Human Resources Director

Oakland County, MI | Full-time

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The Position

Oakland County, located in the heart of Southeast Michigan, is searching for a new Human Resources Director. With its bustling downtowns, strong suburban neighborhoods, wide swaths of amazing lakes, peaceful rural areas, and access to tremendous Detroit regional assets, the County offers a phenomenal opportunity to join and lead an organization with strong leadership and a clear vision, focused on building organizational culture across the County. The Deputy County Executive has served as the interim Human Resources Director for the last year.

Oakland County is seeking a Director experienced in working for local governments or large organizations and who displays the utmost level of ethical behavior and integrity; effective communication and relationship-building skills; and critical and analytical thinking. As a vital member of the County’s Leadership Team, the Director is responsible for providing leadership and establishing strategic and operational direction in all aspects of human resources for the County. The Director oversees all human resources functions within the County, including labor relations, employee benefits, affirmative action, in-service training and tuition reimbursement programs, civil rights complaints, recruitment, selection, placement, staffing, salaries, classification, and employee issues.

This position is designed to align with the County’s survey results, which identified the most desired qualities in a Human Resources Director according to the new Director’s direct reports (HR Staff) and peers (County Directors and Deputy Directors). This exempt position is appointed by the County Executive, works closely with the Deputy County Executive, and will lead a 57-member staff in the Human Resources/Administration Department.

The Organization

Incorporated in 1820, Oakland County has a world-class reputation due to its renowned business environment and quality of life aspects. The County covers approximately 910 square miles immediately north of the City of Detroit, and the County seat is in Pontiac. The County is a mix of urban and rural communities, encompassing 62 cities, villages, and townships and has an estimated population of 1,257,584. There are 32 downtown areas and many scenic natural settings contributing to an excellent quality of life for residents, which is more than safe neighborhoods, good schools, and beautiful lakes and parks. It is built on the shared values of opportunity, fairness, and community.

An elected County Executive is responsible for the management of County affairs and appoints all department directors. The County Executive oversees County services, including human services in the form of public health, child care, and homeland security; community and economic development; planning; public safety; public records; public works; airports; and other services such as Michigan State University Cooperative Extension, animal control, workforce development, and veterans’ services and senior programs. All these activities are supported by administrative services, central services, and information technology.

Oakland County maintains a focus on long-term financial planning. The County operates under a three-year rolling budget, which allows for continuous planning at least three fiscal years into the future. The FY 2020/2021/2022 adopted General Fund budget is $475,619,369; $484,720; and $489,637,392, respectively. The County’s General Fund balance totaled $259.7 million as of September 30, 2019. This level of fund balance equates to 54.6% of budgeted fiscal year 2020 General Fund/General Purpose expenditures.

The County leadership takes great pride in being good stewards of financial resources. Oakland County has retained a AAA/Aaa bond rating since 1998, and this was reaffirmed by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service on March 6, 2020. This allows the County to borrow at the lowest possible interest rate, saving County taxpayers millions of dollars in future costs.

The County employees 3,600 full-time and 1,200 part-time staff as well as additional seasonal employees. The County has the following bargaining units: OC Deputy Sheriff Association, Sheriff Command Officers, Circuit Court Employees, Children’s Village Employees, Prosecutor’s Investigators, and Public Health Nurses. The following are part of the IBEW contract: Animal Control, Sheriff’s Department, FM&O/Custodial, FM&O/Maintenance, FM&O/Grounds, Parks and Recreation, and Water Resources Commission. There is also one unit of the UAW for the County Clerk’s Office.

The Human Resources Department

The County Executive’s management team consists of Deputy County Executives, Directors, and Deputy Directors in the areas of Management and Budget, Information Technology, Economic Development, Public Services, Health and Human Services, Human Resources, and Ancillary Services. The Human Resources Director oversees all HR functions within the County. There are 57 FTEs in the Department, and its FY 2021 Budget is $5.5 million, plus the fringe benefit fund. The Department also oversees labor relations with all unions. 

The Human Resources Department has the following divisions and units: Administration, Labor Relations, Benefits Administration, Employee Benefits, Wellness and Employee Recognition, Retirement, Workforce Management, Employee Records and HRIS, Recruitment, Employee Training and Development, and Compensation/Classification.

With over one-third of the County workforce eligible to retire within the next five years, the County continues to look for ways to further build and sustain the County workforce. County Departments are actively engaging in succession planning efforts to identify future leaders and retain institutional knowledge. In late 2017, the County Human Resources Department retained a consulting firm to conduct a job compensation study and update to the Salary Administration Plan for all non-union classifications. This comprehensive study to measure market competitiveness is expected to be completed in 2020.

Experience and Education

Minimum requirements include any combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management, Industrial or Organizational Psychology, Business or Public Administration, or a closely related field and seven (7) years of progressively responsible HR experience as a generalist. A minimum of five (5) years of leadership, management, and coaching experience are also required.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree and demonstrated experience in organizational development; process improvement; diversity, equity, and inclusion; effective employee engagement; rebuilding trust; leading change; building and transforming culture; labor relations; and creating high performing teams. Candidates with relevant public, private, or nonprofit sector experience with a comparable scale and complexity of workforce are also preferred.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate is a collaborative, resilient human resources professional with exceptional organizational development, change management, and communication skills. This person will have the ability to instill and rebuild trust at all levels of the organization and the community at large. The next Human Resources Director is approachable and transparent, with excellent listening skills. This individual will model ethical behavior and professional integrity at all times. The Director will enjoy hard work and creative problem solving and will uphold similar expectations for members of the HR Department in order to support the organization’s mission.

Oakland County’s ideal Human Resources Director mirrors the organization’s commitment to excellence in customer service and is passionate about helping to serve the community through support and partnership with each County department. This individual thrives on building strong working relationships and works to develop and empower staff throughout the organization. The next Human Resources Director enjoys coaching and developing employees and always challenges staff to be the best versions of themselves.

The Director has a thorough understanding of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion and has the demonstrated ability to create an environment and systems reflective of those values. This person is accustomed to public scrutiny and works to establish, maintain, and improve a positive, collaborative culture. The Director will partner closely with the newly hired Chief Diversity Officer on many initiatives.

The ideal candidate leads with confidence and a hands-on approach. The successful candidate is apolitical, process-oriented, and highly analytical. This individual skillfully balances the day-to-day operations with long-term projects, initiatives, and strategies. This person is willing to challenge the status quo and is a champion for continuous improvement. The new Director will be a positive, passionate, and team-focused change agent. The Director’s efforts will modernize HR practices and bring clarity to employee expectations and processes. Simultaneously, this person will work to build credibility and respect and effectively manage conflict.

The ideal Human Resources Director is a generalist, well-versed in all HR functions and familiar with large, complex organizations. The Director will have demonstrated how technology can improve systems and services in human resources. The next Human Resources Director will brand the County as a great place to work and is fully committed to ensuring Oakland County is an inclusive workplace of choice.

The Community

Oakland County is a part of Metropolitan Detroit and is situated in the heart of Southeast Michigan. Of the 83 Michigan counties, Oakland County is the second-most populous. The diversity of land use and the plethora of quality of life attributes make Oakland Country an attractive fit for every income, lifestyle, and taste. With a mix of 62 distinctive urban and suburban communities, the County is considered a world-class community for residents and businesses alike. In Oakland County, there are 90,000 acres of parkland; 1,400 freshwater lakes; the headwaters of five major rivers; 76 public and private golf courses; and 65 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding to be explored. There are a wide variety of shopping experiences ranging from small boutiques along quaint village main streets to large high-end multi-level malls. Institutions of higher learning and cultural entertainment venues are abundant. For those seeking a place to call home, raise a family, work, or enjoy leisure time, Oakland County is an attractive community.

The County is a leader in the Michigan economy, producing nearly 30% of jobs each year. Due to its educated workforce, the County is well-positioned to continue its transformation to the evolving knowledge-based economy. Oakland County has been investing for years in many of the industries that are prominent in the New Economy. Innovative programs such as Automation Alley, Emerging Sectors, Medical Main Street, and Tech248 continue to identify industries and businesses that are projected to have increased employment opportunities, particularly those associated with professional and business services, health services, technology services, robotics, and advanced manufacturing.

Oakland County is not only characterized as Michigan’s economic engine but is also recognized as one of the most prosperous counties in the nation. The County ranks as the sixth wealthiest county in the nation among 37 counties with populations between 900,000 to 1,600,000. Indicators of prosperity for this ranking include the percentage of residents with a degree from an institute of higher education (59% in Oakland County), a low occurrence of child poverty, high median family income levels, and half of the jobs at the professional and managerial level. The County’s collective property values remain the highest of all 83 counties in Michigan. While the County’s population represents approximately 12.6% of the State’s total population, the County’s collective property values represent 16.6% of the State’s total value.

Quick Facts

  • Population: 1,257,584
  • Median Household Income: $76,387
  • Median Home Value: $228,800
  • Median Age: 41

All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Compensation

The salary range is $130,000-$165,000, depending on qualifications. Benefits offered include the following:

  • Medical coverage
  • Prescription coverage
  • Dental coverage
  • Vision coverage
  • Life insurance
  • Reimbursement accounts (flexible spending accounts)
  • Wellness program
  • Paid time off
  • Parental leave
  • Retirement
  • Retirement health savings plan (RHS)
  • Deferred compensation 457(B) plan
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Free aid and services to people with disabilities

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Open until filled with the first review of applications on October 16, 2020.

Questions

Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at apply@thenovakconsultinggroup.com or 513-221-0500.

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