HR provision. These institutions also have to take decisions about HR matters at the executive level. It was mentioned above that the HR manager is responsible for the efficient management and administration of the HR office. Therefore, it is important that the HR manager identify HR requirements for service delivery in good time and bring these needs to the attention of the above-mentioned institutions (for example, by way of draft budgets). In addition, he/she must ensure that the HR office is efficiently managed in accordance with the formal guidelines of the above-mentioned institutions as soon as the task is entrusted to him/her (after the budget has been approved). 2.4.3 Clients The third group of major role-players on a micro level is the clients. As explained earlier, the clients are actually the line managers since HR services are not rendered direct to the public. Usually the clients demand HR services of a high standard. The above-mentioned preferences must be investigated and services must be rendered in accordance with the standards agreed upon. However, it is important for the HR manager to realise that he/she actually serves as a safeguard between the clients and the institution. Some clients may find it necessary to manipulate the HR function to serve their particular interests from time to time. To be more precise, line function managers sometimes use HR procedures to gain appointments for themselves or their family members.
LEARNING UNIT 2: Milieu of the public human resource function ........... PUB3702/1 53 HR managers must be constantly on the lookout for this kind of favouritism, which may result in incompetent persons being appointed and, therefore, poor service being delivered. What else can the HR manager do to ensure that clients’ needs are consistently met? In general, the following matters should receive attention: • Forms that are designed to be intelligible and easy to complete. • Friendly and helpful answering of telephones. • Writing memorandums and formulating e-mail messages that are easy to understand. • Efficient complaint procedures that ensure that information is received without delay so that complaints can be speedily dealt with. 2.5 RETROSPECTIVE This learning unit is not very long. Therefore, you should not consider it to be less important than learning unit 1. The two learning units must rather be seen as one unit. Do you still remember the following: • What the distinctive characteristics of the contemporary HR milieu are? • What variables at a macro level, such as the technological, economic and legal factors, influence the HR function? • Would you be able to answer a question in the examination about the influence that factors exert at a micro level on the HR function? 2.6 COMMENTARY: OPENING INCIDENT John Mavuso’s situation can be analysed from two different perspectives. Firstly, he should ask himself how he should answer the question. Secondly, he should understand the Department’s true objective in placing that advertisement. Let’s focus on the second question first, to help John with his decision. It is clear