Job Description:

Chicago Public Media is one of the largest, most decorated, aggressively creative, and journalistically ambitious public radio organizations in the nation. They are home to WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news station broadcasting at 91.5 FM, and Vocalo Radio, Chicago’s Urban Alternative music station at 91.1 FM. They are the birthplace of such celebrated programs as This American Life, Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Sound Opinions, Curious City and most recently, a growing portfolio of podcasts that include podcasting’s first blockbusterSerial, Making Obama and Making Oprah, and Public Official A. WBEZ’s award-winning newsroom is growing in order to tackle the stories that matter most to the community.  As an essential source of news and context, Chicago Public Media is a powerful connector among lines of difference.

At Chicago Public Media, they believe independent journalism is essential to a well-functioning democracy and access to fact-based, objective news and information a right of every citizen.  They serve the public interest by creating diverse, compelling content that informs, inspires and enriches.  They connect diverse audiences and help them make a difference in the community, the region and the world.  They employ many who are inspired by their mission and who want to belong to an organization that inspires, supports, and challenges.

Reporting to the President and CEO, the Head of People & Culture will play a crucial role in building the human capital strategies and tactics the Organization needs to achieve its goals.  The Organization’s senior business leaders are committed to developing a long-term human capital plan that ensures the organization is building a diverse and inclusive workforce and one that is reflective of the community it serves.  This HR Leader will be a visionary and pragmatic leader, inspired by a passion for achievement, while managing the tactical activities that allow employees to be successful in their jobs. 

The successful candidate will serve as a trusted advisor, coach and colleague to the CEO and the executive leadership team.  The new leader needs to be a proactive partner and collaborator, stimulating and supporting senior executive in their ability to effectively recruit, deploy, grow and lead talent throughout the organization.  Additionally, a key role of this position will be to advise the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors, in collaboration with the CEO, on compensation and benefit plans, including providing and discussing competitive analyses.

He/she will provide leadership, vision, development, and overall management of all HR activities and staff, the organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, learning and talent development efforts and reinforcing the organization’s culture, values, and mission through the design and delivery of exceptional programs and services.  These programs and services should facilitate the professional development and continuous learning of team members, particularly executives, front-line managers and emerging leaders. Across the organization, this HR professional will be a leader in ensuring consistency in having the right people, doing the right things for the right reasons.

The successful candidate will be a hands-on leader, focusing the human resource function to attract, motivate, and retain the most qualified talent available and provide optimal service internally. He/she will act as a catalyst and motivator for the continued development of a strong, open, community-centric culture.  The Head of HR will advise executive leadership in the development of long-range goals and initiatives as well as reprioritizing existing resources to support strategic initiatives; and accurately and clearly communicate performance expectations, opportunities, and issues to support the business lines. 


Key Responsibilities:

  • Advisor to CEO & Executive Leadership:  Provide strategic thinking on people selection, organizational effectiveness, performance management, talent development and change management. Engages with the CEO and Executive Leadership team to support the organization’s mission, vision, values, goals, and key metrics by developing short and long range Human Resources plans, strategies, and policies; understands the Organization’s strategic business goals and uses this information to develop the appropriate HR strategy and tactics, including training and development programs that support and are completely aligned with these goals.
  • Human Capital Plan:  Create an HR strategic plan that aligns with that of the Organization.
  • Culture Development: Develop practices that foster an accountable, engaged & high-performing workforce and a workforce that lives the values of the Organization.
  • Diversity & Inclusion:  Create and implement the over-arching company strategy for Diversity & Inclusion as it relates to the mission, values and culture of Chicago Public Media
  • Learning & Development: Establish the learning strategy and oversee training and development curricula to ensure program goals align with the mission and vision for the Organization.
  • Talent Acquisition:  Develop a compelling employment brand and recruitment process for attracting, hiring and retaining high-capacity talent.
  • Talent Review & Management: Create a talent review process that engages all managers in assessing and developing talent.
  • Performance Management: Implement a performance management program that emphasizes performance, collaboration and integrity, as well as the Organization’s values, and incorporates clearly defined structures that empower employees to manage their own development and career trajectory.
  • Develop and Coach HR Team: Build internal consulting competencies to ensure that the HR team is perceived by the line organizations they support as a credible business partners, culture & change stewards, capable talent managers, organizational consultants, strategic thinkers, impactful coach and responsive solution providers. Ensure appropriate skill sets are in place to accomplish desired objectives and implement an action plan to develop or acquire these competencies.  
  • Compensation Strategy: Create a compensation philosophy and structure that attracts motivates and retains talented staff. Assess market competitiveness. Design and develop support for strategies to maintain and enhance competitive position.  Ensure compensation plans for both immediate and long term are aligned with the strategic plan and direction the Organization is going. 
  • Stay Current:  Proactively seeks knowledge expertise in the HR field, as well as stays abreast of general business trends and practices.


Skills and Experience We Are Looking For

The Head of HR must be a strategic leader with a strong business acumen, proven experience in building collaborative teams and relationships across all levels of the organization.This leader must have the passion, energy and intellectual curiosity required for a growth-driven environment.

  • Best-in-class HR practices experience gained from a company recognized for excellence in the human resources function.
  • Senior HR leader with expertise in talent review, talent management, change management and developing high performance work cultures.
  • Experience in developing competitive compensation plans and structure.  Specific emphasis on developing short- and long-term incentive plans aligned with the company’s strategic focus and objectives.
  • Established track record of driving, delivering and measuring results by way of establishing key HR performance indicators.
  • Ideally experienced in diversity & inclusion, learning & development and culture initiatives within companies going through change and where HR has played a significant role.
  • Ability to and desire to do the day to day work in addition to setting the strategic direction of the HR function
  • Experience managing employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Prior experience as Head of HR or divisional HR executive.
  • A bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field.An MBA or related Master’s degree and SPHR certification is preferred but not required.A combination of education and professional experience will be considered


Working at Chicago Public Media

Chicago Public Media cares deeply about our employees as we know attracting, nurturing and developing talent is key to our success and enhancing our impact.  Our culture is one where collaboration, ideas, and innovation are encouraged.  We value colleagues who will enhance our culture by bringing new ideas, diverse experiences and talents to our dynamic workplace.

Chicago Public Media’s dedication to promoting diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion is reflective across our brands, WBEZ 91.5 FM and Vocalo 91.1 FM, in our staff and in our work.  We are fully focused on equality of opportunity and believe deeply in diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin and all other fascinating characteristics that make us different.

At Chicago Public Media we believe dedication to a great workplace includes supporting our employees and their families. As a result, we provide a broad and generous benefits package for you at hire and in the years to come.  Our benefits include:

  •  6 weeks fully paid family leave
  •  12 weeks paid maternity leave
  •  High quality Medical, Dental, and Vision plans at an affordable cost
  •  A  403(b)retirement plan with a company match
  •  Generous paid time off, including starting with 3 weeks’ vacation and 4 personal days


Job Location: 
Chicago, IL
United States
Job Category: 
Human Resources
Job Type: 
Full time
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