By JAMES CUMMINGS • Special to www.ALLOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – With over 6,000 students in attendance, SUNY Oneonta needs staff who value more than just the job at hand, said Dia Carleton, chief human resources officer.
“We’re not looking at just their job skills,” she said. “We look to see if they may have something to contribute to our campus community.”
According to Carleton, there are currently 16 position openings at the university, including five assistant
professor positions in the Social Sciences Department. In all, the school has 1,157 employees.
Additionally, Sodexo, which provides food services to the campus, employs 129 full-time and seven part-time employees.
“We expect to hire about 100 employees over the course of the year,” she said.
And just because someone starts off in one position, doesn’t mean that they stay there.
“We encourage people to build a career here,” said Carlton. “You start one place and you have
loads of opportunities to transfer departments and try new things.”
As a recent hire herself, Carlton admits that it’s also a very welcoming work environment.
“There’s a wonderful family environment here. From the moment I started on campus until now, it’s been a very friendly place to work. It’s a great place to raise a family too.”
For Joshua Nelson, who just accepted a position as assessment specialist in Institutional Research, that atmosphere played a big factor in his decision to apply.
“A friend suggested I apply here. It was an honest recommendation. It’s a great place to start a family,” he said.
Being a state employee has its perks too.
“The benefits for working for the state are a good incentive to stay. The retirement benefits and health insurance are great,” said Tracy Hartwell, personnel assistant in Employment Opportunities.
If you’re a recent graduate, there are advantages to that as well.
“Some of our positions are attractive for recent graduates, such as student accounts, admissions, and the career development office. It gets people in the door. They have the ability to move up the career ladder,” said Carlton.
Still, there remain positions that are challenging to find suitable candidates for.
“For IT, there are more jobs than there are qualified individuals. So when we have jobs, we’re competing with other employers for these qualified candidates to fill our positions,” said Carleton.
Maintenance is another area always in need of staff.
“We also struggle to attract trade employees,” she said. “There are 3,500 students in housing on campus.
All of their physical needs have to be met. All of the facilities need to be maintained and cleaned.”
“We’re essentially a city within a city,” said Hartwell.
Additionally, Carleton notes, “On the faculty side there are some departments difficult to fill” – library,
human ecology, and economics and business departments. Carleton works directly with other department members to facilitate the hiring of new staff.