I am currently seconded to the National Project Office as an Acting Grade VIII - Operations Manager. The job itself was advertised both by circular and on the internet.
Application for the job was in the form of detailed application form with career history, educational achievements, reasons why you think you are suitable for the job and then the completion of competencies which are essential to the position.
After shortlisting took place, i was invited for interview. The interview itself was structured in format requiring "live" examples of where I met the competencies required for the job. I was informed by letter of my success at interview.
Describe a typical day?
Let me start by saying that no two days are the same. The role of Operations Manager in the National Project Office was a complete change in direction for me personally as prior to this most of my career was spent within the hospital setting.
If office based, I usually check in with all Team Leaders and their staff to see how "everybody is" on the one hand and to see how their particular national campaigns are running. At this stage if any difficulties come to the fore we might try to figure out the difficulty there and then, or else set out a particular time with the necessary people to make sure the process runs smoothly.
After this I would usually be in communication with my immediate manager to see what new pieces of national work needs the attention of the office and work out the logistics for this as well. As the title suggests the National Project Office has a national role in that it provides for recruitment and strategic policy development for a variety of different services throughout the country. This subsequently can involve time away from base on a regular basis.
All staff try to limit their time away by holding as many meetings via teleconference when possible, as the work back at base also needs to be completed. I'm very fortunate as Operations Manager to work with a great team of people who are very diligent, efficient, and most professional in their work practices. For this reason any new projects although challenging, are met with enthusiasm and are progressed without too much difficulty.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
Main tasks would include the following,
Implementation of National Recruitment Strategies
Development of policies in relation to national campaign
Liaising with both internal staff members and external stakeholders in delivering and implementing recruitment processes.
Ensuring that work practices and recruitment campaigns run by the national project office are within legislative boundaries as set out in the Public Services Management Act and the Commission for Public Service Appointments.
Active participation in the recruitment, retention and development of staff.
Development of business plans when required.
Preparation of reports / statistics / audits.
To achieve efficiency in the recruitment process, reduce the Cost Per Hire, Time to Hire and Ensure Quality is achieved in the recruitment process employed by the National Project Office.
Give advice and guidance to team members as appropriate.
Promote good work practices and ensure high standards.
Ensure good communication exists between the National Office and the Area Offices
What are the main challenges?
Main Challenges include:
Getting things done on time
Change Management People Management
Keeping the recruitment process efficient.
Remaining within budget, lowering costs.
Ensuring the I.T. system is suitable to the needs of the National Project Office.
Working across multiple teams when required.
Identifying key performance indicators and adhering to them.
The HSE is a good place to work. As an organisation, it tends to "get hammered" by the press but these are usually very isolated incidents. It rarely gets credit for the majority of good things its' staff achieves.
Work within the HSE is usually very challenging and tends to keep you on your toes. You won't get bored. Due to its size, the chances of promotion are quite high if that's what you want.
However it never forces people in this direction. It supports staff through out their employment from a variety of different angles, i.e. in house training, support for further education, regular updates, staff development, appraisal if required, Occupational Health etc.
What's not so cool?
Some days can go past the 5.15pm finish time. The demands for answers to questions which usually take about 2 hours to process but you get 15mins to get the result!
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
I am interested in what I do. I am approachable as a manager and people find me to be very supportive. I like change and challenges. My work ethic is very strong in that I work to the best of my ability at all times. I have a sense of humour. I am a people's person and tend to get on well with most. Good communication / presentation skills