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HD Human Resources Director

Viterbi Business Affairs Los Angeles, California

Each year the USC Viterbi School of Engineering educates about 2,600 undergraduate and 6,200 graduate students.  Annually the school’s robust research program generates over $208M in research expenditures across a diverse community.  To fulfill this mission, the school consistently attracts and retains a diverse and highly qualified faculty and staff with 310 full time faculty, 380 full time staff, 80 postdoctoral scholars, 1,000 doctoral program graduate students and 2,000 student employees across nine academic departments, several academic programs, research centers and administrative units. 

The Human Resources Director is responsible for leading and facilitating the school’s human resources program and payroll operations. Human resources and payroll are part of a larger Viterbi Business Affairs administrative support unit in the school. Reporting to the Vice Dean for Administration and Finance (VDAF), the Human Resources Director manages a team of 6 FTE payroll and 3.5 FTE human resources staff members. This position has a leadership role in the school for development and execution of best practices in all human resource and payroll activities, coordinating closely with the Office of the Dean, Department Chairs, Directors and Department Business Administrators as well as central university offices. The Human Resources Director is the HR Partner for the Viterbi School, and works closely with University Human Resources to ensure best practices, policies and procedures are applied across the school.

Note: USC’s HR organization is launching a transformation that will streamline and modernize the HR function across the University. As a result of this transformation the Viterbi HR Director role will change in the future. The central HR organization is shifting to provide a higher level of service for University employees’ inquiries, transactions, and occasionally their specialized needs. This may in turn affect the HR Partner role which may be adjusted to accommodate such changes.  

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Recruitment and On-Boarding:  Coordinates with the VDAF on the school-wide strategy for staff recruitment, selection and on-boarding of a high quality and diverse workforce.  Works closely with the VDAF and unit managers to project staffing needs and utilize effective, job-specific recruiting activities ensuring units consider a diverse slate of candidates. Works closely with school Faculty Affairs and the academic units on faculty hiring and onboarding to ensure smooth transitions. Coordinates with departments on graduate and undergraduate hiring and onboarding as needed. Facilitates smooth transitions as employees exit and/or begin new positions within the school. This position is the main point of contact with the university Office of Faculty/Staff Visa Services for faculty and staff visa and permanent residency matters at recruitment and throughout the employee’s career with the school.

  • Compensation:  With the VDAF, manages the staff compensation budget and annual staff merit increase process. Establishes and maintains appropriate and equitable compensation processes, systems and practices across the school in alignment with university and provost guidelines, including ensuring compensation is based on benchmark data.  Ensures reorganizations, layoffs, transfers, reclassifications and promotions are consistent with policies and are implemented where warranted.

  • Payroll and Benefits:  Oversees the school’s payroll processing functions.  Ensures school employees are paid correctly and on-time.  Interfaces with University Payroll Services and University Human Resources to resolve payroll and personnel issues. Counsels faculty and staff on leaves of absence, and manages the process in partnership with university HR and the third-party administrator. Regularly provides payroll and benefits related information to faculty, staff and students. 

  • Performance and Talent Management:  Promotes a performance based-culture across all aspects of staff workforce planning, including retention, promotion and succession planning as well as training and professional development programs.  Monitors effectiveness of the performance review process across performance measurements, coaching and mentoring programs.  Ensures all staff receive annual written performance reviews in conjunction with school and university policies. 

  • Training and Development:  Promotes a training and development culture with emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. Determines training and performance management needs for staff on a regular basis and develops programs to meet identified needs.  Assesses and promotes external professional development opportunities. Coordinates with school Faculty Affairs on professional development and coaching for faculty managers and supervisors.

  • Employee Relations:  Provides guidance and counsel to faculty and staff employees and managers on employee relations issues, including dispute resolution and complaint investigations.  Assists in the internal resolution of employee grievances. Responsible for school-level maintenance of university i-Sight system.

Preferred Education and Experience: 

Master’s degree and professional certifications, such as SPHR or SHRM-SCP, strongly preferred.

Seven years of directly relevant experience in human resources and payroll with supervisory experience, preferably in higher education and of a large, complex operation. 

Demonstrated knowledge of U.S. visa and permanent residency requirements.

Experience in a dynamic, fast paced organization.  Be able to participate in an ‘all hands on deck’ office to maximize resources and to work effectively across departments and central offices. Must possess strong project and time management skills.

Ability to build, incentivize and maintain high-performing teams and to coach others as needed.

Demonstrated effective written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to work respectfully and persuasively in a diverse community with those who may have differing opinions and experiences. 

Excellent Microsoft Office skills, especially Excel, Word and Power Point.


Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience: 5 years Minimum Field of Expertise Directly relevant experience in human resources.


REQ20093053 Posted Date: 09/04/2020

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