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City Continues Quest to Find H.R. Director

The position has been budgeted for three years, but the city has been unable to fill it.

The process of finding a Human Resources Director for the City of Hyattsville continues after city officials ironed out a clarified job description at Monday’s City Council Meeting.

They had dedicated to finding a qualified H.R. director at a work session on October 10.

The City is in need of an H.R. director to evaluate candidates to fill open posts in the city and also to take pressure off the acting City Administrator, Police Chief Douglas Holland and the city attorney, who are currently handling internal disputes.

On Monday evening, the Council was faced with a discussion to move the salary range for the position from $70,000 to $90,000 to attract more qualified candidates. Abby Sandel, communications manager for the city and acting director of arts and recreation, said the city’s consultant on the issue advised them the salary scale was low and that H.R. positions are in heavy demand, despite the poor economy.

Former Council Member William Tierney, who chaired the search committee to find an H.R. director, said at a September 9 Council Meeting that of all the resumes submitted, only three or four of them met some of the criteria to fill the position, but not all the criteria. Also those three or four were on the high end of the proposed salary grade and would require relocation costs.

At Monday’s meeting, Council Members were reluctant to approve the salary grade increase outright, noting that it may tip their hand and cost the city more money. However, they were willing to rewrite the job description to note that the position will be a department head and that the salary will be based on experience.

“There’s another decision made,” said Mayor Marc Tartaro after directing the city attorney to make the necessary changes to the charter and personnel code to accommodate the updated position description.

This is the third fiscal year that Hyattsville has budgeted for the position, according to Sandel, but the City has remained unable to fill it.

Former City Administrator Gregory Rose said during a May 9 work session that the position would be filled sometime in October. During the March 14 City Council meeting the members discussed proposals for the job description. On July 24, the Mercer Group, a management consulting company, was hired to handle recruitment for the position. On September 9, Tierney reported to the Council on the resumes received, but notified them there were no great candidates to fill the position.

The updated posting for the position can be viewed on the city’s website – Human Resources Director

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