Executive Director of Human Resources

Job description


Since its founding in 1946, Holyoke Community College has provided comprehensive, high-quality educational opportunities that are responsive to our community and that meet the needs of a diverse student population. HCC's highly qualified, committed faculty and staff engage learners through innovative, relevant instruction and comprehensive student support services, ensuring that our students are well prepared for their next step in life -- whether to transfer to a four-year institution, to advance in a career, to gain new skills, or simply to enhance their quality of life.

HCC is the oldest two-year college in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and serves the Pioneer Valley region, which consists of Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties in Western Massachusetts, a population of approximately 700,000. The college serves 8,700 students annually, 6,400 taking credits and another 2,300 in the workforce and non-credit programs. HCC offers 95+ academic programs, and our highest-enrolled programs include Liberal Arts & Sciences, Foundations of Health, Business, Criminal Justice, and Psychology.

A Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, HCC’s strongest assets continue to be an innovative spirit, a sincere concern for students and a commitment to strive for even greater success. Now celebrating 75 years since its founding and soon to enter the final year of its first-ever Strategic Plan, HCC remains guided by its mission to Educate. Inspire. Connect. and vision to be a college of academic excellence known for helping students overcome barriers to success.

The faculty and staff of Holyoke Community College commit to support a transformative student experience through accessible, guided, and intuitive services that support students and their families; efficient and effective processes supported by contemporary technologies; data and predictive analytics that enable HCC to deliver personalized, proactive, and responsive programs and services; and an agile and supportive culture that recognizes the importance of training and professional development to build knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Holyoke Community College seeks a dynamic and strategic leader of human resources and institutional equity to serve as our Executive Director of Human Resources (EDHR). The EDHR will provide inspiration and vision to the College and to all employees, and will be responsible for developing a progressive, innovative, efficient, welcoming and collaborative HR department that supports a culture of engagement and inclusion where everyone can maximize their potential.

The EDHR will possess strong cultural awareness and will interact thoughtfully across diverse populations, fostering an equitable and inclusive workplace culture with a clear focus on campus climate and a sense of belonging. The successful candidate will create a working environment that encourages team-building, innovation and open communication; and will exhibit excellent judgment in their role as advisor, supervisor, and mentor.

The EDHR will be joining the HCC community during the College’s 75th anniversary year and in the midst of the College’s first-ever Strategic Plan. As we build upon our rich history and look ahead to a dynamic, rapidly changing higher education landscape, the EDHR will develop strategic programs, responsive policies and innovative practices that advance the College mission and guide employees through institutional change.

Reporting to the President, the Executive Director of Human Resources (EDHR) provides leadership and strategic direction for all Human Resources functions at the College. The EDHR is responsible for effectively planning and managing the College’s human resources programs and initiatives. Leading a team of HR professionals, the EDHR will be responsible for all HR operations including recruitment, employment services, union/labor relations, training and development, benefits management, salary administration and job classification, performance appraisals, health/wellness policy, workers compensation, ADA program, leave administration, records management, and personnel policy development and interpretation. The EDHR will ensure that the human resources functions are aligned with the mission of the institution.

The EDHR is responsible for promoting an inclusive environment that reflects the diversity and background represented by our students, employees, and our local community, one in which every individual feels respected and valued. The EDHR must demonstrate cultural humility and the ability to work with a college community with diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, including those with disabilities and veterans.


Leadership, Vision and Strategy:

  • Establish, communicate and demonstrate a vision for the work of the human resources department that is rooted in the college’s values of innovation, collaboration, kindness, inclusion and trust; and that models excellence, honesty, integrity, and teamwork while delivering high quality services in support of the College’s mission.
  • Effectively balance a focus on driving change and advancing college-wide strategic priorities with the day-to-day management and oversight of all HR-related functions, including but not limited to: job classification and compensation, benefits, employee assistance, union/labor relations, training and development, organizational assessment, budget planning and management, monitoring compliance, and performance management.
  • Advise the President, Vice Presidents and managers on compliance and personnel matters, collective bargaining agreements, state and federal employment laws, and policies and procedures
  • Coach and educate all employees on human resources issues, laws, policy, and personnel matters as needed in support of an HR culture where all questions are welcome.
  • Synthesize and analyze data to drive strategic decision-making.
  • Develop, review and revise personnel procedures and policies through an equity lens, and provide consistent interpretation/application of HR policies and procedures to employees across the College.
  • Values and Culture:

  • Serve as a partner to employees across a variety of functional areas and, through your example, lead efforts to build and maintain effective relationships with all departments and staff by demonstrating integrity, sensitivity, and open-mindedness.
  • As leader of the department chiefly responsible for welcoming and onboarding new members to the HCC community, develop and practice an HR culture rooted in the College’s values of innovation, collaboration, kindness, inclusion and trust.
  • Build consensus and understanding through open communication, clarity of purpose, and ongoing education.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

  • Move the College beyond compliance to an anti-racist and empowerment model of human resources.
  • Serve as a strategic partner in driving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives directed toward the enhancement of the human dignity of all members of the College community.
  • Employ innovative strategies to not only enhance diversity and inclusion throughout the workforce, but also provide programs to support HCC’s diverse hires.
  • Learning and Development:

  • Partner with the President and Vice Presidents to conjoin leadership development and institutional effectiveness, ensuring alignment between our human resources and the college’s strategic priorities.
  • Serve as a resource to employees on matters of employee/supervisor relations, working conditions, and other matters to support a workplace culture that emphasizes individual’s strengths, that embraces new ideas, and that values all people.
  • Work directly with department managers and supervisors to assist them in carrying out their responsibilities as it relates to personnel. Counsel and train employees on resolving employee relations issues.
  • Prioritize the lifelong learning and career development of our own employees across all areas of the institution through the development of effective onboarding and orientation programs, training sessions, informational meetings, and professional development. Demonstrate a commitment to honoring and elevating the skills within our own workforce.
  • Management and Effectiveness:

  • Oversee personnel record-keeping related to new hires, employee reviews, promotions, transfer, separations, and exit interviews for approximately 425 benefits-eligible full-time faculty and staff and 600 or more non-benefits-eligible staff and adjunct faculty.
  • Direct the College’s recruitment, selection, and evaluation process and educate employees on the elements of this process to support a consistent and effective recruitment and onboarding process grounded in equity mindedness.
  • Maintain effective communication and collaboration with internal and external constituencies, including the Board of Higher Education and other State agencies, Legal Counsel, and other human resources professionals.
  • Perform special projects and related responsibilities as initiated and requested.
  • Qualifications


    • A seasoned, dedicated professional of impeccable integrity and high ethical standards that inspires trust in others;
    • Demonstrated commitment to the value of diversity, equity, and inclusivity in all human resources functions;
    • Able to think outside the box, generate innovative solutions to complex problems, set priorities to achieve objectives and manage multiple projects concurrently;
    • Ability to be transparent in acknowledging issues and prioritizing solutions and resources;
    • A systems thinker, creative problem solver, strategic risk taker and confident decision-maker;
    • A leadership style that is inclusive, empowering, and approachable with a keen sense of service to the entire institution;
    • Highly collaborative — able and willing to establish credibility with all constituencies through excellent listening, communication, and relationship-building skills.

    • Master’s Degree in Human Resources/Personnel Management, Business Administration, Public Administration, Law, or a related field with human resource management experience required.
    • Minimum of seven years of recent, progressively responsible experience in the human resources field in medium to large organizations required.
    • Evidence of experience and demonstrated commitment to achieving cultural diversity and equal opportunity; and demonstrated ability to work successfully with persons from diverse backgrounds, including but not limited to people with various racial identities and ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, genders, gender identities and expressions, ages, and religions.
    • Experience with human resources functional areas (talent management, labor and employee relations, training and development, compensation, benefits, performance management, risk management, compliance) and commitment to best practices.
    • Specific experience with collective bargaining and union contract administration and knowledge of applicable federal and state laws and conflict resolution approaches.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of federal and state labor laws, rules and regulations related to all human resource areas including DOL, ADA, EEOA, ACA, FMLA, OSHA, FERPA, FLSA, and HIPPA.
    • Possess the humility and emotional intelligence necessary to build collaborative relationships and an inherent drive to succeed in fulfilling the mission, goals and objectives of the College.
    • Ability to prepare workforce plans and forecasts using data to understand and inform organizational needs, capabilities, and opportunities.
    • Ability to counsel employees and supervisors about sensitive and confidential issues; maintain confidentiality and be objective in all situations related to job performance, complaints, grievances, and other related concerns.
    • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills, with demonstrated experience interacting with a wide range of stakeholders, including but not limited to trustees, faculty, staff, and students, both in public presentations and on a personal level in support of supervisors and employees.
    • Ability to analyze complex issues and relationships and to provide direction and counsel.
    • Ability to work collaboratively with internal and external constituencies.
    • The ability to be nimble and flexible and to handle ambiguity well.

    • Collective bargaining experience specific to academic environments, such as community colleges.
    • SPHR or PHR certification.

    Non-Unit Professional Position

    Hours: 37.5 hrs.
    Funding Source: State
    Start Date: July, 2021

    - All candidates must have legal authorization to work in the United States. HCC is not sponsoring H1B Visa.
    - Pre-Employment Background check, including Criminal History will be conducted for all positions

    Holyoke Community College is committed to excellence and opportunity through diversity in education and employment. Holyoke Community College is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, maternity leave, and national origin, in its education programs or employment.




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    Job No:
    Posted: 2/19/2021
    Application Due: 3/17/2021
    Work Type: Full Time