The state of state human resources agencies

Analysis of the state HR architecture survey

This report analyzes the results of the most recent National Association of State Personnel Executives (NASPE) and Deloitte survey of central HR agencies and presents an up-to-date look at the structure of state human resource management agencies, the services they provide, their use of data to provide those services, and past and future plans for restructuring those agencies, among other areas.

State HR architecture survey analysis

NASPE and Deloitte surveyed states' central HR agencies across the US uncovering insights into the following areas:

  • HR reporting
  • Analytical capabilities
  • Decision making
  • HR services
  • Restructuring initiatives
  • Affordable Care Act (ACA) readiness and impact
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HR data has great untapped potential for improving state government decision-making

Degree to which HR data is used by central HRM agency to drive decision making

While many states are already using their HR data to drive decision making in different areas ranging from retention to succession planning, most respondents indicated that they were not doing so to the maximum extent possible. Recruiting, training & development, and workforce planning are the three areas which offer the greatest potential for state human resources transformation.

Most states’ HR agencies are not satisfied with their own level of analytical maturity

Analytically mature organizations are those that can combine HR data with strong analytical capabilities–few state HR agencies would rate themselves as ‘analytically mature’ by that definition. Louisiana has the highest self-reported level of analytical maturity followed by Illinois, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Hawaii, and South Carolina. Other states view their analytic maturity as emerging.

More states are now turning to process improvement to accomplish human resources transformation

Restructuring initiatives for HR services being planned or considered for the next two years

Process improvement initiatives have overtaken shared services and consolidation initiatives as the most popular tools in HR executives’ strategic toolkits. Almost two thirds of the states we surveyed report planning HR-related process improvements within the next two years.

How many employees are in the HR agencies?

Full-time HR professionals per thousand state government employees

Staffing levels in central agencies tend to vary depending on the service delivery model. Those with a heavily centralized structure will likely have more employees than those with a heavily decentralized structure. The average number of employees across surveyed central HR agencies is 84, with the greatest number being Pennsylvania, with 285 employees and the lowest being Idaho, with 8 employees and North Dakota, with 13 employees.

Tiffany Dovey Fishman

Tiffany Dovey Fishman, a senior manager with Deloitte Research, Deloitte Services LP, is responsible for public sector research and thought leadership for Deloitte’s public sector industry practice. Her research focuses on the impact of emerging issues in technology, business and society on public, private and nonprofit organizations. Fishman can be reached by email at or on Twitter @tdoveyfishman.

Peter Viechnicki

Peter Viechnicki is a strategic analysis manager and data scientist with Deloitte Services LP, where he focuses on developing innovative public sector research using geospatial and natural language processing techniques. Peter can be reached by email at or followed on Twitter @pviechnicki.

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