Director, Total Compensation, Human Resources, ADM9

Education, General Management, Human Resources

Human Resources

Dalhousie University is Atlantic Canada’s leading research-intensive university and a driver of the region’s intellectual, social and economic development. Located in the heart of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with an Agricultural Campus in Truro/Bible Hill, Dalhousie is a truly national and international university, with more than half of our 18,500 students coming from outside of the province. Our diverse faculty and staff foster a vibrant, purpose-driven community, poised to celebrate 200 years of academic excellence in 2018. Human Resources leads the way in advancing Dalhousie’s mission to attract, support, and reward the best faculty and staff, with total compensation as a critical driver.

A key member of the Human Resources leadership team, the Director, Total Compensation is a new senior leadership position overseeing the design, delivery and management of the university’s total compensation system consisting of a $330 M payroll for 6,000 faculty and staff, $1.2 Billion defined benefit pension plan, and a comprehensive $22 M benefits plan.  As Director, you will report to the Assistant Vice-President, Human Resources and will be accountable to the Vice-President Finance and Administration and the Board of Governors. You will lead a team of talented HR professionals in Compensation, Job Evaluation, Payroll, Benefits, Disability Administration, and Retirement Services. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead the development, communication and delivery of a total compensation strategy consistent with the strategic direction and goals of the university
  • Oversee market research and review industry best practices to design a competitive total rewards system that enables Dalhousie to attract, reward and retain top talent
  • Ensure the effective stewardship of funds and resources by conducting in depth analysis and providing strategic recommendations regarding the effectiveness and financial viability of compensation practices
  • Provide leadership and direction of the job evaluation and salary administration process for unionized and non-unionized staff, faculty, senior academic and executive administration positions
  • Conduct periodic reviews of the university’s benefits plan to ensure an optimum balance of coverage and cost
  • Lead pension plan design and administration, including consulting with Labour Relations colleagues
  • Lead an effective payroll function ensuring payroll is processed in an accurate, compliant and timely manner
  • Manage relationships with external benefits and pension consultants
  • Provide strategic leadership in the delivery of disability and medical accommodation benefits
  • Ensure the effective oversight of internal controls, risk management and compliance
  • Lead, motivate, and develop a diverse team of HR professionals with a focus on leading effectively through change and fostering integration and collaboration.

Qualifications: As the ideal candidate, you will have senior experience designing and implementing compensation, benefit, and retirement programs in a complex organization. Experience in a unionized environment is preferred. Strong technology, financial, and analytical skills are required to direct compensation modelling and forecasting.  Sound knowledge of employment, benefits and pensions legislation is required.

An established leader, the successful candidate has the ability to build capacity and enable individual, team and organizational development. Exceptional oral and written communication skills are essential. Creative thinking is a must, with an ability to translate best practice research into strategy.  As Director, you will be a skilled consultant and negotiator with the ability to create an environment that fosters change and innovation.

Qualified candidates will possess at minimum a Bachelor’s degree in Business, Human Resources or other related field. Finance related training and experience is a must.  Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation would be an asset. Certified Compensation Professional (CPP) or Certified Employee Benefits (CEBS) designation would also be ideal.

This position is part of the Dalhousie Professional & Managerial Group (DPMG) (classification: provisional ADM09).

Dalhousie University supports a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Our total compensation package includes a defined benefit pension plan, health and dental plans, a health spending account, an employee and family assistance program and a tuition assistance program.

Dalhousie University is committed to fostering a collegial culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness. The university encourages applications from Aboriginal people, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, women, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and all candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our community. For more information, please visit

If you are interested in this opportunity, contact Andrea Forbes-Hurley or Matthew Martel at 902-421-2009, or submit your application online at: