Elburn dealing with staffing shortages in public works dept.

ELBURN – The village of Elburn is experiencing high turnover in its public works department and will hire a professional human resources manager to try to stop it.

However, stopping the turnover will be a challenge.

“It’s going to take a long time to hire someone to fix a lot of these problems,” Village Trustee Chris Mondi said. “Bring back scales because you have laborers, as soon as they start out, they’re maxed out from that time and there’s nothing to look forward to. You can call it whatever you want, but most places that work like this, they get two raises a year until you get to your scale.”

Village Administrator John Nevenhoven reported in a memo to the Committee of the Whole that exit interview comments made it known that there is a lack of a clear path to advancement in public works as well as the availability of higher pay elsewhere.

Nevenhoven said the development of an advancement step program with appropriate wages for each step could be used to address the turnover issue. Nevenhoven discussed the staffing dilemma in detail during the Committee of the Whole meeting Oct. 18.

Village Trustee Matthew Wilson offered his full support of the hiring of an HR professional to address the turnover issue and more.

“It’s a Catch-22, I guess, keeping our current staff and trying to prepare for moving forward,” he said. “I think that HR position could really help put that together [and] take a lot of work away from John [Nevenhoven] and let him focus on what he’s best at, what he should be working on.”

The HR manager will be working on the advanced step program, Village President Jeff Walter said.

Walter also wants to see immediate action to try to retain staff.

“I think this whole step thing is a complicated matter, maybe not, I’m not an HR person, but I think we might need that extra piece to develop that correctly,” he said. “And is there something we can do that makes it a little more palatable for guys that are quitting? We’re losing a guy every three months.”

The human resources manager will oversee the recruitment and selection processes, develop and/or update job descriptions, assist with collective bargaining, review and manage wage compliance, ensure competitive employee compensation, review and recommend changes to benefits, review and update personnel policy and more.