Get to know some of our employees who are making a difference for Delaware
Position: Human Resources Specialist IV
Agency: Department of Services for Children, Youth & Their Families
Do you specialize in any particular field of human resources?
Yes, I am responsible for administering Labor Relations for the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families. So, my typical day varies from day to day. There are some days when I can actually sit at my desk and get correspondence out and type up hearing minutes and notes. Then there are days when I'm out investigating for separate complaints.
There are days when I'm just meeting one on one with people who don't necessarily want to file a grievance but they do have a concern that needs to be addressed. So, I have time for that and I also help facilitate and mediate between supervisors and managers and sometimes supervisors and employees and sometimes supervisor to supervisor just trying to find a win-win or try and resolve issues before they blow up to be bigger issues.
My Marine Corp background is good because I understand operations. I understand a sense of urgency. I understand organization. I understand getting things done with little resources. I understand that completely. I also understand rank structure.
What kind of personal skills do you think you need to be successful in this position?
For labor relations you definitely need to be an active listener. Be a person who is not quick to judge. Basically hearing both sides of the story and then being able to call it out whether it's for the union or for management. Being able to see the truth in all the mess. It takes patience. It takes a cool head. It takes working out of the box. You can't be so strictly black and white to where you can't see shades of grey.
If you're just entering HR I suggest when you first get into it, find out what in general do you like about HR. Then once you find what you like make that your passion and then go after things that will strike at it.
Why did you choose the State of Delaware as your employer?
When the opportunity came up to work for the State - though it's not going to be the same compensation as you would in the private industry, I thought of work life balance. I'm not in the car for 4 hours. I'm only in it for 40 minutes and I have more time to spend with my family. And, then the benefits package that the State offers is phenomenal and then I also saw that as an opportunity to be able to provide for my family better than I would in the private industry.