Assistant Director of Human Resource Operations

Assistant Director of Human Resource Operations

The ideal candidate is a culturally responsive and competent self-starter who is invested in cultivating a meaningful employee experience and who brings experience managing a highly active, service-oriented department inside of a dynamic, creative, and driven organization. Candidates should also bring experience across a wide variety of work environments and with a large seasonal team.  In the case of Little Island, this means workplaces spanning administrative to facilities to production to the park itself supported by a fulltime team of 50 that can increase to 100 during the summer season. Candidates should have experience collaborating directly with department heads and executive leadership on the execution of organizational change management, policy and protocols, and bespoke HR projects and initiatives. 

The Assistant Director of Human Resource Operations brings a passion for understanding and balancing the unique needs of an individual, department, and larger organization. Candidates should be highly skilled communicators who are comfortable facilitating and navigating complex initiatives and personnel manners with confidence, integrity, and discretion.  This role also manages any external firms that support the goals of the department. 


    Organizational Leadership

    • Collaborates with leadership to develop and sustain a healthy workplace culture alongside innovative human resources approaches, policies, systems, and structures across a wide range of workplace schedules and environments
    • Leads the three-person HR team in a cohesive, consistent, and values-driven fashion
    • Participates in long-term planning focused particularly on employee relations and retention, compensation and workforce development, and related support systems
    • Develops competitive compensation and benefits packages and partners with the COO and Finance Manager on annual and long-term salary review and forecasting
    • Develops short-term and long-term strategic solutions in service to sustainability
    • Analyzes and provides recommendations for appropriate employment structures, levels, and positions across the organization
    • Consults and advises leadership with timely and appropriate resolution of employee relations issues
    • Stewards the values-centered approach to employee relations that is a hallmark of Little Island while keeping a keen eye on its strategic evolution

    Personnel Management, Policies and Protocols

    • Cultivates an equitable workplace that supports, motivates, and retains its employees in partnership with leadership
    • Supports leadership on the execution of communications and change management for significant or new employee-related projects as needed
    • Oversees the employee handbook and other organizational policies 
    • Ensures a safe, inclusive, and compliant workplace for all Little Island employees 
    • Supports department heads through training, coaching, and if needed via direct involvement, in the management of personnel issues, conflicts, or complaints in partnership COO
    • Ensures that all employee files and records are maintained and handled with compliance and discretion
    • Oversees the drafting and distribution of employee communications 

    Employee Relations and Professional Development

    • Develops and implements a variety of events and initiatives that build a welcoming work culture and foster retention, trust, and success
    • Manages Little Island’s performance review and exit processes
    • Tracks and shares trends for future employee relations improvements on individual and organizational levels
    • Trains managers to assess all employee-related matters through Little Island’s values and collaborates on the ongoing feedback, evaluation, and development of their staff in support of the success of Little Island’s diverse staff and their varying needs.
    • Works with Department Heads to assess training and professional development needs.  
    • Partners with COO to prioritize, budget and schedule annual training and professional development initiatives 
    • Ensures Little Island’s hiring, retention and employment practices are accessible and equitable. 

    Recruitment, Onboarding, and Workforce Development

    • Oversees all recruitment strategies, efforts, and workflows for Little Island, for both year-round and temporary team members
    • Oversees the onboarding of all staff at Little Island, ensuring the successful integration of all new hires into the organization
    • Collaborates with the Education and Community Relations department on the development and execution of Little Island’s workforce development strategy, programs, and events in service to Little Island’s mission of providing high-quality jobs to all New Yorkers. 
    • Sets hiring and retention milestones and drives recommendations for improvements when necessary. 
    • Co-creates management training in hiring that ensures a process and candidate experience that is inclusive and welcoming from interview through offer 
    • Ensures non-profit compliance in all hiring practices
    • Leads a forward-facing human resources team that remains on top of industry trends, best practices, and regulations


    • 7+ years of progressive experience, including leadership, working in human resources, people operations, or workforce development
    • Comfort working independently on high impact projects or in high pressure situations
    • A leadership style that connects to Little Island’s values of trust, hospitality, collaboration, problem-solving, and excellence. 
    • A passion for healthy workplace culture, mission-driven organizations, and authentic relationship building
    • Strong writing and communication skills, with the ability to research, draft, and build unique policies and represent Little Island to all internal and external stakeholders
    • Experience managing and collaborating with a wide range of people at extremely diverse career stages, covering an equally diverse range of positions, skill sets, and workplace environments, including hybrid settings
    • Demonstrated leadership accomplishments
    • Excellent management, planning, and visioning skills
    • Ability to work in US


    • Spanish language fluency 
    • SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, PHR, or SPHR certification 
    • Experience in a nonprofit and/or performing arts organization
    • Knowledge of successful hybrid work systems, policies, and practices

    Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they fulfill an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend only to apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply.

    We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. So, whether you're returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or taking the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar.

    Please use your cover letter to tell us about what you hope to bring to this role, and how your background and experience responds to the desired skills and qualities.

  • The search for the Assistant Director of Human Resource Operations is being conducted on behalf of Little Island by Tom O'Connor Consulting Group, a New York-based executive search and consulting firm specializing in the arts and culture industries. The search is being led by Dr. Edie Demas, VP of Organizational Strategy.

    To apply, visit the online application and submit your materials. Your cover letter should include relevant experience, including any direct experience you've had with similar roles and institutions. No phone calls, please. 

  • 12/31/2022
  • Senior-Level | Full-time
  • Arts Organization | Performing Arts
  • Human Resources
  • Little Island
  • 276 Riverside Dr apt 4c
  • New York
  • New York
  • 10014
  • Tom O'Connor
  • 2127296995
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