If visiting your local government office, you never really think about the daily operations inside and out.

“Most small governments in North Dakota don’t have HR Departments because they have a city auditor, or a business manager in a school assumes HR duties and they’re not really trained in HR,” HR Collaborative Coordinator Kathy Hogan said.

For two days straight, government agencies from across the state have been participating in a human resource conference, in Bismarck, providing the knowledge on up-to-date policies and procedures required in the workforce.

“It teaches all those local agencies about human resource issues, how to recruit staff, how to keep staff, and how to keep everything legal,” Hogan said.

Hiring more help is the biggest problem agencies are running into.

“They’re so many vacancies in local schools and in cities, and counties, and the expectation that we continue to do the work, public service is just that,” Hogan said.

Carrie Krause is the Wells County Recorder and has many responsibilities to carry out.

“I take all the real-estate documents and they’re recorded in my county. I also do marriage licenses and I perform marriage ceremonies,” Krause said.

She’s also the head of the entire department with only one other worker.

“I still have to know what procedures and what policies I have to know to be able to conduct my employee with the utmost respect and policies that she needs to follow,” Krause said.

Krause must also have an understanding of policies like paid leave, telecommuting, and drug use.

“You have to know the basics of HR in order to have an employee under you,” Krause said.

“The smallest jurisdiction we might have is a small park district or small city that might have one in a half FTE and the biggest is probably our public schools that might have 4,000 employees,” Hogan said.

This conference is the first time they’ve met in person since the pandemic. It has been taking place in the state since 2010.