Sierra Martin | Managing Editor
Hays County recently announced that due to staffing issues, the Hays County Clerk’s Office substations in Dripping Springs, Wimberley and Kyle are closed until further notice. Staffing shortages have been persistent as Hays County struggles to provide competitive pay. According to their website, there are currently 56 different job openings.
The County Clerk’s Office first encountered hiring problems in early 2021, when there were very few applicants for one position over many months, and several of those declined to discuss the job when they learned how low the pay was. Staffing issues have escalated since then and have become serious since March of this year, according to Hays County Clerk Elaine Cardenas.
Cardenas said the staff vacancies have significantly affected operations. In the past six to eight weeks, seven staff members have resigned. Of those, five left for 30% to 50% higher pay. Nine applicants have rejected job offers during that period due to the low pay.
The Dripping Springs and Wimberley County Clerk’s offices closed on June 6, 2022, and the Kyle office closed on June 16, 2022. The County Clerk’s Office said they had not considered closing the Kyle office until staff vacancies and COVID-related absences of several staff members made it necessary.
“Wimberley and Dripping Springs services have been underutilized. Closing those offices has had no impact on operations. We are re-evaluating the need to have offices in those locations. The Kyle substation, the first to open and the substation located in the fastest growing area of the county, has a steady demand for services. Our plans call for increasing staff in that location when we can,” Cardenas said.
The county must hire a minimum of three staff members in their Records Division to be able to re-open the substation offices. In addition, the county will need to train the staff members for the professional-level positions, which takes about three to six months, Cardenas said.
The Human Resources Department is advertising the open positions on the county website and social media. In addition, they have recently started using the NeoGov system, which has increased the number of applications received. Available county jobs are posted on Indeed.com, and according to a county spokesperson, a job fair is planned in the fall.
“In the County Clerk’s office, we are contacting all applicants immediately and interviewing them as soon as possible. In addition to the nine who have rejected job offers, the majority of applicants have declined interviews when informed of the pay,” said Cardenas.
According to Hays County, the Hays County Tax Assessor-Collector, Contables, Justice of the Peace and Commissioners’ offices remain open at the substation locations. Services are available in the main Hays County Clerk’s Office and can be found at 712 S. Stagecoach in San Marcos or on their website.
The county is actively searching for candidates to fill the vacant positions in Hays County, and a full list of job postings can be found here.