Business Partner - Senior Human Resource...
City of Palo Alto - Palo Alto, CA

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Reports To: Chief People Officer
Supervises: YES

Purpose of Classification:

The City of Palo Alto is recruiting for a Senior Human Resources Administrator, reporting to the Chief People Officer and/or the Assistant Director, People Strategy and Operations. Our mission is to attract, develop and retain a diverse, well-qualified and professional workforce that reflects the high standards of the community we serve.

The City of Palo Alto is a full service municipality with 1,018 full-time employees providing challenging and interesting work with employees working in a water treatment plant, fire and police, fleet, street and facility maintenance, and various other services. The City is in an era of transformational change, where the structures and practices and organization of this local government are evolving to be more innovative and flexible. The government of the future must attract, retain and grow talent, create new more pliable organizational structures focused on participation and results, and foster an environment of collaboration, co-production, and shared responsibility.

The selected candidate for this position will serve in a business partner model, supporting one or more City departments with a focus on Employee Safety and the City's self-insured workers' compensation program. The Senior Human Resources Administrator will work as a generalist, coordinating and performing advanced journey level human resources functions. This position plans, develops, manages and coordinates assigned program responsibilities; conducts research, analysis and preparation of reports.

Distinguishing Characteristics
The Senior Human Resources Administrator is the "face of Human Resources" to employees and managers in a business partner role, performing complex program analysis and administration, conducting research, and may supervise and train technical and administrative support staff. This position will also be responsible for safety and risk management practices throughout the City, acting as a subject matter expert within the department. This classification is distinguished from the Human Resources Representative based on the experience level of the individual as well as the former is responsible for independently performing the most complex research and program administration activities at a management level. This classification is distinguished from the Assistant Director in that the latter is a responsible for the overall operational performance of the department's programs and work units.

Essential Duties:

Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Administers and coordinates human resources functions and programs including recruitment, selection, performance evaluation, classification, job evaluation, benefits, compensation, employee relations, labor relations, and especially employee safety and workers' compensation.
  • Interprets complex rules, regulations, contracts, policies, and procedures; and applies such interpretations in the performance of assigned responsibilities.
  • Provides guidance and recommendations to management, Departments, and individual employees on issues related to assigned responsibilities which may involve employee discipline.
  • Develops and implements new or revised human resources programs, systems, procedures, and methods of operation.
  • Plans, designs and administers City employee development and training programs.
  • Collects information and serves as backup during negotiations with employee organizations and/or for grievance proceedings and Skelly hearings.
  • Monitors vendors associated with related program administration including monitoring contract service providers to ensure compliance with contract provisions.
  • Analyzes problems, identifies solutions, consequences of proposed actions and implements recommendations in support of department objectives.
  • Coordinates special projects.
  • May supervise staff, including: prioritizing and assigning work; assist with performance evaluations; ensuring staff are trained; and making hiring, termination and disciplinary recommendations.
  • Performs other duties of a similar nature and level.
  • Duties related to Safety and Risk Management:

  • Administers the City’s Occupational Safety and Health Programs.
  • Implements the City’s workers compensation program benefit.
  • Coordinates the requirements associated with the Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act and Research and Special Projects Administration.


  • Minimum Qualifications:

    Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the knowledge and skills, which would typically be acquired through:

    Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources Management, Public Administration, or a related field and five years of professional level human resources experience in assigned area of responsibility; or an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job such as those listed above.

    Licensing Requirements:
    • Possession of a valid California Drivers' License

    Ideal Candidate:

    The ideal candidate will be an innovative thinker who can support the transformational change that is occurring within the City and Human Resources. Although this position will be a subject matter expert for safety and risk management, knowledge in other disciplines within Human Resources is important. The successful candidate will possess a collaborative mindset with shared responsibility to support creating an innovative and flexible organization.

    Please refer to the job description for the full-scope of the position and the expected Knowledge, Skills and Abilities.

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