HR Business Partner

Townsville, Australia
07 Sep 2017
End of advertisement period
20 Sep 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Position Overview

The 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 high level strategic advice and support in all aspects of Human Resources, including people management, workforce planning, complex employee relations case management, senior and complex recruitment and attraction strategies, change management, organisational development and learning, and ongoing effective and proactive people management coaching within a Business Partner model. The HR Business Partner will have a clear business and academic focus and understanding of operational and strategic issues and challenges to be able to influence and provide managers with effective advice, utilising a “can-do” attitude to seeking creative solutions where required.

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 comprises a number of Directorates and Offices whose activities foster and promote innovation and best practice in the delivery of its services and provide the frameworks and support to assist the Academy and Service Divisions achieve their goals and objectives.

The Division is responsible for overall strategy in relation to: planning, performance and budgeting framework; strategic procurement; financial and human resources; ICT services; business intelligence and statistical reporting; strategic commercial activities, including in relation to the Discovery Rise project and Retail outlets; quality enhancement and policy framework; capital infrastructure planning and maintenance and delivery of capital projects for ICT and the Estate; health and safety management and compliance; provision of campus services including cleaning, grounds maintenance, security and student accommodation.

The Division has a strong customer service ethic and continuous improvement culture. We are receptive to new ideas and ways in which we can enhance our delivery of services for the University. 

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 level, high quality and professional customer service to managers and staff in all aspects of Human Resourcesidentifying, prioritising and building organisational 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. Provide high level support and advice in complex employee relation case management, taking the lead in final stage discipline/capability issues including appeals, dismissals, investigations, employee relations issues with trade unions and preparation of initial responses to the Fair Work Commission where appropriate.
  3. Identify and support the development and delivery of training/briefings to managers 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 and coaching to managers on employee relations issues utilising a comprehensive understanding of JCU’s Enterprise Agreement, JCU policy and the current industrial framework to deliver equity and consistency.
  5. Lead organisational change initiatives and organisational development issues within the relevant Division(s), 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 recruitment, selection and appointment campaigns particularly senior, complex or sensitive recruitment matters, including providing specialist advice on customer focused and cost effective solutions, seeking specialist support from the Manager, Recruitment 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. Contribute 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. Progress towards postgraduate qualification in Human Resource Management or related field or full CAHRI membership and extensive relevant experience in working at a HR Business Partner level or an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education and/or training.
  2. Proven high level knowledge 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, including complex employee relations matters and case management, recruitment advice, change management, job analysis, job design and evaluation, award and industrial interpretation.
  3. 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.
  4. Proven ability to initiate policy, process and procedure improvements to resolve problems, anticipate difficulties and enhance future practices.
  5. Experience of setting measurable standards sufficiently high to achieve organisational objectives, continually monitoring levels and standards of service, understanding and using HR systems to measurably improve customer service and data accuracy and provide high quality management information and analytics.
  6. 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 Bargaining Agreements in a unionised environment.