Some county job descriptions revamped

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By Jennifer Garcia

In an effort to meet the operational needs of the county and as a result of the countywide job description review, Human Resources Manager Sharyl Hofer, in conjunction with consulting group Valliant and various county managers and employees, have revised and drafted new job descriptions.

Hofer and consultants Mike Canfield and Shannon Mick were in council chambers Tuesday night to present councilors with a suggested motion and to discuss the process through which they went to revise and draft the job descriptions. After discussion, the motion to approve the job descriptions, in addition to the FY 2009 Salary plan, was passed 7-0.

According to Personnel Rule 201 (Job Descriptions), there is a requirement stating that all job descriptions must be reviewed not less than once every four years. Information presented in the motion on Tuesday states that the last countywide review was conducted in FY 2003 with ongoing reviews being conducted each time recruitment occurred. During the budget process for FY 2008, the recommendation was made and approved to initiate a comprehensive classification review.

Phase One was to review and update each job description as they are the cornerstone for Phase Two, which is a review of the compensation systems and complete new market study on all positions.

Mick addressed council and told them that she and Canfield met with employees and managers, and passed out position description questionnaires (PDQs) for each employee to complete on their current job.

“Out of the compilations, we created new job descriptions. We also created more opportunities for advancement,” Mick said. She said that they created 36 new job titles based on what people are doing and which jobs are needed in the county.

She also said that 42 job ladders were created, with career positions moving from one department to the next and the natural evolution of the job. In addition, 63 positions were retitled based on job duties.

“The majority of your positions match up with whats happening in the marketplace,” Mick said.

Hofer said that supervisors will meet with all employees whose jobs descriptions have been revised so that the employees can sign the new descriptions. “We will come back in December with a draft,” Hofer said.

Mick said that when they all come back to council, they will show councilors the market value for those 200-plus positions, in Phase II. Council Vice Chair Robert Gibson asked how the county is doing overall in recruiting and retention.

Mick and Hofer referred his question to County Administrator Max Baker who said that the county is doing fairly successfully. “It (recruitment and retention success) has to do with benefits and pay,” he said.

Councilor Jim West seemed concerned with frugality when it came to the descriptions of county jobs. “We have to be careful that we don’t over describe our jobs so we don’t pay more than we have to,” he said.

Having passed approval hurdle on Tuesday, Phase One of this process will near completion with the final steps being: Management review of revised job descriptions with each employee; publication of job descriptions through the county intranet; and letters to employees affected by the job description revisions.

This project was originally slated to be conducted over a three year period, however, prior to advertising an RFP, it was determined that the job description review would be completed in one year.