The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is an independent agency of the US federal government that manages staff in the public service of the US federal government.
The predecessor of the Office of Personnel Services, the US Public Service Commission, was created by the Pendleton Public Service Reform Act in 1883. After the adoption of the US Public Service Reform Act of 1978, on January 1, 1979, the Commission was abolished. It was replaced by the Office of Personnel Services.
According to the web site, the Office’s mission is to “recruit, retain and honor world-class employees to serve the American people.”
Organization of human resources management
The work on human resources management (HR management) in the United States relies on a broad research base, advisory assistance, and a developed management infrastructure.
As a rule, the strategy of HR management and the formation of personnel management systems are carried out by top management of corporations.
The function of managing people is one of the most centralized in American companies, its degree of centralization is second only to financial.
The modern campaign, used in the most efficient American corporations, is characterized by a significant expansion of the content, forms and methods of work with the personnel of the company; the growth of the professional level of human resources management specialists; increasing the share of funds spent by these services in total production costs; using the latest information technology. These changes in HR management in the United States are extended to work with managers and specialists (for ordinary executives, the functions of human resources management services have changed very little in most corporations). Almost all of the major innovations in this functional area of management were designed to work with highly paid categories of personnel and either did not extend to other categories of personnel, or what was done later and in a more limited scope.
Traditionally, in the United States, personnel services represent the interests of entrepreneurs in relations with workers organized in trade unions. The work is concentrated in the divisions for labor relations, whose responsibilities include – to negotiate with trade unions; to provide the requirements stipulated by the labor contract; organize the hiring of labor. In general, there are two semi-autonomous human resources management systems in American corporations. Their distinction reflects the legal differences between the two categories of personnel that exist in US labor law, but is determined, ultimately, by more general socio-economic factors. In actual management practice, work according to a detailed scheme with the use of modern means and methods is carried out primarily with management personnel, sales force workers, highly qualified specialists, who form a category of administrative personnel.
Personnel management systems for managers and specialists, as a rule, are separated in organizational terms. Despite the organizational commonality in the activities of the human resources management service, it is possible to distinguish differences in approaches and content of work with managers of different levels, who have not only differentiated material remuneration.
The most complex and diverse are systems of work with management personnel of the highest level of the organizational hierarchy, as well as the middle level. In modern personnel management systems, special importance is attached to the systematic training of managers for top positions, to a particularly careful selection of applicants for these positions. Some corporations have identified staff services in their organizational structure that provide, on a strictly individual basis, the elaboration of issues related to the planning of training, promotion, replacement of top-level management personnel.