Human Resources Specialist

Updated: 6 months ago

Reporting to the Senior Manager of Human Resources, the Human Resources (HR) Specialist is responsible for guiding a team of HR Assistants within the faculty's centralized HR team. The HR Specialist provides the necessary leadership, coaching, motivation and support in order to build a highly productive and efficient team. With a sound understanding of the Collective Agreements, as well as University of Alberta HR policies and procedures, the HR Specialist provides advice and guidance to the Faculty on all aspects of HR operations including job evaluation, recruitment, appointments, and performance management.

HR Operations

  • Participates in and advises senior management on planning strategies regarding: the recruitment of professional, and support staff to meet the necessary organizational and cultural requirements of the University and the Department(s), retention, training, employment practices, and succession planning.
  • Acts as a point of escalation for HR Assistants and resolution of any issues with respect to collective agreements, policies, procedures and processes.
  • Processes, monitors, and reconciles complex human resource transactions such as return to work, eForms, pay action forms, over-time, special leaves, illness leaves, graduate student pay, etc. 
  • Develops and participates in the implementation and communication of the Faculty's HR policies and procedures.

Recruitment, Selection and Retention

  • Manages supports, consults and advises on all activities relating to recruitment including the design and implementation of a uniform process and approach throughout the portfolio, preparation and review of job fact sheets/description and recruitment plans, documentation requirements, collective agreement consideration, the interview process, hiring and compensation and benefits.
  • Works with Compensation and Job Design to establish hiring criteria based on the competencies within the Job Fact Sheet and other documentation (competencies).
  • Develops interview tools for deployment to specific recruitment assignments.
  • Coaches and mentors leaders in selection interviews.
  • Validates compensation levels based on competencies, in accordance with established salary scales and identifies the need for market or salary supplements and develops a supporting case for review by HRS.

Employee Relations

  • Develops effective strategies for dealing with attendance and absenteeism issues, return to work issues, reasonable accommodation and effective workplace relationships.
  • Advises Management on necessary and recommended requirements for sound HR practice, including performance management, coaching and counseling, leaves, resignation, exit interviews; retirement and post-retirement employment.

Employee Wellness and Return to Work

  • Provides data and other monitoring tools to leaders regarding absences and leaves.
  • Monitors illness usage and entitlements and intervenes with the unit leadership where necessary. Ensures that short and long-term illness claims are handled appropriately and respectfully in a timely manner.

Human Resources Team Leadership

  • Establishes performance standards, roles, and scopes within the team to meet the operational needs for the portfolio.
  • Conducts performance assessments and establishes development plans for each member of the team.
  • Independently manages performance issues and plans to address performance improvement strategies up to and including termination.
  • Independently leads hiring processes for team additions and changes
  • Meets with team members regularly on a weekly basis to ensure open communication and timely issues management.


  • A degree in Business with a specialization in Human Resources or a related discipline
  • 5-7 years of progressively responsible experience in Human Resources, specifically in employee relations and recruitment. Registered Professional Recruiter (RPR) designation is highly desirable.
  • Experience working a in a large complex, unionized environment.
  • Leadership and the ability to accomplish objectives through innovative management techniques, promoting teamwork and continuing improvement.
  • Sound judgment; proven methods and techniques for conflict resolution, negotiations and mediation; personnel selection; interview techniques, employee development and performance management skills.
  • Develop and maintain high levels of reliability, credibility, integrity and tact; demonstrate respect and sensitivity and develop and maintain strong relationships.
  • Project planning and resource management principles, practices, techniques and tools; high problem solving and critical thinking skills to analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, recommend best options and implement approved solution in support of goals.
  • Manage diversity; ability to foster a cooperative work environment; establish and maintain effective working relationships with business partners, employees and colleagues.
  • HR analysis and reporting skills.
  • Excellent written and oral presentation skills.
  • Information systems skills (for example: database querying, software and reporting tools, Microsoft Office, PeopleSoft, etc.)
  • Ability to work effectively within the University's organizational structure, administrative and financial policies.

The Faculty of Engineering is one of the top five engineering schools in Canada, with 4,400 undergraduate (BSc) students and 1,500 graduate (MSc and PhD) students and more than $65 million in external research funding per year. The Office of the Dean, where this position resides, is responsible for the operational execution of Faculty-wide human resources in a fast-paced, dynamic, and engaging workplace.

Along with your resume, please submit a cover letter that outlines why you believe you are the right person for this opportunity. Also, in your cover letter, please provide a detailed answer to the question:  "How will you contribute to a culture of trust, effectiveness and execution in the Faculty of Engineering?"

Applications received without a cover letter will not be considered. Applications received with a cover letter that does not specifically address these important items will also not be considered. We look forward to reading about you and your thoughts on how we can work together.

If you are selected, you will have the opportunity for professional growth at one of the world’s top universities, the chance to work in a world-renowned, innovative and dynamic department, and the ability to build your professional network with meaningful relationships within the U of A community. Additionally, all members of the Faculty of Engineering have the opportunity to participate in the Faculty’s staff learning and development program, which includes such offerings as The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Inspiring a Culture of Trust.

In accordance with the Handbook of Employment for Management and Professional Staff (Excluded), this continuing appointment offers a comprehensive benefits package found at Faculty & Staff Benefits  and annual salary range commensurate with qualifications.

Along with your resume, please submit a cover letter stating your qualifications and the names of three professional references.

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.

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