Cadres are not everything

RANEPA experts propose to reform approaches to the creation of a personnel reserve for civil servants. Now it is used mainly for out-of-competition appointments to positions in ministries, departments and in the regions, while, as noted in the presidential academy, the approaches to the formation of the reserve are not unified.

The government needs to change the policy of formation of personnel reserves of the civil service, states the report “Personnel reserves in the Russian Federation” authored by a group of experts from the RANEPA. The Academy is de facto the largest educational structure for the civil service in the Russian Federation. As indicated in the report, now the state personnel policy in Russia is gradually beginning to change – although on the whole it remains reactive and chaotic, it already contains elements of more modern solutions.

This, according to the authors of the work, indicates that the demand for new personnel technologies has finally formed both at the highest level of government and among potential applicants.

In particular, this is also manifested in the approaches to the use of such a personnel policy tool as a personnel reserve (a group of specialists who meet certain requirements have been selected and qualified and are potentially ready to become employees of a particular ministry or department).

In Russia, several attempts have been made to form an approach to creating a state personnel reserve, both within the framework of state programs for the development of the civil service, and by individual presidential decrees. A modern approach to the formation of the presidential reserve has been implemented since 2014. And although it can be considered more progressive than the previous ones, the potential of the reserve remains unused.

Often, instead of becoming a source of qualified personnel, it is used to bypass competitive procedures when appointing to public positions – according to the RANEPA estimates, now in the Russian Federation 70% of civil servants are appointed without competition, while 25.7% of all appointments to positions in federal bodies and 35 , 2% in the regions.

In addition, the modern talent pool system is, according to estimates in its work, “cumbersome and confusing” – it consists of both the personnel reserves of the state civil service and managerial personnel reserves (under the patronage of the president, in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and at the municipal level).

For a successful reform of the place and functions of the personnel reserve in the system of personnel technologies of the civil service, RANEPA experts suggest using several principles. Technologies for the formation of a personnel reserve, education, development and training of personnel should be developed in a complex, and the introduction of innovative personnel practices affecting the selection and training of members of the personnel reserve should go “top down” – attempts to introduce personnel technologies in relation to lower positions are useless. It is necessary to find an optimal balance between centralization and decentralization of personnel decisions – this presupposes the creation of a federal infrastructure that would not suppress initiatives in the regions.

Also, according to RANEPA experts, when preparing regulations governing the personnel reserve, it is necessary to take into account modern personnel technologies. Note that the problem described is specific to the Russian Federation, where the de facto problem is the continuation of traditional approaches to personnel management in the civil service (they were formed in the inadequate economy and society of the present situation in the USSR). In other jurisdictions, “revolutions in government personnel management,” which are innovations like talent pools, are smaller, and traditional civil service HR practices are flexible and complemented by HR technology imported from the business environment.

Anastasia Manuilova

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