Right now, the highest paid Schuylkill County employee isn’t a County Commissioner or a Sheriff or even the District Attorney.
Instead, the highest paid Schuylkill County employee isn’t even in Schuylkill County. They’re in an office somewhere in Wyomissing.
Schuylkill County Hires Outsourced HR Firm at $125 Per Hour
That’s because on Wednesday, Schuylkill County Commissioners indulged a request from Administrator Gary Bender to approve a contract with Berks County-based Hubric Resources, a third-party outsourced Human Resources firm.
Hubric Resources will take over, essentially, as HR director for Schuylkill County government employees until a replacement for the recently departed Deborah Twigg is found. Twigg announced she was leaving her job as the County’s HR director on Aug. 14. Her last day on the job was Sept. 4.
It’s not troubling so much that Schuylkill County is employing the services of an outside HR firm. Lots of companies do it and there are plenty of providers of this service out there.
Sure, it doesn’t come cheap but Schuylkill County definitely seems to be paying a premium.
In a contract the Commissioners approved on Wednesday evening, we’ll pay Hubric Resources the following rates:
- $125 per hour for “HR Director Support”
- $110 per hour for “HR Recruiting Support”
It seems unlikely that we’d pay Hubric Resources a full-time rate. Not discussed on Wednesday was how often Hubric Resources would be asked to work. But $125 an hour? That’s awfully high.
“I’m very much aware of the cost of an interim HR director. I think at this time, we need to have someone in that office,” Bender said when asking Commissioners to approve this contract, retroactive to Sept. 3.
The Commissioners unanimously obliged.
But wait, it’s not as bad as it seems. Bender says it’s unlikely the County will need Hubric for recruiting support. That’s the lesser of the 2 rates, so yes, it is as bad as it seems.
To their credit, though, Bender doesn’t believe this contract will last too long. The main reason he doesn’t believe the County will need Hubric for HR recruiting support is because they may be close to making a hire at the Courthouse.
“We are aggressively pursuing candidates,” Bender said. “We have interviewed 2 already, so we will not let this linger, believe me. I’m well aware of the cost.”
Schuylkill County’s Highest Paid Employee Isn’t an Employee
The $125 per hour rate is far and away the most we pay any employee in county government. District Attorney Mike O’Pake makes the most. His salary in 2018 was set at just more than $182,000, not including benefits.
That’s high, sure, but he’s the DA. At the very least, he’s in the building.
If, for some reason, Schuylkill County dawdled in hiring a new HR director and this contract lingered for a while … and this outside firm worked a 35-hour week at $125 per hour … we could end up paying this firm $227,500 a year. But at least we wouldn’t have to pay for benefits, at least not directly. At that rate, though, we’re definitely paying for their benefits and probably a few lunches, too.
A more direct comparison is looking at what we pay Hubric versus what we paid Twigg. When she was hired back in January 2018, Twigg’s salary was set at $64,040. Not including benefits, that works out to about $32 per hour.
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