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Senior HR Department Assistant


Human Resources

Effective Date: May, 2007


35 hr/wk

Reports to: Manager, Salary Administrator

General Accountability

Reporting to the Manager, Salary Administration, the Sr. Dept Assistant is responsible for administrative support for the Staff Relations Coordinators, large volume data management using a complex relational Human Resource Information System (HRIS) and first line reception which may involve handling distressed or angry clients. Reporting and data maintenance include; hiring new employees, processing promotions, transfers and reclassifications, and producing related information management and statistical reports used by Human Resources and other departments.  This position is responsible for providing a wide variety of information relating to the human resource functions as well as providing support for the payroll and benefit functions, especially with new term sign-ups.

Nature and Scope

Reporting to the Manager, Salary Administration is the Compensation Analyst, the Sr. Dept Assistant, the Human Resources Assistant and the Faculty Information Administrator who reports jointly to the Assistant Director, Human Resources.


Human Resources is responsible for supporting a working climate for all employees which will assist the University in accomplishing its primary goals of teaching and research through excellent client service.

This role is pivotal in the provision of excellent client service and acts as an ambassador to the campus community as well as to members of the external community, especially those seeking work at the University.


The Human Resources Department provides services such as payroll, benefits and pension administration, staff and management counselling, management of the faculty, staff and CUPE annual compensation programs, labour relations and the provision of relevant information, advice and consultation relating to matters of internal university policy or legal legislative requirements.  Ultimately, a positive work environment contributes to the University’s primary goals of excellence in teaching and research.


The Sr. Dept Assistant handles confidential information and is a primary contact for on-campus clients as well as clients from off-campus.  The position is responsible for responding to a high volume of telephone inquiries and initial assistance for all in-coming clients who may be potential or new employees, students, casual employees, individuals requesting information or seeking assistance.  The incumbent is required to assess the needs of the clients and refer individuals with urgent concerns or those who are in distress to a Staff Relations Coordinator or a manager as appropriate.  When a referral is not appropriate the incumbent must deal with the client in a tactful manner,  provide information or deflect requests for inappropriate information while maintaining respect for the individual.  A broad understanding of University Policies and Procedures, particularly those related to human resource management and recruitment; the union contract; vacation policy;  relevant legislation and activities occurring within the department,  as well as an awareness of activities on campus, is required.

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities

Staff Relations and Compensation

A major responsibility of the position involves supporting the activities of the Staff Relations Coordinators (4).  This includes managing advertisement of open positions placed on the University and HR websites, which now includes faculty openings,  and placing advertising for staff and union positions in the appropriate external venues, setting appointments, ensuring applicant files are pulled and entered into the correct competition, greeting applicants, handling inquiries and managing the resulting paperwork, which includes response letters to interviewed but unsuccessful candidates and the initial processing of moving expense eligibility documents.  On occasion the incumbent may be asked to assist in higher level responsibilities normally managed by the Staff Relations Coordinators. This position is also responsible to initially handle inquiries from individuals who have received unfavorable responses by telephone or in-person.


The Sr. Dept Assistant manages a large database that includes applicant tracking and confidential, sensitive information including equity, new hires, promotions, transfers and terminations.  With the implementation of the new Human Resource Management Information System (PeopleSoft) this position is additionally responsible for the integrity of position management and job data involving hiring, promotion, transfer and reclassification of positions, staff and CUPE 2% exchanges,  equity adjustments, and  related paper records.  Statistical reports include but are not limited to employee complement, turnover and recruitment statistics as well as ad hoc reports.  Cognos reports include staff grade/department listing, probation completion, and label updates for external departments (i.e. Central Stores) and responsibility for reporting faculty hiring data.


With the Job Description project the Sr. Human Resources Assistant shares responsibility with the Compensation Systems Analyst to load all revised or reclassified positions to the website once the revisions, etc. have been approved by the Staff Relations Coordinators.  The Compensation Systems Analyst handles all new positions with the Sr. Human Resources Assistant providing back-up.


All incoming mail is received and distributed from this position.  All correspondence, including confidential mail, for the staff Relations Coordinators is opened, handled or referred as appropriate.


Acts as a contact for external agencies and facilitates matching potential work placements with appropriate departments within the university as well as generally ensuring managers are apprised of opportunities for short term placements. The University contracts with a local temporary placement agency for the provision of temporary or casual support.  At times the agency is not able to meet our requirements or a department chooses not to use the agency services.   The incumbent supplements this service by suggesting suitable applicants for departments to interview based on skill criteria provided or posts advertisements soliciting qualified candidates. 




Other Duties

Maintains department absence and flex records.

Provides support to other positions in Human Resources, particularly the Compensation Systems Analyst specifically with updating reclassified position descriptions to the website as completed, assisting with updating new position descriptions and other activities and is back up on the Staff Salary Increase program as required.  The incumbent provides back up to the Human Resources Assistant as needed with the exception of the benefit portion of this position.


Assists with the summer student hiring for the Plant Operations Department.  This involves collecting applications, referring them to the hiring manager and advising students of the process.


Projects vary with the needs of the University and the incumbent may be called upon to pull together statistical or other information, provide support for major mailings, or other projects as required.

Working Conditions