Thursday, May 25, 2017

SPD Welcomes Intern Taylor Pharr!

5/17/17
After completing my first few days as an intern for the Indiana State Personnel Department (INSPD), I am excited to gain more experience in all areas of Human Resources (HR) and gain more skills specifically in the areas of talent acquisition and recruitment. I am going to be a senior at Indiana University in the fall, where I am studying Human Resource Management. I have acquired a passion for HR through past internships I have had. From these experiences I have learned that HR is a driving factor to any successful organization and I am excited to have a new experience with INSPD this summer!

I believe that working with INSPD this summer will further enhance my current skills and knowledge and prepare me for a future career in the HR field. So far, I have had the opportunity to shadow members of the Talent Acquisition team, attend an INDOT recruiting meeting, and sit in on a weekly talent acquisition meeting.

 From shadowing the Talent Acquisition team, I have been able to get insight on what each member contributes to INSPD and the various duties they perform on a day-to-day basis. I have specifically learned how to use PeopleSoft for recruiting purposes and how to utilize social media in the recruiting process. I was also able to go through many online training sessions where I learned about Family Medical Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the selection and interviewing process, and how to use PeopleSoft Talent Manager.

Further into my internship, I am looking forward to working with the different agencies of the State and learning more about what they do and how they function. This gives me hands-on work experience in different areas of HR and lets me experience a range of work atmospheres all in one internship. I am excited for the opportunity to learn about recruitment and employee relations from these agencies. 

5/26/17

This past week, I have had the opportunity to start recruitment efforts for the fall INSPD internship program along with my fellow intern, Kennedy. So far in this process, we have been able to create an updated job description based on what we are hiring for and post this to school job boards and other posting sites. I have also had the opportunity to create a flyer using Canva to assist us in marketing the position. Along with these efforts, we have also created a survey to screen qualified candidates to further engage their interest in this opportunity. I have enjoyed looking through the resumes of candidates and learning how to effectively review them. I am also excited to continue this process throughout the summer to gain knowledge in regards to recruiting and interviewing.

I have also had the opportunity to be involved in information sessions with the Employee Relations team, where I learned about the different tasks they deal with. Within these sessions, I was able to learn about civil service complaints, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), affirmative action, Family Medical Leave (FMLA), and investigations. I also got to talk to team members about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the State Employee’s Appeals Commission (SEAC) and unemployment claims. All of this information gave me insight into what this area of human resources actually handles.

Along with this, I also got to attend a lunch and learn on the topic of listening. During this, we participated in different group activities that showed us how important effectively listening is in regards to communication. Here, we were left with valuable tips for listening and the acronym “HURIER” (Hearing, Understanding, Remembering, Interpreting, Evaluating and Responding) to help us remember what we learned.


This week, I have not only gained insight into the areas of HR that I may deal with in my future career, but I have also been able to put my recruiting skills into practice and gain other soft skills that will help me excel later on down the road. 

6/1/17
During the third week of my internship, I had the opportunity to shadow the INSPD benefits team. During this time, I was able to learn the responsibilities of the benefits team and what their specific duties are during an audit. While I was there, I was able to learn about how people are chosen at random to be a part of an audit, what paper work goes into an audit, and how the benefits department moves through the audit process. I was also able to listen in on phone calls to get a real feel for the tasks they have daily. While listening to phone calls, I gained insight on how to deal with employee benefit issues and got to experience the wide variety of issues that come up in benefits.

7/5/17

Over the past four weeks, I have been able to rotate throughout different government agencies and spend time with their HR teams. I spent two weeks working with the Department of Revenue and another two weeks working with the Department of Child Services. At these agencies, I was able to get a glimpse into what their HR teams have to deal with and completed different projects for them.


At the Department of Revenue, I had the opportunity to help them revamp their filing method into a six-category system. I was also able to sit in on an employee relations investigation and learn how this process is conducted. Through this experience, I got to gain knowledge on how to best handle tough situations in the workplace.


At the Department of Child Services, I got to be a part of conducting a personnel and I-9 audit. I also had the opportunity to learn about unemployment hearings and the process HR goes through during them. This helped me get a glimpse into how law plays a big part in human resources.

While working with these different agencies, I was able to see how HR functions differently for every department and how each HR team has their own culture. I think these past four weeks have given me real-life skills that will help me in my future careers.

7/14/17
The past week of my internship has been filled with new experiences and learning opportunities. I was able to attend the Governor’s speech, interview applicants for an internship opportunity, and help out at an employment fair.

Early in this week, I had the opportunity to hear Governor Eric Holcomb, speak about his experiences. He told us his career path and how he got to where he is today. He left us with a lot of advice for the future and a lot of hope for our generation.

I also had the opportunity to interview applicants for an HR internship with the Indiana State Personnel Department (INSPD). Recruiting their next fall intern has been one of the bigger projects I have been working on with INSPD and it was a great experience actually getting to interview applicants and ask them questions. I learned what good questions to ask are, how to help applicants expand on their answers, and what qualities to look for in candidates. This was an experience that is really going to help in my future career with human resources.

I was also able to help out at the WTHR-TV13 Employment Opportunity Fair that was a part of the Indiana Black Expo. Here, we were promoting state employment and employment at all the different agencies of the government. I got to experience what recruiters do at career fairs and how they interact with possible applicants.


Next week, I am rotating to INDOT (Indiana Department of Transportation) to work with their HR team. I am excited to see what the culture there is like and what different areas of HR they deal with most. It has been interesting to see what HR is like at the different agencies and I am excited to work with this agency now too!

7/28/17
I had the opportunity to work with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Human Resource team over the past two weeks. I was exposed to different areas of HR and got to learn all about INDOT and how they operate.

Here, I was given the project of coming up with new ideas for recruitment efforts. I was able to come up with ideas for new places to recruit and new advertising methods. I was also able to research new items to be given out at career fairs and other recruiting events.

I also had the opportunity to meet with a member of INDOT’s Talent Management team and learn about a new area that I had not previously been exposed to. I got to learn about what this division does and how they develop and retain talented employees. One of the specific things I got to learn about was how they utilize learning management systems to help employees grow in their roles.

On our last day with INDOT, I had the opportunity to tour the Traffic Management Center and learn about INDOT’s Hoosier Helper program along with the central office HR team. I also got to learn about the different vehicles and equipment used at INDOT. This helped me see all the different parts to INDOT and how much they do.


Within these past two weeks, I also got to go on a tour of the Indiana War Memorial. I got to see many monuments and statues that commemorate the United States Armed Forces and Hoosier veterans. I was able to view the Shrine room and the military museum, as well.


Next week is my last week in my internship and I have been exposed to so much and learned a great deal about HR. I can’t wait to see what the last week has in store!

SPD Welcomes Intern Kennedy Walter!

Throughout this past week I have started my experience as an Indiana State Personnel Department (INSPD) intern. I am greatly looking forward to all this internship has to offer and how much I will learn and grow over the weeks to come. In the fall, I  start my senior year at Indiana University where I am majoring in Human Resource Management and minoring in Marketing. I truly think the education and leadership experiences I have had at Indiana University will help make this internship very successful. I am also hoping to apply some of the skills I gained during my internship last summer to this experience as well. Throughout my time here I am working alongside the Talent Acquisition team as well as other state agencies where I am assisting them with numerous assigned projects. I hope to gain exposure in the various areas of Human Resources and have the opportunity to gain new skills that will help me prepare for my future career. 
During my first few days I have been able to get to know the Talent Acquisition team by shadowing each member and learning more about their position and specific responsibilities. This has been extremely interesting and I am looking forward to being able to work alongside them this summer. Learning about how sourcing and screening works as well as how each Recruitment Consultant assists different agencies throughout the state was great to learn.  Throughout the weeks to come I am shadowing other Human Resource departments such as Employee Relations and Benefits.
One project I will begin assisting Cortney Garfield and Heather Whitaker on is the upcoming job fair for the Indiana School of the Blind and Visually Impaired. I, as well as the other SPD intern, Taylor Pharr, will be helping with the marketing and promotions for this event. I am also excited to get a jump start on one of the other main projects we will be working on throughout the summer, which is creating and implementing a strategic recruitment plan for the incoming INSPD fall intern. We hope to come up with innovative ideas on how to attract a strong candidate who will essentially be coming in to the position we currently have.


So far this internship is off to a great start, and I am looking forward to all this internship has to offer and the experience and skills I will gain along the way! 

5/26/2017

Week two with the Indiana State Personnel Department has been very exciting. Throughout the week we had the privilege of meeting and talking to numerous INSPD directors and executives. Each individual had great stories and advice for me and Taylor and our future careers. We also officially started our recruitment efforts for the fall semester internship program. We began marketing and posting on school career websites around the state. We have been continuously screening resumes throughout the week so we can move forward to the next step in the process. Raeanne has been preparing us for the interviews we are holding in the near future.
Later in the week we spent a day with the Employee Relations team and learned about their day to day responsibilities and what it takes to be successful in their individual roles. We also attended a soft skills session on listening. It ultimately made me more aware of how often I truly am not listening, and what it takes to be a better listener. I had fun hearing numerous stories from each person in Employee Relations and I sparked an interest in investigations once the job shadowing was complete. Gaining exposure in the numerous HR areas has been great because it allows me to grasp a better understanding of what I want to do post-graduation.

6/1/2017
During week three we had the opportunity to shadow INSPD’s Benefits division. It was great being able to learn more about this division and what the benefits specialist position entails. We were able to shadow them during one of their busier times, which allowed us to see how the specialists handled numerous situations with employees around the state.
In addition, we continued our recruiting efforts for a fall intern and worked on marketing strategies for the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired career fair. As the end of this week approaches we are able to start wrapping up screening for the fall INSPD intern and start scheduling interviews. It’s hard to believe our first three weeks with INSPD are already over. Next Monday we begin working with the Department of Revenue. 


7/3/2017
Throughout the past month we have been working on projects for the Department of Revenue as well as the Department of Child Services. Both of these agencies gave us exposure to different aspects of Human Resources. At the Department of Revenue we worked on updating and auditing a 600 person personnel file filing system. On the other hand, at the Department of Child Services we were able to shadow the employee relations specialist and see how to handle employee relation disputes. This experience also allowed us to see the legal side of employee relations, which was extremely interesting. We learn about employment law in school, however, it was great to see how it is used in real world situations. I really have enjoyed how this rotational internship program allows us to go to different state agencies because we get to know the different HR teams at each agency and see how they operate.







Thursday, February 9, 2017

SPD Welcomes Intern Anziana Falchetti

This is my first week as the State Personnel Department (SPD) intern, and I am so excited to learn about all the different functions of SPD through job shadowing and working on assigned projects. I am currently studying Human Resources (HR) Management at Indiana University and feel my education and experience will set me up for success in this internship! I have been focusing on the recruitment process in the first two days by job shadowing the SPD Talent Acquisition (TA) team and learning about what they do for their specific agencies! So far, I have learned about external sourcing and the process of reviewing and posting an open job to the job bank. It is interesting how the team uses their resources to attract and recruit candidates while also working with the hiring manager to find the right fit for the specific position.
I started by shadowing SPD’s TA recruitment consultants. Jared Herring taught me how to use PeopleSoft for recruiting means and how to approve a job that a hiring manager wants to post. Cortney Elliott explained how she trains her hiring managers to write effective job descriptions, interview, and select candidates through a handbook/ quick guide. She also explained the SharePoint intranet, where SPD keeps files and can communicate through Yammer, the office’s social network. Sam Phillips touched on externally sourcing jobs and how to assist candidates who are having issues with the application process. Victoria Renicker explained the SPD email she sorts through to answer candidate’s questions and concerns. She also showed me how to use social media to attract the best quality candidate through interesting posts that promote current, open positions.  The thing I have enjoyed the most so far was reviewing and selecting top resumes to route to hiring managers with Raeanne Florek. It was interesting to look at the requirements and see what makes a resume stand out or a specific candidate a good one. I also accompanied Adam to a meeting with INDOT HR Staff and heard about issues and success stories going on within the agency. It was interesting and beneficial to hear HR professionals talk about issues and potential solutions to resolve them.

Aside from a basic overview of the Talent Acquisition team’s responsibilities, I learned my potential opportunities and schedule for the internship. I am working with different agencies to learn their practices around recruiting and employee relations. I am excited to dive into these two functions of HR to which I have not been previously exposed! 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Living the Dream in SPD - by Ashley Spears

Tuesday, 10/25/16:
This past week, I had the opportunity to experience many different aspects of Human Resources. I first began my week by attending one-on-one meetings with SPD agency leadership and job shadowing the Employee Relations team. Matt Brown, Employee Relations counsel, began our one-on-one session by introducing the background of Employee Relations, the team players in Employee Relations, and discussing the Family Medical Leave Act. He then introduced his coworkers, Alan Ferguson and Taylor Pennell, who went into more detail about Family Medical Leave. After hearing their presentation, I developed a deeper understanding of the rules, regulations, and process of requesting time off.

The next group of Employee Relations personnel I shadowed were Drew Hewitt and Sean Brown. They spoke with me about civil service complaints. A few weeks prior, I gained knowledge of civil service complaints by interning at Department of Child Services and taking part in an employee relations project. Because of that, I was familiar with a few components of the civil service complaint process but was not familiar with the history of classified/unclassified workers. Drew and Sean caught me up on the differences between classified versus unclassified workers.

I then met with Lavenia Haskett, who was an amazing presenter!! Lavenia first began her presentation by giving me a paper clip and asking me the question, “What could you do with this paper clip?” I answered her question in practical purposes but would never guess what one guy named Kyle MacDonald came up with. Lavenia showed me his video called, “What if you could trade a paperclip for a house?” which showed how one guy traded up one red paperclip to a house. She used this video as an illustration of how accommodations for disabilities are handled. Just like the guy in the video, accommodations are often times trial and error. Her presentation was extremely helpful in understanding the process and what is acceptable for accommodations.

The next presenters were Anthony Gibson and Terri Miller. I really found their work to be intriguing in how they take measures to make sure the government is not underutilizing affected classes or discriminating. After their conversation, I met again with Matt Brown joined by Betsy Huffman to discuss the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), State Employees’ Appeals Commission (SEAC) and unemployment. I then met with Jordan Bolden who spoke about investigations regarding alleged misconduct in the workplace. Having an investigative mindset, I really enjoyed speaking with Jordan. Last but not least, I spoke with Employee Relations Director Bruce Baxter. Bruce cleared the air on questions I had related to employee relations and job opportunities in human resources. It was inspiring to hear his story on how he got to be where he is today.
  
Thursday, 10/27/16,
Today I traveled to Indiana School of the Blind and Visually Impaired to job shadow Heather Whitaker. Over at ISBVI, I was able to live the life of a Human Resources generalist in the education field. It was such a beautiful campus with the leaves turning colors and being on the Monon trail. I enjoyed my time there and seeing what life portrays as a generalist.

Friday, 10/28/16:
Interviews!! My boss, Adam Beasley, and I conducted interviews for our spring internship. I sat in on the interviews and was able to ask interviewees questions. After our interviews we discussed our ideas on the candidates. I am really starting to enjoy recruiting!!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Living the Dream in SPD - By Ashley Spears

Week 2-Week 3
10/4/2016-10/14/2016

Putting my investigative mind to test at DCS:

Employee Relations!!!! The area of human resources that is by far my favorite! As you all know from last week’s post, I was at the Department of Child Services for the past two weeks. Camille Rowley, had asked if I would help her with an employee relations project at the DCS office. This project involved going through employee relations files and analyzing the situation, the resulting action taken by the company / employee and the category of the incidents. We then went on to enter the information contained in the files into a database for quick access for future use. By reading through the employee relations files, I was able to learn how DCS handles their administrative investigations, civil service complaints and workplace harassments.   


Camille was an extremely resourceful mentor during this project. Upon arrival to DCS, I attended a meeting to discuss the changes coming to the department in 2017 and prior achievements in 2016. It was a rewarding experience to sit in on that meeting to learn more on how this department is structured and run. Only being an intern at DCS for a few hours, I was elated to be included in their discussion. Throughout the meeting Aiesha Peterson-Smith asked if I had any comments to add regarding each topic. I was able to share my comments openly and felt honored to be given a moment to speak. Aeisha, as well as her colleagues, always made a point to include me during their meetings. I attended two other meetings while interning at DCS. One meeting was in relation to planning a management training session for lawyers in DCS. The last meeting dealt with improving job descriptions and interview questions for caseworkers.

During my time at DCS, I was also able to have meetings with Michael Ackerman and Jennifer Jones. While speaking with Michael, I was able to gain insight into how DCS uses Human Resources data for recruiting and hiring caseworkers and caseworker manager. While speaking with Jennifer, she showed me how they program that data using excel spreadsheets. It was fascinating to hear how data plays a huge part in hiring accurately in DCS.

Giving Farewells to Denny Darrow
During my last day at DCS, I attended the farewell open house for Denny Darrow. Denny was leaving to take the Human Resources vice president position at Purdue University.  I had only known Denny for a few months but I felt I had known him for years. The reason I say that is because Denny would always acknowledge my presence and make a point to speak with me upon running into me in the Government building. Even if Denny was on his way to a meeting, he would stop what he was doing and ask how my internship was going. That meant a lot to me that he would take time to get to know me.

I noticed at the open house I was not the only one who felt appreciated by Denny. Employees expressed their appreciation through speeches and songs. Bruce Baxter wrote a humorous song about Denny’s farewell. While Bruce played the guitar and the band sang, the employees chimed in and sang the chorus. It was heartwarming to see what a difference Denny made in the lives of every individual at SPD.  I looked up to the way he interacted and lead his employees. He described his leadership style at the open house as an “upside down pyramid.” The kind of leadership that is focused on helping people grow and develop. The workers are the ones that drive the organization toward success. He was extremely proud of the accomplishments that his employees at SPD achieved during his time as director. Denny Darrow was an incredible, amiable leader who is definitely missed this week in SPD. I wish him the best at Purdue University. Boiler up!!

To Be Continued: Week 3-Week 4
Next week I make my way back to SPD’s talent acquisition office. My responsibility is to recruit for our spring internship position.

During Week 4 on Tuesday October 25, I am job shadowing in employee relations with Matt Brown. On Thursday, October 27 I am job shadowing Heather Whitaker. Lastly on Friday, October 28, I am conducting interviews for our spring internship position.

Next week is full of adventures!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Living the Dream in SPD - By Ashley Spears

The Motivators Behind SPD Employees

It has always been a dream of mine to work for the United States Government. My desire to work for the government stemmed from wanting to work for an organization whose mission and values I resonated firmly to. I found it challenging to work for organizations whose main mission related to increasing stockholder’s share value or increasing sales within a company. I wanted to make a difference in the life of people in my surrounding community. On my first day interning at the Indiana State Personnel Department, I found I was not the only person who longed to make a difference.

Every employee I met on the first day- from the women who greeted me in the parking garage to a recruiter in Talent Acquisition- were enthused to be there working to make a difference in the State. During my first week, I had the pleasure to sit down and speak with Kristi Hall, John Bayse, Christy Tittle, Whitney Miller, Dawn Baptist, Ashley Hungate and Bruce Baxter. During our meeting, they shared their stories within SPD and answered the questions I had pertaining to human resources. It was a rewarding experience to have the opportunity to speak with and develop a connection to these inspiring leaders within SPD.

ABC’s to Finding and Hiring State Employees

Along with getting my bearings down and meeting all the lovely faces at SPD, I also began rolling on recruiting for the spring internship program. My first steps of recruitment involved designing a flyer with as much patriotism as possible, networking with college organizations/career offices and posting on social media websites.

Next I learned recruiting strategies from Caitlin Floyd to understand how SPD hires state employees for different agencies. She walked me through the process of offer letters, employment verification, drug testing and background checks. I was able to practice employment verifications by calling the previous employer of a potential hire to verify past employement information.

To Be Continued: Week 2 - Week 3


Next week, my adventures take me to the Department of Child Services. There, I will be working alongside Camille Rowley on an employee relations project. Stay tuned to hear about my experience with DCS. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Intern Words of Wisdom - by Shae

“This is goodnight and not goodbye.”

This last week consisted of everyone getting out their last urge to say ‘Intern Shae.’ Today is my last day as a State Personnel Department intern. My farewell did not come long after Payton’s. This goodbye is much less bitter, because I am transitioning into a full time role! Everyone can now refer to me as Shae, HR Generalist!

About a month ago, the Director of SPD, Denny Darrow, set a meeting to talk about my growth throughout the internship and my future moving forward. Personally, I highly respect Denny so I was excited to chat with him. Little did I know he would be recommending me for a full-time role within the agency! I was completely honored and excited to join this wonderful team full time. As I participated in the hiring process, I had so much support. During these moments, I
knew  I was making a great decision. Everyone is so genuinely happy for me to join the SPD family. This gives me reassurance I have the support system I need to excel in my upcoming role with the Indiana Department of Transportation. I want to thank everyone who has congratulated, encouraged or read my blog along the way. You are all wonderful! All the agencies that allowed us to complete projects for them, thank you for taking the time to be such great resources. This internship would not have been as valuable if I had not received the opportunity to work for you. Lindsey, you have been the best supervisor I have had thus far. Thank you for teaching me that we can remain professional while building a friendship. I could not have had a better mentor than you. By constantly pushing me and encouraging me to do my best, I have adopted great habits. You truly made this opportunity worthwhile. I am a better person for knowing you.
To everyone that doesn’t work within SPD, now is your opportunity to join the team. Currently, there are some vacancies within the State Personnel Department. I suggest you apply right away! It is a very rewarding experience to serve the State of Indiana.

My final words of wisdom skate along the lines of “plans change.” Remain flexible and great things can happen. You may know where you want to end up, but half of the fun is not knowing how you are going to get there. Life is just an adventure. Be kind while exploring it. Be a person that people want to be around; there is a better chance they will ask you to stay.

“This is goodnight and not goodbye.”- Lawrence T. Grothouse

-Intern Shae