Title: Director of People
Reports to: Chief Programming Officer
Embarc’s mission is to cultivate post-secondary success by inspiring students to build their social capital, stretch the boundaries of their neighborhood, alter their world view, and seize opportunities in school and life. Embarc is regarded as one of the most exciting nonprofits in Chicago that specializes in combining a robust 3-year curriculum with immersive, hands-on learning experiences that connect students to multiple sectors of the Chicago community to drive academic skills and close the opportunity gap.
Since inception in 2010, Embarc has served nearly 8,000 students who have achieved an average 95% graduation rate and 90% overall postsecondary success. Embarc has grown from serving 25 students in 2010 to nearly 4,000 students in the 2022-2023 school year in 18 high schools across Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
Embarc is looking for a dynamic leader to join its team.
The Director of People is both an HR strategist who helps set the vision and direction for HR and builds better practices for Embarc’s team, as well as an HR generalist who will run the daily functions of the HR department. This dual hat position balances daily management of recruitment and selection, administration of pay, benefits, and leave, and compliance with organizational policies, with strategic thinking that can connect different organizational visions and goals to innovative practices and solutions.
The Director of People will support the Embarc team consisting of 30 full time staff, a few part time staff and interns, and engage with HR/DEI external advisors.
- Performs routine tasks required to administer and execute human resource programs including but not limited to compensation, benefits, and leave; disciplinary matters; disputes and investigations; performance and talent management; productivity; recognition, and morale; and occupational health and safety.
- Handles employment-related inquiries from applicants, team members, and supervisors, referring complex and/or sensitive matters to appropriate team members.
- Supports recruitment process including interviews and facilitating the hiring of qualified applicants for open positions; collaborates with team leads to understand the skills and competencies required for openings.
- Conducts or acquires background checks and employee eligibility verifications.
- Implements new hire orientation and pre-boarding.
- Updates job descriptions for current team members.
- Ensure Embarc’s employee handbook reflects compliance with labor, local, and state requirements (with employees in multiple states) as well as reflects Embarc’s culture.
- Reviews, tracks, and documents compliance with mandatory and non-mandatory training, continuing education, and work assessments. This may include safety training, anti-harassment training, etc.
- Coordinates enrollment in benefits programs including health, dental, retirement, employer-sponsored wellness and professional development programs; oversees carrier analysis and selection working with benefits broker. Conduct compliance filing and reporting for benefits programs.
- Attends and participates in employee disciplinary meetings, terminations, and investigations.
- Coordinate with finance department to administer payroll, including updating withholdings and deductions. Coordinate with finance department to ensure state payroll taxes are administered correctly.
- Manage administrative accounts for various Team Member support applications and accounts including but not limited to Amazon, Everlance, Google Drive, Office 365, Uber, Ventra, and Zoom.
- Collaborates with Embarc’s C Suite to understand organizational goals and strategy related to staffing, recruiting, and retention.
- Provides leadership to developing and implementing innovative HR solutions for Embarc.
- Plans, leads, develops, coordinates, and implements policies, processes, training, incentives, initiatives and surveys to support Embarc’s HR strategy and compliance needs.
- Identifies staffing and recruiting needs; develops and executes best practices for hiring and talent management.
- ownership of the 360 review process for the entire organization and training facilitation in the 360 process for Team Leads.
- Collaborates with Embarc’s data team to develop metrics that monitor key HR strategy and deliverables.
- Champions change management principles and practices for the entire team. Reviews large implementation plans to ensure proper change management practices are being used.
- Monitors and ensures Embarc’s compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations, recommends best practices, and reviews and modifies policies and practices to maintain compliance.
- Maintains and increases knowledge of innovative trends, best practices, regulatory changes, and new technologies; applies this knowledge to create and communicate changes in policy, practice and resources to Embarc’s C Suite.
- Provides counsel on complex human resource issues to Embarc’s C Suite.
- Develops and implements departmental budget.
- Facilitates professional development, training and certification activities for Embarc’s entire Team.
- Develops and implements other systems for risk management and mitigation
- Performs other duties as required.
SKILLS, EXPERIENCES, COMPETENCIES
- Minimum 5 years working experience in HR management and strategy
- Preferred: fluency with Paychex
- Preferred: fluency with Google platform
- Preferred: experience selecting, managing, and working with external HR and benefits advisors
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Excellent interpersonal, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills.
- Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
- Excellent time management and prioritization skills with a proven ability to meet deadlines
- Strong analytical and problem solving skills
- Ability to act with integrity, professionalism, and confidentiality.
- Love of and for people and desire to create a working environment that is daring, employee-centric, collaborative, transparent, and passionate.
- Current knowledge of employment-related laws and regulations.
- Excellent time management, problem solving skills and strategic thinking
- Solid analytical and decision making skills
- Accuracy and attention to detail
- Leadership abilities
Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter as a single .pdf to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered. Only candidates who are being moved forward to consideration should expect a personal reply from Embarc.
Embarc is an equal opportunity employer. Embarc evaluates applicants for employment on the basis of qualifications, merit, and work related criteria without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, childbirth, medical condition, marital or familial status, family responsibilities, veteran status, personal appearance, political affiliation, matriculation, or any other characteristic protected by law. All applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of such status.
Please note all offers of employment are subject to and contingent upon the successful completion of a background check.
When applying for employment at Embarc, candidates should expect to participate the following process:
- Phone interview - 30 minutes
- Work sample request with 5 business day turnaround time
- In person interview - 60 minutes
- Field experience or collaborative team activity - 60 or 90 minutes
- Reference check
We reserve the right to add to this process at our discretion depending on the position and the number of applicants.