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Wed-Thu: 11AM-5PM | Fri-Sat: by advance appointment
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Arts administration ,
submitted by
Lauren Slipkowsky

Director of Human Resources

Director of Human Resources

The Old Town School of Folk Music seeks a Director of Human Resources (DHR) who is committed to supporting a high-functioning, diverse, inclusive and positive work environment. The DHR will provide overall HR leadership and collaborate with the CEO, Senior Leadership team, board and staff to develop and implement HR initiatives focused on creating a culture of engagement, inclusion and excellence. The Old Town School has a budget of over $12 million and approximately 350 employees, the majority of whom are part-time unionized teachers.

The DHR manages the day-to-day operations of the Human Resources department and the administration of human resources policies, procedures and programs. Key areas of responsibility include HR planning and strategy, employee and labor relations, diversity, equity and inclusion, job design and organizational structure, compensation, compliance with applicable laws, policy and procedure development, recruitment and onboarding, performance management, learning and development, benefits and wellness, and safety and health.


  • 7 to 10 years experience in Human Resources required, including direct experience with labor relations and union negotiations. Strong HR Generalist background needed. Direct supervisory experience required. Experience in a not-for-profit education or arts environment desirable.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Organizational Management, Business Administration or related field (or equivalent work experience) required. Master’s degree desirable. Current HRCI Certified Senior Professional (SPHR) or SHRM Certified Senior Professional (SHRM-SCP) preferred.
  • Excellent analytical and computer skills. Proficient in Microsoft Excel and Word, and in HRIS/payroll systems. Experience with ADP Workforce Now helpful.
  • Highly organized with effective leadership skills in a fast-paced, highly collaborative and fluid work environment. Strong leadership and managerial skills to oversee the HR department and work with employees at all levels of the organization.
  • Proven track record of effective and efficient project management.
  • Proven commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Experience managing DEI initiatives strongly preferred.
  • Must be able to communicate complex or sensitive information in a clear manner both verbally and in writing, and handle confidential information with discretion.
  • Ability to navigate complex and challenging relationships and interactions among staff with tact and diplomacy, and guide others to do so.

Key Responsibilities

  • Responsible for all human resources functions, programs, procedures, legal processes, records, data, and budgets, including providing up to date documentation of HR processes and policies. Coordinates all HR initiatives with the Senior Management team.
  • Conducts planning for HR activities in collaboration with the senior management team, including cost savings, budget and expense controls. Provides analysis as needed. Monitors and reports on progress quarterly or as needed.
  • Provides counsel and support to all managers regarding employee and labor relations issues, including disciplinary actions, grievances, contract interpretation, performance evaluations, performance improvement plans and terminations. Conducts investigations including those related to harassment and discrimination.
  • Participates in union negotiations and labor management meetings. Ensures compliance with collective bargaining agreement. Implements new initiatives and requirements as needed due to contract negotiations or other internal agreements with the union.
  • Manages/oversees diversity, equity and inclusion program activities. Ensures equitable treatment for community members, including staff and faculty.
  • With CEO and others as appropriate, develops strategies and implements changes to organizational structure.
  • Researches, analyzes, and builds job descriptions and compensation structures. Reviews, creates and updates job descriptions in collaboration with the Senior Leadership team and Managers.
  • Keeps organization up to date and in compliance with appropriate governing agencies and federal, state and local regulations concerning employment. Maintains knowledge and understanding of current regulations, nonprofit employment and compensation trends, current best practices, new developments, and applicable laws.
  • Creates new policies and updates existing policies where applicable.
  • Oversees recruitment process as well as onboarding and retention programs for all exempt and nonexempt positions including interns and temporary employees.
  • Develops and manages performance review process, providing appropriate documentation, training, and instructions to all employees.
  • Works with managers and vendors to plan and implement appropriate training programs.
  • Manages employee benefits and wellness initiatives, including broker relations, communication of information to employees, and maintenance of data.
  • Develops and implements plans to promote employee engagement, health, and safety where appropriate.
  • Consults with legal counsel as appropriate to address personnel and labor union matters.
  • Manages unemployment programs.
  • Maintains personnel files and HRIS payroll system data. Provides reporting as needed. Ensures collection of necessary employee documents and information.
  • Supervises HR Manager, HR Generalist, and HR Coordinator.

If interested and qualified, please apply through our Career Center.

About Old Town School of Folk Music

Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music (“OTSFM”) is the largest community school of the arts in the U.S. and a non-profit organization committed to celebrating American music and global cultures. Founded in 1957, Old Town School provides a wide range of music, dance, and arts courses to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Whatever one's interest, Old Town School provides broad access to more than 700 weekly class offerings, a broad array of private lessons, and over 400 concerts and community events per year.

Old Town School of Folk Music opened its Lincoln Square facility in 1998 and expanded in 2012. The Old Town School operates two campuses located in Chicago's Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park neighborhoods that include world-class concert halls, classrooms, an award-winning music store, and a music resource center. Online classes were introduced in 2020 and students from nearly every state and a dozen countries participated over the course of the pandemic. Children's classes are also held at several suburban satellite locations. More information is available at

Equal Employment Opportunity

OTSFM is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and employees. OTS strives to be an inclusive and equitable organization that is reflective of the diversity of the city of Chicago. We seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. This is critical to our success as a community focused organization.

Job Type: Permanent
Compensation: --
Location: Chicago, IL, Lincoln Square