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Human Resources Director – City of Boulder


The Position

Boulder’s next Human Resources Director will have the opportunity to join a dynamic, creative, progressive, engaged City in one of the most beautiful locations in the U.S. The Human Resources Director will lead the department in the City’s vision of service excellence for an inspired future and support the organization in continuing to realize its values of customer service, respect, integrity, collaboration, and innovation.

The Human Resources (HR) Director provides leadership and strategic planning in the implementation of department programs, functions, and activities to ensure alignment with the City’s goals. Human Resources serves as a business partner to the City Manager and departments to help meet City and Council objectives as they relate to employees, culture, and productivity. Human Resources supports City departments in maximizing business operations through recruitment, retention, performance management, innovative solutions, total compensation, information systems, employee and bargaining-unit relations, and training and development.

There are four “Centers of Excellence” or divisions within the Human Resources Department: HR Customer Service Center, HR Solution Center, Strategic Client Services Center, and the Learning & Organizational Development Center. The Human Resources Department has a recommended 2018 budget of $3,764,845 and 23.38 full-time employees. The Human Resources Director, who reports to the Deputy City Manager, directly supervises a Human Resources Deputy Director and three managers.

Key initiatives for 2018 include:

  • Updating human resources policies and recruitment practices and exploring options for a new performance management process
  • Transforming Human Resources transactional processes to a strategic systems model
  • Implementing new compensation strategy guidelines and variable pay options
  • Developing an equity and inclusion organizational strategy
  • Negotiating the collective bargaining agreements with the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and Boulder Municipal Employees Association (BMEA)
  • Reviewing City workforce needs and skills to support succession planning and workforce development

The Organization:

Boulder is a Home Rule Municipality that is self-governed under the Constitution of the State of Colorado. The City of Boulder has a Council-Manager form of government. Under this form of government, the elected nine-member City Council sets the policies for the operation of the Boulder government, while the council-appointed City Manager has administrative responsibilities for city operations.

The City has a total 2018 recommended budget of $389.2 million ($277.5 million operating, $111.7 million capital) and approximately 1,400 full-time employees.

Experience and Education

Requirements for this position are a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business, Public Administration or related field, and at least seven years’ experience in local government human resources in a supervisory or management position overseeing staff delivering compensation and benefits, employee training and organizational development, information systems, employee and bargaining unit relations, or other HR generalist services. Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, director or assistant director experience, employment law expertise, demonstrated commitment to diversity, experience leveraging technology to improve processes, and professional certification from IPMA-HR or SHRM.

Management Style and Personal Characteristics

  • A team player who is collaborative and supportive in serving as a member of the City’s leadership team; instrumental in influencing and supporting the culture of the organization
  • A skilled professional with a heightened sense of emotional intelligence and an awareness of community and constituent issues and political sensitivities
  • Open, approachable, and action-oriented; exercises good judgment; treats others with respect; holds staff accountable
  • An outstanding leader of employees who provides guidance and professional support to staff, offering regular feedback to employees, and serving as a mentor in providing training and growth opportunities
  • A positive and technically-oriented leader, bringing innovation and creativity to the Human Resources department

The Ideal Candidate

Boulder’s ideal candidate is an established leader in the human resources field with the proven ability to engage staff and shape the culture of an organization while integrating policy, best practices, and employment law. The new Human Resources Director should bring a strong foundation in human resources core services including compensation, benefits, employment, equity and inclusion, information systems, employee and labor relations, and training and development. The Director should be approachable, instill trust, and work collaboratively in a team environment. The Director should model ethical behavior and a strong work ethic, and ensure fair and equitable treatment of employees within the department and across the organization. The Director must be politically astute, an effective communicator, and be equally comfortable talking with line level staff, department directors, and presenting before the City Council. The Director must be a persuasive, confident leader, with an ability to be firm and fair, with a clear understanding of complex employment issues. The ideal candidate will be able to focus on leveraging technology to improve transactional services, and be a partner with other department directors to help ensure the organization is prepared to serve the Boulder community today and in the future.

The Community

Tucked into a picturesque valley below the iconic Flatirons, Boulder is home to approximately 107,000 residents and is a world-class destination. This Rocky Mountain town is known for its prosperous economy, a comprehensive educational system, and well-maintained residential neighborhoods.

Boulder has a thriving arts scene as the City hosts a Chamber Orchestra, a Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, and a Ballet. Boulder is also the home of the Dairy Center for the Arts, Colorado Light Opera, Museum of Contemporary Art, and over 30 art galleries. There are several cultural events throughout the year, including the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Colorado Music Festival, Boulder Creek Festival, Boulder International Film Festival, and Boulder Outdoor Cinema. Beyond cultural offerings, the City has a flourishing dining scene with over 350 restaurants, 20-plus breweries, five distilleries, and four wineries.

Looking for adventure? Along with breath-taking mountain views and 300 plus days of sunshine a year, Boulder has 300 miles of dedicated bikeways and more than 150 miles of hiking trails. Boulder also has 45,000 acres of land providing open space for parks and a green belt around the city, amenities that receive well over 5 million visits per year.

The University of Colorado sits in the heart of Boulder and educates more than 30,000 students each year. On its western side, it meets the City’s University Hill business district, which is home to an eclectic group of shops and eateries.

Known as America’s Startup Capital, Boulder has the highest “high-tech startup density” of any metro area in the U.S. The City is home to major federal labs, a world class research university, a highly educated population, and a strong entrepreneurial force. Major industries include aerospace, bioscience, software, natural products, renewable energy, and tourism.

Boulder’s commitment to sustainability resonates through its innovative programs and policies. Boulder was one of the first places in the nation to offer curbside recycling, and was the first city in the U.S. to mandate a residential green building code.

The City is the recipient of varied and numerous awards including: An Inaugural City of the 100 Resilient Cities Network – The Rockefeller Foundation; Top Honors for Web Redesign and in the Top 10 List for Effective Digital Governance – National Association of Government Web (NAGW); Keep It Clean Partnership’s Operation Water Festival Program for Excellence in Environmental Education – Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE); Boulder Parks and Recreation (#14) – Active Network; Top 10 Places to do Business (#3) – Business Review USA. The National League of Cities (NLC) recognized the City of Boulder for recent completion of key health and wellness goals for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties (LMCTC).


The expected hiring range is $130,000 – $150,000 depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefit package.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group at and will be kept confidential. Applicants first complete a brief online form and then are prompted to provide one document (Word or PDF) that has a cover letter and resume with salary history. Open until filled with first review of applications December 20, 2017.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 513-221-0500.

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