The town has hired Ralph M. Chetcuti, a former labor relations director for The New York Times, as its new director of personnel director and human resources.

Chetcuti, who began work Thursday, fills a position that had been vacant since March 2011, following the retirement of Tom Hamilton. Since he was hired in January 2012, Finance Director Gary Conrad has been the acting personnel director.

"Ralph has broad human resources experience that made him a standout candidate for this position as we work to integrate town and school personnel and human resources operations," First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said Thursday in a statement issued by his office.

Chetcuti was selected from 45 applicants, and the finalists were interviewed by Joseloff and Republican and Democratic members of the Board of Finance, according to the statement.

Most recently, Chetcuti has been a human-resources consultant to several companies. He previously worked in human-resources jobs with the New York City District Council of Carpenter Benefits Funds, Newmark Knight Frank, a commercial real estate advisory firm, The New York Racing Association, and The New York Times.

In his 21 years with the newspaper, Chetcuti rose from an employee benefits analyst to director of labor relations.

He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Dowling College in Oakdale, N.Y., and has studied human resources, employee relations and related disciplines at New York University and Cornell University.

Chetcuti lives in Easton with his wife, Lorraine, and sons Alexander, 21, and Matthew, 18.