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Director of Human Resources

Position Summary

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Inc. (ESPHS) seeks an experienced, strategic, and hands-on Director of Human Resources (DHR) to guide and direct its human resources' function. This position will oversee recruiting and retention, employee relations, performance management, and professional development. DHR will lead and participate in internal change management projects. In addition, the DHR will play a key role in ensuring that human resources policies and practices comply with applicable federal and state employment laws, are regularly benchmarked against peer organizations, and are aligned with ESPHS's mission and organization-wide strategies.

The Director of Human Resources will report to the Chief Executive Officer and provide strategic leadership in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization, specifically in the areas of talent acquisition, retention, change management, performance management, training and development, and compensation.

Essential Functions

  • Develop and implement a human capital program focused on recruiting, onboarding, and retention strategy using knowledge of human resource information systems.
  • Establish and implement HR procedures that foster employee retention, service excellence, high performance, and support ESPHS’s mission and strategic vision.
  • Develop HR change management strategies to support the achievement of the overall organizational goals that are consistent with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Research and develop competitive and fiscally responsible total rewards compensation strategies.
  • Provide strategic leadership by articulating human resource (HR) needs and plans to the executive management team and the board of directors.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Maintain knowledge of employment trends and regulations to ensure adherence to federal, state, and local legal requirements. Also, advise management on needed actions to ensure policies and procedures reflect best practices and compliance with existing laws affecting employees, including labor law, for risk mitigation.
  • Create and/or update policies, procedures, guidelines, and supervisor training as needed.
  • Work closely in partnership with accounting on 401K, Benefits Administration, Leave Administration, and onboarding and off-boarding. This includes reviewing benefits renewal plans to ensure offerings are competitive and best in class.
  • Manage the development and implementation of human resource policies and practices, which includes ensuring the employee handbooks and manuals are updated annually.
  • Collaborate with senior leadership to understand the organization's goals and strategy related to staffing, recruiting, and retention. Oversee the development and implementation of robust recruitment, hiring, and onboarding processes that yield a diverse pool of candidates and strong hires.
  • Collaborate with managers and supervisors on employee relations and labor relations issues and advise and educate on best practices. Conduct confidential investigations as necessary and report on results.
  • Manage and drive the annual performance review process and updating of Job Descriptions.
  • In partnership with a consultant, conduct and review market data evaluations to ensure fair and competitive compensation practices.
  • Collaborate with manager and supervisors on hiring and supporting fair chance hiring practices both within the organization and driving change within the community and field.
  • Responsible for all accommodation requests.


Specific requirements include:

  • Accomplished verbal and written communication skills.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and conflict transformation skills.
  • Capacity to apply analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Practiced supervisory and leadership skills.
  • Clarity in self-awareness and commitment to professional development for coaching others
  • Proven ability to independently manage all areas of the HR lifecycle, including tactical, operational, and strategic HR functions within the organization.
  • Thorough knowledge of employment-related laws and regulations and the ability to apply them as needed.
  • Strong ability to build trust and productive relationships at all levels. 
  • Demonstrated ability to apply innovative and resourceful solutions to solve complex challenges.
  • Conveys information in a confident, professional way, and easy for others to understand.
  • Consistently act in a way that demonstrates strong integrity and serves as a positive example to the organization.
  • Strong analytic acumen with a focus on continuous improvement.

Education and Experience:

  • A BS/BA degree from an accredited college/university; MBA or MA/MS in human resources or related field preferred.
  • Minimum of 8 years' experience in human resources, including recruiting, employee and labor relations, business partner or generalist roles
  • Prior experience working with union employees and negotiating union contracts a plus
  • SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) or SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification preferred.

Working Conditions:

Typical schedule is Mon-Fri, 9am-5:30 pm, with some early mornings, evenings, and weekends as necessary.

Option to work from home two days per week when appropriate to the needs of the job.

The salary range for this position is estimated at $115,000 to $130,000.


TO APPLY: Click here to apply on our career portal.


About ESPHS:

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is a museum interpreting the legacy of American criminal justice reform from the site of the world’s first penitentiary. The facility pioneered the large-scale use of solitary confinement in the early 19th century and housed approximately 85,000 people during its 142 years of operation. The building itself was an architectural wonder: it had running water and central heat before the White House, and its revolutionary wagon-wheel design has been copied by more than 300 prisons around the globe. Although the prison now stands in ruin, its story remains relevant today.

Today, Eastern State Penitentiary attracts hundreds of thousands of guests from around the world each year to explore the site’s fascinating past and contemplate some of the most critical issues facing our nation. Its innovative public history program draws connections to contemporary justice reform through an approach that values multiple perspectives, amplifies marginalized voices, and respects a broad range of visitors’ interests and learning styles.

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation that operates the penitentiary, a National Historic Landmark, as an historic site and museum.

Commitment to Diversity:
We strongly believe in the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We recognize that a diverse workforce brings together unique perspectives, experiences, and talents, leading to increased creativity, innovation, and better decision-making. As such, we actively seek out and value job applicants from all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation, ages, or disability. Our commitment to DEI extends throughout our hiring process, ensuring equal opportunities and fair treatment for all candidates. We firmly believe that by fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, we can create a stronger, more vibrant, and more successful organization.

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement: 
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, alienage or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability or handicap, sex, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, arrest record or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. Our management team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities and general treatment during employment.

ESPHS strongly believes in second chances and, as such, is committed to providing appropriate employment opportunities to those who have been incarcerated. As a condition of employment, all individuals who accept an employment offer must complete a criminal background check. Eastern State will review any criminal record and make appropriate employment decisions in accordance with applicable law and its policies.

2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner