Human Resources Business Partner

Salt Lake City, UT
May 16, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Human Resources Business Partner

**Position located at the Salt Lake City, UT campus*

WGU Mission

The principal mission of Western Governors University is to improve quality and expand access to post-secondary educational opportunities by providing a means for individuals to learn independent of time and place and to earn competency-based degrees and other credentials that are credible to both academic institutions and employers.

Position Summary

The People & Talent Business Partner will support the business, by providing strategic guidance to ensure effective planning and implementation of people initiatives. This is a senior level individual contributor position working with and supporting all levels of leadership to build leadership talent, enhance culture and employee engagement, and ensure that decisions and actions are centered on doing the right thing. This individual will have broad accountability for organization results and is an individual with the ability to partner and influence without having official organizational people management responsibility. This individual will effectively assimilate information, identify appropriate actions or solutions, and will have a capacity for dealing with ambiguity and change. The ideal candidate for the role has passion for the employee experience, believes in employee potential, and has the humility that comes from understanding a diverse set of personal situations and limitations.

Essential Job Functions and Responsibilities

  1. Fosters and builds trusted advisor relationships with assigned business leaders.
  2. Manages complex People & Talent projects and practices cross-organizationally. This includes: competency model, talent assessment, succession planning, employee engagement, career development, talent management, talent development, change management, performance management.
  3. Analyzes trends and metrics in partnership with the People & Talent team to develop solutions, programs and policies.
  4. Works closely with business leaders to improve working relationships, build morale, and increase productivity and retention.
  5. Partners with business leaders to manage culture and enhance employee experience.
  6. Facilitates group learning activities and ad hoc leadership discussions to build leadership competencies.
  7. Provides guidance and input on restructures, workforce planning, talent selection, leadership acquisition.
  8. Identifies employee and leadership development gaps and collaborates with the People & Talent Learning Team to identify plans in order to close gaps.
  9. Participates in operational and strategic business department meetings with senior leadership.
  10. Manages and resolves complex employee relations issues. Conducts effective, confidential, thorough and objective investigations leading to actions or solutions for resolution.
  11. Maintains in-depth knowledge of legal requirements related to day-to-day management of people, reducing legal risk and ensuring regulatory compliance.
  12. Spearheads people initiatives to ensure clear understanding, articulation of and application of initiative.
  13. Represents business group priorities/initiatives to People & Talent leadership to ensure solid understanding of business group challenges and deliverables.
  14. Has a comprehensive understanding of People & Talent policies, processes and procedures and successfully applies them to people situations.
  15. Demonstrates solid business acumen – develops a deep understanding of WGU overall, as well as assigned business groups, staying current on.
  16. Contributes to the continuous improvement of People & Talent processes, policies and procedures.
  17. Navigates the systems and internal WGU processes to support WGU’s mission, People & Talent strategic initiatives, and assign business group objectives.

Required Skills

  • Strong understanding of employment law and other state and federal compliance regulations
  • The ability to make recommendations to effectively resolve problems or issues, by using sound judgment and problem solving skills consistent with WGU philosophy and within applicable legal parameters
  • Ability to objectively and effectively coach employees and people leaders through complex, difficult, and emotional issues within a diverse organization
  • Ability to work strategically and collaboratively across departments and with all levels of individuals
  • Self-starter who takes initiative, is inquisitive, seeks out information, self-engages, and achieves results based on established goals
  • Clear, effective communicator – exceptional and persuasive communication skills, oral and written, in addressing audiences, is vocally self-critical, and exudes ownership in engagement style
  • Superior interpersonal skills and professional presence – significant capacity to engage, inspire, develop and influence
  • Demonstrated results in innovation – ability to inspire creative thinking, new ideas, new ways of accomplishing tasks and creating results
  • Strong business acumen
  • Excellent organizational skills, along with the ability to set and meet goals/priorities
  • Proven track record of making and implementing tough decisions
  • Demonstrated ability to apply excel and other data management and analysis tools in researching and analyzing various types of data
  • Consistently exhibits WGU Leadership Principles

Demonstrates these leadership principles in the achievement of objectives:

Student Obsession Everything we do and every decision we make starts with our students. We keep our mission core to all our decisions and never lose sight of the end goal. Every day, we strive to live up to the WGU Promise.

Ownership Acts on behalf of the university and cares for students as if they were family. Thinks long term, and takes accountability for actions and responsibilities. Operates at all levels. Never says, “that’s not my job.”

Deliver Results Focused on results, not just activity. Exceptional skill and demonstrated success in delivering and improving results. Deals effectively with paradox, exhibits good instincts, while being willing to make tough calls, with some degree of adaptability.

Courage Willing to tackle difficult topics and conventional thinking in a respectful and productive manner; doesn’t hold anything back that needs to be said.

Earn Trust Genuinely listens, speaks directly, and treats others with respect no matter what their position or professional level. Is sincerely open-minded and examines even the strongest convictions with humility. Knows we must earn our reputation every day.

Integrity Does what is right even when no one is watching. This is the basis of our character and is foundational to how we interact with all people. WGU demands uncompromised integrity from everyone in all interactions and responsibilities.

Innovation Thinks big – formulates a bold vision, sees around corners, and inspires results. Fosters creative thinking, and brings innovation successfully to market. Experience in entrepreneurial business operations experiencing rapid growth.

Required Competencies

  • Problem solving skills – Investigates appropriate resources and involves partners when appropriate. Is future-oriented. Assesses what will help or hinder achieving goals. Focuses on what is important.
  • Interpersonal skills – Deals with others in a considerate, respectful, and unbiased manner. Approaches conflict proactively. Solicits and shares feedback openly. Listens with empathy and maintains composure.
  • Accuracy – Draws on facts collected from a broad knowledge of WGUs goals and processes.
  • Adaptability – Corrects behaviors and communication style to meet the needs of a wide range of situations. Tackles obstacles appropriately. Is comfortable with ambiguity.
  • Reliability – Accountable to others; does what it takes to get the job done. Actions are consistent with words. Follows through on commitments. Exhibits exceptional integrity.
  • Attitude – Displays commitment to the organization and to personal growth. Is self-motivated and able to motivate and inspire others. Asserts self appropriately to champion ideas. Tells the truth in a direct and constructive manner.
  • Initiative – Self-directs with a strong tendency for action. Leads the way to improve performance or processes. Displays keen interest in students and organization.



  • 8+ years of experience in Human Resources, to include program initiatives, experience in fast-growth and fast-paced environments and with a distributed workforce model
  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management or related field of study; Master’s preferred
  • PHR or SPHR certification preferred
  • Prior people leadership experience is a plus for this role
  • Solid proficiency with MS Office products, HRIS systems, Applicant Tracking Systems, Performance Management Systems


  • Ability to travel when needed (generally, not more than 10% of the time)

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States



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