• Administrative
  • Salem, MA

Website Salem Public Schools

Position:           Executive Director of Employee Engagement

Reports to:        Assistant Superintendent, Finance and Employee Engagement

Supervises:       Up to 3 coordinators and/or managers, with the potential for growth


Salem Public Schools

Salem is a small urban community rich in history, culture, and diversity.  Salem Public School leaders are passionate about urban education and meeting the needs of its diverse learners.  They respect and value the racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity of our students and their families, and have a strong commitment to the Salem community.  Salem Public Schools value diversity, inclusivity, and equity and we are serious about addressing systemic inequities and being an antiracist organization.  Candidates with experience in urban environments or that are bilingual/biliterate are strongly encouraged to apply.

Position Overview

The Director of Employee Engagement is a dynamic and resourceful leader who provides strategic vision, intentional design, and operational direction of all human resource programs to support a culture of innovation, inclusivity, collaboration, and equity.  The Director serves as a consultant to district and school leaders to reimagine both the delivery of employee services and the experience of all SPS employees throughout the lifecycle of their employment with the district.

The Director of Employee Engagement oversees and manages all aspects of the district’s human resource functions and staff.  Working in conjunction with the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, and the district’s leadership team, the Director of Employee Engagement leads district-wide efforts to be highly strategic and successful in the areas of recruitment and selection, staffing and onboarding, performance management, retention, and other talent management functions.

Salem Public Schools has worked to recruit, hire, and retain effective and diverse staff at all levels, yet has not yet invested in the work needed to bring the best adults to our schools. The Director of Employee Engagement will be responsible for designing and implementing a multi-year strategy that empowers the district with the highest leverage talent strategies for a diverse, urban school district to meet the need of every child.

The Director of Employee Engagement serves as the advisor to district and school leaders in all matters related to human resource functions such as: employment, compensation and benefits, retirement, employee discipline, exiting employees, regulatory compliance and reporting, policy administration, contract administration and record-keeping for all employees.

The Director of Employee Engagement works to enhance the wellbeing of every employee, ensuring their awareness of their unique contributions to the district’s vision, mission, goals, and values.  The Director ensures that each employee is encouraged and inspired to contribute to the overall success of our students, staff, and schools.  The Director ensures transparency and understanding regarding expectations for each employee and works proactively to empower each employee to be able to do their best work.

Position Outcomes

Measures of success for the individual in this position:

  • SPS is implementing, modeling, and creating best practices for talent acquisition, staff development, and employee retention in an urban school district environment.
  • All aspects of human resources operations including legal compliance, policy administration, other employee services, are effectively, efficiently, and strategically supporting school and district leaders.
  • A continuous increase in the rate of staff retention at all levels of the organization, and positive trends in employee engagement and employee wellbeing metrics.
  • The continuous growth in the percentage of staff who represent the ethnic, racial, and linguistic diversity of our student population.
  • Accurate, timely, and essential human resource data are readily available and accessible to school and district leaders to inform employee development, staff scheduling, assignment and deployment, and staffing allocation decisions.
  • Key metrics of employee engagement and wellbeing are frequently and regularly evaluated to provide proactive supports to employees in need.

Duties and Responsibilities

Talent Acquisition and Management

  • Leads the talent acquisition process to support principals and other managers in planning for projected vacancies, candidate screening, selection, hiring, scheduling and related recruitment and onboarding functions.
  • Provide training to hiring managers and hiring teams in effective recruiting, screening, and hiring practices that are aligned to the district’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and objectives.
  • Collaborate with Office of Teacher/Leader Development to assist principals and educators effectively and proactively regarding licensure.
  • Design and direct inclusive recruitment initiatives and processes and implement practices that result in successful searches and increased employee diversity.
  • Collaborate with Superintendent, and Office of Teacher/Leader Development to design and implement strategies to develop new talent pipelines.
  • Assure mission-aligned onboarding and orientation for new employees, working to build and sustain a culture of inclusion.
  • Collaborate with Chief of Public Relations to develop and implement a social media presence and other communication strategies to promote the benefits and rewards of joining the SPS team.

Development, Diversity, and Wellbeing

  • Together with relevant committees, staff, and stakeholders, provide innovative thought leadership to design and implement employee wellness, diversity, and inclusion solutions tailored to SPS’s strategic mission and vision.
  • Design, implement, and direct the performance evaluation system for all non-instructional staff so that all employees understand job expectations and can make positive contributions in their roles.
  • Design and provide ongoing intentional and accessible training and/or small group coaching as needed for supervisors.
  • Design and provide innovative programs to promote employee health and wellbeing.
  • Serve as the Title IX coordinator for employees working closely with the Executive Director of Student and Family Supports who serves as Title IX coordinator for students.
  • Collaborate with school and district leaders and municipal departments on district and community wide diversity and wellbeing programming and initiatives.

Employee Engagement

  • Work closely with school and district leaders in driving a listening culture, gathering themes and trends from employee feedback, gaining deeper level of insight into employee experience, and using these insights to make recommendations to inform the overall people strategy, employee programs, and processes and internal communications.
  • Be the steward of employee communication, employee engagement, and district culture tools and resources and plan, monitor, and measure employee satisfaction and engagement.
  • Establish and maintain a strong, positive working relationship with school leaders and district staff to support strategies to increase the retention staff.
  • Support building administrators and department heads in investigating and responding to employee discipline concerns and provide support in investigating and responding to grievances.
  • Provide information and guidance to employees and managers regarding personnel procedures, collective bargaining provisions, and SC policy related to personnel.
  • Design and implement career pathways to support the growth and development of support staff.
  • Collects and tracks employee engagement data and metrics to evaluate employee wellbeing and job satisfaction.

Human Resources Administration

  • Maintain a high level of knowledge in employment law and other applicable federal, state, and local policies pertaining to personnel matters for the purpose of supporting school and district leaders in navigating compliance and providing training to leaders as needed.
  • Support the negotiation process and the district negotiations team, prepares district proposals, and drafts contract language.
  • Participate in labor-management meetings and follow-up action based on labor-management discussion/meetings, works proactively to resolve issues before they become formal grievances and utilizes problem solving and mediation techniques to bring about resolution where appropriate.
  • Oversee the development of personnel processes and procedures to ensure efficient and effective workflow that best serves the needs of school and district leaders and staff.
  • Collaborate with Finance team to develop and implement a position control system to ensure adequate budgetary control and compliance.
  • Oversee Human Resources Information management to ensure accurate and consistent tracking and reporting of all personnel information, effective integration with other software systems, and ease of accessibility by end users.
  • Manage and make suggestions to improve individual contracts and salary agreements.
  • Acts as the District Compliance Officer and conducts or coordinates investigations into allegations of sexual harassment or other illegal discrimination.
  • Oversee employee contract, compensation and benefits administration and ensure that contract provisions are consistent, and that compensation is competitive and aligned to similar districts.
  • Oversee and manage budget for human resources functions.

Key Qualities and Competencies

  • Demonstrated ability to build inclusive cultures and communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to deeply understand and proactively address the human resource needs of schools.
  • Deep, demonstrated knowledge of & ability to understand, interpret and apply the state and federal laws and policies pertaining to human resource management.
  • A proven record of successful employee relations experience including the ability to serve as a catalyst for initiatives that increase employee diversity, development, and wellbeing.
  • Demonstrated commitment to using data to inform practice and strong capacity for leveraging data for quality insights and decision making.
  • Superior interpersonal and intercultural communication competence.
  • Ability to work effectively with a variety of stakeholders across the district including the district management team, department leaders, union leadership, and all employees.
  • Understanding of the current issues related to urban public education.
  • Excellent problem solver, independent and entrepreneurial.
  • Strong organizational skills with exceptional attention to detail and strong design instincts.
  • Has a visible and positive presence and is reflective, curious, empathetic, and approachable.
  • Thinks strategically and is willing to be hands on.
  • Listens well and builds trusting relationships.

Education and Experience

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree.  Masters or higher in business administration, human resource management, industrial/organizational psychology, organizational development, or related field preferred.
  • Possession of APHR, PHR, SPHR, SHRM, APTD, or CPLP certification desirable.
  • Three to five years of increasing advancement in the field of human resource management, school or district leadership, or similar organizational leadership.  Experience in the field of school (K-12 or higher education) personnel administration is desired.
  • Proficiency with MS Office applications including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; proficiency with Google applications, particularly file sharing; strong understanding of data management principles and database fundamentals; and proficiency in human resource information management systems.
  • Familiarity with MUNIS, Aspen, TalentEd, and/or Frontline applications desirable.

Additional information

Director position is a full-time, 12-month, unaffiliated senior leadership position.

Eligibility for health insurance, vacation, holiday, and other benefits.

Salary range: $115,000 – $130,000

Equal Opportunity Employer

Salem Public School District is committed to maintaining a work and learning environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/civil union status, ancestry, place of birth, age, citizenship status, veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information or disability, as defined and required by state and federal laws. Additionally, we prohibit retaliation against individuals who oppose such discrimination and harassment or who participate in an equal opportunity investigation.

To apply for this job please visit salem.tedk12.com.