HR Business Partner
Job Posted: 28 August 2023
Company: RAND Corporation
Closing Date: 31 October 2023
Location: Santa Monica, CA


Link to application and full position listing

Overview of RAND

RAND staff are creative, independent thinkers with intellectual curiosity and a strong interest in making a difference in the world through public policy research. The nearly 1,200 members of RAND's research staff represent nearly every academic field and profession, from engineering and behavioral sciences to medicine and economics. More than half of them hold Ph.D.'s, and most others hold M.A.'s, M.D.'s, or J.D.'s. The many other professionals at RAND have specialized knowledge in several unique fields and are also critical to RAND's success. Commitment to multidisciplinary collaboration that has been RAND's hallmark from its earliest days.

We're seeking a Human Resources Business Partner (Labor Relations) to join our team who has a history of success in partnering across organizations to create an inclusive environment and is interested in helping to shape the future of HR at RAND. If you are passionate about joining an organization that is focused on making the world a better place and a team that is committed to attracting and developing world-class talent, read on:

The Human Resources Business Partner (Labor Relations) will play a vital role in labor relations activities and will be directly accountable for assisting with managing a comprehensive labor relations program for Human Resources at RAND.

The position will also provide a broad range of HR generalist and recruiting support to the Pardee RAND Graduate School staff and students. The HRBP is an integral part of the HR team and offers their expertise and ideas to influence day to day initiatives as well as lead special projects. 

This position is part of a collegial team of six HR Business Partners that support RAND staff and leaders across U.S. locations in Santa Monica, CA; Washington, DC; Pittsburgh, PA; and Boston, MA.

Labor Relations 

  • Administers and manages administration of labor contracts, provides interpretation of labor contracts to managers, supervisors, other HR staff; coordinates processes for review and resolution of grievances; advises supervisors, managers, and employees on sensitive labor relations matters.
  • Collaborates with stakeholders; establishes procedures and communication channels between the stakeholders; and ensures affected RAND constituents are involved and informed about the status of a labor relation process.
  • Advises and counsels supervisors, managers, and HR team members on labor relations issues and the consistent application of labor contract provisions; prepares information for RAND in grievance meetings, mediations, arbitrations, meet-and-discuss, meet-and-confer, fact-findings, administrative hearings; and listens, summarizes, and reports on the status of grievances and resolutions and other labor relations actions to the HR management team.

Labor Negotiations

  • Participates in RAND’s labor contract negotiating team; conducts research necessary to support contract negotiations and contributes to the development of bargaining goals consistent with RAND’s mission and values.
  • Meets with department managers before labor sessions to identify management concerns and possible proposals; analyzes the impacts, provides costs of proposals, makes recommendations to the HR management team; and informs others on the status of the labor relation activities as needed.

HR Business Partner Support

  • Proactively consults with management and staff on HR matters and drives issue resolution; adds value as a partner to client management and identifying opportunities for HR to better support the business needs of the organization; consults with management regarding recruiting, talent management and talent development and building an inclusive work environment.
  • Works closely with hiring managers, supervisors, recruiters, and others during the recruiting process; conducts interviews to evaluate candidate suitability for various positions within the organization; partners with hiring managers on offer formulation.
  • Coaches managers on addressing workplace and performance issues; supporting and/or providing training to clients as necessary; providing HR oversight of compensation administration and decision making (within guidance) and supporting performance review processes; serves as liaison, as appropriate, for leaves and accommodation issues.

Employee Relations

  • Creates and implements an employee relations plan across the organization focusing on labor relations; analyzes information and data necessary to define risk of unionization using management and union proposals, pay scales and wages, benefits and working conditions.
  • Uses surveys, interviews, and other studies to conduct research regarding human resource policies, compensation, and other employment issues. After analyzing the information, makes recommendations on changes.
  • Researches and explains laws and legal affairs concerning employment to managers, supervisors, and employees; advises and trains managers and supervisors in best employee relations practices and strategies for managing supervisor problems and employee grievances; develops further training as needed.

Special Projects

  • Leading and working on special projects and contributing more broadly to RAND and the HR function. (Potentially in training, professional development, onboarding and orientation, process improvements, etc.).
  • Ability to travel occasionally (less than 5%)


  • Demonstrated experience in labor relations that includes knowledge of principles and practices of employee and labor relations, bargaining, and labor laws.
  • Experience managing administrative matters before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or functional equivalent state or federal agencies.
  • Proven experience negotiating, interpreting, and administering collective bargaining agreements and navigating concerted activity in the workplace.
  • Demonstrated ability to be a proactive problem solver adept at working in a team-oriented and highly collaborative environment, but also able to function independently.
  • Strong leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills as well as a strong client orientation.
  • Adept at developing strong relationships with clients leveraging influence and coaching skills.
  • Skilled in project-management and managing multiple priorities.
  • Well-developed analytical skills to develop data-based recommendations and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated cultural competency and past success in recruiting diverse talent for a variety of professional roles.
  • Demonstrated skill in responding to and resolving sensitive employee issues.
  • Knowledge of compensation principles and skill in administering compensation programs (merit, performance awards, etc.)
  • Commitment to creating an inclusive workplace and experience participating in inclusive workplace initiatives.
  • Knowledge of federal and state laws and specifically California employment law.
  • Experience in talent development processes and initiatives is a plus.
  • International HR experience is a plus.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and experience with HRIS systems; Workday experience a plus.

Education Requirements

  • BA/BS required.
  • MA/MBA strongly preferred. 
  • SHRM, PHR, or SPHR and/or union certification is a plus.


  • 3+ years of experience with advanced degree (MBA/MA/MS) or 6+ years and a bachelor’s degree; experience includes demonstrated knowledge of principles and practices of employee and labor relations, bargaining, and labor laws and other generalist HR duties.
  • Experience in an academic/higher education, research, government contracting or highly educated professional environment is desirable.


  • Santa Monica, CA - this position is open to a hybrid work arrangement for those living near the Santa Monica office which allows time working from home and the office.

Cover Letter:

  • When applying to this position please provide/upload a Cover Letter

Salary Range 

  • $95,100 - $141,400

RAND considers a variety of factors when formulating an offer, including but not limited to, the specific role and associated responsibilities; a candidate’s work experience, education/training, skills, expertise; and internal equity. The salary range includes base pay plus RAND’s sabbatic pay (which provides additional compensation above base pay when vacation is taken). In addition, RAND provides strong benefits including health insurance coverage, life and disability insurance, savings plan, paid time-off and more. 

Equal Opportunity Employer: race/color/religion/sex/sexual orientation/gender identity/national origin/disability/vet