Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Porter County Commissioners proceed with human resources audit

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

According to Commissioner President John Evans, R-North, Porter County is the one county of its size in Indiana without a human resources professional, but that could change.

The conversation of whether the County should bite down and hire a human resources manager has resurfaced over the years among the Commissioners and the County Council, often dying out when cost figures are brought up, but all three County Commissioners took action Tuesday by directing that an audit be done to figure what would be the correct way to implement an HR strategy.

“It’s something that we truly need and this is the way to get it started,” said Evans.

Evans said that without an HR person, all the related duties such as the hiring, orientation and insurance setup all falls on the shoulders of the Commissioners’ office, specifically the County Attorney, which he said is “difficult” given that the County employs more than 600 people.

The County has hired six new people over the last two months, it has been a challenge for County Attorney Betty Knight to balance her work load, Evans said. There have also been arguments internally within the county departments among employees who differ on issues such as whether or not time cards should be utilized, he added.

With a 3-0 vote, the Commissioners hired Desila Rosetti with Organizational Development Solutions, based in Westville, at $24,450 to complete the audit and report back to the board. The audit will evaluate how the County is currently handling human resource issues and suggest what could be improved upon.

The audit is scheduled to begin in June or July.

“Maybe then we will get to hear what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong,” Evans said.

If the plan goes through and the County Council gives its approval, Evans said that the HR professional or firm would work part-time, one or two days a week, to handle the work.

Commissioner Laura Shurr Blaney, D-South, said she sees having an HR person as “something that is needed to protect (the Commissioners) and the employees” while Commissioner Nancy Adams, R-Center, agreed “it’s a great idea.”

County employees in all departments are subject to what is in the employee handbook which is currently being revised, Evans said. Elected County officials, on the other hand, are not bound by the regulations regarding work policies.

Rosetti last year worked with the County Jobs Cabinet interviewing businesses to determine what their needs were to expand job opportunities. Her organization specializes in business training and development.

 

Posted 5/22/2013