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Focus Area Information

Focus Area Information

The Ontario Internship Program places interns across the Ontario Public Service in 7 focus areas. Each focus area represents a line of work that is essential to serving the people of Ontario. You are encouraged to select the focus area that matches your skills and interests when you apply to the program. Check out the various focus areas to learn which stream will provide you with the best opportunity to reach your career goals:

Human Resources

Human Resources in the Ontario Public Service

The Ontario Public Service is modernizing its human resources (HR) to deliver services that are strategic, process-smart, integrated, customer-focused and cost-effective.

HR professionals provide key strategic and operational support to clients in planning for and delivering on business priorities. They also develop and deliver modern enterprise human resource strategies, policies, programs and services that support the OPS as an employer of choice.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

We are seeking candidates who possess certain knowledge and can demonstrate a variety of skills and abilities including:


  • Knowledge of human resource management: refers to knowledge on the strategic use of people to achieve business goals. The application of HR management principles on an operational level focuses on the day-to-day processes of human resource planning, recruitment and selection, classification, salary, performance management, training and development, and the employer/union relationship
  • Ability to interpret and apply legislation, collective agreements and policies: such as Ontario labour and employment legislation, multiple collective agreements and a wide range of HR policies, procedures and guidelines related to recruitment, health, safety and wellness, performance management, and learning and development

Skills and Abilities

  • Analytical skills: refers to the process of analyzing and synthesizing information (including data), to ask and answer questions, to identify trends and relevant themes as to support the development of evidence-based findings and recommendations
  • Communication skills: presenting information using traditional and/or digital media in a clear, concise and accurate manner through effective written, oral and visual communication
  • Collaboration: working with others to solve a problem or achieve a common goal that is mutually beneficial
  • Customer service: involves anticipating and identifying client needs to respond and provide better services with a goal of maximizing client satisfaction. Customers and clients may include the public, colleagues, partners, and peers
  • Influencing: refers to the ability to bring about change by compelling others to action
  • Problem-solving skills: refers to the ability to recognize, understand and resolve a problem by breaking it apart into smaller pieces, and evaluating options and identifying alternative solutions
  • Relationship management skills: involves building and maintaining strong working relationships with clients, stakeholders, partners and colleagues and demonstrating respect, ethics and extending trust in order to achieve organizational goals
  • Work management: involves prioritizing tasks, managing competing priorities as to effectively manage time in order to meet deadlines.

What to Expect

As a human resources intern, your work could include:

Strategic Human Resources

  • Develop ministry-related workforce reports to support business decisions
  • Analysis of ministry workforce trends, gaps and opportunities to inform strategy development
  • Develop and implement change management strategies to support achievement of ministry business objectives, including organizational assessment/diagnostics
  • Develop and deploy employee engagement programs
  • Implement/report on corporate HR plans and programs at the ministry level.

Human Resources Service Delivery

  • Provide quality service-oriented advice to clients by interpreting and applying appropriate legislation, collective agreements, policies and procedures
  • Provide advice and coaching to front-line managers on a variety of HR management issues.

Recruitment Service Delivery

  • Provide end-to-end recruitment services for all positions (excluding executive group)
  • Develop proactive outreach strategies and support strategic recruitment initiatives
  • Interpret and apply appropriate legislation, collective agreements, policies and procedures when providing advice to clients.

Enterprise Human Resources Services

  1. Employee Health, Safety and Wellness
    • Assist in providing specialist services to line mangers, OPS employees and HR business units in the areas of workforce health and safety, ergonomic education and assessment, workplace safety audits and injury support
    • Participate in the development of corporate wellness programs and implementation planning
    • Research health and safety issues and related legislation
  2. Total Compensation Services
    • Participate in the design, documentation and determination of the work performed in the OPS by developing, writing and classifying job descriptions
    • Work with job evaluation consultant to respond to and defend classification grievances with programs manager
    • Support the development, maintenance, management and controllership of the OPS job evaluation process, policies, standards and practices
  3. Enterprise Executive Services
    • Support talent management activities, assess learning needs and participate in development of learning solutions
    • Support and participate in executive recruitment activities
  4. Centre for Leadership and Learning
    • Support the regional delivery of OPS training, courses and program curriculum
  5. HR Policy and Planning
    • Develop, review and analyze workforce reports and metrics
    • Participate in the development of corporate HR policies and strategy

Looking Ahead

This is just the beginning of your career in the Ontario Public Service.

An internship is an opportunity to learn and develop your human resources skills in the public service. An internship in this area can prepare you for a career as a/an:

  • Human Resources Advisor
  • Employee Mobility Coordinator
  • Recruitment Consultant
  • Job Evaluation Consultant
  • Organizational Capacity Consultant
  • Workforce Planning Analyst
  • Workforce Health and Wellness Advisor.