Director of Benefits and Compensation, Total Rewards

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Pasadena, CALIFORNIA


Posted: 22-Feb-24

Location: Pasadena, California

Salary: Open


Human Resources

Internal Number: 5041571

Director of Benefits and Compensation, Total Rewards
Job Category: Fulltime Regular
Exempt Overtime Eligible: Exempt
Benefits Eligible: Benefit Based
Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.
Job Summary
The Director of Benefits and Compensation, Total Rewards is responsible for the benefit programs for Caltech, which includes the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Director is part of the Human Resources senior staff and plays a critical role at the Institute. The Director is responsible for establishing and steering the Institute's benefits strategies, policies and programs, and providing design consultation and compliance expertise to Institute leadership. The Director of Benefits and Compensation also leads the Institute's compensation programs, including executive compensation.
This role supports and works with senior leadership at both Campus and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), to ensure that the Institute's total rewards programs align with its strategies, business objectives, talent acquisition and retention goals, while optimizing the value of the total compensation and benefits programs and cost effectiveness. This includes interfacing with Institute Leadership including the President, Provost, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, the Chair of the Executive Compensation Committee of the Board of Trustees, and JPL leadership.
This position reports to the Chief Human Resources Officer, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, and will manage a team of ten, including four direct reports.
Essential Job Duties
  • Provides strategic direction and goals for the compensation and benefits team based on business priorities, strategic planning, and compliance.
  • Provide benefits communications and support to enhance communications, facilitate open enrollment, and customer service.
  • Partners with HR senior staff colleagues and organizational peers across the Institute to establish and strengthen collaboration.
  • Provides expertise and analysis for executive compensation and rewards, ensuring compliance with regulations, conducting market analysis, identifying opportunities and developing recommendations and overseeing the preparation of materials to support the Executive Compensation Committee of the Board of Trustees.
  • Works closely with JPL to maintain and enhance Campus-JPL relationships in the oversight of the benefit and retirement plans. Helps to ensure continuity in benefit processes at both Campus and JPL. Provides technical expertise and assistance to Campus and JPL compensation and benefits staff to interpret plan documents to resolve complex issues.
  • Keeps abreast of compensation and benefits trends, external benchmark best practices, and regulatory requirements and labor laws to gain insights, provide strategy, vision, and direction for Institute-wide compensation and benefits programs.
  • Manages and/or collaborates in the development and planning of Institute-wide compensation programs and policies, including business specific incentive plans based on industry trends, budget constraints, and overall Institute strategic planning.
  • Conducts assessments and modeling of compensation structures to recommend pay structure movement, modification, revisions or redesign.
  • Oversees the development, planning, communication, and implementation of the annual staff salary increase program, including analysis of staff pay to market and forecast modeling.
  • Ensures compliance with all relevant state and federal government regulations and reporting/compliance requirements, including ERISA, HIPAA, 403(b) regulations, 457(b) regulations, ACA, Section 125 Tax Savings Plans, etc.
  • Formulates and determines Institute-wide standards and strategy for compliance with the Fair Labors Standards Act (FLSA) to include but not limited to: developing and implementing plans to assess university risk and liability; creating teams or working groups to address issues; and developing education and communication strategy plans.
  • Acts as the Institute's HIPPA Privacy Officer.
  • Maintains a strong working relationship with the Office of the General Counsel to formulate operational policies and procedures that affect the Institute.
  • Provides operational compliance oversight to the JPL compensation and benefits management team.
  • Works closely and collaboratively with vendors, both benefit providers and consultants, executing contracts, ensuring accurate data sharing and cost reconciliation.
  • Ensures that the Institute retains a competitive benefit posture in the marketplace by evaluating current benefit plans and programs through research, surveys, and analysis of benefit trends and legislative analysis.
  • Develops, implements, and monitors department budgets and program costs to maximize effectiveness of initiatives and works with procurement to solicit and evaluate competitive proposals from vendors.
  • Leads the strategy and development of materials for the Institute Benefits Committee and provides input and recommendations.
  • Serves as ex-officio member on the JPL VEBA Trust Oversight Committee
  • Serves as a member of the Retirement Plans Investment Oversight Committee and the Retirement Plans Operations Committee.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelor's Degree required.
  • Minimum of 10 years professional experience in a HR leadership role at a large complex organization known for leading edge programs and innovative solutions.
  • At least 5 years' experience in senior compensation and benefits role supporting a dynamic client organization.
  • Excellent management and interpersonal skills, including tact, discretion, and high ethical standards in dealing with highly confidential information.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with diverse and high-functioning groups.
  • Working knowledge of government regulations that apply to compensation, benefits and payroll programs, standard filings required by the Department of Labor/IRS, and familiarity with compliance requirements associated with recipients of federal funding.
  • Demonstrated strength in providing leadership to a talented and professional team of individuals, including skills and career growth.
  • Strong quantitative skills and the ability to think critically.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, ability to interpret contractual language into easily understandable information; comfortable in group presentation and negotiations.
  • Self-directed with the ability to work independently as well as with groups.
  • Strong computer skills.
  • Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize complex projects and initiatives.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Master's Degree strongly preferred.
  • Strong functional expertise in benefits design and administration.
  • Experience working at an institution of higher education or a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC).
  • Strong functional expertise in broad based and executive compensation.
  • Certified Benefits Professional, Certified Employee Benefit Specialist, or Certified Compensation Professional certifications a plus (CCP, CBP, or GRP).

Required Documents
  • Resume

To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
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About California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a world-renowned science and engineering research and education institution, where extraordinary faculty and students seek answers to complex questions, discover new knowledge, lead innovation, and transform our future.
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