Sr. HR Business Partner

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

People & HR
Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2024


BSD HRO - Clinical & Shared Research Units

About the Department

The Human Resources department within the Biological Sciences Division (BSD) of the University of Chicago provides HR support to BSD administrative and operational leaders for over 2400 staff employees in mission critical research positions. The Biological Sciences Division (BSD) is the largest unit of the University. Established in 1930, the BSD is comprised of faculty from the clinical and basic sciences. In this unique academic community, a unified division delivers undergraduate, graduate, medical, and postgraduate education in the biological sciences together with outstanding patient care and world renowned research. The BSD currently includes approximately 135 faculty in the 10 basic science departments, over 800 faculty in 13 clinical departments, and 2400 staff members. The BSD includes the Pritzker School of Medicine (PSOM), approximately 24 academic units, degree-granting committees, and research centers and institutes. The BSD is located on the University's main campus in Hyde Park, 20 minutes south of downtown Chicago.

Job Summary

The job works independently to design, implement and monitor a variety of human resource programs. Anticipates and plans for long-term human resource needs and trends in partnership with business management.

The Senior Human Resources Partner reports to the Director of Human Resources and supports the BSD departments. This position will support staff and leaders through a broad spectrum of HR services including performance management, employee relations, policy interpretation, workforce planning and staffing, and staff development. The Senior HR Partner will ensure BSD operations and administrative leaders have the resources they need to support their staff and to create long term employee satisfaction and engagement. BSD staff positions include basic science researchers, clinical researchers, research technicians, bioinformaticians, data scientists, well as administrative professionals in grants administration, finance, IT, and HR.


Leadership and Talent Management

  • Partner with operation and administrative leadership for designated client groups building talent capability across the organization through talent acquisition, talent development, engagement, organizational design, compensation administration, and by driving inclusion & diversity.

  • Develop and maintain a deep understanding of the business and department culture in order to provide meaningful, value-added HR services supporting the department objectives.

  • Analyze external internal workforce trends and metrics to develop organizational practices which meet the needs of each employee and fulfill the strategic vision and mission of the department, the BSD, and the University.

Talent Acquisition

  • Lead staffing efforts through all phases of workforce planning and talent acquisition ensuring a successful hire and excellent candidate experience.

  • HR Partner conducts position and job description review, drafts posting and marketing communication, actively recruits, extends offers, and supports candidates through initial onboarding.

Performance Management

  • Provide guidance to managers and leaders on performance management and workforce success by coaching, counseling, and offering career development solutions.

  • Partner with administrative leaders on facilitating the staff employee performance process from goal setting to compensation and merit review.

Employee Relations

  • Manage and resolve complex employee relations issues by conducting thorough and timely investigations through to resolution and debriefing.

  • Monitor trends and implement solutions that prevent employee relations concerns.

Compensation and Rewards

  • Gain a deep understanding of unique BSD positions in research and life sciences.

  • Analyze data and prepare visual summaries and proposals for management review and consultation with University HR and compensation team.

  • Recommend creative rewards and recognition solutions to convey staff appreciation.

Standard Responsibilities

  • Guides staff hiring processes, including developing job descriptions, interviewing and reference checking, handling employment offers, and conducting orientation. Develops templates and drafts offer letters. Maintains appropriate human resources data and records, solving a range of problems using best practices.

  • Has a deep understanding of unit's employee/labor relations efforts, including handling grievances, disciplinary warnings, and employee complaints.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Master’s Degree in Human Resources, Industrial and Labor Relations, or related field.


  • 7 years of experience as an HR leader working independently to advise and support leadership on a broad spectrum of HR matters.

  • Experience as an HR Partner in a highly matrixed organization.

  • Employee relations counseling, investigations, and discipline.

  • Experience with full cycle recruitment.

  • Experience working within a university or OFCCP compliant environment.

  • HR experience supporting professions in information technology, data science, bioinformatics, or research.

  • Experience with streamlining HR process and leading efforts toward continuous improvement.

  • Workday as the HRIS or ATS system.

Licenses and Certifications:

  • PHR or SPHR.

Preferred Competencies

  • Ability to successfully navigate a matrixed business and academic environment.

  • A desire to drive continuous improvement growth.

  • Ability to influence others without formal authority by building positive working relations and partnerships with confidence.

  • Ability to understand leader’s needs, assess the range of solutions, provide relevant guidance, and coach to facilitate change.

  • Ability to interact effectively with all leaders of the institution.

  • Ability to cultivate a learning environment that appreciates cultural diversity.

  • Ability to create mission driven, cohesive teams by building talent infrastructure.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letter (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Human Resources

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: http://securityreport.uchicago.edu. Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.