Thursday, May 25, 2017

SPD Welcomes Intern Taylor Pharr!

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. 


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. 

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.


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.

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!

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!

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