Di­rec­tor search moves for­ward

‘If all goes well,’ new county HR chief could be se­lected next month

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By NANCY COOK LAUER

A new county Hu­man Re­sources Depart­ment di­rec­tor could be se­lected by Feb. 21, al­most five months af­ter the sud­den res­ig­na­tion of for­mer HR Di­rec­tor Sharon To­ri­ano in the wake of a crit­i­cal au­dit.

The Merit Ap­peals Board, the body that over­sees the di­rec­tor, met Mon­day in closed ses­sion to fi­nal­ize its list of what it’s look­ing for in a di­rec­tor. The board will use the pri­or­i­ties when it in­ter­views can­di­dates in the com­ing weeks, said Chair­woman Julie Tu­lang.

There are four can­di­dates to be eval­u­ated, in­clud­ing Bill Bril­hante, the deputy who was named act­ing di­rec­tor un­til the board hires a new di­rec­tor. The board con­ducted an open so­lic­i­ta­tion statewide. State law re­quires can­di­dates to be Hawaii res­i­dents for one year.

“If all goes well, we should have our choice by Feb. 21,” Tu­lang said.

Tu­lang said the board hasn’t looked at in­for­ma­tion about the can­di­dates yet, as it wants to first set the pro­ce­dure with­out it be­ing

in­flu­enced by can­di­date choices.

The po­si­tion pays $128,628 an­nu­ally, un­der raises re­cently ap­proved by the county Salary Com­mis­sion. It pre­vi­ously paid $99,000.

Un­der a po­si­tion de­scrip­tion the board ap­proved prior to ad­ver­tis­ing last fall, can­di­dates were re­quired to have a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in hu­man re­sources, pub­lic per­son­nel ad­min­is­tra­tion, in­dus­trial re­la­tions or re­lated field and five years ex­pe­ri­ence in a hu­man re­source func­tional area, three of which must be in an ad­min­is­tra­tive ca­pac­ity. Ex­pe­ri­ence could sub­sti­tute for the ed­u­ca­tional de­gree.

The Merit Ap­peals Board has used three ap­proaches in hir­ing the past three HR di­rec­tors — an open em­ploy­ment so­lic­i­ta­tion, one lim­ited to county em­ploy­ees and the pro­mo­tion of the deputy di­rec­tor by a board vote.

The Sept. 7 au­dit re­port, by Leg­isla­tive Au­di­tor Bon­nie Nims, found nu­mer­ous prob­lems in how the county se­lected ap­pli­cants to be in­ter­viewed and how can­di­dates were as­sessed. Em­ploy­ees who were con­cerned about the pro­cesses kept quiet be­cause they feared re­tal­i­a­tion, the au­dit said.

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