Human Resources Director

City of Ann Arbor, MI | Full-time


The Position

The City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is seeking a Human Resources Director who is passionate about public service, organizational development, diversity, equity, and inclusion and can lead a hard-working staff to support the needs of a complex, progressive city government. The Director oversees all human resources functions within the organization, including employee/labor relations, employee benefits, compensation, performance management, recruiting, training/development, and human resources policies and procedures. The next Director will need to be able to focus on trust-building with the organization and support and empower a hard-working human resources team. A recent organizational climate assessment will help provide guidance on workforce needs. A diversity, equity, and inclusion study will provide recommendations for the next Director on important areas of focus for the organization.

The Human Resources Director reports directly to the City Administrator and serves as an essential member of the City’s senior leadership team. The Director currently has eight (8) direct reports, including the Employee Benefits Supervisor, Recruiting Supervisor, Compensation and HRIS Supervisor, HR Coordinator, and three HR Services Partners. The City has adopted a permanent teleworking model for eligible employees, whereby most employees are able to telework at least part-time. This position is eligible for part-time telework; however, in-person work would also be required on a regular basis.  

The Organization

Founded in 1824, the City of Ann Arbor currently operates under the council-manager form of government. The Ann Arbor City Council is composed of the Mayor and ten Council members, all serving four-year terms through partisan elections. Two City Council members are elected from each of the City’s five wards, while the Mayor is elected at-large. A Mayor Pro Tem is selected from within the members of Council every two years. The City Administrator is appointed by Council to oversee the organization’s administrative functions and day-to-day operations.

There are 771 FTEs employed by the City of Ann Arbor in FY 2021. The FY 2021 Expenditure Budget is approximately $465.7 Million, including a General Fund Budget of $112.8 Million. In a citizen survey conducted in 2020, the overwhelming majority of respondents agreed that Ann Arbor is a great place to live and that service delivery in the City is of high quality.

Ann Arbor is a full-service city, providing its residents with a wide range of public, financial, administrative, safety, and community services. Community services offered include community development, parks and recreation, building and rental services, and open space/parkland preservation planning. Financial and administrative services provided by the City include accounting, assessor services, treasury and customer service, financial and budget planning, information technology, procurement, and risk management. Ann Arbor provides the following public services: administration, public works, fleet and facility, engineering, systems planning, wastewater treatment, and water treatment. The City’s safety services include police, fire, and emergency management.

City Guiding Principles:

  • Open and honest communication
  • Integrity
  • Partnership and community
  • Trust
  • Community and employee engagement
  • Accountability
  • Employee growth and enjoyment
  • Teamwork
  • Employee development opportunity

City Goals:

  • Ensure the long-term financial health and stability of the City.
  • Support a safe and reliable municipal infrastructure.
  • Ensure a high quality of life while balancing economic development with the preservation and conservation of natural resources.
  • Foster a community with respect for diversity and the open exchange of ideas.
  • Deliver high-quality city services in a cost-effective manner.

Awards and Recognitions

Ann Arbor is characterized by both its high quality of life and excellence in service delivery. Notable recent awards and recognitions include the following:

  • Best Small College U.S. City and No. 1 best overall College City, WalletHub
  • 10 Best Places to Live if you Work from Home (No. 4), Money
  • 2021 Best Cities to Live in America (No. 6), Niche
  • Best School Districts in Michigan (No. 10), Niche
  • 2021 Cities with the Best Public Schools in America (No. 2), Niche
  • Most Fitness Friendly Places in 2021 (No. 4),
  • Most Livable College Towns (No. 15),
  • Top Places for Career Opportunities (No. 4),
  • Solar Energy Growth and Development (Silver Designation), SolSmart
  • 11 Best Cities to Retire in the US, (No. 8), Travel + Leisure Magazine
  • Best Places to Visit in Michigan, Trips to Discover
  • 2021-2022 Best Places to Retire, US News & World Report
  • 2021-2022 Best Places to Live in Michigan (No. 1), US News & World Report
  • Top U.S. Tech Hubs (No. 3), Bloomberg’s 2019 Brain Concentration Index
  • Most Educated City in America, WalletHub
  • Planning Excellence, Public Outreach Award, American Planning Association, Michigan Chapter
  • Planning Excellence, Transportation Planning Award, American Planning Association, Michigan Chapter
  • Tree City Recertification and Growth Award, Arbor Day Foundation
  • Cities A List leading the transition to a climate-safe future, CDP
  • The Best U.S. Places to Live Car Free, CityLab
  • Audit of Minimum Assessing Requirements Perfect Score, Michigan Department of Treasury
  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, Government Finance Officers Association

Human Resources

The City Administrator Service Area consists of eight service areas, one of which is Human Resources. The Human Resources Director oversees all HR functions within the City. Including the Director, there are currently 14.8 FTEs within the Human Resources service unit. The FY 2022 Budget is approximately $34.1 Million, with $2.3 Million in operating expenses and $31.8 Million in city-wide benefit costs.

Experience and Education

Minimum requirements are a bachelor’s degree in human resources, public administration, business administration, or a related field and at least five (5) years of progressively responsible positions in leadership with a human resources department. Competency in organizational development, employee engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion is required.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, demonstrated experience in organizational development, process improvement, diversity/equity/inclusion, effective employee engagement, rebuilding trust, organized labor relations, and creating high-performing teams. While local government experience is preferred, relevant private or nonprofit sector experience with a similar complexity of workforce and service provision is also desirable.

The Ideal Candidate

The City of Ann Arbor’s next Human Resources Director is a collaborative, energetic human resources professional with exceptional organizational development and communication skills and the ability to cultivate trust at all levels of the organization. The successful candidate has the flexibility to meet the ever-changing demands that come with overseeing all human resources functions in an organization as complex as the City of Ann Arbor. This individual thrives on building strong working relationships and works to develop and empower staff throughout the organization. This person is willing to challenge the status quo and is a champion for continuous improvement.

The next Human Resources Director is approachable and transparent, with excellent listening skills. This individual holds themselves and staff accountable and has the utmost personal and professional integrity. The Director has a thorough understanding of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and has the demonstrated ability to create an environment reflective of these values. This person is accustomed to public scrutiny and works to establish a positive, collaborative culture.

Ann Arbor’s ideal Human Resources Director mirrors the organization’s commitment to excellence in customer service and is passionate about helping to serve the community through support and partnership with each city department. The Director is empathetic yet firm in their decisions and instills trust within the staff, elected officials, and the community. The successful candidate is apolitical, process-oriented, and highly analytical. This person is accustomed to building relationships across departments and unifying staff behind a common vision. The next Human Resources Director is thoughtful and patient, always challenging staff to be the best versions of themselves.

The ideal candidate has experience in all facets of human resources, including organizational development, talent acquisition, employee relations, compensation and benefits, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and performance management and evaluation. Acting as a partner to other departments in the City, the Director is fully committed to ensuring Ann Arbor remains an inclusive workplace of choice.

The Community

Often cited as the best place to live in the United States, the quality of life offered in Ann Arbor is unmatched. With exceptional public schools and ample higher education opportunities, world-class health care facilities, impressive cultural amenities, and more than 160 parks, the City of Ann Arbor is the perfect community to call home. A champion of progressive ideals and innovation, Ann Arbor was named the nation’s best small college town by WalletHub in 2020.

A beacon of originality, the community enjoys a culture that is uniquely Ann Arbor. The City’s visual and performing arts scene features renowned art galleries, museums, and art fairs that attract nearly half a million visitors each year. The famous Ann Arbor Fairy Doors is a beloved installation art collection located in and around Ann Arbor’s award-winning downtown. Downtown Ann Arbor’s four commercial districts are home to eclectic shops, music venues, restaurants, cocktail bars, and bookstores.

Dubbed Tree Town, the residents of Ann Arbor appreciate the value that natural resources, green space, and outdoor recreation amenities add to the community. An urban forest composed of trees, shrubs, and woody vegetation can be found in much of the City’s 2,188 acres of parkland, along City streets, and throughout residential areas. Each year, thousands of people utilize the community pools, ice arenas, golf courses, community centers, and the dozens of playgrounds and sports fields located in Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor’s two canoe liveries, situated on the Huron River, are popular with residents and visitors alike during the summer.

Ann Arbor’s economy and culture are both heavily influenced by the presence of the University of Michigan, a premier research university and one of the highest-ranked public colleges in the United States. Students and residents alike enjoy the various amenities provided by the University – from its own Museum of Art and Museum of Natural Art, the picturesque Law Quad that is home to one of the world’s best law libraries, and the acclaimed University of Michigan Health System. Michigan Stadium is the largest college football stadium in the nation and routinely draws in crowds of more than 111,000.

The University of Michigan is the City’s largest employer, followed by Trinity Health System and the federal government. High-tech health services and biotechnology are other major components of the City’s economy. Ann Arbor Public Schools are among the best in the State of Michigan and offer a nationally recognized music program.

Public bus services throughout Ann Arbor and portions of Washtenaw County are provided by the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA). Passenger rail service to the East through Detroit and to the West through Chicago is available via the Ann Arbor Station. The City operates a small general aviation airport, and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport is located only 25 miles east of the City.

Quick Facts

  • Population (2019): 119,980
  • 2018 Median Household Income: $63,956
  • Median Home Value (2018): $298,400
  • Median Age: 27.5

All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.


The expected hiring range is $117,000 – $135,000, depending on qualifications. Benefits offered include the following:

  • Medical, Prescription, Dental, and Vision coverage
  • Hybrid defined contribution and defined benefit retirement plan
  • 457 Deferred Compensation Program (also available are 457 ROTH and a payroll-deducted ROTH IRA)
  • Wellness Incentive Program
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (this includes medical and dependent care accounts)
  • Basic Life Insurance (available for employees and their dependents)
  • Optional Life Insurance Coverage (2x base salary)
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Tuition Reimbursement Program
  • 529 College Savings Plan
  • Prepaid Legal and Identity Theft 

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by Raftelis. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Applications will be accepted through February 11, 2022.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at and Kelsey Batt at

Download Recruitment Brochure