Brookline, MA

Director of Human Resource, Town of Brookline, MA
The Organization

The Town of Brookline, one of the largest towns in New England, seeks a Director of Human Resources (HR) to join the senior leadership of the town administration. The Director of HR will build upon and execute a human resources strategy that provides exceptional service to the town’s employees. The Director of HR works closely with a dedicated team that provides guidance and support to all town department heads regarding matters of personnel policies and procedures.

Position Overview

Working closely under the direction of the Town Administrator, the Director of HR will provide strategic direction for the department. Specifically, the Director of HR will be responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating policies and programs for recruitment and hiring; assisting in employee onboarding and orientation; ensuring effective employee relations and performance management; overseeing benefit management and administration; and fostering a culture that supports and furthers the Town’s mission, vision and values.  This includes administrative, technical, and professional work in directing and supervising the personnel systems, policies and procedures of the Town, including classification, compensation, recruitment, selection, labor relations, benefits administration, civil service, and training.

Surrounded by the City of Boston on three sides, Brookline consists of roughly six square miles of land. It is a vibrant suburban town with an increasingly diverse population. The Town of Brookline continues to be a safe and highly desirable place to live, due to its proximity to job opportunities, excellent public transportation and school systems, and livable neighborhoods that balance green space, historic preservation, and outstanding services.

This is an excellent opportunity to join a dedicated team committed to the welfare of the residents and businesses of the Town of Brookline. The successful candidate will bring a vision for the future, and set forth goals in close concert with Town leadership and colleagues across the Town Administration. The Director of HR will have proven leadership experience building and delivering talent development and management programs, experiences, and processes, preferably in the context of a complex mission-driven organization. The ideal candidate will have functional expertise in most or all of the following areas: change management, employee relations, training and professional development, benefits administration, and recruitment/retention strategies. The ideal candidate will be a strong relationship-builder, will effectively communicate at all levels of the organization with high regard for confidentiality, and will prove to be accessible and approachable.

The Town of Brookline is being supported in this search by Tamar Datan and Nureen Das of NPAG.


The Role


Reporting to the Town Administrator, the Director of HR will work within a broad scope of established policies and procedures under the policy guidelines of the Human Resources Board and the Select Board. The ideal candidate will create and facilitate trainings and professional development programs, including onboarding for new staff and ongoing learning opportunities for existing staff; identify and recommend management and professional training programs that target key areas for continuous improvement of staff; assess current training and development curriculum and tools, and recommend new approaches to continuously improve service and ensure that the function is responsive to trends and needs as they arise; and will ensure that all aspects of the Town’s training strategy program incorporate and strengthen its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Specifically, the Director of HR will:

·         Perform varied and highly responsible duties requiring extensive independent judgment in ensuring conformance with applicable laws, regulations, collective bargaining agreements, and Departmental policies, and in responding to media requests; may participate in the development of management plans and programs at the municipal-wide level.

·         Make regular contacts with municipal employees, all Town departments, citizens’ committees, and vendors; make limited contact with the general public; make frequent contacts with outside agencies, requiring considerable discretion, resourcefulness and persuasiveness to achieve desired objectives. All contacts are in person, by telephone and in writing and require utilizing considerable negotiation skills.

·         Manage and supervise the Human Resources Department to achieve goals within available resources; develop and maintain a human resources system that meets top management information needs; oversee the analysis, maintenance, and communication of records required by law or local governing bodies, or other departments in the organization; plan and organize workloads and staff assignments; train, motivate and evaluate assigned staff; review progress and direct changes as needed.

·         Actively participate in the collective bargaining process; suggest bargaining concepts and strategies and serve as bargaining team spokesperson; work with labor counsel and present the Town’s case to mediators, fact finders and arbitrators as needed; draft necessary contract language and prepare agreements for execution by the Select Board; coordinate post negotiation activities, including submission of cost items to Town Meeting, communication of contract changes to department heads, scheduling of any major retroactive payments, etc.; continuously administer collective bargaining agreements, ensuring compliance with labor contracts; maintain communications with appropriate union officials for exchange of information, informal discussion of union-management affairs and related matters; assist with the grievance process, as necessary .

·         Develop, administer and propose improvements to the Town’s salary administration plan and classification plan; monitor and review current personnel policies, job classification and salary structures, and recommend changes as required; revise and maintain job descriptions.

·         Administer the employee recruitment and selection process, including both civil service and non-civil service, to ensure the employment of fully qualified workers. Counsel department heads regarding responsibilities and obligations under the provisions of applicable federal and state laws, and Town bylaws and policies.

·         Oversee implementation of the Town of Brookline Equal Opportunity Policy for the Town; and work with Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Community Relations to assist department heads in recruiting and selecting candidates for non-civil service positions.  Work in collaboration with the Chief Diversity Officer to provide leadership in all Town employee diversity and inclusion initiatives.

·         Maintain employment applications; establish and maintain employee records and personnel transactions such as hires, promotions, transfers, performance reviews, and terminations; furnish references and credit checks; perform special studies and advise the public on job opportunities and application procedures.

·         Prepare and administer department budget; keep records of insurance coverage and pension plans.

·         Oversee the management and administration of insurance and employee benefit plans, including the self-funded workers’ compensation program; as workers’ compensation agent, accept or deny claims, direct case management, approve any settlements, etc.; act as self-funded group insurance administrator; recommend plan design and/or carrier changes; act as liaison between insurance carriers and Town employees, including school department employees, to ensure that correct benefits are provided and that problems or disputes are resolved whenever possible; counsel employees on benefit programs and levels, and work in coordination with the office of the Comptroller on payment/reimbursement procedures.

·         Develop and coordinate the Town’s safety program; perform accident investigations, facility inspections, and hazard identification and elimination.

·         Mediate problems between employees; work to improve communication within and between departments; answer questions from department heads and supervisors concerning personnel policies and procedures.

·         Prepare employee separation notices and related documentation, and conduct exit interviews to determine reasons behind separations.

·         Prepare reports and recommend procedures to reduce absenteeism and turnover.

·         Assist in developing and coordinating training programs for all employees.

·         Ensure Town-wide compliance with existing laws, rules, bylaws and regulations governing the acquisition and utilization of employees.

·         Plan and conduct new employee orientation to foster positive attitude toward organization goals.

·         Represent the municipality at personnel-related hearings and investigations.

·         Contract with outside suppliers to provide employee services, such as training, employee assistance, or out-placement.

·         Study legislation, arbitration decisions, and collective bargaining contracts to assess industry trends.

·         Perform similar or related duties as required or as situation dictates.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

·         A Master’s Degree in human resources, public administration, business administration, labor relations or related field; and seven to ten years of professional experience in personnel/labor relations, including three years in a director’s capacity, preferably in a municipal setting; or any equivalent combination of education and experience.  SPHR certification preferred.

·         Knowledge of public sector personnel practices and applicable federal and state laws regulating hiring and collective bargaining matters; and expertise about the rules and regulations governing civil service.

·         Thorough knowledge of employee classification, compensation and benefits, recruitment, selection, training, and labor relations; working knowledge of risk management and safety practices.

·         Ability to interact in a positive and effective manner with personnel at all levels of authority; ability to communicate clearly and concisely, in writing and orally.

·         Ability to recruit, interview, and evaluate job applicants for diverse positions. Ability to supervise maintenance of accurate and detailed records.

·         Facility in preparing and analyzing comprehensive reports; tenacity for carrying out assigned projects to their completion.

·         Experience efficiently and effectively administering a human resource system.

·         Skill in the use of personal computers and an array of information management platforms.

·         Excellent public relations skills; considerable negotiating skills and persuasiveness.

·         High emotional intelligence, and a sensitivity to organizational, union, and political issues.

How To Apply

Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and where you learned of the position should be sent to:  To expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.


The Town of Brookline is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity.
Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

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