City of San José

Filing Deadline: August 4, 2017

HR Director Brochure

The City

Known as the “Capital of the Silicon Valley,” San José is the world’s leading center of innovation. With more than one million residents, San José is the third largest city in California, and the 10th largest city in the nation. Encompassing 178 square miles at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay, San José is Northern California’s largest city and one of the most diverse large cities in the United States.

San José’s quality of life is unsurpassed. Surrounded by the Diablo and Santa Cruz mountain ranges, the City enjoys an average of 300 days of sunshine a year.  Residents have easy access to the beaches along the California coast including Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel, Yosemite and Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada, local and Napa Valley wine country, and the rich cultural and recreational life of the entire Bay region.

San José has received accolades for its vibrant quality of life from publications including Business Week and Money. The downtown area is home to high-rise residential projects, renovated theaters, and diverse cultural attractions such as opera, symphony, live theater, nightclubs, and restaurants. Inquiring minds are served at the Tech Museum of Innovation, the San José Museum of Art, and many local galleries and museums.  The San José area today is powered by one of the most highly educated and productive populations in America. More than 40 percent of the workforce has a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 25 percent nationally. San José residents include speakers of more than 50 different languages, and 40 percent are foreign born, contributing to the economic and cultural vitality of the region.

Nineteen public school districts and over 300 private and parochial schools provide residents with a range of educational choices. Innovative programs in local school districts include a nationally acclaimed performing arts magnet.  Universities in and near the city include San José State University, Santa Clara University, Stanford University, and three University of California campuses.

San José is proud of its quality of life and of the rich cultural diversity evident in its population, its work-force, and its many neighborhoods, and the essential role the City plays in connecting residents and businesses to the nation and the world.

The Department

The Human Resources Department delivers innovative and timely human resources services and leadership to enable the City, its departments, and employees to provide world class municipal services to our diverse residents and visitors.  The Department’s 2017-2018 Proposed Budget is $11.1 million with a staff of 50. The Director is responsible for four key service areas: employment, benefits, health and safety and administration/strategic support.

One of eleven bargaining units represent most City of San José employees. Labor and employee relations (including personnel related policies and performance management) are handled by the City Manager’s Office of Employee Relations. A Senior Deputy City Manager ensures alignment between the human resource and labor/ employee relations functions.

The Position
The Director’s main areas of responsibility include management of the following functions: recruitment and classification, employee benefits, employee health services, safety (including worker’s compensation) and administrative/strategic support. The Director reports to the City Manager and works closely with a Senior Deputy City Manager. An Assistant Director will provide supervision and guidance to Division Managers, allowing the Director more capacity for strategic initiatives. 

Opportunities and Challenges

The City of San José is looking for someone with a strong HR background who will be a creative and innovative change agent.  The HR Director must be creative in their approach and can forge close relationships with fellow department heads. This person will need to be invested in the betterment of the City and be an outstanding leader with the highest ethical and professional standards.

The HR Director will be faced with a high number of vacant positions and challenged with recruiting, hiring and retaining high quality employees from the start.  The Director must be open to improving departmental systems, workflow and technology but proceed with an understanding of the limitations of civil service rules and union negotiations.  By developing organized data, the Director will put forward solutions that will enhance decision making and overall synergy within the department.   He/she will need to work closely with the Budget Director to keep spending on track.

For the right person, this is great opportunity for high reward and accomplishment, and improvement within the HR Department.

Key Responsibilities

  • Leading and managing the Human Resources Department.
  • Contributing innovative and creative ideas to further refine workforce development, recruitment, and employee training programs.
  • Serving as a strategic partner to help departments achieve their service goals through employee recruitment, retention, and benefits.
  • Embracing the latest technological tools and progressive programs for the various divisions within the Department.
  • Providing leadership in developing human resources solutions and implementing cost-effective and efficient strategies in the areas of recruitment, retention, and succession planning, benefits, and workers’ compensation.
  • Serving as a change agent and contributing innovative and creative ideas for recruiting new talent to the City (the City currently has approximately 850 vacancies city-wide); assisting in the management of multi-million-dollar benefit programs, including a self-insured health insurance plan; and revamping the recently audited Workers’ Compensation program.
  • Developing and maintaining effective professional relationships and partnerships throughout the City. Providing proactive, clear, and consistent communications by providing timely and accurate information.

Minimum Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree in public administration, business administration, or human resources related field (Master’s degree preferred).
  • Ten (10) years of increasingly responsible human resource experience, including five (5) years as a Director of HR in a smaller organization or manager of a major human resource function in an equivalent or larger organization.
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license authorizing operation of a motor vehicle in California may be required.
  • Candidates should have knowledge of the occupations found in municipal service, including requirements, employment conditions, practices and trends. Although public sector experience is not required, a successful candidate must have the ability to work effectively in a unionized civil service environment.

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range is $153, 137.54 – $239, 350.37 annually, depending on qualifications.   The City offers an excellent benefits package, which is located at on the job announcement page for this position.

The Ideal Candidate

The Human Resource Department is critical to our City’s ability to provide municipal services to our diverse community by delivering high quality, customer focused, and timely services to the City, its departments, and employees. The ideal candidate for the Director of Human Resources position will be innovative, strategic, and technologically focused. We are seeking a forward-thinking leader who will guide the Human Resource Department to be customer-service oriented, innovative in a resource constrained environment, strategic in positioning the department for the future, capable of managing change, creative at problem solving, and flexible in approach.

  • The ideal candidate must be technically competent in all areas of human resources, be knowledgeable with Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) and able to help streamline processes and procedures.
  • A strong candidate will have outstanding leadership skills and enjoy collaborating with other City departments.
  • He/She will be outgoing, passionate, and able to inspire quality work, accountability, and change within his/her environment.
  • The selected candidate will be an excellent manager with the highest ethical and professional standards.
  • He/She will be approachable, collaborative, will instill trust, and can develop and maintain effective professional relationships.
  • A qualified candidate will have outstanding verbal and written communication and presentation skills.
  • He/She will also be a hands on manager and someone who thrives working in a lean environment. He/she will be flexible, adaptable, responsive to feedback though able to take a stand, and able to function effectively in an open and transparent public sector environment.
  • He/She will bring new ideas to improve the effective and efficient delivery of HR services in an environment of limited resources.
  • The Director of Human Resources will exhibit a high level of accountability to the City Manager, City Council, the community, and our employees for results, management, and communication. The Director also will be an active contributing member of the City’s executive management team.

Important Application Information

To apply for this outstanding opportunity, please visit .  Please have your cover letter and resume ready to upload.  Deadline to apply is August 4, 2017.

Successful completion of a thorough background investigation prior to employment is required.

The City of San José is an equal opportunity employer encouraging workforce diversity. 

The information contained herein does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract, and these provisions are subject to change.


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