Senior Director, Client Services

Queen's University

Reporting to the Associate Vice-Principal, Human Resources (AVPHR), the Senior Director, Client Services (Senior Director) is a key member of the Human Resources (HR) Senior Leadership Team. The Senior Director will be a thought leader providing a wide range of strategic and operational HR solutions for the university.

This role leads and manages the central HR Client Services Team (CST), which includes HR operations and talent acquisition for staff roles. CST also includes departmental and faculty embedded HR Directors with a dotted line reporting relationship to the Senior Director. This team is the largest individual department within HR and the first point of contact for employees and managers seeking professional human resources advice and services. CST works closely with other professionals in the HR department to support client needs.

The Senior Director works collaboratively with all members of the HR Senior Leadership Team to develop and implement the HR and University strategic priorities that support and drive a culture of inclusion, engagement, high-performance and continuous improvement within HR and the Queen’s community. As a transformational leader who values teamwork and collaboration, the incumbent will bring an energetic, holistic, and strategic focus to HR service delivery and organizational effectiveness.

• Lead the central university CST department that is responsible for delivering the day-to-day HR operations of a large, complex decentralized organization with over 10,000 employees. The team is made up of HR generalists, including Directors responsible for HR processes, procedures and policies at the institution. The Senior Director’s role includes building and leading a team that is striving for operational excellence with a focus on continuous improvement. In addition to HR operations, the CST team delivers strategic HR support and services to employees, managers and their departments across the university.
• Develop and maintain a client service model that leverages data and technology to deliver high quality services to diverse groups of HR clients in support of their strategic plans.
• Deliver a suite of HR services and support to employees and managers that is strategic, trusted, and effective.
• Works collaboratively with other units within HR to ensure that the HR operational processes, procedures, and systems support the efficient delivery of top-tier HR services.
• Identify opportunities and implement solutions to streamline and automate processes, develop standards/procedures, and provide self-serve options that enhance the employee and manager experience.
• Contribute to the alignment of HR services and functions to the university mission, vision and strategy by collaborating with HR colleagues within faculties and Central HR specialists on policy and procedural updates, policy implementation and best practices.
• Act as a trusted advisor to the AVPHR and other members of the university Senior Leadership Team on HR and other related matters.
• Collaborate and support colleagues in the HR Senior Leadership Team as they lead key initiatives and priorities.
• Partner with university senior leadership to implement the HR Strategic Plan including designing HR practices and tools that foster a positive university culture in alignment with strategic priorities. Including active participation on various committees and strategic working groups.
• Lead the implementation of large-scale complex HR or institution-wide programs or projects with multiple partners. Clearly define the objectives and project plan, ensure alignment to goals and objectives, oversee, and implement the organizational changes necessary to ensure success, assess readiness levels, identify risks, and propose mitigation strategies, design and oversee implementation of communication strategies, engage and inform key partners and sponsors throughout the process, and act as a champion for implementing the change.
• Develop and implement innovative approaches, solutions, and systems to attract and retain the university’s most important resource – our people.
• Drive and facilitate effective performance management practices across the university (coaching, counseling, career development, disciplinary actions) to create and maintain a high-performance culture that improves organizational capability.
• Develop and implement initiatives to support employee engagement.
• Work with leaders and HR staff to drive the university’s Indigenization, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility and Anti-Racism (I-EDIAA) culture by promoting university-wide initiatives.
• Integrate the university’s I-EDIAA and well-being strategies into people-policies and processes.
• Support the university’s bargaining teams in preparing for the collective bargaining process by providing information and documentation regarding human resource and operational experiences, opportunities and strategic priorities. Participate on bargaining team, as required.
• Plan, prioritize and manage the work and workload of employees within the department, providing strategic and tactical advice, guidance, support and coaching. Identify the need for staff resources and the appropriate structure for the unit.
• Oversee the performance and development of direct and indirect reports. Assess staff training and development needs of the unit and ensure staff receive training required to improve and sustain successful performance, including topics that promote an inclusive work environment. Develop succession plans for the department.

• University degree specializing in HR, business, management or a related field is required. Graduate level education is considered an asset.
• Professional designation (CHRP or CHRL) is strongly preferred.
• Minimum of ten years of senior HR experience, with a proven track record of success in a matrixed organization.
• Experience in a multi-union environment is an asset.
• Proven success incorporating I-EDIAA in principles, practices, and techniques of HR service delivery, ideally within an academic setting.
• Knowledge of current and relevant employment and labour legislation, including Employment Equity, Human Rights legislation, Sexual Violence legislation and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and its regulations.
• Experience diagnosing and resolving complex employee relations and organizational issues.
• Proactive approach to human resource management solutions and employee engagement.
• Demonstrated ability to manage change and create innovative solutions for complex and diverse issues.
• Ability to lead diverse groups and build consensus; demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with diverse individuals and groups.
• Satisfactory criminal record check is required.
• Consideration may be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience.

• Strong collaborative leadership skills.
• The ability to influence in a decentralized environment to gain consensus on approach to complex HR matters.
• Building relationships by fostering a climate of inclusion, belonging, openness, and trust. Deliver quality service to diverse clients, with the initiative to work through complex issues to the point of resolution.
• Ability to foster a culture of cooperation and encourage positive team dynamics. Enable team members to grow and succeed through consistent constructive feedback and encouragement.
• Supports a climate of cross-functional partnership between the various units within HR and avoids siloed practices.
• Sets clear, meaningful, challenging and attainable departmental goals and expectations that are linked to the mission, vision, values and desired HR culture. Assists the members of the team to achieve them.
• Excellent communication (oral and written), conflict resolution and negotiation skills, including the ability to listen, articulate and advocate effectively, and problem solve independently and creatively. Recognize diversity of abilities and adapt content, tone, medium and style to the audience. Must have the capacity to understand, assimilate and reconcile complex situations and divergent perspectives, often in situations in which conflict is present. A track record of effective collaborative leadership and participation in difficult conversations is essential.
• Ability to negotiate, present information to diverse partners, and express ideas with confidence.
• Excellent organizational, research and administrative skills with the ability to manage multiple demands and execute on competing priorities.
• Actively seeks and integrates diverse thoughts and perspectives to develop more robust plans and solutions.
• Strong change management skills, including the ability to plan, organize and direct members of the team to achieve objectives.
• Ability to move from high level conceptualization to detailed and thorough implementation with the ability to engage in both independent and consultative decision making to move issues forward and build required consensus around a resolution.

• Working collaboratively, determine the best structure and means to deliver high level client service to employees and managers.
• Determine appropriate implementation of the HR Strategic Plan in the context of a diversified complex organization.
• Determine appropriate direction, advice and support for clients in order to achieve positive labour relations and effective management of collective agreements, policies and practices.
• In collaboration with Employee and Labour Relations, determine appropriate interpretation and administration of collective agreements, and application of workplace policies and applicable laws and advises clients.
• Working with other HR units to identify information, communication and training required for staff and university managers.
• Identify, design and deliver workshops/seminars for managers and other university personnel.
• Evaluate job candidates and make effective recommendations or decisions on suitable hires.
• Make decisions and/or effective recommendations regarding transfers and promotions.
• Evaluate employee performance and decide on appropriate training or coaching to address lack of proficiency in carrying out responsibilities, or remedial action for staff disciplinary situations.
• Make effective recommendations on level of discipline up to discharge and probationary termination for staff.
• Determine and recommend human resource strategies that support the unit’s priorities and framework.
• Assess and mitigate risk by providing appropriate advice, training and coaching to management.
• Recommend appropriate organizational structure and staffing requirements.
• Determine the content of correspondence, reports and proposals, including the development of procedures.
• Recommend changes and modifications to university policies, procedures and collective agreement language.
• Determine when and who to involve or consult in unusual situations that may set future precedents.
• Make judgments on the application of policies and procedures.
• Prioritize time and duties, within an environment with multiple competing interests, to ensure work is completed within required deadlines.
• Make human resource management decisions including training and professional development, performance reviews, workload distribution and discipline for direct reports.
• Determine whether documentation provided by departments meets established criteria in matters relating to academic staff.
• Decide on nature and content of presentation for training sessions.

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