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Lee’s Summit, Missouri

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Human Resources Director – Lee’s Summit, Missouri


The Position

Lee’s Summit’s next Human Resources (HR) Director will have the opportunity to join a dynamic, high performing, engaged City recognized as a leader in continuous improvement and performance measurement. The HR Director will lead the department in transitioning from providing transactional services to that of a strategic business partnership model.

The HR Director provides leadership and strategic planning in the implementation of department programs, functions, and activities to ensure alignment with the City’s mission and goals. The Director serves as a member of the City’s Management Team and develops, refines, and ensures compliance of organizational personnel policies and directives. The Director is responsible for all human resources related functions including recruitment, compensation, benefits, performance management, employee communications, employee recognition, employee relations, workforce development, safety and wellness, risk management, workers compensation, training and development, and labor relations. The HR Director also serves as staff liaison to the Human Relations Commission.

The HR Director reports directly to the City Manager and serves as a strategic partner to the City Manager and departments. The Director also helps meet the City and Council’s vision, goals, core values, and initiatives as they relate to employees, culture, and productivity. HR supports City departments in providing quality municipal services through recruitment, retention, performance management, employee and labor relations, and training and development.

The Organization

The City of Lee’s Summit has a City Council which consists of eight members and a Mayor. The Mayor appoints the City Manager with the advice and consent of the City Council. The City Manager serves as the City’s chief executive officer and is responsible for the general operations of the organization, except for the Parks and Recreation Department, appointed legal positions, and the elected municipal judges. The City’s three Assistant City Managers, as well as the Police Chief, Fire Chief, HR Director, and City Attorney, report directly to the City Manager.

For FY2018, the City has a total operating budget of $217 million ($67 million General Fund budget) and 778 full-time employees (FTEs). The City has three recognized collective bargaining units: the Local Lodge 778 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2195, and the Fraternal Order of Police West Central Missouri Regional Lodge #50.

The City prides itself in its continuous improvement and learning initiatives. Four of its departments have received National Accreditations: Police, Fire, Public Works, and Parks. Lee’s Summit is one of only 10 cities in the nation to hold these four accreditations at the same time. The City has the national distinction of being one of the few Midwestern cities to have both the “Walkable Cities” and “Bicycle Friendly” designations.

In addition, strategic planning efforts differentiate Lee’s Summit from other communities. This forward thinking has allowed the organization to make strategic decisions and plans, while taking advantage of future opportunities. The City Council adopted a new Strategic Planning Framework and Continual Improvement Process in 2016, which outlines the City’s strategic initiatives, vision, and goals. The identified initiatives include:

  • Safety
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Infrastructure
  • Health & Human Services
  • Economic Development
  • Culture/Arts

The City Council is currently engaging in a renewed strategic planning process, while the organization recently completed a Compensation and Benefit Study to measure the competitiveness of the City’s pay structures to attract and retain quality employees. The scope of the consultant’s work included ensuring internal equity within the organization as well as market competitiveness. Investing in employees remains the most critical aspect of the General Fund expenses from both a strategic and monetary perspective. In FY2018, the City allocated $2 million to implement the results of the Study and for wage adjustments.

The Department

The primary function of the HR Department is to administer and oversee all personnel and employee service programs including recruitment and hiring, performance management, labor relations, employee benefit programs, training and development, safety, workers’ compensation, and risk management efforts. The HR Department provides HR support to all City departments, including public safety (Police and Fire). For FY2018, the Department’s operating was budget of $936,330.

The Department currently consists of six (6) positions, who are responsible for carrying out various HR functions. These positions include HR Director, HR Assistant, Recruitment Specialist, Benefits Specialist, Classification and Compensation Specialist, and a Safety and Wellness Specialist. In addition, a Workforce Development Specialist position is being proposed in the FY2019 budget process. The following figure illustrates the Department’s current organizational structure.

Experience and Education

Requirements for this position include a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business, Public Administration or related field, and at least ten (10) years’ experience in human resources, with at least five (5) years in a supervisory or management role 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, prior experience working in a local government HR department, labor relations/collective bargaining experience, demonstrated commitment to diversity, experience leveraging technology to improve processes, and professional certification from IPMA-HR or SHRM.

Per City Ordinance, Department Directors are required to live within the City limits. Residency would be required within a reasonable employment period.

The Ideal Candidate

Lee’s Summit’s next HR Director will be an established professional in the field of human resources who is a dynamic leader with the desire to be a change agent and the capacity to shape the culture of an organization and department. The successful candidate will have a strong foundation and knowledge in the core services of human resources including hiring and recruitment, workforce development, safety and wellness, employee and labor relations, compensation, benefits, and compliance.

The next HR Director will create a strong team environment, develop and mentor HR staff, and develop workload and performance measures. The Director should be approachable, demonstrate strong interpersonal and communication skills, and instill trust and confidence.

The Director will have strong analytical skills and be able to review, revise, and develop policies and procedures throughout the organization as needed. The next Director should model ethical behavior and a strong work ethic, and ensure fair, consistent, and equitable treatment of employees within the Department and throughout the organization. The successful candidate will be able to leverage and utilize technology to improve transactional services.

The HR Director will serve as a valuable member of the Management Team. The Director will seek to work collaboratively with other department directors, interact on issues outside the realm of HR, and seek feedback and input from other members of the Management Team. The Director will be a proactive problem solver and be a partner with other department directors to help ensure the organization is prepared to serve the Lee’s Summit community today and in the future.

The Community

Lee’s Summit offers a high quality of life for its residents. The community offers affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, parks and recreation amenities, state of the art health care facilities, and award-winning educational opportunities. Money Magazine even chose Lee’s Summit as one of the Best Places to Live in 2016, and the Lee’s Summit school district has earned the Distinction in Performance Award with a perfect score for several years. Lee’s Summit is conveniently located just 20 minutes from Kansas City, between two major highways. The community boasts a median household income of $80,494 and a median household value of $195,000.

Lee’s Summit has a rich heritage. Over a hundred years ago, the small 11 block Town of Strother straddled the Missouri Pacific Railroad tracks. Today, that small town consists of 65.24 square miles and is known as the City of Lee’s Summit. In the late 1800s, a man by the name of William B. Howard was drawn to this fertile, gently rolling prairie land with the dream of building a city. Today, more than 96,000 residents have been enticed to this progressive, yet restful and family-oriented community atmosphere with a unified dream to create a dynamic, vital city. From yesterday to today, the story of this once small town has been filled with the courage, dedication, and quiet determination of its citizens, making Lee’s Summit an ideal city in which to live and work.

On October 28, 1865, William B. Howard founded the Town of Strother by filing a plat containing the 11 blocks that currently encompass the downtown business district. At the time of incorporation, the population count stood at one hundred people. In November of 1868, the name was changed, and the area incorporated as the “Town of Lee’s Summit.” Although the “Summit” portion of the name was obviously based on the fact the town’s elevation is the highest point on the railroad between Kansas City and St. Louis, there are numerous opinions and theories on the origin of “Lee”. According to one theory, the town was named after Civil War General Robert E. Lee, since incorporation took place shortly after the war and most citizens migrated from the Southern states. However, another version suggests the town was named after a prominent early settler, Dr. Pleasant Lea. The discrepancy in the spelling of “Lea” has been attributed to railroad sign painters.

The Fire of 1885 demonstrated the stamina personified by citizens in Lee’s Summit. While most of the town’s residents were attending Sunday morning church services, fire erupted in the downtown district, which consisted of dry, wooden buildings. A detailed account of the fire, as printed in the April 16, 1885 issue of The Lee’s Summit Journal, stated the buildings burned “…like greased wood.” Virtually the entire business district was destroyed, and the loss aggregated at $87,000, with a total of 25 buildings consumed by the flames. However, the stalwart citizens took their losses in stride and promptly commenced to rebuild the town.

Almost 30 years later, Mr. R. A. Long, a prominent Kansas City lumberman, began building his dream, which became a reality with the construction of Longview Farm. In 1912, Mr. Long purchased approximately 1,700 acres in the southwest portion of Lee’s Summit. Mostly self-sufficient, the farm included five major barn groups and 42 buildings. When completed and functional, Longview Farm became internationally known for the horses and livestock contained within its white rail fences and was one of only three dozen such showplace farms.

The history of Lee’s Summit abounds with the tragedies and triumphs of courageous people who have never failed in their dream of creating a city that will continually progress and prosper. Most importantly, Lee’s Summit is composed of dedicated people who never lose touch with the basic values that make a community livable. Residents today believe Lee’s Summit has lived up to the dreams of its forefathers.

Voters have approved by wide margins a bond issue for critical public safety facility and communication upgrades as well as the renewal of a sales tax to invest in infrastructure needs, including stormwater. Today Lee’s Summit continues to receive accolades indicative of the high quality of life enjoyed by its residents:

  • Ranked 5th on the list of “America’s 50 Best Cities to Live” by 24/7 Wall Street
  • Ranked 1st on the “10 Happiest Mid-Sized Cities in America” by Zippia


The expected hiring range is $80,141 – $132,715 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 on March 30, 2018.


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

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