CEDAR FALLS — The city has hired an experienced professional to lead its human resources division, a fairly new sector of local government in a city with a few hundred public employees.
Bailey Schindel took the helm as human resources manager Sept. 27, but went on maternity leave soon after commencing her tenure, The Courier has learned.
Schindel is supervising two human resource specialists and making a salary of $82,000, according to city spokesperson Amanda Huisman. She previously served in a similar capacity for PPG Coatings Services in Waterloo. She brings more than eight years of human resources experience to the position.
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The position was included in the fiscal year 2022 budget approved by the City Council earlier this year. The decision of who to hire was made by city staff. Council approval was not required.
“I am excited for the opportunity to share my human resources knowledge and support as a resource to our employees and the city,” Schindel said in an email. “I look forward to working with each department and continuing to grow and develop consistent HR services in the city to benefit our workers and the community they serve.”
The human resources division is a sector of the finance and business operations department headed by Director Jennifer Rodenbeck. The two specialists and Rodenbeck are sharing the workload in Schindel’s temporary absence.
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The human resources division was established by the council at the end of last year.
“We just felt that for an organization the size of the city of Cedar Falls … shouldn’t we have a human resources division? It was the right timing,” Rodenbeck said at the time.
Schindel’s predecessor, Toni Babcock, resigned this summer after less than a year on the job. Officials said she found a position that better fit her needs.
Babcock’s social media pages indicate she stayed in town and took a job as an employee relations partner at Collins Aerospace, which has an office in Cedar Rapids.
According to the Cedar Falls human resources manager description offered by Babcock on her LinkedIn page, it manages and oversees job classifications, compensation administration, performance management, benefit administration, employee and labor relations, leaves and accommodations, and recruiting and training systems.
“There have been no changes in the job classification since it was created,” said Huisman.
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The human resources manager serves as a liaison to the Human Rights Commission, but Brenda Balvanz, one of the city’s human resources specialists, is continuing to serve in that capacity for the time being, according to officials.
The Racial Equity Task Force recommends the city hire an internal staff position that could eliminate the responsibility of serving as a liaison to the commission, and council has expressed an interest in investigating the possibility.