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Senior HR Business Partner

Southern Research
Birmingham, AL
Start date
May 3, 2023

Job Details

Senior HR Business Partner

Southern Research (SR) is a translational research institute that transforms ideas into innovation, and innovation into jobs and economic opportunity. Over its 80-year history, SR has developed seven FDA-approved drugs, contributed to the development of over half of chemotherapies currently in use in the US, and served hundreds of commercial, academic, and government partners. SR recently unveiled a new strategic plan centered on making Birmingham and Alabama national biotech centers of excellence in partnership with Alabama academic institutions, policymakers, educators, and economic development organizations.
Southern Research is at a pivotal moment in its 80-year history. At the start of 2022, SR launched a new strategic plan focused on translational research in the life sciences. SR will invest over $150 million in this new strategy, including development of new facilities, platforms, and programs. These investments will allow us to build cutting-edge industry partnerships, better serve client needs, and drive development of new IP to launch and support startup companies.

We are looking for an energetic and nimble agent who thinks critically, relishes details, effectively collaborates with a diverse array of stakeholders, and has demonstrated an interest in scientific research, commercialization, and economic growth.

General Summary

This is a senior-level HR position in a fast-paced environment that serves as an HR lead on a range of different projects and responsibilities, and acts as a Change Agent in managing organizational/division change.  The Senior HRBP will lead and facilitate the human capital activities, including partnering with SR's recruiter for talent acquisition; creating and delivering learning and development; compensation; recognition; employee relations; performance management; communications, and training.  This position will proactively work with executives and senior leaders to identify and align HR priorities and human capital efforts to business objectives, while providing guidance on organization design, workforce planning, succession planning, and more. 

Independently partners with division leaders to implement HR strategy, policies and activities with assigned functional groups. Coaches and supports leaders in all HR related areas, identifying barriers to organizational success (organizational design, training, recruitment, compensation) to help drive and support appropriate change.  Primary functions include: talent management, employee relations, compliance, organizational design; employee development; management coaching/consulting; performance management, and training. 

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Other responsibilities may be added.

  • Serves as a Human Resource Partner to multiple divisions.
  • Drive and influence strategic organization human capital discussions with leaders.
  • Drive and influence strategic organizational and human capital discussions with division leadership to evolve and align HR programs and operations with the business.
  • Bring data, analytics, benchmark and industry knowledge to business decisions.
  • Partner with HR counterparts across divisions to develop holistic HR plans that align with Southern Research policies and initiatives.
  • Periodically review and recommend (as appropriate) improvements to Company policies, procedures, and practices regarding human capital matters.
  • Responsible for organizational compliance with federal, state, and local legislation pertaining to all personnel matters.
  • Works directly with department managers to assist them in carrying out their responsibilities on personnel matters.
  • Recommends, evaluates and participates in staff development for the organization.
  • Coaches and supports business leaders in all HR-related areas.
  • Accountable for implementing plans to meet business needs.
  • In conjunction with SDHR, Incumbent will work in close coordination with other HRBP's to implement OD initiatives across the enterprise.
  • Incumbent will partner with division leaders to implement HR initiatives that support business outcomes.
  • Works with assigned management teams to focus on employee engagement and retention.
  • Identifies employee development needs and implements appropriate approaches.
  • Manages employee relations issues for assigned organizational unit(s) ensuring legal compliance and managing risks.
  • Effectively investigates issues and recommends appropriate course of action.
  • Will assist with the design, development and implementation of Organizational Effectiveness initiatives to include:
  • Talent Assessment and Performance Management– implementation of the talent assessment review process; identify areas of improvement and consult with leaders for improved performance based on desired skill set.
  • Succession Management: work with divisional management to facilitate the identification, development, and implementation of a succession program
  • Employee Engagement & Retention: work with division management to identify specific employee engagement and retention issues; work together to frame and implement strategies unique to the circumstances.
  • Culture: assist division management with implementing culture change; diagnose work environment issues and consult with division management on solutions for improvement.
  • Leadership Development: identify needs, develop or customize programs and facilitate the delivery of development programs.
  • Career Development: identify tools/resources to assist division management with coaching and participating in career counseling and feedback sessions.
  • Mentoring: recommend approaches; coach /assist HRBP /leaders in the matching of individuals with mentors and mitigating conversations.
  • Change Management: focus on better operation performance; work with division management to prepare employees and assist in managing change throughout the organization.
  • Learning and Development Programs: provide guidance on organizational programs/processes; recommend approaches, gain support on implementation.
  • Models and reinforces Southern Research culture by ensuring that HR practices are aligned with organizational objectives.
  • Collaborates with other members of HR team to identify and implement process improvement initiatives.
  • Will actively contribute to special project teams and / or will contribute to internal committee outcomes.
  • Facilitates compensation process for assigned organizational unit(s) to ensure equity assessment, job description updates and overall salary administration.
  • Facilitates and oversees immigrations processing
  • Takes a lead role in general HR process development / enhancement opportunities as appropriate.
  • Reviews compensation, promotion, and position structure for assigned divisions/departments.
  • Ensures existing staff of assigned areas have position descriptions, current goals, and annual performance reviews.
  • Ensures the on-boarding process is completed for all new hires.
  • Liaison with hiring manager to facilitate successful new hire engagement by ensuring goals are established and feedback provided during the orientation period.
  • Counsels staff, providing guidance and insight on sensitive or difficult issues; works with legal counsel as appropriate to address employment-related issues.
  • Facilitates the termination/departure process for client employees including the conduct of exit interviews for all client voluntary leaves.

Requirements/Minimum Qualifications

  • BS degree in HR or relevant discipline with 7 years of experience as an HR generalist
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Comfort in a dynamic work environment, collaborating with stakeholders across divisions of the organization.
  • Proven ability to implement change initiatives
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively utilize MS Office (excel, word, PowerPoint) and HRIS.
  • Passionate about translational research, commercialization of new technologies, and innovation-driven economic development

Preferred Qualifications

  • SHRM Certification strongly preferred.
  • Business acumen, knowledge, professionalism; understand all aspects of how a business operates; able to develop and articulate the value proposition of a new process or program.
  • Strong communication (verbal and written) and collaboration skills; able to work effectively across all levels within the organization
  • Strong consultative and diagnostics skills; excellent strategic planning and operations deployment skills
  • Ability to maintain composure in a fast-paced environment; flexible and adaptable, an individual who embraces change and challenges and has a passion for improvement.
  • Data driven and savvy with metrics and analytics.
  • An individual who inspires action, builds relationships, and obtains results.
  • Excellent operational deployment skills. The ability to integrate and align strategy, people, and activities across functions, processes and teams is critical. Someone who can translate vision and strategy into clear actionable human capital plans.
  • An individual who instills confidence in others, is self-assured and exhibits a professional demeanor and is organizationally savvy.
  • Innovative and decisive problem-solving skills—an ability to assess a situation, identify the issues, and create multiple solutions.
  • Ability to integrate and align strategy, people and activities across function, processes and teams, and translate vision and strategy into clear actionable goals. Strong project planning and management skills.
  • Interpersonal, negotiation and conflict management skills; comfortable managing multiple or conflicting priories, across multiple locations. Demonstrate ability to engage with leaders and employees at senior and executive ranks.
  • Prior experience supporting 150+ employees as primary HR contact and personally performing day-to-day support activities.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Critical strategic thinking skills.
  • Demonstrated experience leading Organizational Development initiatives.

Physical Demands

  • This position is required to work in an office setting using a computer for extended periods of time. 
  • Some travel may be required.
  • Must be able to move up to 15 pounds at times.

Certifications, Licenses & Registrations

  • None necessary; SPR certification desired


MOVING SCIENCE. Our experts turn what couldn't be done into what we can't live without. By translating research into innovation, we act as catalysts that save lives and cultivate Birmingham's biotech scene. We are conduits between Science and Society. With precision, we transform ideas into discoveries. We see possibilities before they exist and activate scientific progress that is purposeful. We move science, because the promise of a brighter future moves us. We work with more than 150 industry and academic partners to drive scientific discoveries. From drug discovery to development, to carbon capture and environmental health sciences, every layer of our scientific and professional teams serve a fundamental role in moving science. We're making Birmingham the biotech hub of the southeast. Coming in 2024, our new biotech center will feature 60,000 sq. ft. of commercial wet labs, A/BSL-3 space and data science facilities. Our team will grow 125 scientific jobs and help shape the future of biotech in Alabama. We're investing in renovations of 40,000 sq. ft. of facilities including vivarium space and launching a new clinical diagnostics lab.

Find Us
(205) 581-2000
2000 9th Avenue South

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