Sign In
 [New User? Sign Up]
Mobile Version

Director of Human Resources

Phillips Exeter Academy

Exeter, New Hampshire 03833
Job Type:
Job Status:
Full Time
  • Benefits
  • Compensation
  • Employee Relations
  • Employment/Recruitment
  • Organizational Development
Phillips Exeter Academy
  • Save Ad
  • Email Friend
  • Print
  • Research Salary

Job Details

Phillips Exeter Academy, a co-educational residential school serving students in grades 9 through 12, and post-graduate level, was founded in 1781 by John Phillips.  Exeter has a tradition of academic excellence, a distinguished faculty, and a long history of educating young people to find their place in the world.  The 671-acre campus with academic and residential buildings, a 309,432volume library, playing fields and green lawns is located in Exeter, a southern New Hampshire town which retains its 18th-century New England charm.  The Academy enrolls more than 1000 students from around the world.  Exeter offers a rich curriculum with over 400 courses taught by 210 faculty in eighteen academic departments.  The Academy employs approximately 425 staff who support the living, learning and teaching environment of a diverse student body.  The Academy's longstanding commitment to excellence has made the school one of the finest in the country.  To learn more about Phillips Exeter Academy, visit

The Position


Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the Director of Human Resources is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the HR department, and developing HR policies and programs for faculty, administrators and staff. The Director is the lead strategic Human Resources advisor to leadership, and is responsible for building and maintaining a high-performing Human Resources program.

The Director of Human Resources develops strategies to recruit, develop, motivate, assess and retain top talent who enable Exeter to pursue its mission.  Major areas of responsibility include administrator and staff recruitment, compensation and benefits, organizational development, employee relations, employee and pay policies and employment law.  Additionally, the HR Director serves in an advisory capacity for the Academy’s Principal and Trustees as a member of the Principal’s Staff.


Administrative Management

  • Manages and leads the development and implementation of an HR vision and strategy and related goals, objectives, policies, and priorities to align with the Academy’s strategic plan and organizational objectives; continually monitors HR’s operations and services and modifies and adjusts as necessary.
  • Develops and communicates a long-range strategic HR plan, and secures the supporting financial resources.
  • Develops and manages the HR department budget and oversees and approves human resources transactions submitted for processing.
  • Develops and communicates HR policies and procedures.
  • Assesses risk to the organization and identifies compliance issues.
  • Administers HR policy and records in compliance with state, federal and Academy guidelines.
  • Serves as a resource to HR Partners and others at the Academy, and oversees the accurate documentation and record retention of investigations, leaves and/or accommodation requests.
  • Leads and coordinates special projects and initiatives frequently involving senior leaders of the Academy.
  • Develops and manages an orientation and on-boarding program.
  • Gathers, investigates, conducts research, analyzes, and/or studies information affecting Academy-wide issues.
  • Provides strategic leadership and oversight for programs and personnel in the areas of benefits and compensation, wellness, employee relations, regulatory compliance, and training and organizational development.
  • Cultivates strong, collaborative relationships with internal HR staff and appropriately utilizes them to inform and support HR operational processes. Clearly communicates expectations to foster trust and good working relationships.
  • Develops and maintains a campus wide working environment conducive to professional behavior, positive morale, trust, creativity, and teamwork.
  • Member of the Human Capital Committee.
  • Assists the Finance office with salary budget matters.

Employee Relations

  • Manages and oversees all employee relations matters
  • Manages and oversees all employee-related legal matters, in close consultation with General Counsel.
  • Handles complex employee/workplace investigations and handles other sensitive and confidential matters with discretion and tact.  Prepares appropriate write-ups and recommends resolution(s). Oversees employee/workplace investigations handled by HR Partners.
  • Fosters a culture of respect, inclusion and empathy in developing a diverse workplace.
  • Works closely with management and employees to improve work relationships, build morale, increase productivity and retention.
  • Educates leadership on employee relations policies and procedures as well as the legal aspects (in close consultation with General Counsel) and implications of various decisions and options ensuring compliance with federal, state(s) and local employment laws and Academy policies and procedures.
  • Develops and executes campus-wide recognition programs and events.


 Benefits & Compensation

  • Develops key strategies for and oversees the administration of the Academy’s compensation and benefits.
  • Works with the Director of Compensation and Benefits in the research and implementation of compensation systems, including proper classifications of all employees, salary adjustments and increases, and participating in market studies.
  • Oversees the benefits program, including review and modification of offerings, providers, and brokers as necessary.
  • Ensures legal and procedural compliance of all benefits offerings and employee communications, with the assistance of General Counsel.
  • Member of the Academy’s Retirement Plan Committee.


Recruitment & Talent Management

  • Provides innovative leadership and guidance for all the Academy’s recruitment and retention efforts to ensure high quality experience for applicants, attraction of diverse pool of candidates, and utilization of best practices in selection methods.
  • Participates as a member and/or chairperson of search committee on select leadership positions.
  • Develops and implements human capital strategy with specific plans to manage talent, develop leaders, and drive employee and organizational performance to facilitate the success of the Academy. Serves as a member of the Human Capital Committee.
  • Works closely with HR Partners on recruitment initiatives in order to drive and enable hiring and retention of talented and diverse employees who will affect positive change.
  • Supports or leads high-level searches.


Training & Organizational Development

  • Consults with department leaders to optimize organizational performance and equip teams to meet their objectives.
  • Assists leadership and department heads in workforce planning, talent forecasting, organizational re-design/re-structuring, development of position descriptions, position classification, and salary action recommendations. Provides advice and counsel to leaders in areas including leadership practices, communications, employee relations, classification, compensation, and professional development.
  • Identifies and enables development opportunities, to include supervisory/management training, one-on-one coaching, executive coaching, employee engagement strategies, orientation and on boarding.
  • Directs the development of staff and leadership learning programs.
  • Collaborates with HR team, management and leadership in defining training initiatives by having an excellent understanding of the Academy's objectives, issues, needs, and key success factors.
  • Sets the HR strategy for planning processes, develops policies and actively promotes best practices.
  • Provides consultation and best practice advice to challenging and often unique problems related to managing a complex organization.
  • Advances the development of the Academy’s Strategic Planning efforts by supporting organizational/cultural change and assisting leadership with assessment of the existing organization and culture in determining needs for change in roles, competencies, behaviors and the requisite skills required to support the new organization/culture.
  • Identifies training needs for campus and directs the development of comprehensive training programs for faculty, administrators, and staff.
  • Member of the Incident Response Team (IRT), participating in tabletop exercises and convening during emergencies.  



The successful candidate must have a bachelor’s degree.  Master’s with specialization in HR Management or OD helpful.  PHR, SPHR, CCP or other certified HR designation desired.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • 10+ years of related experience in an HR leadership and management capacity, preferably in an academic environment, creating an environment of professionalism and teamwork, and contributing positively to unit cohesiveness and morale.
  • 10+ years of in-depth experience in managing employee relations issues.
  • 10+ years of demonstrated experience working with and providing consultation to all levels of employees on strategic and tactical HR related issues and to work effectively in a complex environment.
  • 5+ years of project management experience.
  • Experience leading the workforce through a changing environment.
  • Experience that demonstrates the highest personal levels of uncompromising integrity and honesty.
  • Must possess a record of service that identifies concern for the safety and well-being of others. 
  • Proficiency in using and understanding HRIS products   (Ellucian Colleague, Peoplesoft, PeopleAdmin, ADP, etc.)
  • Ability to work independently and handle multiple priorities and deadlines simultaneously.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to develop and maintain collegial relationships.
  • Excellent communication (written and verbal) skills.
  • Proven strong presentation skills and presence.
  • Ability to plan, research, coordinate and supervise staff and projects within a complex organization.
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills as well as a strong customer focus.
  • Ability to prepare and effectively present both oral and written information concerning activities and operations to internal and external constituents.
  • Knowledge of personnel management, supervision and staff training.
  • Strategic high-level thinking coupled with the attention to detail necessary for successful planning and execution.
  • Proven excellent client support skills with demonstrated evidence of strong business acumen.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with teammates and clients by building trust and credibility.
  • Ability to build and leverage effective relationships and influence decisions and behaviors through collaborating.
  • Solid understanding of multiple HR disciplines, including ER, recruitment, training, OD, compensation and benefits.
  • Proficiency in basic data management systems and basic computer applications (e.g., Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint).
  • Proficiency in using and understanding HRIS products   (Ellucian Colleague, Peoplesoft, PeopleAdmin, ADP, etc.).
  • Willingness and ability to learn additional applications as needed.
  • Ability and willingness to travel (by car, air, train or bus) domestically as needed.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusivity and to serving the needs of a diverse and inclusive community with diplomacy and tact.



Submit a cover letter and a current resume, as one document (pdf or MS Word format), to  Please indicate in the subject line:  Human Resources Director.  The deadline for submission is April 30, 2017.  The successful candidate for this position will be subject to a comprehensive pre-employment background check.   


The Academy offers competitive salaries, excellent benefits (health, dental, 9-12% retirement contribution, vacation, free parking, meals & more) and a supportive, collegial environment in a drug- and smoke-free workplace. 

The Academy is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, marital status, religion, gender, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, genetic information, or physical or mental disabilities which do not prevent performance of essential job tasks. 

The Academy is committed to recruiting, supporting and fostering an equitable, diverse and inclusive community of outstanding faculty, staff and students. Those who share this goal are encouraged to apply.



 Due to the volume of responses received for job postings, we are unable to provide individual status updates.  All applicants will receive electronic confirmation of application submission and final status.  Only those applicants selected by the search committee will be contacted directly.  We appreciate your understanding, cooperation and interest in employment at Phillips Exeter Academy.

SHRM provides content as a service to its readers and members. It does not offer legal advice, and cannot guarantee the accuracy and stability of its content for a particular purpose. Disclaimer