In today’s highly competitive job market, the City of Chandler is seeking qualified applicants for dozens of positions in all areas of municipal government. While required skills and qualifications vary by position, all of the opportunities with the city have this in common: You must have a great customer service attitude and a passion for public service and helping people.
“Recruiting quality applicants is critical, and it is certainly more challenging these days with low unemployment and increased competition from other cities and the private sector,” says Rae Lynn Nielsen, Chandler’s Human Resources Director (pictured right). “We saw a big shift after COVID in the expectations applicants have for schedule flexibility and telecommuting options. In the public sector, we can’t match everything the private sector offers in those areas, but we can offer competitive pay, excellent benefits, professional stability, a supportive team environment and the satisfaction of knowing that every day you are making a positive impact on the community you serve,” she added.
Chandler recently completed an extensive study analyzing job classes and compensation levels throughout the organization. “We wanted to be sure that our salaries were competitive with other Valley cities and our leadership made a commitment to rank us in the top 25% for compensation among Greater Phoenix area cities,” Nielsen says. In addition, long-term financial security is offered to employees through State-sponsored retirement plans, deferred compensation plans, and retirement health savings plans that are boosted by regular contributions from the city.
The health and wellness of employees and their family members are also prioritized through generous medical, dental and vision insurance plans, health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts and more. Nielsen points to a variety of offerings – including nutrition, weight management, financial wellness, mindfulness, fitness programs – as examples of the city’s commitment to employee satisfaction. “A healthy work-life balance is important to our employees and we try to help them find and maintain that balance so they can enjoy their home and family life after working so hard on behalf of the community,” she says.
Wellness and quality-of-life incentives like these and others use to be considered gratuitous for an organization, but to recruit and keep a younger, modern workforce they are now a vital part of the city’s overall benefits package. “In December, we had what they called ‘Self-Care Week,’” said Haley Bartosik, a senior management analyst with the Chandler Fire Department. “Human Resources offered free chair massages to employees and meditation sessions. They brought in free drinks – coffee, tea and juices - to several city worksites. It may not seem like much to some people, but I hadn’t experienced that kind of employee care at previous jobs, and it was really nice.”
Bartosik joined the City of Chandler nearly one year ago after working in municipal government in Beverly Hills, California and Scottsdale. “I was looking for professional growth opportunities and I was very interested in working in public safety,” she said. “I had always heard people working for other Valley cities say that Chandler was a great place to work and that they value their employees. So, when I saw that this position had opened, I felt like I couldn't pass the opportunity up.”
From her first day on the job and every day since Bartosik says she has been impressed with Chandler’s emphasis on organizational values, teamwork and community engagement. “I think Chandler does a good job of really highlighting specific values that they want employees to focus on, like taking personal responsibility, celebrating our diversity and looking for innovation,” she says. “We are also encouraged to connect with the community on a deeper level, to meet with residents and collaborate on projects that make a real difference in people’s daily lives. They also give us a little paid time off (eight hours per year) to volunteer with local non-profits. It’s all about a public service mindset.”
The City of Chandler’s emphasis on a set of “values” to guide employees in their jobs is not new. Chandler Values have been in place for more than three decades (with slight changes through the years) and are combined with a customer service philosophy (Customer Connection) to create a true culture of seamless service among employees – service to the public and to each other.
“I can vouch that Chandler is a great city to work for. I know I am happy to be here,” Bartosik says. “In fact, I've already sent quite a few people I know to the jointeamchandler.com website to see positions that have opened up.”
And there are many positions available. Nielsen notes that at any given time there are at least 80-100 vacancies within the organization that need to be filled. “I always recommend that people go to jointeamchandler.com and fill out what's called a Job Interest Card,” Nielsen said. “Mark all the areas that you are interested in – there are more than 50 – and anytime we post a job that matches one of your areas of interest, the system will automatically notify you about the opportunity.” Job Interest Cards are active in the system for 12 months.
Nielsen sends this message to potential applicants: “If you're looking for a great job, working for the City of Chandler can provide you with some amazing opportunities for meaningful, challenging work. We're an organization that works really hard, but we care about the community we serve, and we care about one another. Come join us!”
This article also appeared in the Jan. 28, 2024 edition of the SanTan Sun News.