Job Posting: Chief, Benefits Division

Department of Human Resources

Chief, Benefits Division
C. E. A.

$7,442.00 - $17,513.00 per Month

Final Filing Date: Until Filled

Job Description and Duties

Are you an experienced leader with a passion for making a difference?

Are you passionate about leading teams and inspiring others to deliver great service to our customers?

IF SO, this position may be for you!

Under the general direction of the CalHR Chief Deputy Director, the CEA functions as a Division Chief and member of the Executive team, serves as a program administrator overseeing the planning, organizing, and coordinating the work of the Benefits Division. Incumbent will be the principal policy adviser to the CalHR Director, Chief Deputy Director and Governor related to employee benefits and administrative programs. The Division Chief is responsible for the development and implementation of policies, legislation and programs designed to administer employee benefits.

          35% Leadership (E)
Provides the highest level of policy advice to the Director and Chief Deputy Director regarding the overall state employee benefit structure; serves as the Director’s delegate to the CalPERS Board of Administration; and consults with the directorate, the Legislature and the Governor’s Office on the most critical and sensitive benefits issues of immediate interest to the Governor, Legislature, media and public.  Exhibits fair behavior that is free from implicit bias in dealing with all parties. Directs the work of the Benefits Division on significant issues requiring the highest level of sensitivity including pension and civil service reform, controlling costs for providing health and other benefit programs, and determining how those costs will impact the benefits structure for current and future state employees as well as retirees. 

          35% Program Administrator (E)
As Chief of the Benefits Division, incumbent has overall responsibility for the administration of all employee benefit programs administered by the CalHR, including dental care, vision care, employee assistant, FlexElect, legal services, term life insurance, long-term disability, CoBen, COBRA, Travel and Accident Insurance, ACA provisions, wellness, pre-tax parking, merit award, drug/substance abuse testing, state owned housing, travel, relocation, transit and vanpool and workers’ compensation/industrial disability. Oversees the negotiation and administration of contracts with insurance vendors, ensures the evaluation of the cost/benefit effectiveness of contracts to ensure the state is maximizing the benefit of scale and volume purchasing discounts. Incumbent provides leadership and direction in the exploration of program, policy and administrative alternatives that enhance the overall administration of a comprehensive employee benefits program needed to attract and retain a well-qualified workforce. Incumbent provides program management, implements strategies for effective and efficient business operations, and provides direction and strategic leadership to reporting staff to ensure operational goals are achieved.

20% Strategic Planning (E)

As a member of the Executive Team, participates in departmental strategic planning, goal setting, policy formulation, and legislative changes related to CalHR. Develops strategic goals and objectives as it relates to collective bargaining and matters within the scope of representation. Establishes performance goals, objectives, and expectations that are aligned with the department’s mission and strategic goals. Directs the development and implementation of a comprehensive marketing and communication program, taking advantage of new technology to reach and interact with a large and geographically dispersed workforce.  Drafts internal and external communications for the Director and Chief Deputy Director, ensuring effective vertical and lateral communications to all levels. 

10% Relationship Building (M)

The CEA will exhibit fair behavior that is free from implicit bias in dealing with all parties; establishes, maintains and fosters effective working relationships with internal and external stakeholders on the division’s operations through partnerships with other state departments including representing CalHR in discussions of benefit program policies and administrative practices with numerous organizations, including but not limited to the Legislature, CalPERS, labor unions, excluded employee groups, state managers and retirees, benefit and training vendors and consultants/actuaries. Effectively contributes to the department’s EEO objectives in order to create and maintain a fair and equitable work environment. Promotes and fosters a work culture that is conducive to employee engagement, productivity, and professional development.

You will find additional information about the job in the Duty Statement.

Minimum Requirements

This position does not have a Classification Specification. Requirements and qualifications for this position can be found in this announcement. For additional questions, please contact the hiring department listed below.

    Position Details

    Job Code #:
    Position #(s):
    Working Title:
    Chief, Benefits Division
    C. E. A.
    $7,442.00 - $17,513.00
    # of Positions:
    Work Location:
    Sacramento County
    Job Type:
    Career Executive Assignment - Non Tenured, Full Time

    Department Information

    The California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) is responsible for all issues related to employee salaries and benefits, job classifications, civil rights, training, exams, recruitment and retention. For most employees, many of these matters are determined through the collective bargaining process managed by CalHR.

    Our Vision: To be the premier leader and trusted partner in innovative human resources management.

    Our Mission: To provide exceptional human resources leadership and services with integrity, respect and accountability to state departments and all current and prospective employees.

    Department Website:

    Special Requirements

    All interested applicants are required to submit a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ). You must provide direct responses to each of the Special Requirements listed below. Each individual response must be numbered and include the full text of the Special Requirement prior to each response. Please address how you possess each Special Requirement using specific examples of your education, training, and experience.  Please limit your SOQ to a maximum of three (3) pages, single spaced, twelve point Arial font.

    1. Describe your experience in years in program administration by establishing a division’s mission/vision and effectively leading a team toward meeting strategic goals. Include your experience in policy development and implementation.

    2. Describe your change management experience in years and provide examples of your ability to identify opportunities for organizational improvement and successfully lead and implement change.

    3. Describe your experience in years developing, coaching, and mentoring employees to create and maintain an engaging work environment that stimulates learning, encourages growth and empowerment, and recognizes individual and group achievements to ensure optimal performance.

    4. Describe your knowledge of, and/or experience with, the state’s legislative and budgetary processes, state control agencies, and other governmental entities that are essential for effective program administration.

    Note:  Applicants who do not follow these requirements may be disqualified from the examination. Cover letters and resumes do not take the place of SOQs.  

    Application Instructions

    Dates printed on Mobile Bar Codes, such as the Quick Response (QR) Codes available at the USPS, are not considered Postmark dates for the purpose of determining timely filing of an application.

    Final Filing Date: Until Filled

    Who May Apply

    Individuals who are eligible to be appointed to this Career Executive Assignment (CEA) by the State of California.

    How To Apply

    Complete Application Packages (including your Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) and applicable or required documents) must be submitted to apply for this Job Posting. Application Packages may be submitted electronically through your CalCareer Account at When submitting your application in hard copy, a completed copy of the Application Package listing must be included. If you choose to not apply electronically, a hard copy application package may be submitted through an alternative method listed below:

    Address for Mailing Application Packages

    You may submit your application and any applicable or required documents to:

    Department of Human Resources
    Attn: Stephanie Hees
    1515 S Street, North Building, Suite 500
    Sacramento, CA 95811-7258

    Address for Drop-Off Application Packages

    You may drop off your application and any applicable or required documents at:

    Stephanie Hees
    1515 S Street, North Building, Suite 500
    Sacramento, CA 95811-7258
    08:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Required Application Package Documents

    The following items are required to be submitted with your application. Applicants who do not submit the required items timely may not be considered for this job:

    • Current version of the State Examination/Employment Application STD Form 678 (when not applying electronically), or the Electronic State Employment Application through your Applicant Account at All Experience and Education relating to the Minimum Qualifications listed on the Classification Specification should be included to demonstrate how you meet the Minimum Qualifications for the position.
    • Resume is required and must be included.
    • Statement of Qualifications -

    Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for the hiring interview process must request the necessary accommodations if scheduled for a hiring interview. The request should be made at the time of contact to schedule the interview. Questions regarding reasonable accommodations may be directed to the EEO contact listed on this job posting.

    Examination Qualification Requirements

    All applicants must possess the knowledge and abilities, and any other requirements, described in this announcement.

    Note: Eligibility to take a CEA examination does not require current permanent status in the civil service.

    General Qualifications

    State civil service employees must possess essential general qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, and ability to work cooperatively with others.

    Knowledge and Abilities

    Applicants must demonstrate the ability to perform high administrative and policy – influencing functions effectively. Such overall ability requires possession of most of the following more specific knowledge and abilities:

    • Knowledge of the organization and functions of California State Government including the organization and practices of the Legislature and the Executive Branch; principles, practices, and trends of public administration, organization, and management; techniques of organizing and motivating groups; program development and evaluation; methods of administrative problem solving; principles and practices of policy formulation and development; and personnel management techniques; the department’s or agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program objectives; and a manager’s role in the Equal Employment Opportunity Program.
    • Ability to plan, organize, and direct the work of multidisciplinary professional and administrative staff; analyze administrative policies, organization, procedures and practices; integrate the activities of a diverse program to attain common goals; gain the confidence and support of top level administrators and advise them on a wide range of administrative matters; develop cooperative working relationships with representatives of all levels of government, the public, and the Legislature and Executive branches; analyze complex problems and recommend effective courses of action; and prepare and review reports; and effectively contribute to the department’s or agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity objectives.

    These knowledge and abilities are expected to be obtained from the following kinds of experience with substantial participation in the formulation, operation and/or evaluation of program policies (experience may have been paid or volunteer; in State service, other government settings, or in a private organization):

    CEA Level A - Responsible for broad administrative and program activities, including the execution and/or evaluation of program policies.

    CEA Level B - Responsible for extensive managerial and program administration or broad program manager experience with substantial participation in the formulation, operation, and/or evaluation of program policies.

    CEA Level C - Responsible for extensive highly professional influence and contributes to program, policy, and the methods to provide professional services needed to set policies, to meet the mission of the State department and often exercising technical and or professional skills that are required at this level.

    Desirable Qualifications

    In addition to evaluating each candidate's relative ability, as demonstrated by quality and breadth of experience, the following factors will provide the basis for competitively evaluating each candidate:
    • Demonstrated knowledge of state policies, rules & standards relative to the State’s Civil Service Benefit Programs;

    • Experience in recommending, developing and implementing policies and procedures;

    • Program administration experience communicating with executive level management, other state agencies, legislative staff, industry, local  governments, etc;

    • Managerial experience that demonstrates the ability to successfully apply organizational leadership, communicate clearly, facilitate decision-making, promote team work, and define and achieve success across multi-disciplinary stakeholder interests;

    • Ability to gain the confidence and support of executive leadership and provide effective advice on regulatory and administrative matters and policies;

    • Ability to collaborate with others to achieve mutual goals and meet the organizations' and external stakeholders' strategic goals and objectives; and

    • Experience with forecasting and managing a division’s budget.

    Examination Information

    If you meet the requirements stated in this announcement, you may take this competitive examination. Possession of the Examination Qualifications requirements does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination will be compared with the performance of others who take this examination, and all successful candidates will be ranked according to their scores.

    A minimum rating of 70% must be attained in the Examination to obtain list eligibility for this position. All candidates will receive written notification of their examination results.

    The results of this examination will only be used to fill this position. Applications will be retained for twelve months.

    Hiring interviews for the Job may be conducted with the most qualified candidates.

    The examining Department reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service, if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service law and rules and all competitors will be notified.

    Special Testing Arrangements

    If you have a disability and need special testing arrangements, answer the Reasonable Accommodations question appropriately on your Application (STD 678). You will be contacted to make specific arrangements. Questions regarding reasonable accommodations may be directed to the EEO contact listed on this announcement.

    Contact Information

    The Human Resources Contact is available to answer questions regarding the application process. The Hiring Unit Contact is available to answer questions regarding the position.

    Department Website:
    Human Resources Contact:
    Stephanie Hees
    (916) 323-6062
    Hiring Unit Contact:
    Diana Narvaez
    (916) 323-0864

    Please direct requests for Reasonable Accommodations to the interview scheduler at the time the interview is being scheduled. You may direct any additional questions regarding Reasonable Accommodations or Equal Employment Opportunity for this position(s) to the Department's EEO Office.

    EEO Contact:
    EEO Officer
    (916) 845-2860
    California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice) TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

    Equal Opportunity Employer

    The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

    It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free work place. Any applicant for state employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing Civil Service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

    Application Methods:
    Electronic (Using your CalCareer Account)
    By Mail