HR Project Manager

October 25 2018
Industries Education, Training
Categories HR, Training, Project Management, Business Analysis, Generalist, Communications, Human Resources
Hamilton, ON

Job Description


Consistently ranked as one of the world's top 100 universities with an impressive reputation for academic and research excellence, McMaster University is known for its deep dedication to creativity, innovation, and excellence. A diverse and complex institution with more than 13,000 faculty and staff, McMaster is committed to attracting a talented workforce to support its teaching and research mission, and to the cultivation of human potential.  Together, we strive to create an environment where everyone contributes to making McMaster a great place to work.  To support this environment, Human Resources must be an organizational partner, enabling strategy execution, championing people and fostering the culture and capabilities needed for the future.  Human Resources must embrace efficient operational processes and services to ensure legislative compliance, deliver valued support services and contribute to a positive employee experience. 

Toward these objectives, Human Resources at McMaster has been experiencing a period of transformational change, with large scale projects involving people, processes and technology.  These changes are emerging from priorities identified in the HR Strategic Plan, feedback from our client community, and our HR Continuous Improvement initiatives.   

Within this context, McMaster offers an opportunity for a Human Resources (HR) Project Manager who will be responsible for leading and managing multiple concurrent Human Resources implementation projects to meet quality, budget and time objectives. 

The Project Manager, as a member of the HR Senior Leadership Team, and reporting directly to the AVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, will be responsible for implementing HR Continuous Improvement projects (as assigned) which are expected to be core to the transformation of HR systems and processes with broad impact on the University community. 

The Project Manager will be responsible for critical institutional level projects, including but not limited to HR Digitization and Hiring/Onboarding Project, projects related to the HR Strategic Plan and  the HR website redevelopment. The rationalization of service offerings to reduce duplication of efforts, with revised service delivery and staffing models may be implications of the changes. 

The Project Manager will ensure that a full and robust project management framework and processes, change management and communication practices are undertaken to ensure the success of all projects. Scope will include the creation of a comprehensive roadmap for priority implementation through 2020, related business process and role reviews, as well as system redesign and implementation of mobile technologies.

The Project Manager will strive to build effective working relationships and develop collaborative partnerships with mutually beneficial results.  As a service partner, the incumbent will model a client-centric approach, building partnerships, working collaboratively on pan-university initiatives, and effectively communicating with diverse communities of interest, while clearly demonstrating personal expertise. Experience leading complex enterprise wide systems projects, managing vendor and stakeholder relationships, and implementing HRIS module solutions are required. Experience specifically implementing projects within a Higher Education environment would be desired.


Project and Program Management:

  • Develop and manage all aspects of project and program engagement from planning, and external vendor relationships, communications, resources, budget, risks and issues.
  • Lead walkthroughs and reviews of new project plans, stakeholder communication, documented success criteria and risk mitigation strategies. Organize and conduct start-up sessions to communicate requirements and project plans, and to initiate team building.
  • Develop executive level communication regarding all aspects of the project. Develop and maintain project plans, prepare project status reports and keep management, clients and other project stakeholders informed of the status.
  • Develop and manage project budget, time lines and milestones for presentation to senior management.
  • Work collaboratively with other HR leaders to ensure a balance with other HR priorities work allocation of individuals assigned to the project(s).
  • Evaluate work product to ensure adherence to established functional and operational specifications.
  • Conduct in-depth client interviews to determine scope, priority and constraints of business needs.
  • Lead the development of project charters, business case documents, cost justifications and project status updates, using standardized

Manage Client and Vendor Relationships: 

  • Model a client-centric approach to leadership of Human Resources. Seek out evolving needs of the academy, especially the research community, and engage them actively in projects and service standards.
  • Strive to improve communication, change management processes, engagement, responsiveness, reporting and feedback.
  • Based on the Uniforum and other supporting data, develop plans to improve functional productivity and service effectiveness.
  • Manage work assignments of internal staff dedicated to the project, and schedule and monitor adherence to procedures, protocols, and standards.
  • Partner with the Technical Team to maintain the information technology issues database, create new issues and tracking the status of open issues.
  • Ensure proper setting of priorities, problem resolution and incorporation of changing events and conditions into the project from business, technical and political perspectives.
  • Plan, coordinate, and schedule meetings for HR Digitization and Hiring & Onboarding Working Groups, effective user groups, focus groups, and advisory boards.
  • Investigate, evaluate, and recommend improvements that may be required to business practices, their applications systems, and supporting computing technology.


Organizational Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership in the development, formulation, execution, interpretation, communication and administration of continuous improvement projects to meet changing needs and align them with the strategic direction of HR and the University.
  • Coach and mentor other HR staff and partners in order to ensure a highly motivated and technically competent team.
  • Act as project team lead responsible for planning, coordinating, and scheduling work assignments to ensure the completion of assigned projects.
  • Remain current with relevant development and project methodologies.
  • Remain current with security policies and procedures and work with System Administrators to implement security changes.
  • Remain current with different levels of testing; develop simple use cases and test scripts.
  • Promote the use of the Project Management framework, identifying enhancements and process improvements based on lessons learned.
  • Provide feedback to direct reports/other leaders on work completed by project team members for inclusion in performance reviews and development discussions.


 Technical Recommendations, Training and Systems Testing:

  • Manage the development of prototypes of interfaces and attributes based on user requirements.
  • Develop and conduct peer reviews of business requirements to ensure that the requirement specifications are correctly interpreted.
  • Gather and compile information on hardware and software products that meet predetermined specifications. Analyze and verify requirements for completeness, consistency, comprehensibility, feasibility, and conformity to standards.
  • Manage all phases of testing including, but not limited to, system, integration, acceptance, regression, and performance.
  • Take ownership of functional issues by identifying underlying problems, analyzing potential solutions and implementing system resolutions, including workarounds.
  • Review test cases created by the testing team members to ensure that the test cases adequately define the business processes.
  • Resolve problems in the test, production implementation, and post-implementation phases in coordination with other technical and business groups.
  • Review systems, processes, and information and provide recommendations to others.
  • Prepare and review a variety of project documentation, training materials and related documents.
  • Absorb technical information when it is presented systematically and apply it effectively.


The successful applicant has a track record of delivering strategic projects, aligned to key business goals. They use best practices in HR/IT project management for higher education for scope management, issue management, change control, stakeholder management, time and cost management, quality management, risk management, procurement, and communication planning and delivery. The ideal candidate will have an optimal blend of the following qualifications.


  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Sciences, Business, HR or a related field of study
  • Preferred: Certifications – PMP and ITIL, Scrum Master


  • 10 years of relevant experience, ideally with some experience with HRIS projects
  • In depth use of project management framework, including scope management, communication management, risk management and cost management.
  • Experience with contract negotiation and vendor management.
  • Knowledge of HR/IT program management best practices and the emerging landscape
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully lead a team on strategic projects
  • Detailed understanding of one or more institutional level applications and /or major business unit operations/requirements
  • Knowledge of commercial information technology standards
  • Experience with HRIS, BI Data Management and Data Governance would be an asset.
  • Successfully delivered multiple projects using agile and lean methodology.


Employment Equity Statement


McMaster University is located on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Nations and, within the lands protected by the "Dish with One Spoon" wampum agreement.

In keeping with its Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose, McMaster University strives to embody the values of respect, collaboration and diversity, and has a strong commitment to employment equity. The diversity of our workforce is at the core of our innovation and creativity and strengthens our research and teaching excellence. The University seeks qualified candidates who share our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. While all qualified candidates are invited to apply, we particularly welcome applications from women, persons with disabilities, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, members of visible minorities, and LGBTQ+ persons. Job applicants requiring accommodation to participate in the hiring process should contact the Human Resources Service Centre at 905-525-9140 ext. 222-HR (22247) or the Faculty of Health Sciences Human Resources office at ext. 22207 to communicate accommodation needs.



McMaster University


Job Title HR Project Manager

Job ID 23023

Location Central Campus

Open Date 25/10/2018

Job Type Limited Term (>12 months)

Close Date 11/11/2018

Employee Group TMG

Department Office of the CHRO - AVP Human

Salary Grade/Band Band M

Salary Range $87781.00 - $131671.00 (annual)

Contract Duration 24 Months

Hours per Week 35



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