The Division of Parasitic Diseases in the Centre for Disease Control (CDC),

SECTION 1:

INTRODUCTION

This section will entail information on the company and the department that I was attached, the attachment period and the duration, and attachment dates.

1.1 Company Attached

The Division of Parasitic Diseases in the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), USA in collaboration with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) is responsible for conducting research on the major public health problems of the country. This collaboration has evolved into the KEMRI/CDC Field Research Station, which has become a major installation in Nyanza Province with substantial infrastructure and human resource capacity.

The KEMRI/CDC Field Research Station is located near Kisumu city on the KEMRI Centre for Global Health Research (CGHR) campus. The located is in an area of Western Kenya where P.falciparum malaria and HIV are major health problems.

The mission of the KEMRI/CDC Field Research Station is to promote public health in Kenya and East Africa through collaborative research, training, control and prevention activities.

1.2 Department Attached

I worked as an attaché at the Human Resource department that is located at Kisian campus, at the Administration office.

The HR department is guided in the pursuit of quality service delivery by the vision, mission and core values. Its vision is to be a model of excellence in providing high quality Human Resource services to the administration and employees of KEMRI/CDC through respect, integrity and professionalism.

It has a mission to offer high quality support services to projects and staff through networking and sharing on best Human Resources practices from our clients and professional affiliates.

Among its core values, it upholds integrity where interactions are engendered among themselves with others honestly, and relationships built based on trust. The activities are Customer focused- The HR will anticipate, understand and respond in a timely and effective manner to the needs of their customers. The department highly believes in feedback and seeks to understand the perspectives of others by listening with an open mind on every employment aspect touching on staff. It exercises Team spirit where it capitalizes on strengths of each member of the HR team.

1.3 Duration of Attachment dates

I was attached at KEMRI/CDC for a period of three months that commenced from 1st August 2011 to 31st October, 2011.

SECTION 2:

ATTACHMENT EXPERIENCES

2.1 General Activities Undertaken

The Human Resource Department has certain duties and responsibilities as stated as below:

Administer compensation, benefits and performance management systems, and safety and recreation programs.

Identify staff vacancies and recruit, interview and select applicants.

Allocate human resources, ensuring appropriate matches between personnel.

Provide current and prospective employees with information about policies, job duties, working conditions, wages, and opportunities for promotion and employee benefits.

Perform difficult staffing duties, including dealing with understaffing, refereeing disputes, firing employees, and administering disciplinary procedures.

Advise managers on organizational policy matters such as equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment, and recommend needed changes.

Analyze and modify compensation and benefits policies to establish competitive programs and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Plan and conduct new employee orientation to foster positive attitude toward organizational objectives.

Serve as a link between management and employees by handling questions, interpreting and administering contracts and helping resolve work-related problems.

Plan, direct, supervise, and coordinate work activities of subordinates and staff relating to employment, compensation, labor relations, and employee relations.

2.2 Specific Activities Undertaken

While in the Human Resource department, I undertook the following specific tasks and responsibilities:

Arranging pay slips and allocating them to the various department heads.

Processing casual’s payment forms by verifying the accuracy.

Assist in carrying out initial profiling of candidates before handing them over to the relevant section heads for short listing.

Editing and correcting appointment letters for employees on probation.

Attending interviews and writing minutes.

Placing calls to short-listed candidates for interviews

Conducting the Induction process of the new staff.

Logging in interview dates as communicated and ensure that the concerned panel members are informed in advance.

Developing and maintaining a comprehensive C.V database of job applicants from which HR can draw for hiring.

Attending interviews and writing minutes of the meetings with job applicants.

Carrying out any other duties assigned by the supervisor.

2.3 An Analysis of learnt knowledge and applied skills

I have acquired knowledge and skills on the workings of the ERP (Enterprise Resource Process) software, among which include; entering leave application forms into the data base, profiling of candidates qualifications and keying in new staff details into the database.

2.4 A Profile of skills and competences Gained/Acquired

I have been able to gain skills on the following areas;

Recruitment process

This pertains to qualification analysis with the following basic tenets:

The short listing process, which entails the job applicants versus the job description.

The procedures for setting interview dates for middle level as well as senior positions.

The procedure for hiring job applicants; that is, the interview, the grading of interview performance and the drafting of appointment letters for successful applicants.

The final step which involves entering the new employee’s details to the ERP system/database

Records management

It involves creation of the new employee’s file, filing and archiving into both system bases i.e. filing in the details into the electronic database and on paper. These documents have education, employment and application details.

As a policy, each new staff should produce the following documents and hand them over to the Human Resource Office before appointment:

Signed copy of the appointment letter.

Accurately filled personal particulars form (available at the human resource office).

Accurately filled bank account information form (available at the Human Resource office).

Copy of national identity card.

NHIF card or filled forms if not yet a member.

Copy of the KRA pin card or apply for one if one has never been registered.

Employee’s 2 coloured passport size photographs for self and dependants.

Accurately filled Medical Cover forms.

Copies of additional certificates after employment to help in updating the employees personal file.

Payroll management

This involves sorting out pay slips and distributing them to the various department heads and imputing new employee details into the payroll database.

2.5 Observations and Critique

I noted that KEMRI/CDC insists on the strict observance of Labour laws and the organization gives employees, including interns and students on attachment, an opportunity to gain experience and does not limit their intentions to explore and broaden their career paths.

The Human Resource department ensures that there is confidentiality of the employees’ documents and that this policy is observed to the latter.

The organization exercises responsibility and stewardship through maintaining an equal opportunity employment environment that is open to all qualified individuals regardless of race, sex, ethnic origin or disability. This is perhaps informed by the fact that the Center for Disease Control is a Multinational Organization, hence the need to uphold a cohesive cultural diversity.

2.6 Strategy of utilization of contacts

During my attachment period, I managed to make valuable friendships occasioned by my apparent good work and keenness in following instructions. I was able to get contacts that I will use as referees in my Curriculum Vitae. Among them are the Human Resource branch chief and the Administrative Officer.

SECTION 3:

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

SUMMARY

The location of KEMRI/CDC as a Research Institution is convenient for its managerial activities which include communication with and monitoring of its satellite data collection centers.

The mission of the KEMRI/CDC Field Research Station is to promote public health in Kenya and East Africa through collaborative research, training, control and prevention activities which in return help the residents in this region to protect themselves from the various diseases and also get educated on the dangers of diseases like P.falcrum, malaria HIV and AIDS etc. This has been enabled by personnel with clear duties and responsibilities that cut across all departments.

The Human Resource Department is vertically and horizontally structured in a way that promotes Intra-departmental as well as inter-departmental communication.

CONCLUSION

I have acquired immense knowledge and on-the-job skills during my attachment period. The human resource department is a unique, dynamic working environment that fosters creativity, growth and teamwork towards achieving organizational goals. Of particular note are the practical skills I acquired at the departmental office. These included personnel recruitment procedures, job applicant profiling, conducting interviews and maintaining the information databases. I also learnt firsthand about proper communication channels in an organization.

RECOMMENDATIONS

To avoid the recurrence of cases of CV mix ups and positions being assigned wrong adverts, the HR department should use a unique identity system to sort the positions electronically before printing or purchase a bulk printer for the CVs for the E-mail applications separately.

There have been cases of misplacement of documents transferred to KEMRI for processing. These include CVs for grading and Approval for interviews.

The HR can generate a check list of the documents sent to KEMRI with a control copy remaining in the HR office for monitoring and follow up.

To improve on the pool of data for research, KEMRI/CDC should decentralize its operations or increase satellite centers to cover areas outside of Nyanza Province.

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