HR / Sr. Partner - Talent

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

At Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), our mission is to understand the ocean for our planet and our future.  In pursuit of this aspiration are some of the world’s most talented ocean scientists and engineers who are pushing the boundaries of knowledge about the ocean to reveal its impacts on our planet and our lives.  If you would like to support the people who go to impossible places to do impossible things, you can be part of making a difference.  We are looking for a strategic, organized, team-oriented, problem-solving HR professional who works with a sense of urgency and leverages their strong technology capabilities to join our talented Human Resources team as a Sr. HR Partner - Talent or an HR Partner - Talent. The level of the position will be determined by a variety of factors including total related experience, years of experience, types of roles held, career progression, etc. This is a regular, full-time, exempt position and is eligible for benefits. This is a regular, full-time, exempt position and is eligible for full benefits. The successful candidate will play an important role which provides full-cycle talent-related services to departments, employees, managers, affiliates, foreign nationals, and other partners at WHOI. This is a hybrid role with 2 days/week scheduled at our office in Woods Hole, MA. 


The Sr. HR Partner - Talent or HR Partner - Talent. is an important outward-facing role which provides talent-related services to departments, employees, managers, affiliates, foreign nationals and other partners at WHOI.  This is a generalist position that requires accountability and ownership in the execution of the following functional areas of Human Resources: Talent Acquisition, HR Operations, Organizational Development, Foreign National Advisory, and Process Improvement.


The position is a business partner to assigned departments within the Institution and is responsible for aligning business objectives with employees and management. The position fosters partnerships across the HR function to deliver value-added services to management and employees that reflects the business objectives of the Institution.  The Sr. HR Partner – Talent maintains an effective level of business literacy about their assigned departments’ strategic plans, culture, people related needs and its competition.  The position requires the ability to act with urgency, build relationships quickly, act independently, use all technology and systems effectively, and exercise critical and independent thinking to complete projects with little guidance.  This position is a critical member of the Talent team and is expected to understand the work of teammates to backup while out of the office and assist as needed during peak times.


WHOI offers an excellent benefits package with many great offerings.  Some highlights are a subsidy for dependent care (in addition to your base salary), flexible work arrangements, generous time off and a "best in class" retirement savings program.  Also, we will assist with relocation expenses.

Essential Functions


  • Partner within HR and with key departmental stakeholders at WHOI to facilitate and respond to escalation point for advising and guiding on employment actions such as new hires, terminations, job performance,  internal movement, promotions, retirements, and status changes
  • Work closely with managers to conduct job reviews, job desk audits, and job leveling for job postings
  • Lead recruitment strategy meetings with hiring managers to plan for successful recruitment efforts and associated processes for assigned job requisitions. Develop and recommend strategies for a variety of position levels within the Institution
  • Provides day-to-day performance management guidance to department management related to areas such as performance coaching, counseling, career development and disciplinary actions.
  • Partners with management and employees to improve work relationships, build morale, and increase productivity and retention.
  • Provides department management and employees with HR policy guidance and interpretation.
  • Effectively source applicants through a variety of channels including Linked-In, Indeed, target companies, user groups, professional associations, social media outlets, and other networks to improve volume and quality of diverse, qualified applicants
  • Continuously improve diversity outreach efforts to ensure we are optimizing efforts to achieve the most diverse, qualified applicant pool
  • Support non-employment appointment programs (i.e. Guest Investigator, Adjunct Scientist, Guest Students) while working with the Academic Programs Office, Deputy Director & Vice President for Research Office and HR team
  • Partner with the Compensation & Benefits team to communicate candidate and job needs and to strategize within institutional parameters supporting the overarching goal of maintaining equity while securing top talent.
  • Share in the responsibility to maintain compliance with our Affirmative Action Plan including timely and proper collection and integrity of critical recruitment and EEO data, reporting and reconciliation of plan data, and the execution of goals associated with our Affirmative Action Plan requirements.
  • Ensure compliance with all state and federal employment laws and regulations (e.g., EEO, FMLA, ADA, and FLSA.)
  • Serve as an Alternate Responsible Officer for WHOI’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program
  • Act as a Foreign National (FN) subject matter expert working collaboratively with WHOI departments and advise foreign nationals regarding visa status and regulations and facilitate associated time sensitive matters


  • Help HR leadership assess and make recommendations for HR-related software programs, technology, application features, and updates
  • Perform other responsibilities as needed from Human Resources to serve the Institution

Education & Experience

  • Multiple years of progressive general HR experience and recruitment
    • Sr. HR Partner – Talent level:  typically 8-10 years of experience with increasing responsibility and demonstrated ability to think strategically and operate independently
    • HR Partner – Talent level: typically 5-7 years of experience
  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in a related field, is required.  Advanced degree is preferred, such as an MBA or MS in Human Resources Management or industry certification
  • Demonstrated increasing responsibility and development in an HR Generalist and/or HR Business Partner capacity
  • Proven experience having led projects successfully from inception through completion
  • Proven ability in providing strategic guidance on organizational and people matters
  • Minimum 5 years of hands-on, full life-cycle recruiting experience
  • Demonstrated experience facilitating employee relations and performance management issues.

Special Requirements

WHOI has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy in effect, where you must register your full vaccination status [vaccination plus booster] in order to begin your employment. The registration process is confidential and entails submitting your official vaccination records, or requesting to engage in the interactive exemption process for either a medical or religious reason. 

Physical Requirements

This position is mostly sedentary in nature and involves some repetitive motion such as with data entry.  There is also the occasional need for retrieving and replacing files that requires some bending, stooping, pushing and pulling.  This position will work alone as well as around and with others. Physical duties are subject to change. 


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