Human Resources Generalist

Cushing Academy, Ashburnham, MA

Accredited by NEASC

Reports to:  Chief Financial Officer

Position Purpose:To collaboratively implement a shared vision for the school’s human resources department, and proactively managing the human resources functions. 

 Essential Functions

  • Collaborates with the CFO, Controller and internal and external stakeholders to execute departmental goals and objectives. 
  • Evaluates, analyzes and recommends changes to department systems as indicated by process improvement efforts or when required by changes in laws, policies, procedures or established department goals.
  • Develops and maintains the school’s personnel policies and procedures, employee handbook, personnel forms and labor law posters.
  • Ensures all policies and procedures comply with federal and state laws concerning human resources management, benefits, payroll, wage and hour, and personnel.
  • Reviews existing employee benefit plans, works with the CFO and Controller to research benefit program options, and recommends updates to employee benefit plans.
  • Administers employee benefits program; communicates program information, updates, changes or terminations to faculty and staff; manages open enrollment; monitors enrollment; conducts billing reconciliation for benefits administration; manages benefits budgets; tracks expenditures; and maintains applicable documentation.
  • Manages enrollment and contribution changes to the 403(b) plan and responds to employee questions related to the 403(b) plan.
  • Coordinates and communicates with legal counsel, insurance agents and brokers on employee benefits, labor issues, compliance updates and laws.
  • Partner with the payroll manager to ensure timely and accurate processing of payroll, benefit reconciliation and records maintenance.
  • Assists in the development of the insurance and salary budget with the CFO, and develops budget analyses with the CFO to ensure fiscal responsibility and competitiveness with comparable markets.
  • Researches, develops and maintains employee salary/compensation scales and develops and maintains compensation plan, including pay grades, salary survey participation, benchmarking positions, job classifications, and comparable positions.
  • Works with department heads, supervisors and administrators to draft and update job descriptions.
  • Assists department heads, supervisors and administrators with the hiring process, including sourcing candidates, leading the applicant tracking process, screening applicants and providing interview guidance.
  • Assists department heads, supervisors and administrators with onboarding new employees, including creating and maintaining new employee packets, reviewing packets and policies with new hires and ensuring completion of all documentation and conducts background screening checks for all new hires.
  • Coordinates campus housing agreements including conducting dorm inspections prior to move-in and after move-out.
  • Manages employee separation process and exit interviews for all terminations.
  • Maintains secure and confidential human resource related files and records, and updates school personnel files to ensure that data within each file is compliant with applicable law.
  • Assists, trains and coaches department heads, supervisors and administrators with employee-related issues, complaints, evaluations, performance management, employee discipline and termination issues.
  • Works with department heads, supervisors and administrators to determine training needs; assesses internal and external sources for training; coordinates, schedules and delivery of training sessions and seminars.
  • Counsels and/or assists employees with employment issues, benefits and complaints.
  • Leads employee-related investigations under the direction of the CFO and/or legal counsel (i.e. whistleblower, harassment, ethics violations, etc.)
  • Serves as Title IX Coordinator and primary investigator.
  • Administers FMLA leave, workers’ compensation claims and unemployment claims.
  • Collaborates with the CFO to facilitate inspections, OSHA compliance and integration with ADA programs and assistance.
  •  Performs other duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of two years of human resources and/or benefits experience. 
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Products including spreadsheets and tracking systems.
  • Professional Human Resources Certification (PHR) and/or SHRM-CP (strongly preferred).
  • Experience in the non-profit or independent school environment (preferred).
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing with people at all levels in the organization.
  • Working knowledge of human resources principles, procedures and practices.
  • Working knowledge of employment laws, rules and regulations affecting human resources, including knowledge of state of Massachusetts employment regulations.
  • Ability to effectively handle multiple priorities, functions and activities.
  • Working knowledge of basic business software, HR software and Payroll systems.
  • High level of emotional intelligence, employee relations expertise and conflict-negotiation skills.
  • Strong and effective interpersonal and team-building skills.
  • Outstanding listening and influencing skills and the ability to cultivate trust and credibility among various constituencies.
  • Experience in successfully supporting organizational change in a comparably complex organization.
  • Experience and commitment to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Ability to deal with sensitive and highly confidential information in an appropriate and professional manner.


Physical Requirements and Work Environment:

  • Occasionally lifts up to 20 pounds.
  • Generally, works in standard office conditions and climate.
  • Works in a moderately stressful environment dealing with a wide variety of challenges and deadlines and a varied and diverse array of contacts.
  • May work at a desk and computer for extended periods of time.


Employment offers are contingent upon successful completion of a background check.


Cushing Academy is committed to staff diversity, equality and continued professional growth.  


Cushing Academy provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.