Human Resources Director

Agency City of San José



City of San Jose

HR Director


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 Area 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 is responsible for a 2017-2018 Adopted Budget of $103.9 million with a staff of 50. The Director is responsible for four key service areas: employment, benefits, health and safety (e.g. Workers’ Compensation), and administration/strategic support.


Most City of San José employees are represented by one of eleven bargaining units. Labor and employee relations (including personnel related policies and performance management) are managed by the City Manager’s Office of Employee Relations. HR collaborates with Employee Relations and a Deputy City Manager supports the alignment between the HR 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, workers’ compensation, safety, employee health services, Human Resources Information System (HRIS), and administrative support. The Director reports to the City Manager and will directly supervise the Department’s Division Managers.


Opportunities and Challenges

Areas of focus will include Recruitment, Benefits, Employee Services, Health and Safety, and Strategic Support. The HR Director will have a significant opportunity to advance the City’s strategies for recruiting, hiring and retaining our talent to address approximately 850 vacancies. The City will be well served by a Director who can bring innovative approaches to improving our benefits portfolio and worker’s compensation program in service of our employees. This includes leading the effort to address the need for more sustainable medical plan options, including implementing a potential change to the City’s medical cost sharing strategy, and accessing the current multi-year pilot program that is in place to evaluate the optimal service delivery model for providing workers’ compensation benefits to employees. The HR Director will be tasked with championing the improvement of departmental systems, workflow and technology, including proposing solutions that will enhance decision making and overall synergy within the department and are informed by data and balance that with an understanding of civil service rules and union negotiations


The City of San José is looking for an HR leader who is dynamic and creative in setting a strategic vision for the department and is an experienced hands-on manager.  The HR Director must be able to forge close relationships cross-functionally with fellow department heads, be invested in the betterment of the City and have a strong sense of integrity.


For the right person, this is great opportunity for high reward, accomplishment and improvement within the HR Department and an opportunity positively impact employees Citywide.


Key Responsibilities

  • 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 that include a self-insured health insurance plan; and revamping the Workers’ Compensation program that was recently audited.
  • 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.
  • Leading and managing the day-to-day operation of the Human Resources Department.
  • Contributing innovative and creative ideas to further advance workforce development, strengthen recruitment, and re-build employee training programs.
  • Embracing the latest technological tools and progressive programs for the various divisions within the Department.
  • 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 master’s degree in public administration, business administration, or human resources related field.
  • 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 – $239,350 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.  This position will be open until filled.


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.


Koff & Associates