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Director, Human Resources – Strathcona County


Strathcona County’s Vision

“Becoming Canada’s most livable community”

About the County

Strathcona County, located in the heart of Alberta, is an energetic and thriving community. Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a successful and vibrant community of over 98,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of hydrocarbon processing in Western Canada.

The County is a leader in environmental conservation, and 55 per cent of its land is within the UNESCO Beaver Hills Biosphere. Strathcona County strives to be a model of ecological integrity, protecting the environment and preserving their agricultural heritage.

With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community. Investment in infrastructure, quality services, cultural and recreational programs and facilities is a priority and sets the County apart.

Known as a welcoming place to live, the County attracts people of all ages, cultures and walks of life. Families thrive in this dynamic, caring and safe community.

About the Organization

Strathcona County has approximately 2,250 permanent, temporary and hourly employees who are responsible for the efficient administration and operation of all elements of the County.  The organization consists of four service divisions: Infrastructure and Planning Services, Corporate Services, Community Services, and Financial and Strategic Management.

As the people who deliver the programs and services valued by their community, the employees of Strathcona County provide excellent service and take pride in the work they do.

Strathcona County strives to work within their Corporate Values of

Integrity | Respect | Safety | Fairness | Cooperation

For more information, please visit:



Job Title:Director, Human Resources
Reports to:Associate Commissioner, Corporate Services
Direct Reports:



6; Manager, Organizational Effectiveness; Manager, HR Operations & Talent Acquisition; Manager, HR Business Partnering; Manager Occupational Health & Safety; Administrative Assistant II; Coordinator, Business Support Services
Location:Strathcona County



The Director, Human Resources has primary responsibility for leading, managing and directing the Department to support Strathcona County’s vision, Strategic and Corporate Business Plans, and its commitment to excellence in municipal government and customer service. The Director advises, influences, and informs the Executive Team of the operations, affairs and direction of the Department and is responsible to establish and maintain organizational financial alignment from a combined centralized and centre-led service delivery model.

This key leadership role is a strategic partner for senior leadership in building collaborative and forward-thinking approaches to the specialty areas that underpin organizational effectiveness, HR service delivery, occupational health & safety and human resource business partnering.


Key Accountabilities

Strategic Leadership:

  • Provide expertise, guidance and recommendations to the Associate Commissioner (AC), Executive Team, elected officials and organizational leaders in all aspects of human resource matters, including design, implementation and evaluation of program and services;
  • Lead development and implementation of the Department’s business plan, budget and human resource planning to ensure that programs are closely linked with the County’s strategic direction, corporate business plans, the People Plan and the County’s values;
  • Strategize, create and put into action the HR aspects of the County’s strategic plan in a way that is most effective in building organizational capacity, providing excellence in customer service and improving the well-being and morale of the organization;
  • Participate in Strathcona County’s Senior Leadership Team to contribute to the development and success of the overall organization. As a member of this group, champion and support County initiatives;
  • Foster, build and maintain effective relationships with Council, Executive Team, Divisional Leadership, department staff and other County departments and stakeholders;
  • Ensure widespread consultation, collaboration, and partnerships with all departments to provide frameworks and policies which effectively meet the organization’s needs;
  • Create understanding and a positive image of the department via strong internal and external relationships; and
  • Establish and maintain key regional relationships as applicable;
  • Advocate key strategic matters on Strathcona County’s behalf related to human resources matters.


People Leadership:

  • Participate in and lead the development and implementation of strategies that build organizational capacity, provide excellence in customer service, and optimize the well-being and morale of the department and the organization (including talent management, leadership development and succession planning, performance planning and review, and employee communication);
  • Establish, model, support, and encourage a collaborative and healthy work environment including personal accountability, a unified culture, team alignment, engaged employees, respectful conduct, recognition and continuous improvement;
  • Model, demonstrate and promote the County’s corporate values to ensure they guide actions and decisions made at all levels in the department;
  • Foster a culture of leadership, collaboration, teamwork, and excellence in customer service;
  • Promote and support the outcomes, priorities, goals and deliverables of the People Plan in order to collaboratively co-design a workplace and culture that is reflective of Strathcona County’s vision of becoming Canada’s most livable community; to be a diverse, successful and sustainable community, recognized for an exceptional quality of life;
  • Mentor, develop and encourage successors. Provide clear expectations, thorough and objective evaluation, strong coaching, and leadership support to encourage direct reports to build on strengths to prepare them for added responsibilities should they wish to pursue them;
  • Maintain a culture of safety and mental wellness by ensuring adherence to legislation, and established policies and standards; ensure that organizational risks are identified and addressed; and
  • Coach and mentor department staff encouraging strategic-thinking skills, collaborative approaches, and the building and maintenance of effective working relationships.


Operational Leadership:

  • Provide leadership to the department and ensure the operations, programs, services and projects align with Strathcona County’s strategic direction, corporate business plans, and County corporate values;
  • Integrate, guide and direct the several major and diverse functions and operations of the department; determine strategic priorities, program objectives and policy recommendation;
  • Oversee the development, implementation and maintenance of HR programs, including talent management, leadership development and succession planning, total rewards, performance management, occupational health and safety, HR business partnering, disability management, employee communication and comprehensive employee support programs;
  • Oversee employee relations for a staffing complement of more than 2,250 staff, as well as labour relations involving members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees and the International Association of Fire Fighters.
  • Manage, review and report on the Department’s financial performance and resources in accordance with approved budgets and account for the fiscal costs, resources and revenues used in providing portfolio programs and services;
  • Establish mechanisms to measure, monitor, and report performance outcomes in service delivery (quality, financial, productivity, continuous improvement, employee engagement) to assure Strathcona County residents that responsible budgeting is used to deliver the desired programs and outcomes;
  • Establish appropriate organizational structures, roles, responsibilities, systems and processes to support employees and meet department objectives;
  • Identify and maintain awareness of emerging issues and opportunities; proactively conduct analysis and provide recommendations and/or solutions to address same;
  • Achieve special project results by identifying and clarifying issues and priorities, communicating and coordinating requirements, and evaluating options and courses of action;
  • Ensure that Strathcona County attracts and retains an educated and qualified workforce to provide quality services in accordance with municipal requirements and Strathcona County’s expectations; and
  • Develop, implement and oversee operational structures, including staff reporting and responsibility mechanisms to ensure a comprehensive operational framework for Human Resources with a centralized and centre-led operating model.




Success in the first year will be determined by the candidate’s ability to:

  • Establish credibility as an effective leader in Human Resources by building strong and trusted internal relationships with department leaders, colleagues, and Strathcona County employees through frequent interactions and exceptional relationship building skills;
  • Effectively manage through on-going organizational challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Work to establish a robust and effective succession management plan;
  • Lead effectively through the Business Transformation Plan which will affect all financial interactions (ie. Payroll, benefits, vendor payments, etc.).



The successful candidate will have the following:


  • Undergraduate university degree, preferably with a specialization in human resources;
  • Certification as a Certified Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) is considered an asset.


  • Ten or more years of senior leadership experience with proven strategic leadership in human resource services coupled with an extensive background and experience in people management, planning, policies and systems;
  • Experience in a public sector organization, an understanding of the associated accountabilities to elected officials and government authorities, and experience in labour relations are considered assets.

Knowledge & Skills

  • Extensive knowledge of the theories, principles, and administration of public sector human resource management;
  • Considerable breadth and in-depth knowledge of human resource management, planning and reporting processes, employee engagement, policy and frameworks, and best practices in a municipal setting;
  • Strong leadership skills including the ability to collectively create a vision of the future, provide motivational direction to obtain clearly defined goals, influence, persuade, and garner commitment; develop and mentor others to be leaders; create, support, and lead by example to build a high-performance team and a positive work environment;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute strategy, and develop and implement new programs, procedures, services, and policies that address emerging needs, expectations, and operational priorities; and
  • Strong political and organizational savvy and business acumen. Ability to respond under pressure to changing political and operational situations.

Competencies and Attributes

  • Strategic and Business Planning: provides leadership to all planning initiatives and ensures accountability for achievement of results in the Department. Is able to maintain focus on the strategic direction and long-term vision while balancing the need to address immediate and emerging needs;
  • Service Excellence: ensures customer satisfaction through timely, proactive and knowledgeable actions that go the “extra mile,” while effectively managing customer expectations in context of the County’s priorities, policies and service delivery standards;
  • Build Relationships: effectively builds relationships with a wide variety of internal and external partners. Flexible, adaptable, collaborative and demonstrates a positive attitude. Diplomatic with well-developed negotiation skills;
  • Communication: open, honest, and tactful with all audiences. Demonstrates respect to all in a clear and straightforward style. Excellent presentation skills;
  • Creativity and Innovation: the ability to utilize theory, principles and experience to develop new and unique ways to identify root causes of departmental issues and find effective ways to address them;
  • Leadership Skills: collaborative, progressive and visionary. Develop and mentor others to be leaders; create, support, and lead by example to build a high-performance team and a positive work environment. Is appreciative, engaging, understanding and knowledgeable of issues and concerns. Identifies opportunities, inspires action and achieves results;
  • Integrity and Trust: honest, sincere, dependable, authentic, and trustworthy. High ethical standards and an honest, open-minded and consistent approach to working with staff and stakeholders;
  • Politically Astute: knows and understands legislative and regulatory processes and has an intuitive ability to read the political implications of recommendations and actions. Guide and mentor Executive Team and Council with solid and informed recommendations;
  • Management Skills: encourages and inspires new ideas and approaches. Ensures timely and efficient budgeting, financial and information reporting. Uses resources effectively and efficiently; sets clear expectations; ensures accountability through the performance management system;
  • Make Decisions: assess complex/sensitive situations to determine the importance, urgency and risks and make sometimes controversial or difficult decisions that are in the best interests of the department and organization.

Problem Solving

  • Proactively identify the need and opportunities for change and build support for major changes to the direction of programs or business practices;
  • Lead the department’s focus on assessing, developing and implementing those HR frameworks, strategies and approaches that underpin corporate capacity, employee engagement and accomplishment, and ultimately the success of the organization in meeting its mandate;
  • Ensure the department is organized, structured, and staffed appropriately to meet its goals.
  • Ensure the effective performance and accountability of senior staff within the department;
  • Provide analysis and recommendations to Council and Executive Team to resolve politically and operationally sensitive issues;
  • Make departmental budget and other resource decisions within approved budgets. Ensure budget targets are achieved;
  • Help to establish, communicate, and advance the County’s position in sensitive political situations and with provincial agencies or local groups. Influence provincial and regional decisions as appropriate;
  • Proactively identify and resolve major intra-department and inter-department issues;
  • Strong conflict resolution and negotiation skills with experience solving complex and sensitive issues.



An excellent compensation package awaits the successful candidate.



Strathcona County is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and recognizes that a diverse team benefits and enriches our work and is essential to operational excellence. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals and encourage women, members of racialized communities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity to confidentially self-identify at time of application. In accordance with provincial legislation, accommodation will be provided by Optimum Talent and Strathcona County throughout the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process, upon request, to applicants with disabilities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply:

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: Copy and Paste the following job title and code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job and confirm receipt of your application:
ARTS-754782 Director, Human Resources – Strathcona County - AB - Strathcona County (OTIAPPLY)

Please note that only those candidates meeting the selection criteria, established by our client, will be contacted further. Although we may not contact you directly for this particular role, all applications will be reviewed as we would like to consider you for future opportunities that may be appropriate. We encourage you to continue to visit our website at as our opportunities are updated on a regular basis.