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Human Resources Partner

Smith College
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Dec 7, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Business & Management, Management, Other Business & Management, Administrative, Academic Affairs, Faculty Affairs, Business & Administrative Affairs, Human Resources Administration
Employment Type
Full Time
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If you have any questions about the position or our application process, reach out to us at .

Human Resources Job Description

Job Summary

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 unique needs of the student facing organizations you support and help them achieve maximum organizational performance and efficiency. 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. Execute 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 client groups on all HR related matters, including employee relations and employee engagement, succession planning, talent identification and development, performance management, and talent acquisition.

Take appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Essential Functions

Performance Management & Employee Relations (20%)

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.

Identify risks associated with how we manage human resources including compliance with HR policies. Limit liability and provide solutions to mitigate negative employment actions.

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

Talent Management & Development (20%)

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 (45%)

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 behaviors to lead their teams, including meeting Smith College leadership expectations.

Manage the implementation of holistic workforce planning for assigned organizations by providing insights and recommendations, and sharing feedback and ideas with leadership on the development of the plans.

Analyze workforce data to guide decision making and provide proactive solutions to client groups.

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.

Projects (15%)

Lead or actively participate in HR related project work such as Workday HR suite optimization, website modernization, policy revisions, training creation and delivery, etc.

Participate in the college’s efforts to create a respectful, inclusive and welcoming work environment.

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

Minimum Qualifications (knowledge, skills, education, experience, certifications, licenses)

Bachelor's degree and 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, talent, recruiting, compensation, etc.).

Two plus years of experience working in an HR capacity within Higher Education; strong preference for Higher Education HR consulting experience.

Deep knowledge of HR programs and practices including applicable state and federal employment laws and regulations.

Experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications

Three to five years of experience working in an HR capacity within Higher Education.

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


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

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

Coaching and consulting skills.

Ability to take project from concept to execution.

Self-starter, positive attitude, accessible, and approachable.

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.

Operate with the highest degree of integrity and confidentiality.

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

Takes the lead when faced with new and challenging opportunities.

Sensitive to language and cultural differences.

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

Additional Information

For the care and safety of our community, Smith College requires that all employees be vaccinated as a condition of employment and as such, the incumbent will be required to be immunized against COVID-19 on or before their first day of employment. Proof of vaccination status will be required. Individuals may seek medical or religious exemption with HR, but must do so prior to their arrival.

Please attach BOTH a current resume and a cover letter in order for your application to be considered for this position . Be sure you have provided all attachments before submitting your application. You will NOT be able to attach additional files after you have hit the Submit button.

Review of applications will begin

December 20, 2021

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.

Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B, it is the policy of Smith College to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact our recruiting team at .

Diversity and a culture of inclusion among students, staff, faculty, and administration are crucial to the mission and values of Smith College. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religions, 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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