Director, Client Services – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

The Director, Client Services will oversee a dynamic team of HR Partners (HRPs) to serve an HR client group at the university. This individual will co-define the talent strategy for their client group and enable their HR Partners to act as effective thought partners and key advisors to units on organizational and workforce strategies. This role will work across the HR function to ensure the team of HR Partners is equipped with current data, analytics, policy and industry knowledge to effectively serve their clients. The Director, Client Services will apply leading HR practices and deep domain knowledge to ensure their team is equipped with tools and strategic guidance needed to transform business strategies and goals into talent solutions that improve the employee experience and achieve business goals. This role will help enable USC’s mission and vision while championing USC’s culture and values.

Minimum Qualifications

The candidate for the position of Director, Client Services must meet the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, organizational design and development, psychology, human resources, industrial relations, or another related field. 

  • Ten or more years of experience in one or more of the following fields: human resources, human capital management, HR employee and labor relations or talent management.

  • Four or more years of experience leading teams in a management or leadership role.

  • Strong knowledge of a broad range of HR functions including total rewards (including compensation, recruitment, employee and labor relations), talent management (including performance management, learning and development), continuous process improvement, change management, training, diversity, equity and inclusion strategies, workforce planning, and organizational development. 

  • Ability to consult with business/organizational units about strategically managing talent including workforce planning, talent assessments and performance management. 

  • Experience guiding a team with demonstrated values and leadership skills. 

  • Demonstrated relationship building skills to work effectively with individuals at all levels of an organization. 

  • Strong presentation, communication, teaming capabilities and demonstrated high level writing ability. 

  • Demonstrated planning and organizational skills, effective time management abilities and a growth mindset. 

  • Demonstrated knowledge of labor and employment laws and compliance. 

  • Knowledge of current federal and state labor and benefits laws and regulations including ADA, ADEA, COBRA, EEOC, ERISA, FLSA, FMLA, Health Care Reform Act, HIPPA, OSHA, Pension Protection Act, Title 7, USERRA.  

  • Familiarity with state laws such as CFRA, DFEH, IWC, PDA, Paid Family Leave, SDI, Unemployment, and Wage Orders. 

  • Ability to exercise discretion with confidential information. 

  • Strong oral and written communication skills with the ability to tailor delivery to various audiences. 

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint). 

Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate for the position of Director, Client Services has the following qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in business administration, organizational design and development, psychology, human resources, industrial relations or related field. 

  • Twelve or more years of experience in one or more of the following fields: human resources, human capital management, HR employee and labor relations or talent management.

  • Experience in higher education and/or serving in a consultative role directly advising business leaders.

  • Six or more years of experience leading teams in a management or leadership role.

  • Knowledge of industry trends and leading practices in HR client service methodologies including serving as a data-driven problem solver, influencing at all levels, and serving as a trusted coach and independent voice.  

  • Proven experience creating business and action plans transforming the HR Partner role from a tactical to strategic HR service provider.

  • Ability to interface with all levels of the organization, influence decision makers and set and manage expectations. 

  • Developed client-relationship management skills, along with demonstrated experience in developing consultative relationships with leaders. 

  • Ability to successfully work in a consensus decision-making environment. 

  • Developed team-based management style with the ability to drive change while maintaining an ethical, equitable, consistent and team-focused work environment. 

  • Ability to mentor and develop staff by outlining goals, objectives, implementing support (e.g., teaching) and performance measures and encouraging continuous learning, realignment and training. 

  • Ability to enhance and apply strategic initiatives in daily operations, providing guidance and support as necessary. 

  • Experience in a unionized environment. 

  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP), Organization Development Certified Professional Program (ODCP), Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional/Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-CP/SHRM-SCP), Professional in Human Resources/Senior Professional in Human Resources (PHR/SPHR) or other similar certifications.   

Job Responsibilities

The candidate for the position of Director, Client Services will be responsible for:

  • Understanding and applying human resources leading practices and key data to contribute to the client unit’s near and long-term strategies and goals. Possessing an understanding of the strategic role of HR Partners in enabling a unit’s strategy and goals. Applying a deep knowledge of HR client services, employee relations, talent management, compensation, learning and development, organizational development and design, change management, and diversity, equity and inclusion to guide the HR client services team in providing strategic direction to units.

  • Demonstrating credibility and workforce strategy and analytics expertise in all interactions with client unit leadership. Demonstrating a broad understanding of units’ business needs and delivering forward-thinking, world-class HR support of those needs. Understanding the value in and driving the use of people analytics to enable data-driven decision making.

  • Defining the HR and people strategy for the client unit they oversee based on leading industry practices and talent/organizational data. Equipping HR team with tools necessary to act as an outstanding strategic advisor. Working with HR centers of expertise to establish a plan to transform the in-unit HR role from a tactical to strategic HR service provider including the design/implementation of assessments, gap analysis, up-skilling/learning initiatives and communications plans for units.  Emphasizing the importance of service excellence by interweaving it into project details, measurements and development and training of the team. Interacting regularly with stakeholders to collect feedback and ascertain ways to continually improve client services delivered. Creating HR systems and business processes with stakeholders and customers in mind. Meeting deliverables according to planned deadlines.

  • Working closely with HR Partners to ensure stakeholder buy-in for processes and strategies. Effectively communicating and presenting to stakeholders of various levels in the organization. Engaging with HR leaders to stay up to date on areas of expertise, changes in policy, etc. Consistently communicating with direct reports as well as HR customers to understand existing challenges and areas of opportunity. Gathering structured feedback from HR customers to enhance programs and ensure consistency in approach. Providing feedback to the HR Solution Center regarding transactional services and knowledge content provided for purposes of continuous improvement.

  • Maintaining regular touchpoints with centers of expertise to ensure HR Partners are equipped with relevant and current data, analytics, policy and industry knowledge to effectively serve their clients. Providing innovative guidance and recommendations to unit leaders based on HR leading practices and data. Continuously upgrading knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to keep abreast of regulation/policy changes.

  • Overseeing a team of designated HR Partners and providing strategic direction and leadership. Partnering with HR customers, unit leaders, and HR Partners to define learning, career mobility opportunities and develop succession plans. Employing high ethical and equitable management standards creating a high performing and engaged team. Continuing to develop objectivity and critical-thinking skills to make sound judgments based on keen analysis, leading practices and an understanding of desired outcomes. When necessary, escalating HR issues in a timely manner. 

  • Integrating USC’s unifying values including integrity and accountability throughout all organizational and HR practices. Developing credible relationships from demonstrated ethical judgment, behavior, and practiced confidentiality. Promoting an environment that fosters inclusive relationships and creates unbiased opportunities for contributions through ideas, words, and actions that uphold principles of the USC culture and values including Code of Ethics.

  • Disseminating unit, university and HR strategies to the unit HR team and discussing key elements and individual responsibilities to deliver on the strategies. Establishing near and long-term HR strategies and goals within the HR community and related units to achieve desired outcomes. Analyzing current and anticipated conditions and limitations that may affect ability to achieve strategic outcomes. Reassigning staff responsibility as needed to avoid challenges or roadblocks to success. Demonstrating, through words, actions, and ideas, alignment to USC’s strategic plan and the HR organization’s strategic plan. Enabling the university to fulfill its academic and people missions through enhanced HR service.

  • Performing other related responsibilities as requested and when necessary. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

Required Documents and Additional Information

Resume and cover letter required (may be uploaded as one file). Please do not submit your application without these documents.

The annual base salary range for this position is $160,000.00 – $162,000.00 When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

The University of Southern California is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Minimum Education:
Bachelor’s degree
Bachelor’s degree Business Administration Or
Bachelor’s degree Human Resources Or
Bachelor’s degree Psychology Or
Bachelor’s degree Organizational Development Or
Bachelor’s degree in related field(s)

Minimum Experience:
10 years HR and/or human capital management (e.g., employee and labor relations, talent management)
4 years management role

Minimum Skills:
Ability to drive strategies utilizing demonstrated expertise in varied HR domains (e.g., compensation, diversity and inclusion).
Demonstrated expertise in total rewards including compensation, recruitment, employee and labor relations, talent management (e.g., performance management, learning and development), continuous process improvement, change management, training, diversity, equity and inclusion strategies, workforce planning, and organizational development.
Excellent ability in consulting with business/organizational units about strategically managing talent.
Proven success guiding teams with demonstrated values and leadership skills.
Excellent written and oral communications skills, with the ability to exercise discretion with confidential information.
Proven knowledge of current labor and employment laws and regulations (e.g., ADA, COBRA, FLSA).
Demonstrated success consulting with unit leaders on workforce planning, talent assessments and performance management.
Proven and effective planning, organizational and time management skills.
Demonstrated emotional intelligence and excellent interpersonal and conflict-resolution skills, able to develop positive working relationships and strong rapport with people from diverse backgrounds.
Proven success guiding teams with demonstrated values and coaching skills.
Ability to manage one or more direct reports.
Proficiency with Microsoft Office.

Preferred Education:
Master’s degree Business Administration Or
Master’s degree Human Resources Or
Master’s degree Psychology Or
Master’s degree Organizational Development Or
Master’s degree in related field(s)

Preferred Experience:
12 years HR and/or human capital management
6 years management role

Preferred Skills:
Experience in higher education and/or serving in a consultative role directly advising business leaders.
Ability to drive change while maintaining equitable, consistent work environments.
Demonstrated success implementing industry trends and best practices in HR client service methodologies including serving as a data-driven problem solver, influencing at all levels, and serving as a trusted coach and independent voice.
Proven experience creating business and action plans transforming the HRP role from a tactical to strategic HR service provider.
Experience in leadership/management roles and in unionized environments.
Demonstrated success implementing industry trends and best practices in HR client services.
Ability to enhance and apply strategic initiatives in daily operations, providing guidance and support as necessary.
Developed client-relationship management skills and demonstrated experience developing consultative relationships with leaders.
Proven ability to successfully work in a consensus decision-making environment.
Developed team-based management style with the ability to drive change while maintaining an ethical, equitable, consistent and team-focused work environment.
Ability to interact with all levels of an organization, influencing decision makers and setting and managing expectations.
Ability to mentor and develop HRPs and managers by outlining goals, objectives, implementing support (e.g., teaching) and performance measures and encouraging continuous learning and training.

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