Thursday, February 25, 2016

Intern Ryan Conquers Two Large Agencies


During the last two weeks, I had the opportunity to work with two very large agencies, Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) and Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS). Each had a unique Human Resource (HR) design. 
When I first arrived at Pendleton Juvenile facility, I was extremely eager to experience what IDOC had to offer. I initially met with Casey, the Human Resource Director of the Pendleton Correctional Complex and a previous SPD intern! After arriving, I sat in on an employee training session, and experienced the online tutorial for new state employees in the field. After evaluating their orientation, Casey got me acquainted with the juvenile HR department before giving me an Internal I-9 audit to sort through! 

During my three day stay with IDOC, I had the ability to tour all three of Pendleton’s Correctional Facilities, which included Juvenile, Industrial, and Maximum Security.  The tours were so interesting to me, and I am so glad I had an opportunity to step inside all three facilities. I had never been inside a prison prior to my human resource internship with Indiana State Personnel Department. Not only was it very eye opening for my personal perspective, but it was also very satisfying to see the various ways HR deals with a 24/7 staffed agency. No matter the conditions, there must be correction officers present and working during all hours of the day to maintain order and control. The IDOC typically sees higher turnover than an average agency, but that is expected with its unique line of work. I had many conversations with current employees on incentives that would increase retention.

After my week with IDOC, I came back to the central office to work alongside some very intelligent individuals at DCS. While at DCS, I was given a major project that was quite meticulous. The agency currently consists of more than 3,700 employees, and I was handed over an I-9 internal audit that our other intern Mary had been working on. There were two filing cabinets full of I-9s that needed to be merged together alphabetically. After that was done, I began my audit by separating and confirming the employees that currently work for DCS, from the employees that have separated from the state. A majority of these state employees are scattered throughout Indiana and are constantly working in the field. I wish my stay at DCS could have been longer, and now know more about I-9’s than your average bear!

Until next time…

Ryan Lattimore

HR Intern

Indiana State Personnel Department

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Intern Mary spends a week at Pendleton Correctional Facility & shadows a Small Agency HR Director!


Two weeks ago, I had the chance to job shadow Heather, a Small Agency Human Resources Director. We got to talk about performance reviews, what to expect from them, and how different agencies handle their reviews. Since I only had the pleasure of spending one day with Heather, she walked me through what a typical week looks like for her. I found it so interesting how she splits her time between being at Central Office and on location at one of her four assigned agencies, The Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI). She touched on different topics such as employee relations, benefits, training and recruiting. Since this was my first time shadowing a Small Agency Human Resources Director, I really enjoyed seeing the difference between the Generalist and Specialist roles. 

I got to spend a whole week at 
Pendleton Correctional Facilities. It was very interesting because there are three facilities within a mile of each other. I was fortunate enough to tour two of the facilities and I hope my schedule allows a day to see the third one! On my first and last day at Pendleton, I was at the juvenile facility with Casey. I heard about the different positions the facilities offer, performed some reference and employment verifications and heard about their recruiting plan/process. I was able to draw a parallel between the correctional officers at these facilities and the Cadre position that the other intern, Ryan, and I had been looking into with the Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy. I also got to spend the day assisting Nicole, which included completing an I-9 audit as well as seeing part of the process for termination of employees. 

These past two weeks were very busy, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I had the ability to see a different career path by watching and hearing about the daily tasks that generalists face. I have learned so much about the recruiting process and some of the
HR processes that occur year round such as performance reviews, audits, and injury reports. I am so thankful for these agencies allowing me to come in and learn! 


Mary Riordan

Friday, February 12, 2016

Into the Public Sector: HR Intern Ryan Lattimore


I recently had an opportunity to do some job shadowing in two different divisions within the Indiana State Personnel Department. The first division I encountered was Compensation, where I met Liz. Within just a few hours, I had witnessed everything from strategic hiring, job classifications, salary adjustments, pay for performance, and much more! I found the classification of lawyers to be the most interesting. 

The second division I shadowed was Employee Relations (ER)! I spoke with ten of the most talented individuals in ER, covering a multitude of topics. The main topics that were covered included Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Civil Service, American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA), Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), State Employee’s Appeal Commission (SEAC), unemployment, and investigations. I found the ADA to extremely interesting. Disability accommodation is extremely vital in the workplace, and can be costly if overlooked. My favorite sector of ER was definitely the EEOC and following investigations. EEOC claims are seen more frequently as the year’s progress. It is fascinating how legality plays such a crucial role in Employee Relations.

Aside from doing some job shadowing, I was also assigned a project to work alongside our other intern Mary. We both received climate surveys for a division within a different agency and started our analysis. After reviewing each and every survey, we developed a recruitment plan for the HYCA, which included five major renovations. One of our suggestions was to authorize a Job Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ) to get a better understanding of what the job entails. Another aspect was to take that information from the JAQ and reevaluate our job postings and interview templates. These changes would give applicants a better understanding of the job, and it wou
ld also give the agency a bigger quality pool of applicants. Another big aspect was improving the job training program. The goal is to ensure that each new hire has all of the necessary skills and tools to be efficient and effective in their role.

This project is pretty extensive, and I am pleased to work with someone as devoted and talented as Mary. I work every Monday and Wednesday and she works every Tuesday and Thursday. Due to this scheduling, we are constantly communicating with one another and exchanging our work. However, we both are scheduled to work on Fridays, giving us an opportunity to work together and collaborate.

Aside from all of these activities, I have also had multiple opportunities to attend "all staff" meetings within Indiana State Personnel and Talent Acquisition division meetings, as well as sitting in on interviews. The staff meetings are very intriguing because they have shown me the direction our agency is going. This gives me, an intern, the chance to correlate my work with the goals and standards of the entire agency. Sitting in on panel interviews has also been extremely beneficial for my professional career. Not only am I gaining knowledge on what to look for as an employer, but also I am getting to see firsthand what I should be portraying as an applicant. By getting to sit on both sides of an interview, I have a better idea of what employers are looking for in a candidate.

Overall, my experience as an Human Resource (HR) intern with Indiana State Personnel has been extraordinary. I am constantly gaining experience that most students my age won’t experience until after graduation. Accepting this internship was the greatest decision I made this semester. I am beyond excited to progress in the various agencies I am assigned, as well as progressing as an HR professional. Over the next few weeks I am headed to work with the HR staff embedded with IN School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Pendleton Correctional Facilities! Until next time…

Ryan Lattimore
HR Intern

Indiana State Personnel Department

Friday, February 5, 2016

SPD Welcomes Intern Mary Riordan!

Hello, Everyone! 

My name is Mary Riordan and I am the Spring 2016 intern with the Indiana State Personnel Department (SPD). I am currently a junior at Indiana University majoring in Human Resource Management with a minor in Healthcare Systems Administration. 

I recently changed my major to Human Resources, which was what encouraged me to begin looking for internships in the field. I wanted to find a position that would allow me to dive into this fairly new field for me and gain some experience that I couldn't get from the classroom. I came across the internship in the job bank for my school and decided to apply! During the interview, discussing how the internship was set up really excited me. I will have the privilege of working with the HR Directors on projects while getting to see different governmental settings (education, military, transportation,etc).

As I reflect on my first week, I am so grateful for this opportunity. I have had the chance to sit in on three interviews, learned how to operate the PeopleSoft software, began posting on various websites for the summer HR internship and following up with those who have applied, met with the Deputy Directors, and have collaborated with the other intern, Ryan, on a recruitment plan for Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy. 

In this short amount of time I have had at SPD I have already learned so much, about Human Resources. I have had the ability to relate some of my experience to my past and current coursework, but have also had the ability to further my knowledge of HR by both taking on and overseeing tasks that are new to me. At the conclusion of this internship I hope that all of the information and knowledge I gain will help me see where I want to take my Human Resources career. 

Mary Riordan

P.S. The State of Indiana is now accepting candidates for the 2016 Governor's Public Service Summer Internship Program: This includes an opportunity with the IN State Personnel Dept!