Human Resources Director

City of Takoma Park, MD Class Specification

CLASS TITLE: Human Resources Director
DEPARTMENT: Administration
REPORTS TO: City Manager
EEO CODE: Officials/Administrators
DATE: 04/2012
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Under administrative direction, directs and supervises a wide range of human resources and risk management activities. Assists in preparing the City’s annual budget, including the development of personnel cost projections. Supervises the Human Resources Specialist.


Customer Service

Handles customer questions and complaints, communicates with customers, handles service problems politely and efficiently, always available for customers, follows procedure to solve customer problems, understands all City services, maintains pleasant and professional image. Anticipates, monitors and meets the needs of internal and external customers and responds to them in an appropriate manner. Continually seeks to provide the highest quality service to all customers. Listens carefully when dealing with the public and communicates concern through tone of voice and by taking action to solve their problems in a timely manner. Complies with the City’s Customer Service Policy, including 24-hour response time for telephone calls and e-mails. Explains departmental and City issues to the public in a manner that demonstrates interest and concern for their problems. Listens well, diffuses conflict before it starts, finds causes of and solutions to problems, handles difficult people.


Communicates well both verbally and in writing when required, creates accurate and punctual reports, delivers presentations, shares information and ideas with others, has good listening skills. Effectively conveys information and expresses thoughts and facts. Demonstrates effective use of listening skills and displays openness to other people’s ideas and thoughts. Keeps key employees informed regarding relevant information. Shares information with other members of the team to foster teamwork and to further attainment of the City’s goals. Written and oral information is presented in a manner that projects a positive and professional image of the City.

Reports problems, concerns, issues that should be corrected. Readily shares information and ensures that team members are kept informed and up-to-date. Establishes team and individual accountability for goals, objectives and outcomes. Intervenes as necessary to identify and resolve conflict among team members. Makes conscious and deliberate efforts to build team spirit and identity.

Job Knowledge

Understands duties and responsibilities, has necessary technical skills, understands the City’s mission/values, keeps job knowledge current. Demonstrates the appropriate level of proficiency in the principles and practices of one’s field or profession. Demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement, including the understanding and application of technology where appropriate. Operates within the organization's formal and informal structures, builds allies and relationships across departments, uses allies to build consensus and create results, is appropriately diplomatic, understands others' roles and perspectives, can sell projects and ideas across the organization. Adapts to change, is open to new ideas, takes on new responsibilities, handles pressure, adjusts plans to meet changing needs. Prioritizes well and reacts to opportunities. Is attentive to detail and accuracy, is committed to excellence, looks for improvements continuously, monitors quality levels, finds root cause of quality problems, owns/acts on quality problems.


Budgets/Cost Control

Plans for and uses resources efficiently, always looks for ways to reduce costs, creates accurate and realistic budgets and budget projections, tracks and adjusts budgets, contributes to budget planning. Prepares and submits budget within specified time constraints. Anticipates departmental operating and capital needs and budgets adequately for needed expenditures. Reports departmental expenditures within specified time constraints. Bills are submitted for payment on time. Completes and files all applicable reports related to grants, agenda items, etc. within specified deadlines. Anticipates long-term budgeting needs in manner that allows the City to anticipate and plan for sources of revenues for extraordinary future expenses. Controls expenditures to deliver department's services within agreed upon budget. Follows established procurement procedures in obtaining goods and services.

Decision Making/Judgment

Recognizes problems and responds, systematically gathers information, sorts through complex issues, seeks input from others, addresses root cause of issues, makes timely decisions, can make difficult decisions, uses consensus when possible, communicates decisions to others. Knows when to notify and/or involve the department head or the City Manager prior to making a decision.


Leads through change and adversity, makes the tough call when needed, builds consensus when appropriate, motivates and encourages others. Addresses projects, issues, and situations using innovative solutions that consider dollar and human resources as well as service goals. Asks clarifying questions, actively listens, stays open to other viewpoints, manages distractions and interruptions. Manages a fair workload, volunteers for additional work, prioritizes tasks, develops good work procedures, manages time well. Sets challenging and productive goals for team, keeps team accountable for actions, provides leadership, and motivation, uses checkpoints and data to track progress, sets up systems and processes to measure results.

Managing Performance

Applies clear/consistent performance standards, handles performance problems decisively and objectively, is direct but tactful, provides guidance and assistance to improve performance. Allocates work with adequate number of personnel so that project deadlines are never missed due to manpower allocation. Fully understands provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreement and ensures compliance with it. Consistently applies policies and procedures in an equitable manner with no valid complaints from subordinates. Trains and instructs employees in proper City techniques and procedures, including those designed to provide a safe working environment. Communicates job expectations and monitors employee progress such that there is sufficient documentation to justify performance appraisals, distinguished increases and/or disciplinary actions. Identifies and takes action to improve employee performance. Completes performance reviews within time-frame prescribed by City policy. Provides feedback and coaching, rewards hard work and risk taking, takes mentoring role, challenges and develops employees, accepts mistakes, provides visibility/opportunity. Defines roles and responsibilities, motivates and challenges employees, delegates effectively, and rewards contributions.


Develops realistic plans, sets goals, aligns plans with City’s goals, plans for and manages resources, creates contingency plans, coordinates/cooperates with others. Creates and communicates a long-term vision, balances short and long term goals, keeps own and team's work aligned with overall goals, creates and adjusts strategic plans. Generates new ideas, challenges the status quo, takes risks, supports change, encourages innovation, solves problems creatively.


Develops the City’s overall human resources policy. Recommends changes in the City’s human resources’ policies and procedures to the City Manager.

Advises and makes recommendations to department heads, managers, and supervisors on human resources related matters. Responds to inquiries from City employees about City personnel policies and benefits.

Conducts human resources related research and gathers data concerning prevailing compensation and benefits structures.

Administers and maintains the City’s position classification and compensation plans, including the preparation and evaluation of Administers the City’s performance management process, including notification to City departments of due dates for performance evaluations and follow up as needed on any late performance evaluations.

Plans and executes employee recruitment programs, including advertising open positions, evaluating qualifications of applicants, and making referrals to department heads for applicants worthy of further consideration. Schedules background investigations, conducts reference checks, coordinates other steps in the City’s hiring process, and prepares offer letters. Makes recommendations to the City Manager of appropriate starting salary for new hires. Ensures that new employees are enrolled in all applicable benefit programs in a timely manner.

Ensures that the City’s personnel files are maintained in good order and in compliance with all applicable federal, state, or other laws.

Makes recommendations regarding the Human Resources Department budget. Prepares personnel cost projections for the City’s annual budget.

Supervises Human Resources Specialist. Carries out supervisory responsibility in accordance with policies, procedures, and applicable laws; plans, assigns, and directs work; appraises performance.

Maintains a strong effective working relationship with Department Heads, managers, supervisors, employees, and employee representatives.

Directs the City’s training process. Recommends, coordinates, and/or conducts employee training to advance the performance of City staff.

Coordinates complex leave and other personnel issues in consultation with the City Manager, Deputy City Manager, and the City’s employment/labor counsel.

Develops and administers the City’s risk management and loss control program to prevent losses to the City and to keep the City’s worker’s compensation and liability premiums as low as possible.

Keeps current on new ideas and techniques in the Human Resources, training and safety fields by reading governmental and professional publications, attending seminars, conferences and discussing related issues with other Human Resources professionals.


Writes reports, memoranda, correspondence, newsletters, and administrative/personnel regulations.

Works closely with the City’s broker to identify health insurance and other benefit providers as part of the City’s annual budget process.

Participates in labor negotiations with the City’s two bargaining units.

Manages the City’s in-house and external discrimination complaint process.

Coordinates the insurance renewal process, including scheduling open enrollment sessions, promptly processing changes in the type of coverage elected by employees, and entering new deduction codes into the payroll system.

Coordinates the unemployment compensation process.

Conducts exit interviews with departing employees.

Designs and implements Employee Wellness Program to improve employee health, morale, and productivity while decreasing absenteeism and containing the City’s health care costs.

Ensures that personnel-related information on the City’s website and Intranet are kept up-to-date and accessible to the applicable users.

Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Computer
  • General Office Equipment


Education and Experience

Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or university in Human Resources Management, Organizational Development, Public Administration, or a related field; and,

Five to seven years of progressively responsible related experience, preferably in a local government setting; or,

Any combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Licenses and Certifications

Professional Human Resources Certification desirable.

Valid Drivers License.


Knowledge of:

Principles and practices human resources management and administration.

Principles and practices of performance management.

Principles and practices of organizational development.

Principles and practices of public administration.

Principles and practices of budgeting and basic accounting.

Principles and practices of negotiation and labor relations.

Principles and practices of insurance and risk management.

Policies, procedures, and regulations relating to the area of human resources.

Applicable state, federal and local ordinances, laws, rules and regulations.

Recordkeeping, report preparation, filing methods and records management techniques.

Correct English usage, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary.

Standard business arithmetic, including percentages and decimals.

All computer applications and hardware related to performance of the essential functions of the job.

Skill in:

Using tact, discretion, initiative and independent judgment within established guidelines.

Organizing work, setting priorities, meeting critical deadlines, and following up on assignments with a minimum of direction.

Using a computer terminal to accurately and rapidly enter and retrieve data and information.

Accurately proofreading copy with accompanying knowledge of grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Preparing clear and concise reports, correspondence and other written materials.

Communicating clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing.

Selecting and motivating staff and providing for their training and professional development.

Mental and Physical Abilities

Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operation and maintenance instructions, procedure manuals, and so forth.

Ability to write reports and correspondence.

Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.

Ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers, common fractions and decimals.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of individuals.

While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is regularly required to sit, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, reach with hands and arms, and speak and hear.

Working Conditions

Work is performed in a normal office environment with little exposure to outdoor temperatures or dirt and dust.

The incumbent's working conditions are typically quiet.

file: Human Resources Director

This class specification should not be interpreted as all inclusive. It is intended to identify the essential functions and requirements of this job. Incumbents may be requested to perform job-related responsibilities and tasks other than those stated in this specification. Any essential function or requirement of this class will be evaluated as necessary should an incumbent/applicant be unable to perform the function or requirement due to a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Reasonable accommodation for the specific disability will be made for the incumbent/applicant when possible.