Where Do You Work?

Segment Objective:  To gain a basic understanding of organizational terms used in DHHS, the organizational structure of DHHS-HR, and an introduction to human resource services.

“Where do you work?” is usually answered by stating the specific office, division, facility or program where the day is spent with co-workers.  As a new human resources employee, one answer to where we work is DHHS-HR although we all work for the State of North Carolina.

Normally we do not give much thought to how we use terms such as “division” or “office” or to their subdivisions-- “section”, “branch”, etc.--and what they mean.  However, in human resources work, these terms serve to identify DHHS’s many employees and the jobs they occupy.  Terms such as “organizational unit”, “job” and “position” also have specific meanings in the BEACON system.

DHHS offices, divisions and facilities, all of which are “organizational units”, consist of about 20,000 positions.  At any one time, DHHS employs about 18,000 employees, or 20% of the state’s workforce of 89,000.  These offices, divisions, and facilities are commonly referred to by human resources as “programs.” 

Organizationally, facilities report to division heads.  The head of facilities and divisions are referred to as “directors”, such as a “Facility Director.” 

Divisions, and most offices, report to executive management, which include the Secretary, Deputy Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries.  It goes without saying that the Division of Human Resources is a division within DHHS that reports to the Assistant Secretary for Finance and Business Operations.

A group of employees that report to a division head, or division director, is a “section.”  It is common for division directors to call their direct reports “assistant directors”, but the reporting relationship is technically a section.  The occupant of a section position reporting to a division director is a “section chief.”

A group of employees reporting to a section is a “branch” with the leader being a “branch head.”  The next organizational layers are “units” which are headed by “unit supervisors.”

Since DHHS is such a large agency, “working titles” are often used by management to identify important leaders, programs, teams or “positions.” Examples include “Deputy Director of Public Health”, “Assistant Director of Employee Relations,” or “Chief of Purchasing.”  Below is a sample of the DHHS-HR organizational structure that demonstrates how working titles are used in DHHS. 

In The News

Welcome to the NC DHHS Division of Human Resources new HR EDGE program. This program will include a combination of online and classroom coursework in a variety of human resources topic areas.

Click here to take the Onboarding Quiz.


The NC DHHS HR EDGE Program is open to NC DHHS employees only.

If you have questions or would like to register for the program, email Annis Barbee in the Division of Human Resources.

Please note that you will not be able to access the quizzes or module activities without a login and password. The login and password are obtained through the registration process.