Director, Human Resources

Emeryville, CA, United States
Nov 02, 2020
Biotech Bay
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time

The Director, Human Resources is responsible for business partnering with specific client groups to provide a broad range of support for client groups’ people strategies. This role will also lead the HRBP group in North America (2+ direct reports). All members of the Santen HR team also take responsibility for running or participating in projects that span across client groups. This role will take primary responsibility for partnering with Santen’s growing organization.

As an HR professional, you need to consult and partner with; advise, coach, negotiate, influence, innovate and challenge appropriate functional groups on people-related issues; work in partnership with functional leaders to design, develop and drive HR initiatives that meet strategies and scientific goals, improve the effectiveness of the organization in partnership with the management team; and provide recommendations and outcomes that will enhance management capability and organizational performance.


Santen is a specialized pharmaceutical company focused exclusively on ophthalmology in global markets around the world with more than 4,000 employees and sales in approximately 60 countries. Santen Inc., located in Emeryville, CA (US HQ), contributes important ophthalmic research & development and commercialization efforts, and is home to our regional business teams. This office currently employs about 140 people with large growth plans.

With the passionate support of our Japanese parent company and its 130-year heritage, Santen is pursuing intellectually challenging and stimulating work to deliver game-changing therapies that make hope a reality for people facing vision impairment and loss. We are driven by and committed to our mission: Imagine Your Happiness, and we are in search of top talent to help us meet our aggressive and important goals.

  • The HR Director will provide ongoing HR Business Partner support to drive the implementation of all HR aspects of Santen Inc.’s growing organization
  • Support functional leaders in all HR-related aspects, work side-by-side with Head of HR on special projects
  • Collaborate with line leadership and Santen Talent Acquisition team to develop and implement a recruiting strategy for the growing organization
  • Implement the array of Santen HR processes with your client groups, balancing their specific needs with the efficiency and scale necessary across the organization
  • Coach and consult line managers in all issues regarding HR and people management
  • Provide advice and counsel to managers and supervisors regarding HR practices, policy, and employment law
  • Provide support to employees including assistance with confidential problems and issues
  • Interpret feedback and provide an informed and independent perspective on Santen, Inc. organizational strengths and weaknesses given its scientific and commercial ambitions and competitive environment.
  • Represent Santen, Inc. on select Santen LTD and Global projects to ensure Santen-wide efforts align with Santen, Inc. organizational goals and needs
  • Consult with key organizational stakeholders to identify and diagnose organizational problems and design and help implement innovative and sustainable solutions
  • Lead, develop, improve, support and monitor organization-wide processes and programs aimed at building organizational capability
  • Consult with HR team and clients to identify strategies that support the desired organizational culture across Santen North America while also connecting to specific needs of individual functional areas
  • Identify opportunities and help shape strategies and plans to address gaps
  • Stay current on trends in the Human Resources field to ensure solutions are progressive and relevant
  • Perform other duties as necessary as assigned by management

  • 8+ years of HR experience, with 5 years as an HRBP supporting senior management in the Life Science Industry
  • Preferred: Experience in acquisition and change management projects– assessing needs of internal clients, developing and implementing innovative strategies, processes and programs
  • Sound business acumen, and proven ability to work with diverse organizational and social cultures
  • Strong facilitation skills
  • Effective interpersonal skills to collaborate effectively and build strong relationships
  • Demonstrated competence to assess priorities and successfully manage multiple projects while meeting time-sensitive and demanding deliverables
  • Proven ability to work in high pressure, highly visible situations
  • Experience leading direct reports and project teams
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Master’s degree in relevant field preferred
  • Solid understanding of Human Resources principles, policies and practices
  • Understanding of Federal, California, other state and local legal considerations related to Human Resources administration.
  • Ability to learn new functions and concepts quickly, self-starter
  • Ability to prioritize and multitask
  • Ability to work and communicate with employees at many levels across diverse cultures Excellent judgment in handling confidential, sensitive information
  • Excellent overall communication, writing and organizational skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills working in a team environment.
  • Experience using ADP, Microsoft Suite tools (including Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Access and Excel), Jobvite and Halogen Software or similar talent management/ performance management software programs


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required:
  • The ability to sit, stand, kneel, stoop, walk, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, point, and reach with hands and arms
    Must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 lbs.
  • Must be able to use the telephone and communicate clearly with a host of external individuals, domestically and globally
  • Ability to work at computer for extensive periods of time
  • Ability to working in a fast paced working environment managing multiple tasks
  • Ability to travel occasionally


The work environment characteristics are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.