials of civil servants, etc. However, it is necessary to continue to strengthen the management of human resources in line with EU best practices.
BH Public Administration Reform strategy, adopted in 2006 by the Council of Ministers, includes Human Resources Management as one of the six main areas of the reform. Moreover, according to the Information Technology (IT) part of the strategy, in order to make government more accountable, transparent and effective, the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the public administration is highly encouraged.
Following the logical combination of both, priority should be given to the computerization of HR functions in order to resolve some acute problems the BH public administration faces at every level of authority. From the HRM point of view, some of these problems include information storage and retrieval (how to manage large quantities of paper); staffing (how to deal with applicant tracking, pre-selection, social contribution issues, etc.); performance assessment (how to track employeeâ€™s performance); training (how to develop training programs adjusted to the EU integration process) etcetera.
Description of target users and groups
Civil Service Agency employees and HR departments of other government institutions. Civil servants and citizens seeking jobs in civil service.
Description of the way to implement the initiative
HRMIS will cover the following five functional modules:
1. Personal records module, with the automation of common HR procedures. In short, it encompasses: a database of organization structures, a database with the personal records of government employees, and the computerization of common HR processes.
2. HR intelligence module, which accommodates HR management reporting requests and HR business intelligence requests.
3. Training module. To facilitate the management of training processes, including planning (training needed, available and delivered), budgeting, participation, evaluation etc.
4. Recruitment module, for the automation of recruitment procedures such as vacancy announcements, appointments of the sellection panel, applications, generation of lists of candidates for summoning and testing, testing (public exams, professional exams), producing test results and appointments.
5. Examinations module. It encompasses processes for the management of examination questions, for the actual examination and the immediate calculation and registration of tests results.
Civil Service Agency employees will use all five modules, mainly modules 3, 4 and 5 to support CSAâ€™s main business processes. HR departments of other state institutions will use modules 1 and 2.
Technology choice: Proprietary technology
Main results, benefits and impacts
Part of the HRMIS will be a modern recruitment information system, with a web front-end to be used by the public and easy-to-use functionalities for the job seeker.
Through the Employee Self Service module of HRMIS, government employees will be able to change some personal data such as contact information and similar, apply for time off, view their history, apply for training, etc.
Return on investment
Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available
Lesson 1. When you expect dynamic changes in the business process rules, flexibility has to be a must when specifying software requirements.
Having in mind that HRM processes are far from being completed, optimized and harmonized, the driving force during functional requirements specification was that the HRMIS needs to be built extremely flexible. Moreover, the flexibility of HRMIS should not be compromised even in order to increase the level of automation of HR processes. This means that certain responsibilities will remain in the user, and his/her knowledge of HRM rules and regulations will continue to be essential.
Lesson 2. Future users are (usually) the best experts.
The project team held several workshops with HR practitioners from institutions. Participants identified all HR processes and then specified data and reporting requirements. A prototype database was available to play with, to trigger additional ideas. Participants came prepared having samples of documents needed in their daily work.
Lesson 3. Political leadership is more important then technical leadership.
To overcome the resistance to change that may come from top management and employees, the most important thing is to have an appropriate attitude, sensitivity to users concerns and good communication, rather than technical competence and expertise.