OMES boosts recruiting efforts through public-private partnerships
By Christa Helfrey
As Oklahoma’s central services agency, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services ensures 30,000 state employees have crucial tools they need to serve Oklahomans every day. Our teams administer payroll, human resources, insurance and other benefits in addition to maintaining the state’s vast network of data and technology. OMES needs the best people to accomplish our mission, so our agency is leading efforts to forge public-private partnerships. Many employees serve on various boards and associations to find solutions to Oklahoma's leading challenges. The results have been incredible and helped attract top talent to the state's workforce. New leadership within OMES and advancements in technology have pushed the public sector ahead in many ways. In turn, those who come to work for the state know they are doing so for the benefit of 4 million Oklahomans.
"Our participation on boards and associations provides critical expertise to those organizations and allows our team to build vital relationships to move our initiatives forward in a collaborative and effective manner," Chief Information Security Officer Matt Singleton said.
Scale and scope
OMES serves a variety of customers across 189 agencies, boards and affiliates. We manage everything from technology and business processes to construction projects and health care. Our agency needs individuals who can innovate and collaborate within state government, and also with private companies, even those that operate at a global scale.
“Our broad scale and scope, from social services to roads and bridges, isn’t easily matched,” said Information Services Director of Human Resources Brian Jepsen. “When you consider the hefty size and capital behind a government institution compared to the relatively smaller size of various private institutions out there, it's easy to walk into a room full of organizational interests and representatives, knowing that you're representing one of the top players in the economic big leagues.”
Jepsen serves on the Oklahoma and Southern Region chapters of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources. He said encouraging our people to participate in professional boards and associations benefits both OMES and members of our workforce.
“The employee involves themselves in a global sharing of best practices and industry standards from peers in their respective profession,” Jepsen said. “The agency benefits from employees bringing fresh ideas back to drive change and innovation, as well as the benefit of our employees spreading the word about the great things happening here at OMES.”
Like Jepsen, Information Services Director of Technical Training Anish Peringol also participates in the International Public Management Association for Human Resources in addition to the Association for Talent Development, the International Society of Self-Directed Learning, and Myers-Briggs research. He said his private-sector background in designing, improving and working with personal assessment programs like Myers-Briggs has led him to join a handful of researchers around the world in pioneering that field.
“I apply these concepts and practices in our training where I can within OMES and for our agencies, either as consultation and one-on-one development for an individual’s career path or embedded as concepts through all trainings,” he said. “This approach adapts training to the individual while letting them understand who they really are, their undiscovered strengths and how their life story has played out under the influence of their natural in-born traits, including their career.”
How OMES invests in our employees
Many OMES leaders, like state Chief Operating Officer Steven Harpe, came from the private sector and are investing in our workforce to drive positive change for the state and become a more competitive employer. With a focus on professional development, diverse industry exposure and flexible work options, OMES offers employees career opportunities at a massive scale without sacrificing work-life balance.
State Chief Information Officer Jerry Moore serves on nine boards and associations. He is vice president of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers executive committee, chairman of the Oklahoma Public Safety Broadband Network governing board and participates in the Government Technology Applications Review Board, among others.
“There are only a handful of private companies bigger than some cities, let alone states,” Moore said. “When we can offer them that scale without having to travel the globe, stay home and have the quality of life Oklahoma offers, it not only makes us more competitive, most of the time we win.”
State jobs are well known for generous employee benefits regarding insurance and retirement. However, an additional benefit of working for OMES is our commitment to employees’ growth and leadership development. Through resources like Statewide Learning Services, LinkedIn Learning and our internal Organizational and Employee Development Partners, OMES provides many training opportunities that empower employees to grow with our organization and strengthen our agency’s culture.
"OMES has been great about getting me the training I need as the job requires,” Network Engineer David Roberts said. “As new technologies and services become integrated into the state network, I have no doubt adequate training will continue to be provided."
Why it matters
Working for the state means you are dedicated to the people of Oklahoma. Public service is a promise to fulfill a higher calling. We want people who show up every day, determined to make a difference.
“When I came to the state from the private sector, it was important to build public-private relationships and share industry knowledge to ensure citizens receive great services,” COO Harpe said. “Oklahoma is a $22.9 billion-dollar entity, and we operate at a level that impacts millions of lives. Our people are our success story, and we want to provide them the opportunities they need to break glass and go out and get stuff done in their communities.”
As the agency of innovation and continuous improvement, our employees face government’s largest challenges and partner with other motivated individuals working for a better tomorrow. If this sounds like you, please visit jobs.ok.gov for a list of opportunities to serve with us.
- Recent writing
Christa Helfrey coordinates and creates original content for all OMES social media platforms, with an emphasis on written and visual communication. She assists with the research, writing, editing and distribution of OMES internal and external publications for grammar, spelling, consistency and OMES branding compliance.