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Jon Rogers, Director, Strategic Workforce Planning, Indiana Office of Technology at the State of Indiana

3 Interesting Learnings from the State of Indiana

indiana the public sector show Jan 22, 2023

Read time: 3 minutes.

Let’s jump into this week’s 3 Interesting Learnings from my conversation with Jon Rogers, Director, Strategic Workforce Planning at the State of Indiana. 

 

1. Talent Management Takes Good Planning

Just peek at Jon’s LinkedIn profile to see what motivates him: “Focused on finding meaningful career opportunities for talented citizens: I am a career public servant with experience at the local, state, and Federal levels, including both the Intelligence Community and Congress. I am strongly focused on all matters of strategic workforce development, including planning, recruiting, hiring, retention, and professional growth.”

Anyone can recruit immediate talent to fill the spots, but recruiting talent that will stay takes thoughtful planning. Jon looks to his own background from his early career on how the CIA modeled sought out people from a broader range of experience and knowledge backgrounds:

"When I was hiring at the CIA, we weren't hiring people from 'spy organizations' to 'Come be spies.' We were hiring people from other walks of life." [22:13]

Part of that thoughtful planning process for Indiana has included partnering up with agencies such as Brooksource. Jon credits the SEAL program's success with their ability to partner with outside agencies, and also with local universities and community colleges.

Related: Brooksource Elevate Program

Shoutout to Michael Petrarca for introducing me to Jon!

2. From Uber-Driver to IOT: Make Mid-Career Change Possible SEAL Style

SEAL participants can come from all walks of life, including those seeking a mid-career skill shift. Once hired, SEALs engage in a hybrid schedule that provides candidates with industry-valued certifications and actual work-based experience within an IOT team. First conceived as a 24-month program, the current program now runs about 12 months and includes a range of training from technical to communication skills. Jon shared a bit about how the Pandemic helped shaped the program:

"And then the pandemic happened. So quite literally for the State of Indiana's first executive-ordered day of bringing folks into our program, my pilot with two SEALs was, 'Hey guys, we're gonna get you computers, get you set up, and make sure everything works. And then I'm gonna have to tell you to get out. I don't know exactly how everything's going to go just yet, but we will figure it out. And I am here with you and we're gonna make sure this experience works.' And (that) has been the secret behind what we've been doing ever since." [14:49]

Related: Indiana IOT SEAL Program

3. Remove HR Roadblocks to Catch the Best Talent

Want to know how Jon captures the best talent? By starting with 100%.

 

Jon and his team discovered that the HR job requirement checklist was actually deterring some of the best people from applying in the first place. And research backs up this hunch: according to research from the Markle Foundation, having certain job requirements, such as a 4-year degree, can correlate with the best applicants deciding not to apply in the first place. Upwards of two-thirds of American workers do not possess a 4-year degree, and Jon worries that people who might be a great fit are removing themselves from the pool before the process even begins:

"The public sector can't afford right out of the gate 70% of people skipping on our job descriptions and skipping on our application process. That's basic math. I don't want to start with 30% of potentially great hires. I want to start with 100 percent. And if it's something as simple as removing the bullet that says you have to have degree X in this… that's the easiest thing in the world." [43:09]

Related: A 4-Year Degree Isn’t Quite the Job Requirement it Used to Be

Be sure to check out the full episode here:

on a personal note:

We played one of our cross-town rivals Friday night - and lost. We went down almost 30 points after a quick, high-energy start. However, in the third quarter, we got crushed with 17 unanswered points. Timeout after timeout, we couldn't rally. Sloppy turnovers, missed offensive rebounds and missed free throws. We rallied in the 4th quarter, but it was too late. 

Scrolling through my iPhone Friday night after the game, I noticed the pictures of my family and a few friends we had brought. We lost, but our family, friends, and high schoolers had a lot of fun. With four games in 6 days, we don't have the option to dwell on our past performance. It's time to move on!

Inspired Leadership Reminder: Great teams, families, and organizations build community intentionally. It's hard work and requires grace and consistently showing up, but what mission worthwhile doesn't?

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Every Saturday morning, you'll get the weekly podcast recap and 3 Interesting Learnings from an episode