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Human Resources Business Partner

Colby College
Colby College

Job Details

Job DescriptionDepartment:HR Business PartnersPay Rate Type:SalaryEmployee Type:Job Summary:Colby Human Resources is undergoing an exciting period of transformation. Work is underway to elevate and modernize our HR division to support the continuous growth and innovation of the College and create an irresistible work environment where our employees can do their best work and thrive. A key component of this transformational plan is to build our capabilities to elevate the College’s brand as an employer of choice and to attract and hire the staff needed to enable the day-to-day operations of the institution and the College’s vision and strategy for the future.
We are in search of a qualified and motivated Human Resources Business Partner to play a pivotal role in leading our workforce engagement program, which is dedicated to maintaining high standards of quality and standards while aligning with the mission of the College. As a valued advisor, the Human Resources Business Partner will serve as the primary point of contact for employment-related matters, fostering respectful and trusting relationships with supervisors, employees, and external contacts. The Human Resources Business Partner will facilitate communication and resolution of employee issues and concerns in collaboration with managers, employees, and HR management. This includes offering guidance and consultation on problem-solving, dispute resolution, regulatory compliance, and litigation avoidance. Furthermore, the specialist will strive to resolve internal conflicts informally through appropriate conflict management and mediation techniques.
The successful candidate will collaborate with department heads and supervisors, as well as employees, to cultivate a culture of engagement within the organization. This role requires providing comprehensive support across various areas including performance management, employee relations and engagement, and ensuring compliance with federal, state, and College regulations, policies, and procedures.

To perform successfully in this position, an individual must be able to perform essential duties satisfactorily as well as possess education/experience, employ the knowledge, skills, and abilities as listed in representative fashion. Colby College actively supports the Americans with Disabilities Act and will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position. This listing of essential duties is not all-inclusive, but representative; other duties may be assigned.

Employee Relations and Engagement

  • Provide HR support and consultation to staff leadership and employees to include employee performance and behavior management and provide guidance on policies, procedures and compliance with employment laws and regulations.

  • Coach departmental supervision to enhance executive and managerial effectiveness, fostering a culture of engagement, problem-solving, and maximizing employee potential.

  • Develop and lead conflict resolution frameworks by mediating high-stake disputes and providing expert guidance on negotiation techniques to management and staff.

  • Design and administer advanced employee relations and performance improvement training sessions for management and HR professionals, ensuring alignment with organizational values and legal standards.

  • Oversee comprehensive investigations into compliance and workplace issues, advising on systemic preventative strategies and formulating responses to complex legal and regulatory challenges.

  • Manage the administration of workplace grievance processes, guaranteeing uniformity and fairness in application, while keeping detailed documentation of all related actions and results.

Performance Management

  • Champion a high-performance organizational culture, advising on the creation and implementation of performance metrics, feedback systems, and continuous development initiatives.

  • Administer performance appraisal systems, ensuring alignment with strategic objectives and facilitating management's ability to conduct effective assessments.

  • Provide expert guidance in the development of corrective action plans for staff not meeting performance expectations.

  • Ensure the integrity of performance data within HRIS, driving advancements in data management for informed decision-making and organizational development.

Employee Offboarding and Transition

  • Direct the comprehensive employee offboarding process, managing cross-departmental coordination to ensure a dignified and legally compliant transition for departing employees.

  • Conduct analytical reviews of exit interview data, translating insights into strategic initiatives aimed at improving retention and overall employee satisfaction.

  • Standardize offboarding protocols and provide strategic insights based on trend analysis to enhance the employee life cycle and address organizational development needs.

Unemployment Claims and Legal Compliance

  • Serve as the authoritative contact for unemployment claims, delivering high-level training and managing interactions with unemployment agencies to uphold legal standards and organizational reputation.

  • Monitor and evaluate unemployment claim processes for compliance, efficiency, and risk management, maintaining a precise record-keeping system for auditing and reporting purposes.

Policy Development and HR Compliance

  • Lead the development and continuous improvement of HR policies and practices, ensuring compliance with evolving employment laws and benchmarking against best industry practices.

  • Analyze and interpret a wide range of employment laws and regulations to ensure organizational compliance.

  • Manage critical HR projects, leveraging stakeholder input to advance organizational objectives and maintain regulatory compliance in employee relations.

Minimum Qualifications:

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Management, Human Resources, or related field.


Experience: 2-4 years of experience in an employee relations role or commensurate work experience in a similar Human Resources role.

Licensure, certification, registration or other requirements: None

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • College, State, and federal human resources policies, laws, and regulations.

  • Customer service standards and procedures.

  • Ability to perform detailed and routine records maintenance.

  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing with a wide range of individuals and constituencies.

  • Resolve customer complaints and concerns.

  • Gather and analyze statistical data and generate reports.

  • Work with exceptions to policies that complicate work of designated unit.

  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy.

  • Ability to learn and apply general human resources policies using problem-solving skills.

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and effectively handle highly sensitive and personal information with sound judgment, tact and discretion.

  • Ability to multitask and effectively organize workload.

  • Strong and effective interpersonal and customer service skill means – ability to communicate in an informative manner, effectively listen, and be able to handle escalating situations with concern and confidence.

Physical/Mental Demands

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform essential functions of this position and/or may be encountered while performing essential functions. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • To successfully perform the essential functions of this position, an employee must be able to maintain appropriate confidentiality with regard to employee data, documents, issues, etc., and respect privacy needs of employees and past employees with regard to the same.

  • The ability to comply with highly inflexible deadlines is required to successfully perform the essential functions of this position; there will be multiple occurrences of sudden, urgent task completion required.

  • There may be occurrences of employees, past employees, members of the general public, and others who express opinions, may exhibit strong emotions, which will require the employee to interact professionally, diplomatically, and appropriately in such situations.

  • While performing the essential duties of this position, an employee would frequently be required to move around the office space as well as within hallways, meeting rooms, and other parts of the campus facilities.

  • There may be multiple/daily instances of prolonged personal computer use which would include keyboard and/or mouse usage as well as viewing a computer monitor.

  • An employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 35 pounds to perform essential position functions.

  • Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, and ability to adjust focus.

  • The overall work environment requires the mental ability to shift focus quickly due to interruptions; an employee must be able to mentally track multiple projects and tasks as well.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate; however, there may be unexpected instances of somewhat loud sounds.


Working at Colby College 

Founded in 1813, Colby is one of America’s most selective colleges. Serving only undergraduates, Colby’s rigorous academic program is rooted in deep exploration of ideas and close interaction with world-class faculty scholars. Students pursue intellectual passions, choosing among 57 majors or developing their own. Independent and collaborative research, study abroad, and internships offer robust opportunities to prepare students for postgraduate success. Colby is home to a community of 1,850 dedicated and diverse students from around the globe. Its Maine location provides easy access to world-class research institutions and civic engagement experiences.

Under the leadership of its new president, David A. Greene, Colby is building on this strong foundation while remaining committed to excellence, to supporting students and faculty at the highest levels, and to the College’s deep liberal arts traditions. This new chapter includes plans for creating innovative academic initiatives and partnerships, strengthening the connections between the liberal arts and the professional world, revitalizing downtown Waterville, and pursuing significant capital projects for performing arts and athletics.

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