City of Boston

Director of Employee Relations

Posted Date 2 weeks ago(9/9/2022 11:54 AM)
Req ID
ASD Human Resources
Regular Full-Time
Boston City Hall
Salary Min
Salary Max
Contact Email


Brief Job Description:


The City of Boston seeks to hire a Director of Employee Relations. As a key leadership role in the City’s People Operations Cabinet, the Director of Employee Relations partners with employees and managers to promote and maintain productive and highly collaborative relationships. The individual in this role will collaborate with Human Resources, the Office of Labor Relations, and the Law Department to develop a strategic, proactive, and unified approach to employee relations for the City of Boston.

As part of the People Operations Cabinet leadership team, this position will report directly to the City’s Chief People Officer. This Cabinet consists of the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Labor Relations, and the Registry and approximately 150 staff, supporting the work of the 17,000 highly diverse employees working for the City of Boston, as well as maintaining the records for all births, deaths, and marriages for the City of Boston.


The Director of Employee Relations will build and strengthen lines of communication between managers and employees, and will ensure that all City departments not only understand and adhere to the policies and procedures established by the City and the Office of Human Resources, as well as its many collective bargaining agreements, but to help improve policies and procedures. The director will also work to ensure that departments are, in turn, clearly and effectively communicating these policies and procedures to employees.


The Director is the central point of contact for complex human resources-related issues, concerns, and complaints. Accordingly, the Director must have excellent issue-spotting and problem-solving skills, and have or rapidly acquire working knowledge of relevant federal, state, and municipal laws and regulations regarding employment. This includes overseeing an investigative staff charged with providing guidance, support, and expertise in employee relations matters to departments, and conducting fact-finding as appropriate. These matters touch on sensitive issues that range from discipline to performance management to HR policy. An ability to assess these matters promptly and thoroughly, and then formulate appropriate strategies and investigative scope is key.


This Director will partner closely with the Office of Labor Relations and the Law Department to ensure adherence to all policies and procedures in a fashion that is consistent, equitable, methodical, and in compliance with all legal requirements. In instances involving issues with broader visibility or impact, the Director may interact with elected officials and the press.

Minimum Entrance Qualifications:

This leadership role requires strong problem-solving and relationship-building skills, with a strong knowledge of the principles and practices of employee relations and ability to relate well with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and identities. Successful candidates will have a style that is purposeful and directed at getting things done effectively and respectfully. The working environment will present a great deal of challenge and pressure, and people and problems must be handled with care, confidence, and determination.

  • Five (5) or more years of leadership experience operating and influencing effectively across organizations/departments and within complex contexts required.
  • A bachelor's degree (or equivalent experience) in Human Resources, Employee Relations, or related field plus (3) years of employee relations experience, including 1-2 years of management experience.
  • A law degree is preferred, but not required.
  • Experience working in a large or mid-size organization. Experience in the public sector and/or unionized environments is preferred.
  • Ability to use a variety of advanced conflict resolution techniques to guide departments through options to successfully resolve employee conflicts.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and the ability to balance scores of tasks in a fast-paced environment with constantly changing priorities.
  • Ability to motivate staff and ensure follow-through on assigned tasks.
  • Demonstrated leadership, change management, and verbal and written communication skills.
  • Must possess excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and ability to maintain composure in stressful situations.
  • Ability to exercise outstanding judgment and significant patience, understanding and empathy, recommend solutions in a tactful and professional manner, and maintain the integrity of confidential information.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft applications, and Google Suite
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills - able to work with and be inclusive of diverse interests and backgrounds.
  • Knowledge of Boston is a plus.
  • Ability to exercise good judgement and focus on detail as required by the job.

Boston residency required.



Union/SalaryPlan/Grade: MM2-11

Hours per week: 35


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