County working to hire new director of human resources

The Union County Board of Commissioners is working to fill a newly created position – director of human resources.

County officials explained in a Feb. 17 news release that given the increasing complexities of complying with employment law, this is a position that more and more employers, in both the private and public sectors, are adding to their management staff.

“This is something we made a priority during budget time,” board of commissioners chairman Bobby Toler Jr. said. “We saw this as important, so we set money aside to create the position.”

Such a move has been the subject of both internal and public discussions for several months. The position initially was brought up during roundtable discussions involving county officeholders.

“We’ve been speaking to officials and department heads and they are all in agreement that this is something we need,” commissioner Danny Hartline said.

Reducing liability is a major reason why the position is considered a priority.

“With the ACA, FMLA and other compliance issues that we have to stay on top of, you can think of this like insurance,” county administrator Angela Coke said.  

“Just one lawsuit could cost way more than the salary for the position. So it’s an important investment from a liability standpoint.”

Additionally, officials said that the position would remove a lot of the new employee on-boarding duties from officials and department heads, freeing them up to spend that time managing their offices and using the skills and expertise for which they were elected or hired.

“We’ve talked for a long time about the need for more formal HR work in county government,” county chief information officer Rollie Hawk said. 

“There are companies out there that we could turn this over to, which was an option we initially considered, but having someone here as part of the team has a lot of advantages.”

Such advantages would include turning over payroll duties to the director of human resources, as well as being able to assist the commissioners and other county offices with ongoing projects and a variety of countywide management activities.

The commissioners intend to take applications for the position until it has been filled.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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