Thursday, November 21, 2013

Jon spends time with DCS

The time spent with the recruiting team at SPD was incredibly valuable going into my next rotation. I spent the past month at the Department of Child Services (DCS). I was located at the Marion county office and gained a lot of exposure to real world HR issues. Most of my time was spent doing recruiting activities. I was tasked with managing most of the employment verification, education verification, and background checks for the employees scheduled to start during my time at that location.

In addition to recruiting activities, I was responsible for maintaining the weekly filing, and made an attempt to organize part of the file room. While filing seems tedious, it exposed me to the types of forms and documentation currently being used at DCS in a HR capacity. I also became familiar with the record retention laws that determine what type of paper work needs to be retained and for how long the records need to be kept on site.

I was also exposed to a few employee relations issues during my time at DCS. I was able to gain a better understanding of what a working test period is for classified employees. These employees are considered classified and must go through a six month testing period before their classified status is granted. Some employees require an extension in their working test period while other completed their test period based on performance.

Overall, I would say that my time at DCS was very valuable. I feel that I learned a lot about the HR processes at DCS and a valuable overview into the role of a HR generalist 1. I am now looking forward to spending some time at the Department of Health. Check back in a couple weeks for an update!

Bianca expands her HR knowledge

For the past two weeks I have had the opportunity to work with the Small Field Operations Division of the State Personnel Department. The Small Field Ops Division supports the smaller state of Indiana agencies with their Human Resources needs.

During my time with the Small Field Ops Division, I was able to assist in several ways. One of the major projects I worked on was sorting through files of current or past employees and the goal was to eliminate what belonged in the file and what did not belong.  These files date back to 1999-2008 but some contained memorandums dated as early as the 70's! It was interesting to see older document formats and older printed material.  To do this process I had to take out things that related to benefits, payroll, etc. and only keep things pertaining to personnel transaction forms, performance evaluations, Job Analysis Questionnaires, employment applications, disciplinary notices, grievance records, and records of training.

Another wonderful opportunity I had was to aid in a mock interview.  During which the interviewers and I sat in the conference room and asked a rotation of questions to each interviewee. I had the opportunity to ask questions pertaining to communication. Some of the questions I asked were: how do you define effective communication; how do you communicate information up, down, and across your agency; and how do you engage your customer to effectively convey a message? I found this interview to be a highlight of my two weeks because it allowed me to gain interviewing skills and the ability to see what it’s like to ask the questions as opposed to answering them.

In addition, I had the opportunity to look over résumés for a current HR generalist position. I found looking over the résumés a little challenging because it was difficult to gauge if someone was qualified as each individual had a lot to offer.

Last but not least, I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge in PeopleSoft. Agencies are switching to an electronic version for performance management (called ePerformance) versus a paper based form to evaluate their employees. Having an ePerformance system is easier for the mangers and more convenient. My part was to add competencies into the system such as: job knowledge, teamwork, customer service, acceptance of supervision, and communication.  Also, I used PeopleSoft to search for employees who used to work for the Department of Administration and to locate their status— terminated, retired, deceased, or working for another agency.

All in all, I would say these two weeks were well spent. I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge in PeopleSoft, learn how to sort through files for compliance purposes, and be a part of the initial screening/selection process for the HR Generalist position. My next two weeks will be spent working with the Department of Health and I am looking forward to it!