16 days old

Senior Director, Human Resource Division

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
Olympia, Washington
  • Job Type
  • Job Status
    Full Time


The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) is Washington State’s largest state agency. In any given month DSHS provides some type of shelter, care, protection, or support to 2.8 million of our state’s 7.4 million people.

DSHS has a single mission – to transform lives. The agency is organized into seven service delivery components: Rehabilitation Administration; Economic Services Administration; Aging and Long-term Support Administration; Behavioral Health Administration; Services and Enterprise Support Administration; Developmental Disabilities Administration and the Facilities, Finance and Analytics Administration.


The Human Resources Division (HRD) is within the Services and Enterprise Support Administration. It provides a broad spectrum of expert consultative and technical human resources services across the department in collaboration with local and executive agency leadership. Services are provided at the headquarters and regional levels, and also in the state’s institutions.

The Human Resources Division has four primary service areas: Position Management, Operations, Organizational Leadership and Training, and Labor Relations. Services within these areas include: talent management, classification and compensation, layoff, policy and procedure development, training and staff development, Washington State Patrol referrals, civil rights investigations, reasonable accommodation, professional consulting services, employee wellness and numerous other activities or events concerning department employees.

The Director is responsible for more than 150 employees with an annual budget of approximately $15.6 million.

Within DSHS, there are 310 exempt positions ranging from the senior leadership team to directors of programs. In addition, the agency has approximately 1,000 Washington Management Service positions. The majority of Washington General Service positions are represented by labor unions: the Washington Federation of State Employees; Service Employees International Union Healthcare 1199 Northwest; and the Coalition. 


Last year, the Human Resources Division embarked on a journey to transform HR services for DSHS.  The goal of Transform HR is to align strategy and capabilities that will result in a re-designed Human Resource Division’s service delivery model.  A critical outcome will be to provide consistent, timely and value-added HR services to our customers.  The change is driven by several factors:

To most effectively use our resources we must prioritize where we focus our energies. In order to build the capacity of the frontline supervisor, we need to stratify and realign the work we do into consistent and timely resources, for the businesses we support.

Organizational changes – we need to realign our work around the businesses we support and the changing environment.

The priorities for this project are to communicate, collaborate and build relationships that result in practical and innovative solutions that support our customers and each other and empowers staff. 

Project goals are to:

Create a service delivery model that builds the capacity of each administration to meet its strategic objectives and goals. 

Align the work, linkages and relationships so that the talent and resources of HRD are fully utilized and set up for success.  

Develop a culture where HRD employees feel valued and see a direct connection between what they do and the success of both HRD and DSHS.


We’re not looking for your typical HR executive. We’re looking for a big-picture thinker and strategic leader with the interpersonal skills and organizational savvy to help us enhance a culture of open communication, creative collaboration, and outstanding customer service.

As the Senior Director of the Human Resources Division, you’ll ensure that we attract, nurture, and retain a highly skilled and diverse workforce. You’ll build positive relationships and be a strategic partner, helping us connect and deliver on our strategic goals. You’ll be an effective change leader and adjust quickly to shifting priorities.

Consensus building, problem solving, decision-making, organization, coaching, fostering collaboration, inclusion and equity, and team building: These are the essential qualities we are seeking in an HR leader. Topping the list is exceptional communication skills, including listening, persuasion, negotiation, and relationship management.

As HR Director, start your groundbreaking journey by transforming HR service delivery in an agency that appreciates and values people and believes in having an HR expert to lead and influence this transformation. This is a great opportunity to be a major stakeholder in the evolution of DSHS, and become a valued partner.

For this important role DSHS seeks a credible, unifying leader who is deeply committed to the success of the agency.


Core competencies for this position are:


Gaining other people’s trust by demonstrating openness and honesty, behaving consistently, and acting in accordance with moral, ethical, professional, and organizational guidelines.

Building Organizational Talent

Establishing systems and processes to attract, develop, engage, and retain talented individuals; creating a work environment where people can realize their full potential, thus allowing the organization to meet current and future business challenges.

Creating a Culture of Trust

Fostering a work environment that encourages people to act with integrity and treat each other and their ideas with respect; creating and protecting a high-trust environment by setting an example, advocating for others in the face of challenges, removing barriers to trust, and rewarding others for demonstrating behaviors that cultivate trust.

Customer Focus

Ensuring that the internal or external customer’s perspective is a driving force behind strategic priorities, business decisions, organizational processes, and individual activities; crafting and implementing service practices that meet customers’ and own organization’s needs; promoting and operationalizing customer service as a value.

Driving Innovation

Creating an environment (culture) that inspires people to generate novel solutions with measurable value for existing and potential customers (internal or external); encouraging experimentation with new ways to solve work problems and seize opportunities that result in unique and differentiated solutions.

Optimizing Diversity

Establishing and supporting organizational systems, policies, and practices that reduce barriers and leverage the capabilities and insights of individuals with diverse backgrounds, cultures, styles, abilities, and motivation.

Application Process

Persons interested in this position must submit a cover letter and a current resume.

If you have questions regarding this announcement, please call Marissa Karras at 360-956-1336. The position will remain open until filled. The maximum salary for this position is $129,805. The starting salary for this job may be less than the maximum amount.  In order to be considered for the first round of interviews please submit your application materials no later than June 15 by visiting www.karrasconsulting.net and clicking on “view open positions.”

The State of Washington is an equal opportunity employer and is strongly committed to enhancing the diversity of its workforce. We will provide assistance in the recruitment, application and selection process to applicants with disabilities who request such assistance.

Live and Work in a Great State

Washington State offers a total work/life package of pay, benefits, flexibility and workplace opportunities to help you get the most out of your career and out of life. Washington State is a great place to work, play, and be a part of a community. Washington offers a quality of life that is unsurpassed. From the high- energy urban center of Seattle, one of the nation’s top-ranked cities, to the more relaxed pace of our rural communities, Washington’s distinctive Pacific Northwest lifestyle blends a progressive, creative culture with a casual nature.

The position is located in Olympia, the capital city of Washington State. Olympia is a vibrant city with a small town feel conveniently situated between Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Mount Rainier and the rugged Cascade Mountains provide majestic scenery to the east while Washington’s Pacific Coast is just an hour’s drive to the west. Olympia enjoys the benefits of an engaged and educated community and a well-supported school system, augmented by two universities and a community college.



Successful candidates will have a bachelor’s degree and a least 10 years progressively responsible human resources management experience in a large, complex and highly represented organization. A master’s degree, experience working with senior executives and serving policy makers, and HR certification is a plus.


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Senior Director, Human Resource Division

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
Olympia, Washington

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Senior Director, Human Resource Division

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
Olympia, Washington

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