Hire Purpose: HR Analyst Helps Keep Town Fully Functioning
Growth is creating career opportunities with the town
She might not be repairing a water main, planning a skate park, checking drainpipes for cracks, testing playground equipment or writing about coworker duties, but Eli Valsing has had her hand in nearly every division at the Town of Hillsborough.
She is the town’s human resources analyst and is often tasked with getting the ball rolling for announcing job openings, recruiting potential hires and sifting through résumés. The town, like many job sectors, has been affected by a tight and competitive labor market. In response, Valsing has expanded the town’s strategies for filling vacancies or adding to staff.
In recent years, career changes and retirements have contributed to turnover, but those are not the only reasons the town has been hiring.
“We are growing and adding positions as well,” said Valsing, who has been with the Town of Hillsborough since 2019 and in her current position for a year after working as a management analyst for three years with the Hillsborough Police Department.
“I became interested in working in HR because it gave me the opportunity to work with all of the town employees, rather than in one department,” she said. “My favorite thing about working for the town is that because Hillsborough is small, employees often have the chance to take on different sorts of responsibilities, rather than being more specialized. In HR, that means I can work on both recruiting and training, along with benefits and safety and other things as they come up.”
Recruiting is a big part of Valsing’s role with the town. Along with openings created by more typical reasons for vacancies, the town’s Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2024 includes potentially adding four positions, including a public works equipment operator, a planner and two police officers.
Her process for filling vacancies most often begins with advertising the position online, using websites like Governmentjobs.com, Indeed.com and industry-specific and professional association sites.
In addition to advertising job openings with the North Carolina League of Municipalities, Triangle J Council of Government, Diversity.com and community college sites, Valsing recently added the social media platform LinkedIn to her toolbox of staff search methods. She said the platform has proved useful in reaching a network of professionals and boosting applications for job openings.
Once the application period closes for a position, Valsing will review applications, filtering through applicant qualifications and keeping in mind what preferred skills town managers have communicated to her. The top applicants are then referred to hiring managers. Some departments and divisions continually accept applications, like police, public works and utilities.
Another way Valsing gets out the word about town career opportunities is to set up an information table at job fairs. Hiring from a job fair does not often happen and isn’t necessarily the goal for participating in them, she said.
“There's a benefit to job fairs that is outside of actually hiring someone,” Valsing said. “I did one attended by a lot of high school students that helped increase awareness that there is local government work in the world and there are a lot of different kinds of jobs. It's a career path that is worth considering. I think that's really important, and I want to do more of that.”
Valsing highlighted the town’s benefits package as the most appealing perk for potential employees.
“That employees are covered at 100% for health, vision and dental insurance is very attractive,” she said. “The retirement options are also key.”
Other benefits that draw attention from job seekers include education reimbursement, short-term disability and paid life insurance. Town employees have opportunities for cross-training and seeking employment in other departments, a perk that Valsing has taken advantage of. While some companies and organizations have moved to offering remote work as a benefit, some positions with the town are unable to work off site, Valsing said. These include jobs with the police and utilities departments.
“The town does have a flexible work policy and if a candidate is the right candidate, we want to be able to accommodate as best we can,” she added.
When she’s not sorting applications, setting up employee orientation or sending reminders about health care open enrollment, Valsing spends her free time walking or running in the woods, reading and spending time with her two adult daughters. She said she is especially excited about an upcoming trip to Kenya with one of her daughters.
See our job opportunities
The town offers a wide variety of professional opportunities in five departments: Administrative Services, Community Services, Financial Services, Police and Utilities. For additional information, see the Employment Information page on this website. For current opportunities, see the Job Opportunities page.