Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0028
Title Director of Employee Relations
Job Type Full Time Regular
Union Unaffiliated
Location Denny
City Seattle
State WA
Work Schedule Varies, 8:00-5:00, M-F
Description The Seattle Times is seeking a Director of Employee Relations. This position is a member of the HR leadership team and leads the employee relations, training and recruitment efforts in developing and implementing strategies, policies and programs providing opportunity for all Seattle Times employees to contribute to the success of the organization.

Major Functions:

Executive Partnerships – Act as an HR consultant to each member of the Executive team in all matters involving employees. Provide coaching, problem-solving and best practice solutions to build credibility and trust with all levels of management and seek to continually improve overall staff effectiveness.

Performance Management – Oversee all aspects of company performance management including performance evaluations, departmental/job assessments, discipline and corrective action, goal setting, and employee development. Coach and train managers on effective performance management techniques and implement programs designed to help improve overall employee performance.

Investigations – Conduct and oversee investigations of allegations of wrongdoing. Ensure that prompt, thorough, fair and defendable investigations are done. Document the findings and recommendations. Ensure that others involved in investigations are well-trained, open-minded and focused on finding the truth. Effectively use investigatory techniques and tools as appropriate.

Legal – Maintain a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of federal, state and local employment and labor laws. Represent the company in response to EEOC and other agency charges as well as lawsuits or other legal claims. Train and guide managers in minimizing legal risk in areas such as hiring, terminations, medical issues, etc. Act as a liaison with outside legal counsel as needed. Provide guidance to HR team members and managers in the application of employment laws. Participate in mediations or other negotiations to resolve legal disputes.

Labor – Act as a first point of contact for CBA language interpretation. Help coach managers in understanding how to supervise a unionized workforce. Work with the Sr. Director of HR/LR to ensure that contract provisions are administered appropriately and that managers are acting in good faith under the terms of the contracts. Build trusting relationships with union representatives and help resolve conflicts at the earliest stages. Assist in preparing for grievances and arbitrations. Provide assistance in preparing for contract negotiations as needed.

Recruitment – Oversee the ER team’s recruitment efforts. Ensure that proper hiring practices are in place, effective procedures are utilized, and the best possible hires are made for each job in a timely manner. Oversee all post-offer and pre-employment assessment processes. Work to ensure that our hiring brand and candidate/hiring manager experiences are positive. Actively seek ways to recruit and retain diversity in our workforce. Ensure proper employee onboardng including proper execution of I-9s, etc.

Outside Partners – Manage the agreements and act as the key point person for our partnerships with background check, drug testing and unemployment administration vendors. Act as a company representative on unemployment hearings. Maintain the day-to-day relationship with our EAP vendor. Ensure that company needs are met with all ER vendors and each provides us with the appropriate level of value.

Organizational/Job Structure – Provide guidance to department leaders in implementing departmental structure or job re-alignments. Help consider all aspects of changes including the impact on others, compensation, job duties, reporting relationships, fairness/equity, communication, timing, etc. Ensure that changes adhere to company policies, guidelines and CBAs. Oversee all aspects of layoffs, adding new jobs and transferring work between departments.

Policy Administration – Develop, update and administer all company employee policies to ensure they are clear, reasonable, legally-compliant and in keeping with company values. Oversee all post-accident and reasonable suspicion drug testing policies, procedures and administration.

Training – Develop, deliver and oversee training that includes New Employee Orientation, New Manager Orientation, Drug/Alcohol-Free Workplace, and other ongoing or ad hoc training as needed. Ensure that compliance training is delivered as required.

Systems/Tools – Maintain a basic administrator level working knowledge of our applicant tracking, employee database, and performance management systems. Act as a subject matter expert on system installations and upgrades. Be able to answer functionality questions and utilize the systems proficiently. Oversee the Employee Portal which houses the electronic employee handbook, access to ER, IT and Finance documents and information, general information used by all employees.

Fiscal Responsibility - Develop and manage annual ER budget. Consider the company financial situation in making decisions and providing guidance to others.

Requirements Skills and Abilities:

• Knowledge and experience with interpreting and applying Federal, State and Locally mandated employment and labor laws including EEO Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, ADA, ADEA, USERRA, FMLA, WFCA, WFLA, NLRA, etc.

• Applied broad HR generalist knowledge in employee relations and the associated fields of compensation, benefits, training, recruitment, organizational development and labor relations.

• Demonstrated understanding and application of performance managements on a company-wide broad base as well as at the department, team and individual levels.

• Demonstrated experience in complex employee investigations.

• Demonstrated understanding and application of workforce planning and employment processes including strategies, recruitment methods, selection procedures, candidate assessment, and pre/post offer administrative activities.

• Mediation/facilitation experience effective in assisting parties to reach win/win outcomes.

• Budget management including development, monitoring and analysis.

• Clear communicator of policies, programs and strategies in language and presentation easily understood by employees.

• Training development and delivery expertise.

• Demonstrated ability to achieve effective, solutions-oriented outcomes balancing risk appropriately with common sense.

• Proven ability to lead complex initiatives and apply principles of effective project management.

• Ability to work and think at the highest strategic level while also handling tactical and day-to-day tasks in a timely manner. Strong organizational and time management skills are critical.


Education and Experience:

• B.A. or B.S. degree in Business Administration, Human Resources/Industrial Relations, Industrial/Organizational Psychology or equivalent relevant experience and/or training required; Advanced degree and SPHR or SHRM-SCP certification preferred.

• Minimum of 7 years Human Resources management experience including strategic HR management, employee/labor relations, compensation management, training, staffing, and organizational development
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