Human Resources Partner

Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not Specified
Nov 17, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time
Human Resources Job Description

Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction and purpose. A college of and for the world, Smith links the power of the liberal arts to excellence in research and scholarship, thereby developing engaged global citizens and leaders to address society’s challenges. Imagine working in a community dedicated to learning, teaching, scholarship, discovery, creativity and critical thought. It’s the diversity and inclusivity of our community, founded on the free and open exchange of ideas, that runs through everything we do. Join Smith and become part of a unique team bringing our mission to life.

Smith College is looking for an experienced HR professional to support various teams. This is an exciting opportunity to work as a trusted advisor to provide solutions and recommendations.


In this role, you will deliver a full spectrum of both strategic and tactical HR support and programs to employees and managers. From educating clients on compensation practices, performance management, career development to advising on various management issues. Provide expertise and mentorship to both managers and employees about how to develop and progress at Smith. Understand the needs of the organization in terms of achieving maximum organizational performance and efficiencies. Provide advice and counsel to managers and employees on all performance related issues, including identifying key talent and leadership planning. Understand the training/development needs and act as liaison with key partners to provide appropriate training to the organization. Coach new managers on how to manage, effectively write performance reviews, etc. Execute on the annual salary planning process. Conduct employee relations investigations as necessary.

The HR Partner is both a strategic and hands-on role that provides full employee lifecycle support. This role provides comprehensive day-to-day HR support and advice as a single point of service to customer groups on all HR related matters, including employee relations and employee engagement, succession planning, talent identification and development, performance management, and talent acquisition. The role has a strong emphasis on retention, employee relations, projects, and engagement.


Performance Management & Employee Relations

  • Work with managers and leaders on employee performance management plans and employee relations concerns

  • Coach management on effectively responding to employee relations concerns

  • Analyze data and trends on ER and performance management, to provide input to the business strategy to prevent the recurrence of known issues

  • Conduct thorough and timely investigations; mitigate liability related to employment practices.

  • Manage the exit process, including conducting exit interviews as necessary

Talent Management & Development

  • Coach, train and guide managers during the performance review process, compensation concerns, training and development opportunities, organizational design, and workforce planning.

  • Enable the success of new and experienced managers by leveraging, delivering and improving existing training content.

  • Initiate career conversations, succession planning, and help create actionable development plans with top talent.

  • Ability to understand what key talent looks like from both inside and outside of our organization and have an opinion when it comes to appointing key positions and their career mobility.

HR Generalist

  • Consult managers on people matters that require in depth knowledge of policies, procedures and local legislation. Act as a trusted Coach to business leaders as they address sensitive/complex people related issues, equipping them with the right skills and behaviours to lead their teams, including meeting Smith College leadership expectations.

  • Advocate for inclusion and engagement in driving performance in all areas of the college

  • Partner with management to improve work relationships, build morale, increase productivity and retain talent

  • Collaborate with Talent Acquisition to forecast needs, ensure a strong talent pipeline; interview and give feedback on leadership positions.

  • Work with leaders to plan and implement Town Halls, employee feedback sessions, etc.



  • Bachelor's degree and three to five years of working in a human resources role or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • In depth experience in HR functional areas (generalist, benefits, payroll, recruiting, compensation, etc.).

  • HR consulting, labor relations, and experience/familiarity with the higher education setting preferred.

  • This job description reflects general functions; it does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned.

Desired Skills:

  • Self starter, positive attitude, accessible, and approachable

  • Project management and execution skills

  • Coaching and consulting skills

  • Strong business and HR acumen, including strong problem solving skills, critical thinking and analysis

  • Possess conviction and tenacity, and excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Drives recommendations and prioritization in collaboration with HR or business leaders to put decisions into a broader business context

  • Highly organized, thrives in an ambiguous environment and able to manage multiple simultaneous priorities

  • Possesses intellectual curiosity; brings insight into the team & business

  • Take the lead when faced with new and challenging opportunities

  • Familiarity with college software, Workday, Excel, etc.

  • Sensitive to language and cultural differences

  • Continual commitment to personal learning, demonstrated ability to build on learning and share within the broader HR function

Please attach/upload a current resume and cover letter in order for your application to be considered for this position.

Review of applications will begin

December 18, 2020

Compensation Grade:

Grade H

Position Type:


About Smith College

Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts. A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.

Smith College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status in the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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