Director of Compensation, Benefits, and Wellbeing

Fort Collins, Colorado | Full-time


The Position

The Compensation, Benefits, and Wellbeing Leader will report to the Chief Human Resources Officer and is accountable for ensuring competitive and relevant compensation, benefits, and wellbeing programs to achieve desired organizational results, including being a good steward of the City’s assets. The City seeks an experienced and flexible systems leader to work with a team of talented Human Resources colleagues who design and deliver compensation, benefits, and wellbeing programs to the City’s employees and four local governmental entities we serve through intergovernmental agreements. The ideal candidate will demonstrate an understanding of market dynamics, compensation, benefit, and wellbeing plan designs, and have experience attracting, engaging, rewarding, developing, and retaining employees while maintaining internal equity and external market competitiveness.

Human Resources l Our People, Our Work

We believe in the power of our people and our organization to deliver exceptional service for an exceptional community. Human Resources co-creates with leaders at all levels the conditions necessary to attract, retain, engage, reward, and develop a competitive and diverse workforce and helps the organization sustain an adaptive, innovative environment where all talent feels a sense of belonging and can thrive and fulfill their potential. We do this through deeply understanding needs, challenging assumptions, creative design, rigorous research, technology enablement, and outstanding implementation.

The Compensation, Benefits, and Wellbeing team supports the City by partnering with the internal departments and agencies in a consultative model to deliver innovative, world-class programs and benefits to the City’s greatest asset –our employees.

The Director leads and develops a team of nine talented, high-performing, and self-directed employees in Compensation, Benefits, and Wellness.

The Community

The City of Fort Collins sits nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains alongside the banks of the Cache La Poudre River. At 5,000 feet in elevation, residents enjoy a moderate, four-season climate, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. With 174,800 residents, Fort Collins is Colorado’s fourth largest city and spans 57 square miles. With the 20-year growth projection, the City of Fort Collins is expected to reach 255,000 residents.

The first people who hunted in this region arrived approximately 11,000 years ago, and Northern Colorado remains an integral part of the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations. European-American trappers and traders arrived by the early 1800s but rarely established permanent settlements. Gold and silver discoveries in the Colorado mountains in the mid- 1800s and the prospect of land for farming and ranching attracted people from eastern cities and across the globe to the Colorado Territory, including what would become the town of Fort Collins; an agricultural colony that emerged from its founding days as a military fort. The expansion included the sugar beet industry’s growth, which brought new residents whose descendants still live here today, including Mexican-American families from southern Colorado, New Mexico, and northern Mexico, as well as Germans from Russia.

Since 1879, Fort Collins has been the home of the state’s land grant institution, Colorado State University, which currently enrolls 34,000 students. Along with the University, the City’s major high-tech and manufacturing companies and breweries attract new residents from all over the country and world. The community’s overall social diversity continues to grow. There are abundant outdoor recreation opportunities available to the many residents who enjoy healthy lifestyles. The nearby Horsetooth Reservoir is a key attraction, as is the Cache La Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway. The Downtown district provides many venues for live music, shopping, dining, and nightlife within the City. Fort Collins is widely considered the Craft Beer Capital of Colorado. The City has a strong appreciation for arts, culture, and entertainment. Various national organizations and magazines recognize Fort Collins as one of the best places to live in the nation.

The Organization

The City of Fort Collins is a home rule city with a Council-Manager form of government. The City Council is comprised of six District Councilmembers who are elected for four-year terms and a Mayor who is elected at-large for a two-year term. All elected officials are non-partisan. The City Council appoints the City Manager, City Attorney, and the Chief Judge. The City Manager has overall responsibility for all other City employees. The City of Fort Collins directly provides a full slate of municipal services including operating its own electric, water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities. The City of Fort Collins, at the direction of City Council and voters, is moving forward with building and implementing high-speed next-generation broadband to the entire community with an expected completion in 2021.

Fire protection is provided by the Poudre Fire Authority (PFA). The City of Fort Collins operates with a biennial budget and provides funding for municipal operations, including approximately 2,500 employees.

The City of Fort Collins aspires to provide world-class services to the community while cultivating an outstanding organizational culture for its employees. In order to achieve its vision, both internal and external services are data-informed and implemented according to organizational values.

The City develops resiliency and sustainability through organization-wide systems and processes that ensure consistent employee work practices and alignment across service areas. The City places a high value on public input and strives to include community members as fellow problem solvers whenever possible. Residents can expect to receive exceptional service, have the opportunity to engage with decision-makers, provide input regarding the allocation of City resources, and have access to government information in a timely and transparent manner.

The Opportunity

The Director of Compensation, Benefits, and Wellbeing reports to the Chief Human Resources Officer and is accountable for ensuring competitive and relevant compensation, benefits, and wellbeing programs to achieve desired organizational results, including being a good steward of the City’s assets. The Director provides strategic direction for a team of talented Human Resources colleagues who design and deliver compensation, benefits, and wellbeing programs for employees from the City and the four local governmental entities we serve through governmental agreements.

Fostering a climate of trust and focusing on service excellence, this leader will create and sustain cross-functional partnerships within the City and the web of external providers and leverage the team’s knowledge to exceed internal and external stakeholders’ expectations.

As a key member of the City and the Human Resources team’s senior team, the ideal candidate must have a genuine desire to serve the community of Fort Collins. This individual leads with human-centered design principles in collaboration with their colleagues the successful implementation of an integrated portfolio of solutions that will positively impact the attraction and retention of competitive talent to serve the needs of the Fort Collins community now and in the future.

This position requires that the individual build and maintain relationships with City Council, senior- level executives, and employees at all levels. Critical success factors are the ability to work horizontally and vertically, drive change, challenge the status quo, leverage polarities, and offer creative solutions by continual scanning internally and externally.

Summary of Accountabilities

The following are illustrative of the primary functions of this position and are not intended to be all-inclusive:

Human Resources Leadership

  • As a senior member of the Human Resources leadership team, collaborate with your peers to scan external and internal trends to anticipate and respond to emerging business needs and talent requirements.
  • Lead the strategy for benchmarking studies to assess and align internal compensation programs with comparable external pay practices, including a bi-annual pay equity
  • Provide strategic direction for benefits and wellbeing programming with a strong knowledge of innovative and competitive life-friendly
  • In partnership with the City’s benefits consultant and internal colleagues, analyze and evaluate external provider relationships and plan renewals for quality, cost-effectiveness, improved services, and offerings to maintain and enhance the City’s competitiveness.
  • Manage the City’s Benefits Fund and self-funded employee benefit and wellbeing
  • Develop and administer annual reviews for all portfolio programs to analyze talent analytics, market trends, and costs to make recommendations regarding enhancements to the City’s programs to ensure integration, external competitiveness, and internal
  • Proactively monitor all legal and regulatory compliance requirements (e.g., reporting, disclosure, procedures) for total compensation and wellbeing programs at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Serve as HIPAA Security and Privacy

Team Leadership and Innovation

  • Bring the Compensation, Benefits, and Wellbeing teams together for the first time under one Director in a cohesive way that honors their strengths and past accomplishments and helps the collective create enhanced employee
  • Lead the team in bringing innovation to benefits and wellbeing while identifying new ways to keep employees safe and healthy and support a diverse
  • Guide team members on routine audits to ensure that all programs are qualified and administered consistently and relevant filings are
  • Utilize data and analytics to present integrated and relevant insights on
  • Identify and address opportunities to make processes streamlined, efficient, and accessible using technology and continuous improvement  
  • Initiate action to focus on priority areas, pivoting when and where needed while balancing commitments resulting from working in a fast-paced environment.

Customer Service

  • Foster a climate of trust and focus on service excellence, create, and sustain cross-functional partnerships within the City and the web of external providers, and leverage the team’s knowledge to exceed internal and external stakeholders’ expectations.
  • Advise City leadership on total compensation and wellbeing initiatives and issues and, using the customer’s lens, ensure all communications are timely, impactful, and
  • Conduct an executive-level market analysis and present information to the City Council on behalf of the City Manager, City Attorney, and Chief
  • Work closely with the four local governmental entities we serve through intergovernmental

Total Compensation

The City of Fort Collins offers a comprehensive benefits package, including a competitive market salary commensurate with education and experience. The City’s compensation philosophy provides competitive pay in both the public and private sectors and is delivered within a sustainable financial model. Annual salary range is $99,915 –$166,526 and the anticipated annual hiring salary range is $120,000 - $135,000; salaries are paid biweekly. Benefits include medical, dental, vision, wellness program, life, and short- and long-term disability insurance. Additionally, the City of Fort Collins offers other benefits, including 401(a), optional Health Savings Account, Flexible Spending Accounts. Relocation assistance will also be available should the successful candidate be outside the Fort Collins, Colorado area.


  • A desire and ability to understand the diverse needs of internal customers and create experiences and deliver services that exceed their expectations; skill in integrating and synthesizing others’ viewpoints to build alignment of different perspectives to achieve results.
  • Understanding market dynamics, compensation, benefit, and wellbeing plan architecture and strategy, and experience attracting, engaging, rewarding, developing, and retaining employees while maintaining internal equity and external market
  • Ability to engage employees and senior leadership to create system thinking, collaborative management, and organizational change and oversee a holistic portfolio of compensation, benefits, and wellbeing programs and solutions that impact the employee experience from applicant to alum.
  • Strong leadership and coaching skills, with demonstrated ability to nurture, grow and develop individuals and teams to exceptional results while fostering a collaborative work environment in an inclusive, high-performance  
  • Demonstrated cultural competence to effectively interact, work, and develop meaningful relationships with people of diverse identities, perspectives, and cultural
  • Emotional intelligence, self-regulation, self- awareness, and the ability to create conditions of emotional safety in responding to others; the ability to effectively share and shift
  • Demonstrated business and financial acumen to provide strategic insights and
  • A desire and ability to utilize digital tools and strong knowledge and experience with HRIS systems and cloud-based
  • A high level of comfort with ambiguity, strong attention to accuracy and details, and the capability to work to timely and constructive
  • An orientation to continually learn and leverage all resources to creatively gain knowledge and quickly adapt to changing issues and
  • Strong problem-solving and program and project management
  • Exceptional communication skills, including formal presentations to governing boards or equivalent, including written, verbal, and interpersonal, exhibit presence in key meetings, tailor communication style to diverse audiences, and present complex information clearly and able to balance confidence and humility and bring compassion and patience into challenging situations.
  • Unquestionable personal integrity, character, and conviction.

Minimum requirements

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Public Administration, Business Administration, Human Resource Management, or related field from an accredited college or university; plus, a minimum of seven years’ experience in human resources; or equivalent combination of education and experience. Expert knowledge of benefits philosophies and understanding of all federal, state, and local regulations and compliance requirements related to employee compensation and benefits is critical for this role’s success.

Preferred qualifications

Experience working in the public sector, direct experience with labor relations and negotiations, and administering a self-funded medical plan.


  • Certified Compensation Professional (CCP)
  • Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS)
  • SHRM-SCP Certification highly desired

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they can perform every job description task. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may come from a less traditional background. The City will consider any equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, education, and experience to meet minimum qualifications. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and skill set for the role.

How to Apply

The City of Fort Collins is deeply committed to high- quality public service and cultivating an outstanding culture for its employees. As a high-performing government, Fort Collins attracts and employs diverse and competitive talent, retains its workforce through development and growth opportunities, and promotes intelligent risk-taking to address increasingly complex challenges.

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants will complete a brief online form and be prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. The role will remain open until filled with the first review of applications on May 24, 2021.


Please direct questions to Mikkell Jackson Roeland, Manager Executive Search, at  or 425-919-2855.

The City of Fort Collins is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity at all levels of its workforce. Applicants selected as finalists for this position will be subject to a criminal history/credit/driver’s license check prior to the interview. Under the Colorado Open Records Act, information from your application or resume may be subject to public disclosure.

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