Personnel Director

County of San Diego
40 per week $234,000 - $246,000 Per year California USA



By authority of Article VIII, Charter Section 116, the Personnel Director is appointed by the Civil Service Commission and is responsible for administering the City’s personnel merit system. The Director acts as the Secretary for the Civil Service Commission and the Chief Examiner of the City and is responsible for the proper administration of the Civil Service Commission's Rules and Policies. The Personnel Director provides leadership and direction to over 80 professional, technical, and support staff. This position is hybrid.

There's no such thing as a "perfect" candidate. The City is looking for exceptional people who want to make a positive impact through their work, will serve their community proudly, and be excited to come to work every day. Education and experience studies have shown that people are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they can perform every task listed in the job description. The City may consider an equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, education, and experience to meet minimum qualifications, and we encourage you to apply if you are interested.

Key Areas of Responsibility:

  • Navigate necessary changes related to Civil Service and Personnel Rules. Foster change management as needed in a realistic and thoughtful way.
  • Focus on enhanced customer service and customer satisfaction.
  • Build on the momentum of the City of San Diego as the regional employer of choice.
Minimum Qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Human Resources, or a closely related field, and 
  • Ten (10) years of professional experience in personnel or human resources management. At least five of these years must have been in federal, state, or local government personnel management in unionized organizations of a similar size to the City of San Diego.
  • Thorough knowledge of Federal and State laws, regulations, policies, and administrative procedures applicable to personnel services. Solid understanding of the City Charter and history of the City of San Diego.
  • Leadership in developing policies and procedures while working with different policy bodies and employee organizations.
  • Dedicated to fostering equity and inclusion.
Desirable Qualifications: 
The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications: 
  • Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Human Resources, or a closely related field. 
  • Strategic, able to assess information, and foster an inclusive decision-making process.
  • Personable, transparent, and someone with outstanding public presentation skills.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment that continuously seeks to implement best practices to reflect the changing dynamics, economy, and multi-generational workforces at play.
  • An inspirational leader who takes the time to mentor, motivate, develop, and recognize their staff’s accomplishments.
  • Confident and have good judgment, and able to maintain a sense of calm and reason while listening to opposing viewpoints without being defensive.
The City offers a robust benefits package that includes:
  • , including pension reciprocity, dependent on an employee’s eligibility status (new hire, rehire, etc.). 
  • A wide variety of cafeteria-style health and wellness plans or in-lieu cash waiver.
  • 11 paid City holidays per calendar year and 1 floating holiday per fiscal year.
  • Approximately 176 hours of paid annual leave for an employee’s first 15 years of service and approximately 216 hours for 16+ years of service.
  • Up to 24 hours of paid discretionary leave per fiscal year.
  • Up to 320 hours of paid Parental Leave per childbirth or placement of a child.
  • Up to 40 hours of paid Bereavement Leave per fiscal year.
  • Tuition reimbursement up to $2,000 per fiscal year and complimentary LinkedIn Learning professional development opportunities.
  • Free transit pass (including MTS Trolley, MTS Bus, and all Rapid and Rapid Express bus services).
  • Access to premier City golf courses at a discounted rate. 
  • Reduced-rate fitness center memberships.
  • City-paid life insurance.
For additional details, please review the or contact the Benefits Division of the Risk Management Department at (619) 236-5924.

The Department: 
The Personnel Department is governed by the Civil Service Commission, which is appointed by the Mayor. The Department's main responsibility is to supervise the selection, promotion, and removal of all Classified employees and maintain a competitive merit system that provides equal opportunity for all applicants. The Department is comprised of the following sections:   
  • Classification and Compensation: Conducts classification and maintenance studies and performs salary studies to evaluate special salary adjustment requests pursuant to City Charter Section 130.
  • Exam Management and Recruiting: Promotes employment opportunities for the City, reviews and evaluates employment applications, and administers examination processes.
  • Liaison and Outstation: Provides advice and assistance to employees, supervisors, and City management regarding a wide variety of personnel issues requiring knowledge and interpretation of the City Charter, Civil Service Rules and Personnel Regulations, Memorandums of Understanding, Administrative Regulations, and applicable federal and state laws. Provides onsite advice and assistance to hiring departments on a myriad of personnel issues, including the development of interview processes, coordination of organizational structure changes, and career counseling and training.
  • Organizational Management and Personnel Administration: Manages positions and the City's organizational structure and maintains employee master data.
  • Certification/Payroll Records: Reviews Citywide payroll, maintains confidential records of all City employees, and certifies eligible lists to the hiring departments.
  • Employment Investigations Office: This office investigates complaints of discrimination and harassment made by City employees, applicants, volunteers, and contractors.
  • Services and Administration: Provides budget and administrative support to all other sections in the department and coordinates the Civil Service Commission's monthly meetings and disciplinary appeal hearings.
  • Information Systems: Performs data analytics, manages the functional and technical aspects of the software used to recruit and track City applicants, and creates official identification cards for City employees.
The City:
With more than 1.4 million residents, the City of San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States and the second largest in California. The City of San Diego’s strong economy, diverse population, great educational institutions, unsurpassed quality of life, and world-renowned location make it the ideal place to work, live, and play. With its great weather, miles of sandy beaches, and major attractions, San Diego has something to offer for everyone.

The City’s Mission, as stated in the , is “Every day we serve our communities to make San Diego not just a fine city, but a great City.” The City’s Vision is "Opportunity in every neighborhood, excellent service for every San Diegan."

As one of the region’s largest employers, the City of San Diego employs nearly 12,000 highly dedicated employees and has a combined Fiscal Year 2024 operating and capital budget of approximately $5 billion. Additional information about the City of San Diego can be found on the .

Pre-Employment Requirements and Screening Process:
Employment offers are conditional, pending the results of all screening processes applicable to the position. All the processes required by the City of San Diego must be successfully completed before employment begins. For additional information, please refer to the City’s pre-employment requirements and screening process webpage.  Nothing in this job posting constitutes or should be construed as part of an express or implied contract for employment with the City of San Diego. 

Application Instructions: Please adhere to the instructions provided in the "Selection/Application Process" section below. We regret to inform you that online applications will not be considered.

Selection/Application Process:
To be considered for this position, you must submit the following items to the Human Resources Department at 
1) Resume;
2) Letter of Interest highlighting your relevant work experience and qualifications for this position; and
3) List of three professional references.

  1. Attachments must be submitted in either PDF or Word Document format. 
  2. Reference Recruitment Number I2331 in the Subject Line.
  3. Candidates are encouraged to apply promptly, as interviews and selection may begin upon receipt of resumes from qualified individuals.
Following the closing date, resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above, and the most qualified candidates will be invited to interview.  If you have any questions, please email the City’s Human Resources Department at .
The City of San Diego has an active Equal Opportunity/ADA Employment Program and vigorously supports workplace diversity.