Human Resources Manager // Gerente de Recursos Humanos
Highlander Research and Education Center

[Note: Actual title to be consistent with Highlander’s current titling structure is “People and Culture Coordinator”] //

[Nota: El título real para ser consistente con la estructura de cargos actual de Highlander es “Coordinadx de Personas y Cultura”]

The Highlander Mission // La Misión de Highlander
Highlander serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the South. We work with people fighting for justice, equality and sustainability, supporting their efforts to take collective action to shape their own destiny. Through popular education, participatory research, and cultural work, we help create spaces — at our center and in local communities — where people gain knowledge, hope and courage, expanding their ideas of what is possible. We develop leadership and help create and support strong, democratic organizations that work for justice, equality, and sustainability in their own communities and that join with others to build broad movements for social, economic, and restorative environmental change. //

Highlander sirve como catalizador para las organizaciones de base y como desarrollador de movimientos en Appalachia y el sur. Trabajamos con personas que luchan por la justicia, la igualdad y la sostenibilidad, apoyando sus esfuerzos para emprender acciones colectivas y dar forma a su propio destino. A través de la educación popular, la investigación participativa y el trabajo cultural ayudamos a crear espacios — en nuestro centro y en las comunidades locales — donde las personas adquieren conocimiento, esperanza y coraje, ampliando sus ideas de lo que es posible. Desarrollamos liderazgo, ayudamos a crear y apoyar organizaciones fuertemente democráticas que trabajan por la justicia, la igualdad y la sostenibilidad de sus propias comunidades y que se unen a otras para construir amplios movimientos para el cambio ambiental, social, económico y reparador.

Overview // Visión General
Since 1932, Highlander has centered the experiences of directly-impacted people in our region, knowing that together, we have the solutions to address the challenges we face in our communities and to build more just, equitable, and sustainable systems and structures. Highlander has experienced recent growth in size and complexity, necessitating a deeper and more strategic HR approach to foster a thriving team and join a legacy of environmental, economic, and racial justice movement-building in the South and Appalachia.

The Human Resources Manager (“People and Culture Coordinator”) is a newly created position that will partner with leadership and unionized Highlander staff to lead human resources strategy and functions with a people-centered and pro-worker democracy approach. This includes developing inclusive policies and practices, stewarding employee engagement with a holistic view of the team and employee lifecycle, ensuring team safety and organizational compliance, and leading performance assessment, leadership development, and learning across the team in a way that centers Highlander’s values.

This role functions in a highly collaborative team of approximately 50 Highlander staff, would interact with close to 150 total employees of the organization (Highlander staff plus fiscal sponsorees), and would support the work of Highlander’s Personnel & Human Resources Board-level committee. This position will manage Highlander’s People and Culture Specialist and report to Co-Executive Director Allyn Steele. Candidates must be located within a half day’s commute (e.g., within a three-hour drive) from Highlander, and candidates who are interested in relocating are also invited to apply. Please note: Highlander currently requires staff who are on-site to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Note: In order to be consistent with Highlander’s titling structure, the actual title for this role will be “People and Culture Coordinator.” The role is envisioned to approximate an HR Manager/Director position, although it will have a “Coordinator” title. In Highlander’s culture and structure, “Coordinators” assume a management position at the organizational level. //

Desde 1932, Highlander se ha centrado en las experiencias de las personas directamente afectadas en nuestra región, sabiendo que juntxs, tenemos las soluciones para abordar los desafíos que enfrentamos en nuestras comunidades y para construir sistemas y estructuras más justas, equitativas y sostenibles. Highlander ha experimentado un reciente crecimiento en tamaño y complejidad, lo que hace necesario un enfoque de recursos humanos más profundo y estratégico para fomentar un equipo próspero y unirse a un legado de construcción de movimientos de justicia ambiental, económica y racial en el Sur y los Apalaches.

El Director de Recursos Humanos (“Coordinador de Personas y Cultura”) es un puesto de nueva creación que se asociará con la dirección y el personal sindicalizado de Highlander para dirigir la estrategia y las funciones de recursos humanos con un enfoque centrado en las personas y favorable a la democracia de lxs trabajadores. Esto incluye el desarrollo de políticas y prácticas inclusivas, la gestión del compromiso de lxs empleadxs con una visión holística del equipo y del ciclo de vida de lxs empleadxs, la garantía de la seguridad del equipo y el cumplimiento de la organización, y la dirección de la evaluación del rendimiento, el desarrollo del liderazgo y el aprendizaje en todo el equipo de una manera que centra los valores de Highlander.

Este puesto funciona en un equipo altamente colaborativo de aproximadamente 40 empleadxs de Highlander, interactuaría con cerca de 150 empleadxs totales de la organización (personal de Highlander más patrocinadores fiscales), y apoyaría el trabajo del comité de la Mesa de Personal y Recursos Humanos de Highlander. Este puesto dirigirá a un Especialista en Personas y Cultura y dependerá del codirector ejecutivo Allyn Steele. Lxs candidatxs deben estar situados a menos de medio día de viaje (por ejemplo, a menos de tres horas en coche) de Highlander, y lxs candidatxs que estén interesados en trasladarse también están invitados a solicitarlo. Nota: Highlander exige actualmente que el personal que se encuentre en el lugar de trabajo esté vacunado contra el COVID-19.

Nota: Para ser coherente con la estructura de titulación de Highlander, el título real de esta función será “Coordinador de Personas y Cultura.” Se prevé que la función se aproxime a un puesto de Director de Recursos Humanos, aunque tendrá un título de “Coordinador.” En la cultura y estructura de Highlander, los “Coordinadores” asumen una posición de gestión a nivel organizativo.
Key Responsibilities

People-Centered Processes
· Work with the Co-Directors and Personnel Committee to support equitable and consistent policies and processes; be a resource for effectively scaling the team in alignment with the organization’s strategic priorities and financial health, including values-based pay practices, and work closely with the CFO around budgetary implications
· Support team-building processes, creating organizational assessments and other tools to gauge employee engagement and morale
· Serve as the point person for stewarding inclusive and consistent hiring practices in collaboration with cross-team hiring committees, as well as expanding worker-justice oriented approaches to hiring
· Coordinate the performance evaluation process, including evaluating its quality and effectiveness, nurturing the leadership development and career paths within teams at the organizational level, and advising processes for performance issues that help us be strengths-based and learning-oriented
· Work collaboratively with the Co-EDs, Coordinators, and Staff to support the team through workplace conflicts, grievances, or incidents as they arise
· With the support of the People and Culture Specialist:

  • Lead benefits strategy and explore ways to enhance and expand benefits in alignment with the organization’s values and the team’s evolving needs
  • Ensure appropriate record keeping, accommodations, and the implementation of other key HR functions
    · Provide guidance and source consulting support as needed for inclusive and pro-worker trainings (such as anti-harassment or anti-discrimination trainings, management trainings, etc.)


Policies, Safety, & Compliance
· Work with the Personnel Committee to support the maintenance, development, and evaluation of all human resources practices and policies, including maintaining knowledge of labor laws and updating the employee handbook with an eye for compliance, transparency, and equity, and clearly relaying and supporting staff in understanding HR policies
· Safeguard the organization’s interests in accordance with HR policies and, where appropriate, laws and regulations, with attention to compliance for fiscally sponsored projects and furthering management-union collaborations
· Contribute to the strategy and process development for a robust organizational records management system and ongoing improvement around digital security policies
· Inform risk-management strategies for team and organizational well-being and identify ways to mitigate risk with support of Highlander’s insurance agent
· Work with the People and Culture Specialist, Building & Grounds team, and Office Manager to ensure workplace safety is practiced and prioritized at all times (e.g., appropriate signage is posted, workplace safety inspections are held and documented, etc.), a workers’ compensation audit is conducted annually, and staff are resourced with any necessary filing or related support

Required Skills, Experiences, and Understandings
· Commitment to working in a multi-racial, cross-class, multi-gendered workplace that centers the leadership of people most directly impacted by systems of oppression; eagerness to engage in HR practices with a pro-worker approach
· At least 4 years of previous HR experience with an understanding of nonprofit personnel practices for organizations with 30-50+ person team, ideally with a multistate employer
· Experience managing staff through the employee lifecycle
· Be located within a half day’s commute (e.g., within a three-hour drive) from Highlander
· Good judgment to manage sensitive and confidential matters; high degree of personal integrity
· Ability to adapt as needed, self-manage, and prioritize between and manage multiple demands and workstreams
· Familiarity with conflict resolution and mediation processes
· Able to hold a systems-level view of the organization – able to navigate the needs of the individual within the collective and manage organizational challenges as opportunities for learning and growth
· Strong preference for a bilingual Spanish to English speaker and writer; must be committed to supporting bi- or multilingual spaces and language justice practices

Desired Skills/Experiences
· Experience working with fiscally sponsored projects
· Experience with collective bargaining and working with unions
· Familiarity with health/safety inspection requirements (such as on a farm or in a kitchen)
· Familiarity with highly participatory models of organizational development, governance, and budgeting

Compensation and Employee Benefits
This position’s salary is set at $69,098 annually (before taxes and other withholdings), which is Highlander’s annual Level 3 salary.

Because our team is how we live out our mission, Highlander has a longstanding practice of prioritizing excellent benefits. Our exceptional benefits package includes 100% coverage of eligible health, vision, and dental insurance expenses for employees, partners, and their dependents. We also offer a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) to cover eligible out-of-pocket expenses; an employer-paid annual retirement contribution after a year of employment; a nominal life insurance plan; paid parental leave; and paid sick, vacation (up to 24 days accrued annually), and holiday leave. Other benefits currently include a $1,000 annual staff development stipend and 20 days of paid sabbatical leave after five years of employment.

This position is currently a full-time, salaried position, with occasional evening and weekend work required. Due to the nature of this work, this position is an exempt position, which means it does not qualify for overtime pay. This position is excluded from the union.

Highlander is located on 186 acres of land in rural East Tennessee (near Knoxville) and is considered a “movement home” by thousands of people from all over the world. Based on the nature of the position, we encourage applications from people who can commute to Highlander, work occasional evenings and weekends, and respond to emergencies as they arise. We offer up to $1,500.00 in relocation reimbursements and, if available, temporary transitional housing at Highlander.

We strongly encourage applicants from the area. Applicants who are interested in relocating or who live within a 3-hour drive of Highlander will also be considered.

How to Apply
Please send a resume and a tailored cover letter explaining your interest in the position to with “Highlander HR Manager” in the subject line.

Optional: In addition to the required information above, candidates are welcome to send other application content that showcases your skills, interests, and experiences. The content can come in any form of media, such as a timeline of your work, life, or experiences; a video, a slide deck or presentation, a visual art piece, a song, poem, or other writing samples, if you wish.

The application process will be open until position is filled and applications will be considered on a rolling basis. We hope to fill this position as soon as possible. Select applicants will receive an initial invitation to interview with a hiring committee, and the final candidate(s) will be invited to a final interview with the full Highlander staff. During the pandemic, all interviews will take place via Zoom.

Highlander is an equal opportunity employer, and we especially encourage applications from Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, women, LGBTQ+ and gender variant/non-conforming folks, and working-class/cash poor people. Folks directly impacted by the criminal justice system are also encouraged to apply.