Careers at UMass Amherst

Human Resources Business Partner (Hybrid)

Apply now Job no: 523590
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Human Resources
Union: Non-Unit Exempt
Categories: Human Resources

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

The Human Resources Business Partner is directly accountable for developing and maintaining effective working relationships between Human Resources and Academic Affairs, supporting the Academic Affairs Administrative unit leaders for the assigned areas of responsibility. This position will report directly to the Sr. Director of HR Partnerships and Labor Relations and provide support specifically to the Academic Affairs Unit with a dotted line to the Vice Provost for Administration and Finance.

Drawing on a broad range of expertise, the HR Business Partner (HRBP) operates as a business partner, management advocate, and employee champion for all levels of the University organization. The HRBP acts as a liaison for unit leaders, their staff and central HR staff for matters involving recruiting, employment, compensation, employee relations, labor relations and training and development. The HRBP provides regular updates regarding personnel policies, processes and procedures, and new technology (software) implementations. The HRBP is directly responsible for the delivery of a full suite of customer-focused HR services to their assigned responsibility areas. All HRBPs provide cross-coverage and back-up support for their counterparts serving other assigned organizations within the university community.


Essential Functions

  • Plans, develops, organizes and implements HR business plans for university units that are aligned to both the overall University strategy and direction set by the Chancellor and to specific Vice Chancellor, Dean and Department Head area needs.
  • Develops human resources strategies to meet changing academic and business needs through assisting with organizational structure redesign, succession planning, creation of new positions and roles and the effective use of communication planning.
  • Provides direction and tools for Vice Chancellors, Deans and Department Heads to continually assess changing skill set needs, skill levels and skill gaps, overall team effectiveness and effectiveness of retention and performance management initiatives.
  • Builds and maintains personal credibility throughout responsibility areas at all levels to effectively provide advice and counsel.
  • Provides proactive guidance and coaching in bringing front-line employee relations and labor relations matters to successful resolution.
  • Partners with central employee and labor relations staff on complex matters. Leads investigations related to such matters.
  • Develops partnerships with unit HR and Business leads to foster open communications and information sharing. Assesses training needs in assigned organizations and development of relevant training programs in conjunction with the HR Workforce Learning and Development and HR functional areas (Compensation, Benefits, Labor Relations, etc.).
  • Remains current on employment law and compliance and participates as required in MCAD and EEO issue resolution including the conduct of investigations.
  • Maintains membership in regional and national academic and professional HR organizations with a focus on leading, advancing and influencing the management of HR and widespread use of industry best practices.
  • Provides cross-coverage and back-up support for other HR Business Partners and their assigned organizations.


Other Functions

Performs other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor's Degree.
  • Seven (7) years of progressive HR experience in Specialist, Business Partner, or other HR areas.
    • A Master’s Degree in Business, HR, or other related field or a JD will count towards two (2) years of the required experience.
  • Ability to develop and execute talent management, performance management, employee relations and labor relations programs at every level of the enterprise.
  • Ability to plan and implement major change initiatives for the enterprise or for the HR Function.
  • Executive presence, ability to formulate, present and execute complex strategies, policies and programs. Excellent overall business acumen.
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills. Ability to be a collaborative HR professional and team player.
  • Knowledge and ability to apply complex concepts, practices and procedures within the general business, academic and human resources environments.
  • Ability to promote ideas and proposals persuasively including with the use of data and analysis as appropriate.
  • Ability to cultivate influential and credible relationships with Vice Chancellors and Deans across the campus.
  • Ability to resolve difficult and personal employee, student or leader (Vice Chancellor, Dean, Department Head, etc.) issues in a composed, professional and confidential manner.
  • Ability to assess and effect the balance required between University policies and practices, human resources operating principles, the identified business need and the needs of the staff member or student.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s Degree in Business, HR, or other related field or JD.
  • PHR or SPHR certification.
  • Experience in higher education or the public sector. Significant experience with the design and execution of recruitment and hiring strategies.
  • Experience in designing and executing integrated performance management and employee development programs.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.


Work Schedule

Monday – Friday, 40 hours per week.

This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee’s work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position is non-unit, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Non-Unit (Professional/or Classified) Employee Personnel Policy.


Salary Information

Salary commensurate with skills and experience.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume. References will be checked at the finalist stage. Please be prepared to provide contact information for three (3) professional references.

Applications will be reviewed on a continuous basis until the position is filled. Early submissions are encouraged. 


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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