Friday, September 5, 2014

Karen Visits FSSA!

I’ve spent the last three weeks in FSSA, the Family and Social Services Administration. This agency is responsible for distributing funds to care providers for children, the aging, the disabled, and other vulnerable populations in Indiana.  Like, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Child Services, FSSA is a very large agency with many, many employees and widespread locations.

Much of the agency’s workforce is retiring in the next five to seven years, and some key positions will lose many employees all at once. To prevent a crisis, FSSA is recruiting a large volume of people to fill the positions that will become vacant in the near future. In addition to current positions becoming open due to retirement, many new positions have been created and approved, and these too must be filled.

My main project during this rotation was to source for one particular position at dozens of schools and job sites. Thirty Disability Claims Adjudicator positions are open, and they need to be filled as quickly as possible. Because of this, I posted jobs as school and job boards based in other states as well as Indiana, and opened the position up for all majors and areas of study to get the maximum number of applicants. My other project during this rotation was updating employee information in PeopleSoft, which helped me get more familiar with the program and its capabilities.

The main lesson I learned at this agency was how important it is to be aware of who is in your workforce and when and how they might leave. If you don’t stay on top of this as an HR professional, you could end up with a large number of vacancies in key business areas, and your business will almost certainly be negatively affected.  It was also interesting to learn how difficult it truly is to get a qualified pool of applicants to apply for one open position, let alone 30. To get 30 qualified applicants, we’d probably need a few hundred general applications! This taught me that there’s much more to hiring than simply going through applications and choosing the right candidate – getting a pool of good applicants is a challenge all in itself.

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