Johnson County welcomes new human resources director, outlines recruitment and retention efforts
New Human Resources Director to address recruitment and retention
Johnson County is welcoming a new Human Resources Department Director, William Coy. He begins his role with the county on Nov. 28.
Coy's experience includes more than a decade serving in a dual leadership position while working for the U.S. Army. He most recently served as a division chief/career executive appointment in the State of California’s Department of Human Resources.
An ongoing concern for Coy to address as he joins the Johnson County team will be recruitment and retention. There are currently, 3,787 full-time positions at the county, with 442 vacancies. As of September, the county had a voluntary turnover rate of 13%, compared to 8.44% in 2019. The county, however, has been making progress toward incentivizing new and ongoing employment.
Increased salaries for Sheriff's Office among staffing response
During the Thursday, Sept. 29 Board of County Commissioners meeting, the board concluded a conversation about Sheriff’s Office sworn civil service staff compensation by increasing starting salaries for deputies 18% (from $28.50 an hour). Other salaries within the office are also being increased to ensure equity.
“This is a competitive salary compared to others in the region,” said BOCC Chairman Ed Eilert. “We appreciate and value the work of officers to protect and serve our community.”
The salary increase is just one of many steps Johnson County Government is taking to promote recruitment and retention of qualified and experienced individuals who have dedicated their careers to public service.
“There are significant recruitment and retention challenges right now in the labor market,” said Deputy County Manager Maury Thompson. “We’ve been forced to get creative so we can get more aggressive in this market. And at the same time, we’re trying to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars by not adding to base salaries, an ongoing cost, if we can avoid it. Our hope is using one-time incentives will help address the problem.”
Updated Human Resources policies include referral bonuses, relocation reimbursements
In May 2021, the BOCC approved updates to Johnson County’s Human Resources policies to provide the county greater flexibility to shift with the labor market and use additional tools to attract candidates and retain staff.
Those tools include:
- Referral bonuses for certain agencies, department and offices
- Sign-on bonuses
- Relocation reimbursements for certain hard-to-fill positions
- Vacation accrual acceleration for hard-to-fill positions
- Retention bonuses
Johnson County continues to ensure wages are competitive by regularly evaluating similar positions and compensation within both the private and public sectors in the region and nationwide.
“With our positions, we often do market surveys,” said Tamiko House, Johnson County Human Resources Department principal partner. “We actually are going through a study as of right now, making sure that our wages are competitive.”
House provides HR support to Johnson County’s Department of Emergency Services and the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office.
Johnson County ensures continuity of government operations
Always of utmost importance is ensuring continuity of government operations, particularly in the area of emergency services, which includes the Sheriff’s Office, MED-ACT, the 911 call center and the Johnson County Department of Corrections.
In a recent JoCo on the Go podcast episode, Thompson and House, along with emergency services leaders, talk about the importance of filling these vital positions. Listen to the podcast episode. Watch a webcast version.
Benefits for Johnson County employees include, among others:
- Education reimbursement
- Wellness program incentives, including discounted gym memberships
- Employee discounts, including cell service, sporting and entertainment events and more
- Generous health, dental and vision insurance coverage and employee rates
- Retirement contributions to defined benefit pension and defined contribution programs
- Generous leave benefits, including parental and caregiver leave
Learn more about benefits, compensation and current Johnson County Government job openings. Interested job candidates have the opportunity to personalize an estimated total compensation package by entering a pay rate and answer a few benefit questions. Check out the Total Employee Compensation Calculator.