“What HR Executives DO”

I have been asked many times, “so what does a HR leader do?” Sometimes, before I begin my response, the questioner will add, “besides hire and fire people?” Hmm… I wonder. “Do they really want to know the many responsibilities and competencies necessary to be an excellent HR leader and the value they add, so their company can be great as well?” If not, I may answer, ”Yep, that’s about it,” saving us both from wasted time.

However, for those who are indeed curious and want to understand and learn something they didn’t know before, which I surmise might be a fair number of the readers of this column, I offer the following information.

Position Overview

The Vice President of Human Resources will:

• Evaluate, plan, develop, organize, implement, and direct the Organization’s human resource functions for Benefits, Compensation, Executive Compensation, Retirement Plans, HR Information Systems, Data Analysis and Reporting, Management and Employee Development, Executive Coaching, Talent Acquisition, Onboarding, Performance Management, Employee and Labor Relations and other HR Services.

• Serve as a business partner to the CEO and Executive Leadership Team in running the organization. Assist in shaping and executing strategic business and/or operational plans, projects and systems particularly from the perspective of the impact on people.

• Lead a department of experienced professionals who are looking to be led by an inspirational leader.

• Create and direct an organization where HR acts as expert advisors to management and delivers value and HR support to department leaders and liaisons.

• Bring strategic vision and innovative thinking to successfully create a talent and development program that will help realize and advance the leadership team’s agenda for growth.

• Develop an employment brand and identity to attract and recruit top-notch talent to support the mission of a growing, client-focused company, including building exciting and effective recruitment through social media and other programs.

• Create professional development programs for managers and staff, and implement initiatives to support career advancement and growth, and devising creative strategies for employee appreciation and rewards.

• Develop, evaluate and oversee progressive, equitable, cost-effective and proactive compensation and benefits programs for all employees.

• Maintain knowledge of state and federal HR policies, programs, laws and issues. 

• Drive the company’s organizational design to enable accelerated and sustainable growth. This will include design and implementation of roles, responsibilities and competencies for each position.

• Continuously evaluate talent operations and identify strategic areas of improvement based on clear and measurable outcomes, with a specific focus on strategic recruitment, efficient hiring, and effective performance tracking.

• Oversee Union CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreements) negotiations and day-to-day union issues and grievances. Ensure that management is informed and educated relative to interpreting and applying CBA contracts and addressing other labor relations issues.

• Design effective management and staff coaching, feedback processes, performance improvement and maintenance metrics that will ensure the appropriate level of HR service is being provided to all of the organization.

• Bring a critical eye to assessing and enhancing all recruitment and hiring procedures, including on-boarding processes, initial and ongoing training to ensure talent is successfully welcomed into the organization and continuously developed.

• Utilize technology and effective business working relationships in the design and delivery of HR services that support the strategic direction of the University.

• Manage the budget and other financial measures of the Human Resources Department.

• Provide and present HR data and information to support the strategic guidance for the Human Resources Committee of the Board of Trustees, President's Cabinet, Executive Council, and other Board Committees.


• A “partner” mindset, facilitating close work with the Executive Leadership Team in developing strategy and talent opportunities.

• Strong business acumen.

• The ability to establish relationships with geographically and culturally diverse partners quickly and efficiently, and the skill and social intelligence to sustain them over time.

• Passionate interest in building a vital corporate culture and a belief in the distinctive and important role that culture plays in an exceptional organization.

• Change Agent. Comfortable designing for the future, while managing day-to-day Human Resources matters.

• Able to anticipate risks and propose practical plans to mitigate them. Appreciates Human Resources’ impact, and how Human Resources is an integral part of the company’s business strategy.

• Team Oriented. Foster collaboration and communication with colleagues and staff. Ability to effectively work with the executive leadership and the Board of Directors.

• Outstanding verbal and written communication skills. Adept at public speaking and able to facilitate meetings and strategy sessions.

• The ability to communicate an organizational vision and the leadership to inspire others to execute it.

• Exceptional ability for analytical and strategic thinking.

• The ability to hold others accountable and to proactively address and resolve conflict.

• Low Ego. Puts needs of the business ahead of him/herself. Operates in a transparent fashion without a personal agenda.

•Well-developed sense of humor. My comment: “Because in HR, you’re going to need it!”

William Kreider is the founder and CEO of HR Future Group, a firm that offers a full service suite of human capital management services for all sizes & types of businesses. From Transformational HR, Talent Management, Executive and Organizational Coaching, Leadership Development, Outsourcing, Compensation, Talent Acquisition and other HCM consulting services to Cloud-based Payroll, HRIS, Time & Attendance, and Benefit Administration, HR Future can assist your business. Mr. Kreider has significant executive experience in all areas within the HR profession in a variety of industries. For more information, please email him at BillKreider44@comcast.net or call 267.2222834