The HR innovation Roadshow was a series of events that aimed to showcase the latest trends and best practices in human resources management and development in the Public Sector.

RSM sponsored events at Perth, Canberra and Sydney Roadshow with between 250 and 300 attendees across the three locations. 

The main objectives of the Roadshow were to:

  • Provide a platform for learning and networking among HR practitioners and experts
  • Highlight the challenges and opportunities facing the HR function in the digital age

The Roadshow received positive feedback from the participants, who appreciated the quality and relevance of the content, the diversity and expertise of the speakers, and the interactive and engaging format of the sessions. It was evident from the Roadshow that:

  • The HR function needs to embrace innovation as a strategic priority and a core competency, and
  • HR innovation, best practices and success stories can inspire and inform the innovation journey of the broader organisation.
  • HR innovation doesn’t automatically mean a requirement for big budgets.  Many of the innovations discussed by participants were low cost, high impact.

The Roadshow also generated some valuable feedback and suggestions from the participants, who expressed their interest and willingness to participate in future HR innovation initiatives. 

Key Takeaways 

The following is a summary of the key takeaways from Perth, Canberra and Sydney events:

Pace of change – It was generally recognised that the complexity of the Public Sector environment and pace of change was likely only to increase. As a result, the focus on attracting and retaining quality talent will become increasing important to ongoing delivery of services. Embedding sustainable talent management and change management disciplines across an organisation will be critical.  The HR function plays a pivotal role in enabling and promoting such disciplines, as well as the ability to report on and provide advice on improving employee wellbeing and satisfaction. 

Also linked to the pace of change is how the Public Sector deals with Psychosocial risk. The inherent nature of some services, such as customer facing service delivery, potentially lead to higher risk of psychosocial hazards arising.  The HR function needs to be cognizant of this and ensure appropriate processes and structures are in place to identify and mitigate such risks.  In addition to the pace of change, participants at the Roadshow identified other potential causes of psychosocial risk as lack of role clarity, poor organisational change management and inadequate reward and recognition

Digitisation – AI was the hot topic in relation to technology, not surprisingly. The general consensus is that the Public Sector are adopting AI in various ways to streamline processes.  On the whole, this was seen by Roadshow participants as an opportunity, not a threat.  While it may require some reskilling of the workforce, there was a sense from the audiences that it should be embraced as a key enabler of doing business moving forward.  However, for many organisations it represents a change that must be managed proactively and transparently in order to maximise benefit.  It was critical that the progressive introduction of AI be supported by appropriate staff communication, training and guidance.     

Diversity – While this continues to be a challenge for most organisations, participants felt there had been and continues to be significant innovation in this aspect to change recruitment practices, remove unconscious biases and build awareness across the organisation.   In some cases, participants felt that male / female gender balance had been addressed, but that focus and attention now should be on balancing recruitment across other un-represented sectors of society and the broader labour market.

Talent Shortages - Whilst this does fluctuate from market to market and,  it is strongly linked to economic cycles. Less of an issue in the eastern states, in WA access to talent especially in high demand areas such as Cyber Security, Data & Analytics and other specialist vocations continues to be a challenge for HR in support of there agencies. 

Data Analytics and Reporting - The ability to capture, analyse and report on accurate data was seen as critical to the HR function.  

Attraction and Retention - The following aspects were addressed by multiple speakers:

  • The Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – Spending time to craft a pragmatic and realistic EVP is a worthwhile investment for public sector organisations.  Critical to attracting quality talent is an EVP that is highly relatable at the point of engagement.  Critical to retaining quality talent is an EVP that translates into reality as the employee navigates their forward journey. 
  • Career Pathways – It is imperative that an employee understands their pathway and how they can grow their career, their capabilities and their professional network.  The pathways must be relatable and the employer should ensure they have appropriate structures and support mechanisms in place to guide the employee as they grow.  
  • Proactive engagement with the private sector – Utilising tools such as LinkedIn was identified as an effective channel to attract quality talent from the private sector.  Critical to this was the ability of private sector organisations to communicate succinctly and clearly their EVP, and ability to show talent how they could grow their capabilities and careers.  

Career Agility – Offering opportunity for career variety was seen as an advantage, more so in the current market than offering career stability.  Applicants are attracted by opportunities to diversify and grow skills in a range of disciplines and geographies.  An organisation’s ability to foster and promote career agility was seen as a proactive retention approach.

RSM was pleased to sponsor the HR Roadshow, we know HR professionals are facing unprecedented change and challenges in the digital age, including the need to embrace innovation as a strategic priority and core competency. At RSM, we are dedicated to helping organizations navigate these challenges and seize opportunities to attract, retain, and develop top talent. Our focus is on embedding sustainable talent management and change management disciplines across organizations to ensure their ongoing success and help you take charge of change!