Human Resources Director

City of Fountain Valley


Fountain Valley, CA 92708-4736


$139,509 – $169,575
per year

The City of Fountain Valley, California is currently seeking a Human Resources Director who will bring an extensive human resources background and knowledge to a high-functioning HR team. This person is responsible for oversight and leadership of all human resource functions including recruitment and selection, total compensation and benefits, wellness, employee relations, training and development, workers’ compensation, regulatory issues, risk management and safety. Responsible for building and driving an HR strategy that offers a balance between Human Resources, the City Manager’s Office, and organizational needs. Provides leadership, innovation, strategic direction, support and oversight to the Human Resources Department.  We invite you to come see why the City of Fountain Valley is a great place to work! We offer flexibility, innovative programs, and the willingness to try new ideas and programs to enhance the employee work experience.


Plan, direct, manage and oversee the activities and operations of the Human Resources Department, responsible for: classification and compensation, recruitment and selection, employee and labor relations, employee benefits and Workers’ Compensation administration, employee performance management, safety program, employee engagement, employee development and training. Provide highly responsible and complex administrative support to the City Manager and the City Council, and perform other duties as assigned.


The Human Resources Director is a Department Director level classification requiring advanced generalist knowledge of public human resources management and labor relations. The incumbent will to work with a high degree of autonomy, initiative, minimal input and direction. Assignments require sound grounding in human resources fundamentals, and the independent ability to solve human resources problems of advanced difficulty. Successful performance requires a high degree of knowledge of public policy, municipal functions and activities; and the ability to develop, oversee and implement projects and programs in a variety of areas.


The incumbent works under the general supervision of the City Manager and supervises professional, technical and clerical staff.


ESSENTIAL DUTIES                    

  • Assume full management responsibility for all Human Resources Department services and activities, including classification and compensation, recruitment and selection, employee and labor relations, employee benefits and Workers’ Compensation administration, employee performance management, safety program and employee engagement, development and training.

  • Manage the development and implementation of the Department’s goals, objective and priorities for each assigned area; develop, recommend and implement policies and procedures.

  • Plan, direct and coordinate the Department’s work plan; assign projects and areas of responsibility; review and evaluate work methods and procedures.

  • Serve as the City’s Chief Negotiator and direct the City’s employer-employee relations program including meet and confer, develop bargaining strategies, prepare cost calculations of employee compensation and benefits for applicable bargaining unit negotiations; research and analyze specialized negotiations issues; draft Memoranda of Understanding, Amendments and Side Letter Agreements; facilitate open communication between the City, employee organizations and management.

  • Respond to inquiries regarding Memoranda of Understanding and other employee relations issues; and handle and respond to employee grievances, concerns and other issues.

  • Research and prepare comparative employee compensation and benefit surveys for comparable positions in Orange County cities.

  • Oversee the City’s employee performance management program.

  • Counsel and provide advice to City employees, supervisors and managers on employee performance, disciplinary and employee relations policies and procedures.

  • Manage the City’s self-insured Workers’ Compensation administration program including claims administration, ensuring timely and effective medical treatment; maintain effective communication with the Workers’ Compensation Third Party Administrator, injured employee(s) and supervisor(s); prepare required documentation and reports.

  • Oversee the City’s classification system; develop long-term goals and strategies to manage the classification and compensation plan; conduct labor market research; and recommend classification and compensation plan modifications.

  • Oversee the City’s employee benefit program; analyze programs, providers and costs; work with the City Insurance Broker to request and analyze bids for new insurance programs; meet with the City’s Insurance Committee to discuss changes and evaluate the City’s benefits package; and oversee the open enrollment process and employee health fair.

  • Ensure City compliance with applicable laws pertaining to human resources that may affect City operations.

  • Oversee the development of consultant requests for proposals for professional services and the advertising and bid processes; evaluate proposals and recommends selection of consultants; coordinates with legal counsel to determine City needs and requirements for contractual services; negotiate term and drafts agreements; and program administration.

  • Conduct complex research and analysis; prepare and present a variety of technical and comprehensive written reports including Council Action Requests; and draft policy and procedures.

  • Oversee the City’s recruitment and selection efforts to ensure citywide consistency and job-related screening techniques in conformance with federal and state laws and regulations.

  • Oversee the employee development program and succession plan identifying training needs, assessment and development programs to prepare current and future employees to succeed in their current position as well as preparing them for promotional opportunities.

  • Maintain and update human resources policies and procedures to ensure best practices are followed; recommend policy modifications consistent with City business goals and objectives after considerable research and analysis.

  • Provide staff assistance to the City Manager and City Council, prepare and present Council Action Reports and other reports.

  • Review, interpret and analyze new and proposed legislation and the impact to the Department and City; determine and implement a course of action to ensure compliance with changing legislation.

  • Oversee the administration of the City’s personnel files and other human resources documentation in accordance with the Department’s records management schedule; oversee the maintenance and updates of employee data including salary, benefits, employee authorized lists, etc.

  • Oversee the City’s employee engagement, employee recognition and service award programs.

  • Monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of human resources service delivery policies, practices, methods and procedures; make and implement recommendations for improvement.

  • Prepare the Department’s budget, review billing and approve payments.


Attend and participate in professional group meetings; maintain awareness of new trends and developments in the field of human resources administration and incorporate those developments as appropriate; and perform other duties as assigned.





A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in Public Administration, Business Administration or a related field is required. A Master’s Degree is highly desirable.


Seven years of recent, continuous, and progressively responsible public human resources experience, including three years at the management level. Two to three year’s minimum experience serving as a labor negotiator with public bargaining groups required, preferably including experience with sworn police and fire groups.

Job Requirements


Required to attend City Council and other meetings after normal business hours.


Advanced principles and practices of human resources administration, including job analysis, classification methods, compensation and benefits administration, recruitment and selection, labor relations principals, employee performance evaluations and employee and organizational development.

  • Advanced knowledge of federal, state and local laws, codes and regulations pertaining to human resources; interpret and apply those principles, communicating clearly and effectively.

  • The operation, service and activities of a comprehensive Human Resources Department.

  • Principles and practices of municipal budget preparation and administration.

  • Advanced principals of supervision, training and employee performance evaluation.

  • Business English, grammar, punctuation, spelling, arithmetic, vocabulary, composition and proper format.


  • Manage and direct a comprehensive human resources program.

  • Serve as Chief Negotiator for the City, handling all labor relations with the City’s bargaining groups and advise the City Manager and City Council on labor relations issues.

  • Formulate and administer effective citywide human resources, employee relations and risk management programs.

  • Develop and administer departmental goals, objectives and procedures.

  • Provide leadership to ensure completion of the Department mission in light of changing political and economic conditions.

  • Plan, organize, direct and coordinate the work of staff; delegate authority and responsibility; select, supervise, train and evaluate staff.

  • Assist in defining complex public policy, management and operational issues; perform difficult and complex analysis and research; read and interpret complex data, information and documents then develop applicable policy and procedure.

  • Identify and respond to internal, community and City Council issues, concerns and needs.

  • Build consensus among others with a wide range of views and/or methods to meet unusual conditions within the context of existing management principles.

  • Utilize a variety of advisory and design data and information including budgets, personnel records, payroll records, Memoranda of Understanding, legal opinions, procedures and other documents to obtain information, draw conclusions and recommend actions.

  • Exercise tact and diplomacy in dealing with sensitive and complex personnel issues and employee situations.

  • Maintain confidentiality and employee privacy in personnel matters.

  • Must possess a strong customer service orientation and be a team player.

  • Operate a computer and variety of software including Outlook, Word, and Excel.

  • Plan effectively, prioritize assignments and meet deadlines.

  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with managers, fellow employees, public officials and the general public.

  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing.


Valid California Class “C” Driver’s License.


Work is primarily performed in an office environment requiring prolonged sitting or standing; walking, kneeling, crouching, squatting, stooping, and bending; inputting data into a computer terminal; exposure to computer glare, vibrations, and pitch; lifting, carrying, and moving objects totaling approximately 25 pounds in weight; and have mobility, vision, hearing, and dexterity levels appropriate to the duties to be performed.

Employees are regularly required to use written and oral communication skills; read and interpret data; use math and mathematical reasoning; analyze and solve problems; learn and apply new information; perform highly detailed work on multiple, concurrent tasks; meet intensive and changing deadlines and interact with City staff, customers, vendors, contractors, and the public.

How to Apply

Questions about our City culture? Contact City Manager Rob Houston directly at Rob.Houston@FountainValley.CA.Gov or current Human Resources Director  at Chelsea.Phebus@FountainValley.CA.Gov. This position is subject to close at any time. Prompt application is encouraged.  Apply at: