A Framework for Human Resources Management

Since 2000, when the ICSC human resources management framework was promulgated, United Nations common system organizations have continued to grapple with significant challenges. Overcoming these challenges has required changes in the approach to human resources management. Organizations have adopted a more strategic view of human resources management in order to position themselves to implement more complex mandates and new programme priorities required by Member States. With increased emphasis by Member States on efficiency and affordability, some organizations have put in place results-based management frameworks to direct resources and people towards agreed results. Over the same period, the demography of the United Nations common system staff has shifted towards greater workforce diversity. Skill and educational requirements have changed in light of, among others, advances in technology, new substantive priorities, the retirement of a large portion of the workforce and new generations coming into the workforce.

The ICSC human resources management framework recognizes that major shifts have taken place in human resources management policies and programmes. A new framework is required to provide up-to-date guidance on the practical implications of recent trends including the introduction of a revised compensation package for international professional staff to enhance fairness, equity and competitiveness.

The philosophy underlying the framework is based on the principles emanating from the provisions of Article 101 of the Charter of the United Nations. Furthermore, United Nations common system organizations have accepted the Statute of the Commission, which promotes common personnel standards, methods and arrangements for a unified international civil service.

Focus of the Framework
The human resources management framework can be described as: a) staff-centered, b) strategic and c) results-based. It provides the conceptual basis for the relationship between excellent organization results and human resources management function that is staff-centered. Furthermore, it highlights the strategic role of human resources management, that is, those functions that help to maximize existing and future human resource capacity to meet organizational goals. The framework suggests that those human resources management functions best able to influence staff performance and organizational results should be closely aligned under the rubric of talent management and should focus on building individual staff member competencies, assigning, developing and retaining talent to achieve high performance levels.

Finally, the framework updates the principles and outcomes associated with human resources management functions. The addition of outcomes and indicators is intended to promote the active participation of the human resources management function in policy, planning and strategic change management decisions in organizational contexts where results-orientation is important.

Strategic HR Management