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Director of HR

Uncommon Schools

New York, New York 10003
Job Type:
Job Status:
Full Time
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  • Employee Relations
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Job Details

Uncommon Schools (Uncommon) is a nonprofit organization that starts and manages outstanding urban charter public schools that close the achievement gap and prepare low-income students to graduate from college.  Uncommon builds uncommonly great schools by developing and managing regional networks that are philosophically aligned and highly accountable and by designing and implementing “best-in-class” teacher training.  The organization has achieved outstanding academic results based on internal assessments, statewide exams, and graduation milestones.  Its schools consistently outperform their district schools and are among the highest-performing urban schools in their cities and states. During the 2016-2017 school year, Uncommon serves over 16,000 students in 49 schools across three states in six cities. To learn more about Uncommon click here  


Position Overview


The Uncommon Human Resources team is based in New York City and provides HR support to 2,100+ staff members across 49 schools and the Home Office (HO). The team does this by working in close collaboration with regional and school leaders, as well as HO managers to ensure that they are receiving strong HR support and implementing consistent HR practices.  The HR team’s track record of delivering high quality HR services represents an integral part of Uncommon’s overall investment in our people. The team works closely with Uncommon’s other Talent teams, including the Recruitment, Talent Development and Diversity teams, to recruit, retain, support and develop our people.


This position reports to the Acting Counsel and Director of HR and will work in close collaboration with Uncommon’s Chief Talent Officer and other Talent team leaders.  The Uncommon HR team currently represents a team of 8 individuals and the Director will have direct management responsibility for a subset of this team.


The position requires a high-energy, detail-oriented, people driven and hard-working leader who can set strategic direction, execute on operations and build deep and lasting relationships with both school, regional and HO leaders.  Initiatives may include, but are not limited to:

Strategic Vision & Planning

  • Partnering with the Acting Counsel and Director of HR, the Chief Talent Officer and other senior leadership to identify, prioritize and implement key people initiatives that will support and drive org-wide efforts to recruit, retain, support and develop our people.
  • Leading and contributing to near and long term strategic planning efforts across the team.
  • Developing a comprehensive strategy and implementation plan to scale HR operations for a growing multi-site organization.


HR Operations

  • Managing the continued implementation and use of existing HR Technology in support of smooth and efficient operations, including ADP, Zendesk, JobScience and DocuSign. Collaborate with other teams to ensure access to and delivery of key people data for organizational needs.
  • Serving as the HR lead on an org-wide Technology System Change initiative which will likely result in adoption and rollout of new HRIS systems and tools.
  • Designing transactional systems and processes to maximize efficiency, efficacy of processes and systems and ensure compliance across key HR workstreams, e.g.  I-9s, reporting requirements, labor law posters, benefit and policy updates and more.
  • Managing the collection and analysis of key employee data across the organization and leveraging it to help drive the work forward in the right direction.
  • Building a plan and timeline on which to periodically reevaluate key policies, plans and HR costs to ensure that we regularly reevaluate


Benefits & Leave Administration

  • Managing the team to effectively administer Uncommon’s health benefits to all staff. Manage broker resources, benefit renewals, and open-enrollment for the medical, dental, and vision programs for all networks.
  • Managing the team around leave administration to ensure process and information is consistent, thoughtful and stream-lined. 
  • Communicating with leadership about potential benefit changes.


HR Policies & Compliance

  • Staying abreast of changes to local/state/federal laws (across all 6 Uncommon regions) that could impact personnel policies.
  • Working closely with leadership to propose and recommend any necessary policy changes in light of new laws, organizational needs, etc.


People Engagement

  • Building systems and processes that put our people first and which ensure that all staff interactions with HR are positive and helpful.
  • Providing support and guidance to leaders and managers across the organization on personnel matters.
  • Building the proactive systems and supports, including trainings, to ensure leaders and managers engage successfully in personnel matters, including working with external counsel when necessary.
  • Ensuring prompt and thoughtful communication with all staff.
  • Being a relentless advocate for our people and leaders


Team Management

  • Serving as an exceptional leader and manager role model, investing deeply in supporting and developing HR team members and growing their capacity to learn, contribute and engage in the work of the team and organization.



  • Experience managing and leading a large team, ideally with deep HR operations experience.
  • Experience scaling operations and/or providing HR support to multi-site organizations.
  • Passion for the Uncommon mission
  • Track record of accomplishment
  • Ferocious work ethic
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with demonstrated ability to speak and write clearly and persuasively
  • Excellent organization, time management, and follow-up skills; ability to prioritize and demonstrate an appropriate sense of urgency
  • Exceptional analytical and critical thinking skills that lead to systems thinking
  • Commitment to self-reflection
  • Strong client focus and an ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituents
  • Thrives in evolving, fast-paced, high-change dynamic organizations
  • Knowledge of employment law in New York, New Jersey and/or Massachusetts
  • Knowledge of benefit plans’ structure/requirements and insurance claims management
  • Outstanding judgment, sensitivity and high discretion
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to project manage
  • Above average knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Willing to travel to our schools throughout our six regions; willingness to participate in night and weekend commitments as necessary to the job


Experience required

  • Bachelor’s degree plus 5-7 years of HR-related experience



We offer a generous compensation package. All staff members are equipped with the tools needed to succeed, including a dedicated work space, laptop computer, email, high-speed internet access, and all necessary supplies.


To Apply


If you are passionate about improving educational opportunities for historically underserved children and communities, please visit our website at and apply online at

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