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Civic Engagement--Large and Small
Unformatted Document Text:  blamed a short-term focus, lack of staff or funding, and lack of executive support. Those with plans indicated the greatest impacts were in retention and recruitment activities (Johnson and Brown 2004). Pynes (2004) suggests that reluctance or failure to incorporate human resources into planning efforts is a significant barrier, as is lack of expertise in human resources offices. Other factors affecting some organizations are inability to work across departmental lines, employee reluctance, cost, and the short-term view engendered by frequent elections and top management turnover. Use of succession planning may be increasing, however. A 2007 survey found that 58 percent of local government managers thought their organizations took succession planning seriously. One ominous note was that younger workers were considerably less likely than older ones to believe succession planning was successful in their organizations (Waters Consulting Group 2007). The role of civil service systems will be problematic for many governments; several of the successful workforce planning programs have reduced civil service coverage and restrictions. Retirement is not the only factor that complicates government staffing efforts. Governments at all levels are facing immense challenges in recruiting qualified and enthusiastic public employees. Clearly, several factors contribute to the personnel crisis looming before these governments. Most highly qualified college students would rather seek employment in the private sector (Cohen 1993). Desai and Hamman (1994) contend much of problem stems from low rewards relative to the working conditions. This explanation views the problem as an absolute lack in personnel supply. Based on interaction with local public administrators i , we view the problem in a more qualitative sense. In particular, we see the problem as two-fold. Consistent with other explanations, 12

Authors: Colnic, David. and Shinn, Paul.
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blamed a short-term focus, lack of staff or funding, and lack of executive support. Those
with plans indicated the greatest impacts were in retention and recruitment activities
(Johnson and Brown 2004). Pynes (2004) suggests that reluctance or failure to
incorporate human resources into planning efforts is a significant barrier, as is lack of
expertise in human resources offices. Other factors affecting some organizations are
inability to work across departmental lines, employee reluctance, cost, and the short-term
view engendered by frequent elections and top management turnover. Use of succession
planning may be increasing, however. A 2007 survey found that 58 percent of local
government managers thought their organizations took succession planning seriously.
One ominous note was that younger workers were considerably less likely than older
ones to believe succession planning was successful in their organizations (Waters
Consulting Group 2007). The role of civil service systems will be problematic for many
governments; several of the successful workforce planning programs have reduced civil
service coverage and restrictions.
Retirement is not the only factor that complicates government staffing efforts.
Governments at all levels are facing immense challenges in recruiting qualified and
enthusiastic public employees. Clearly, several factors contribute to the personnel crisis
looming before these governments. Most highly qualified college students would rather
seek employment in the private sector (Cohen 1993). Desai and Hamman (1994) contend
much of problem stems from low rewards relative to the working conditions. This
explanation views the problem as an absolute lack in personnel supply. Based on
interaction with local public administrators
, we view the problem in a more qualitative
sense. In particular, we see the problem as two-fold. Consistent with other explanations,
12


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