A great community starts with great employees

By Debra A. Reamer, Director of Human Resources

It is an exciting and busy time of year as the City of Tiffin prepares for the summer months, and with it, many new seasonal hires for our Parks and Recreation department, and maintenance individuals for the grounds. But despite this being a busy time, there is always work going on in the Human Resources Department at City Hall.

This year, I expect to hire 28 seasonal employees, of those six are new hires, also looking to hire for the fire and police departments. It’s great to see new people interested in joining the City, but I’m always excited to welcome back those employees who have been with us in the past.

Currently, there are 127 full-time and 10 part-time employees at the City of Tiffin. Each time we bring a new employee to the city, there’s a considerable amount of time in training and costs associated with that hire. That’s why it’s critical to retain our workforce as a way to save taxpayers’ dollars.

Training for a new police officer or dispatcher can take up to 16 weeks, and orientation for an employee at the Fire Rescue Division can be two weeks before they are assigned to a crew. Additionally, it costs about $117 per new employee for a physical, background check, and drug and alcohol screening. For uniform, equipment and physicals for new safety service employees, the costs can be up to $4,000 for a police officer and almost $6,000 for a firefighter.

I’m very fortunate to say that we have a high retention rate at the City of Tiffin, with many of our employees staying long term. I attribute this to the City being a great work environment and the excellent managers we have leading our various departments.

The HR Director is responsible for the hiring process and making sure that requirements are met in order to make an official offer and follow-thru with the background checks, physicals, benefits and more.

When I’m not busy with a new hire, I spend a lot of time talking with our employees and providing support for BWC claims, FMLA’s, new enrollment information, and much more. It’s a benefit to have a dedicated human resources professional to connect with our employees, to listen to their concerns or keep them updated on any changes to their wages, benefits or policies. My department plays a part in the overall operational success, to coach, mentor, train, perform administrative duties and identify tools that will positively contribute to the City of Tiffin and its employees.

Some may say why choose HR? “I say why not”, it’s a position that could be your first point of contact with an individual looking to become employed by the City of Tiffin. You must be patient, a good listener, empathetic to people’s needs and make yourself available. Just one positive interaction can make all the difference to someone.

I believe it’s the responsibility for the human resource department to foster the culture and develop the overall mission by making it a positive one and being approachable when someone is in need. There is nothing that I love more than being the support system for the 127 people who provide the services that make this community a great place to live, work and play.