Benefits and Leave Specialist

Oakton Community College
Des Plaines, IL

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Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Human Resources & Employee Development
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Community College

Job Details

Category:: Staff
Department:: Human Resources
Locations:: Des Plaines, IL
Posted:: Oct 1, 2021
Closes:: Open Until Filled
Type:: Full Time Staff
Position ID:: 137638

About Oakton Community College :

For 50 years, Oakton Community College has been the setting where thousands begin or continue their college or career studies. Educating people of all ages, from all walks of life and from more than 40 nations, Oakton focuses on improving the quality of life for everyone who enters its doors.

We offer:

Continuing education
Great benefits
Paid winter break
FRIDAYS OFF during the summer

Job Description:

Basic Function and Responsibility:

The Benefits Specialist leads the day-to-day administration and education of the full suite of Oakton benefit offerings including heath, retirement, and wellness. Responsible for execution of an efficient process with ongoing quality control focused on employee wellbeing and engagement. Is the main contact for benefits questions and guidance. Partners with HR, Managers, and Employees to effectively manage Leaves of Absence including FMLA, ADA, and disability. Active partner with HR management to promote continuous improvement.

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provides counsel and instruction on all benefits, plan provisions, enrollments, status changes, and other inquiries either by in person, digital, or educational materials.
  • Leads processing of employees regarding benefits eligibility, adding/separation, claims, and other plan changes in accordance with law, college policy, and applicable union contract. Ensures the accuracy of all benefits enrollments in the HRIS as well as carrier platforms. Performs quality checks of benefits-related data.
  • Effectively interprets FMLA and ADA regulations and implications. Administers all leave of absence requests and disability paperwork; medical, personal, disability, Workman's Compensation, and FMLA. Leads ADA or other accommodation reviews.
  • Leads the employee retirement benefits experience and partners with HRIS and Payroll including counseling employees on retirement benefits and options, responding to retirement inquiries, processing enrollments, plan changes, and contribution amounts, guiding near-retirees through process, and acting as liaison with SURS on retirement issues. Administers all other supplemental retirement benefits including but not limited to 403(b), Roth 403(b), and 457(b).
  • Responsible for communication, education, and other benefits content including web-based. Creates the design, awareness, planning, promotion, support, and implementation of health and wellness programs for the purpose of improving employee health and understanding of related subjects.
  • Leads Open Enrollment including process, technology, materials, communications and education - both digital and in person.
  • As a member of the Insurance Committee, remain current of changes in the benefits arena, evaluate benefits effectiveness, and recommend revisions of plans, to ensure that an appropriate balance between costs and employee welfare is maintained.
  • As a member of the Tuition Reimbursement and Professional Development Fund Committee, coordinates the tuition reimbursement and other educational request submissions, employee engagement, and processing.
  • Ensures compliance while processing Worker's Compensation, Disability through SURS, COBRA, and IRS Section 125.
  • Serves as liaison and main point of contact to insurance broker, providers, carriers, and vendors both current and potential. Actively engages resources.
  • Assists with payment of bills, i.e., life insurance, health insurance, service fees, reinsurance payments, etc.
  • Recommends and implements program metrics and assessments to ensure that health and wellness objectives are met.
  • Perform other job-related duties as assigned.


Qualifications and Working Conditions:

  • A Bachelor's Degree in Human Resources or related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired is required. Master's degree preferred.
  • Five years of benefits experience is required with at least two years benefits administration preferred.
  • One year of experience developing wellness programs preferred.
  • Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) credential preferred. HR professional certification such as PHR/SPHR, SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP, etc. a plus.
  • Ability to utilize a computer to enter, retrieve and manipulate data is required.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • General office environment. Little or no exposure to adverse working conditions.

Additional Information:

Supervision Received:

Functional Supervision is received from the Senior Manager of Human Resources. Administrative supervision is received from the Chief Human Resources Officer.

Supervision Exercised:

Functional supervision may be exercised over student employees.

HOURS: Monday through Friday 8:15 am - 5:00 pm

SALARY: $56,586 Starting salary may change due to the completion of staff negotiations.

Oakton Community College requires all employees to adhere to a Vaccination /Testing Mandate and Mask Requirement.

Oakton Community College does not currently have a work form home policy and employees, are required to report to campus.

Application Instructions:

For further details, visit our website at and select the Employment link to view Employment Opportunities.

Please be sure to have a current resume, cover letter, and list of, at least, three (3) professional references with contact information prepared to submit with your application. One (1) of the references must be your most recent, direct supervisor.

Oakton Community College is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution, committed to employing competent, qualified individuals. Oakton Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, socioeconomic status, sex or gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation in admission to and participation in its educational programs, college activities and services, or in its employment practices.

Posted positions may be removed from the Oakton website without notice when it is determined that no additional applicants are required.



With more than 2,500 course offerings each term, Oakton Community College offers a wealth of educational options in the heart of Chicago’s northern suburbs. From degree programs to non-credit career enhancement and personal enrichment courses, Oakton has something for everyone. 

Founded in 1969, Oakton is a two-year community college offering associate's degree programs and non-credit courses in northern Cook County, Illinois.

Oakton's 147-acre main campus sits in a forest preserve in Des Plaines, Illinois. A second campus in Skokie serves residents on the eastern side of the District and is home to the Art, Science, and Technology Pavilion. The College also offers continuing education classes at off-campus locations throughout the region, and many students pursue studies at home through our distance learning program.

Programs of Study
Associate's degrees in 80 areas of study prepare students to transfer to four-year institutions or to step directly into rewarding careers. Continuing education programs offer personal enrichment and career advancement opportunities through courses ranging from art to home improvement to English as a Second Language.

Oakton's 700 full- and part-time faculty members boast top academic credentials, and their true passion is teaching. In small classes, our faculty engage students as individuals and guide their learning experience.

Oakton's 46,000 credit and non-credit students represent all ages, 55 nations, and a wide range of experience. More than half come from a minority background, bringing a wealth of perspectives to campus.

Student Life
Students at Oakton participate in 50 clubs and organizations, from the Ceramics Club to Students for Social Justice, and they take a role in college governance and more through the Student Government Association and other leadership groups. A rich activities calendar offers lectures, social events, service opportunities, and more.

With a full performing arts season and a museum dedicated to the work of Chicago-area artists, Oakton Community College fosters a creative environment where the arts flourish. For students, that means opportunities to learn, create, and perform. For the community, the College offers a wide array of cultural events and opportunities to experience creativity.

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