Human Resources Business Partner

Townsville, Australia
30 May 2019
End of advertisement period
16 Jun 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Position Overview

The Human Resources (HR) Business Partner supports and works in partnership with senior managers within a designated division(s) to effectively enhance performance and efficiency towards achievement of business strategy through the delivery of a respected and highly valued HR service. The incumbent provides wide-ranging operational advice and support, and collaborates with specialist functions and Director HRM to identify and implement strategic organisational directives and initiatives.

The HR Business Partner works closely with senior organisational leaders in all aspects of human resource services and capability-building, including people management, workforce planning, complex employee relations case management, change management, organisational development and learning, and workplace diversity. The HR Business Partner will have a clear business and academic focus and understanding of operational and strategic issues in order to influence and provide managers with effective advice, and is responsible for balancing creative solutions with compliance and alignment with organisational direction settings.

The HR Business Partner maintains up to date professional knowledge to proactively encourage best practice models, ensuring that managers understand and comply with policies, the Enterprise Agreement and employment legislation to treat employees equitably and consistently and manage risk for the University.

Division of Services and Resources

The Division of Services and Resources is responsible for the overall strategy in relation to the management of financial, human, ICT & estate resources, commercial activities and quality, planning & analytics and which foster and promote innovation and best practice in the delivery of services to enable the core business of learning and teaching, research and engagement.

The Division includes the Directorates of Financial & Business Services, Estates, Human Resources, ICT, Quality, Planning & Analytics and Commercial Services and other activities including the provision of student accommodation and bookshop services for students and the Discovery Rise development of the Townsville campus.

Through these Directorates the Division provides: Financial, strategic procurement, purchasing and commercial and contractual services; management of the planning, performance and budgeting framework and processes; legislative compliance; human resource and ICT management; business intelligence; management of the quality enhancement framework; provision of services to students via the University Bookshop; capital infrastructure planning; delivery of capital projects, minor works and facilities maintenance programs; provision of campus services including cleaning, grounds maintenance, security and student accommodation.

Human Resources Directorate

The Human Resources Directorate designs and delivers people management initiatives and practices which assist managers and staff to contribute effectively to the Strategic Intent of the University.  The Directorate will contribute to the development of an organisation that promotes and embraces diversity, innovation, flexibility and high performance. The Human Resources Directorate is responsible for all aspects of employment related matters including attracting high calibre employees, developing organisational and people capabilities that are aligned with University needs, and retaining talent. Functions include HR Services, Policy Development, Recruitment, Equity, Organisational Development and Learning, Industrial Relations, Remuneration and Superannuation services and management of the Human Resource Information System (including the provision of information/KPIs).

Organisational Charts

James Cook University

Division of Services and Resources

Human Resources Directorate

Principal Accountabilities

  1. Provide high impact, high quality and professional customer service to managers and staff in all aspects of strategic Human Resources identifying, prioritising and building organisational (including management and leadership) capabilities, behaviours, structures and processes through the application of substantial business acumen and a clear understanding of the link between HR and University strategy.
  2. In collaboration with Industrial Relations specialists, provide high level support and advice in complex employee relation case management, taking the lead in final stage discipline/capability issues including dismissals, investigations, employee relations issues with trade unions and preparation of initial responses to the Fair Work Commission where appropriate.
  3. In collaboration with Manager, Organisational Development and Equity build management and leadership capability through identification, development and delivery of training/briefings to leadership and management teams and identify development opportunities for employees to ensure that knowledge is updated, awareness increased, and legislation is adhered to throughout the University.
  4. Provide specialist advice, influencing and coaching to managers on HR best practice and employee relations issues utilising a comprehensive understanding of contemporary HR, JCU’s Enterprise Agreement, JCU policies and the current industrial framework to deliver equitable and consistent outcomes.
  5. Lead organisational change initiatives and organisational development issues within the relevant Division, providing advice and recommendations such as appropriate structures, roles, required skills, position evaluation issues, and redundancy and redeployment matters to ensure the delivery of the strategy of the University. 
  6. Provide high level support on senior, complex or sensitive recruitment matters, including providing advice on customer focused and cost-effective solutions, seeking specialist support from the Manager, Talent on creative selective techniques as required.
  7. Provide management information reports, analysis and recommendations, in all aspects of Human Resources including customer service and recruitment metrics to managers to support informed decision making and meet business needs, identifying opportunities in conjunction with the Manager, HR Systems and Management Information to further enhance management information, KPI provision and data analysis to drive change and support HR improvements and initiatives.
  8. Provide effective leadership, management and decision making within the Business Partner team, including performance reviews to ensure a culture of high performance, high quality data, customer service, teamwork and innovation.
  9. As a member of the HR Leadership Team, demonstrate collaboration and representation of HR across the University as well as contributing to strategic decision making in HR through maintaining currency of professional knowledge of excellent HR practice, reviewing and benchmarking the internal and external environment to improve wide-ranging HR policies and initiatives, systems and process improvements, communicating business and academic needs to inform HR strategy.
  10. Support the University's commitment to the principles of reconciliation, which exemplify respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and the valuing of justice and equity for all Australians.
  11. Demonstrate a commitment to the University values and Divisional attributes.
  12. Support the principles of the TropEco program and engage in commitment to JCU sustainability goals and objectives.


There are generic responsibilities that apply to all James Cook University staff.

Your specific level descriptor can be found at:

Professional and Technical

Level 8

Generic Accountabilities 

There are generic responsibilities that apply to all James Cook University staff. 

  1. The HR Business Partner is required to observe the lawful and reasonable directions, policies and decisions of the University Council, understand and comply with the Enterprise Agreement, the Statutes and Rules of the University, the policies and decisions of the University Council and other appropriate University authorities, as in force from time to time.
  2. The HR Business Partner is required to demonstrate a personal commitment to ensure personal safety and the safety of others and contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance. This includes the effective implementation and compliance with James Cook University WHS policies, procedures and safe systems of work, together with all relevant legislation, duties and obligations. Contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance.
  3. The HR Business Partner is required to exercise proper discretion in all matters affecting the well-being of the University which involve public writing or speaking in accordance with the University’s Code of Conduct. 

Selection Criteria

Selection and appointments will be assessed against selection criteria.


  1. Degree in Human Resources/Industrial Relations, Business, Psychology, Human Behaviour or related field with post-graduate or progress towards postgraduate qualification in Human Resource Management or related field or CAHRI membership.
  2. Extensive relevant experience as a HR business partner or comparable relevant experience.
  3. Demonstrated application of contemporary human resources practices, related legislation and industrial instruments, and demonstrated ability to provide advice on and manage the full range of HR issues within a business partnering model.
  4. Demonstrated outcomes focus, resilience and resourcefulness.
  5. Proven ability to identify and develop team members’ abilities and attain greater levels of achievement personally through management experience and through the provision of high-level coaching and advice in a Business Partner role.
  6. Proven ability to initiate policy, process and procedure improvements to resolve problems, anticipate difficulties and enhance future practices.
  7. Experience of setting measurable standards sufficiently high to achieve organisational objectives, continually monitoring levels and standards of service, understanding and using available data to measurably improve customer service and outcomes.
  8. Demonstrated high level written and oral communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate ideas clearly and persuasively and to present compelling arguments to influence and negotiate satisfactory outcomes.


  1. Previous experience of working with complex enterprise agreements in a unionised environment.