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Total Compensation Design Specialist

Queen's University

Kingston, ON

Closing Date: October 6, 2021

Please apply online at Queen's University


Reporting to the Manager, Total Compensation and as an integral member of the Human Resources (HR) team, the Total Compensation Design Specialist is responsible for the design and analysis of compensation programs including job evaluation systems, salary structures, pay policy, and insured benefits plans. This position also applies advanced knowledge of Total Compensation programs to develop and maintain compensation materials and communications and providing consultative expertise in areas of total compensation to various stakeholder’s university wide. This requires proven expertise in the areas of total compensation, management, and communication, strong analytical, project management and consultative skills.


    • Participate in determining the strategic direction and planning of total compensation practices for the university; lead the implementation of new compensation and job evaluation initiatives.
    • Work in collaboration with various functional groups to communicate, promote and ensure awareness of the university’s holistic total compensation offering.
    • Research and analyze total compensation trends and best practices and use information to make recommendations in the design and continuous enhancements of the university’s total compensation policies and programs.
    • Proactively participate in data management by ensuring data accuracy, preparing reports, summaries, analysis and reconciliations.
    • Model financial scenarios to support labour relations negotiations and other total compensation initiatives.
    • Provide credible, thoughtful and data-driven compensation advice to key stakeholders. Coach business partners on compensation matters such as compensation management, job evaluation (including job design) and the application of collective agreements, university policies and applicable legislation to various stakeholder’s university wide. Ensure job evaluation systems consistently and equitably for all staff employee groups. This includes assessment of bargaining unit eligibility and provides direction on same. Discuss, advise, and recommend appropriate modifications, interpret policy and recommend changes or clarifications for job profiles.
    • Assume project leadership role as designated by the Manager and/or Senior Director, Total Compensation. Projects may have implications for the department and/or university (e.g. new job evaluation systems, bargaining support). Delegate tasks as required.
    • As a senior resource person, provide guidance and assistance to other HR team members. Provide support to HR Directors on all compensation and job evaluation issues. Involve other HR team members as required regarding bargaining unit status concerns.
    • Develop and maintain communication materials in support of Total Compensation programs.
    • Ensure that change management concepts and activities are well integrated into the implementation and deployment of Total Compensation processes and related projects.
    • Create documentation and deliver training to business partners, as required.
    • Monitor legislation to ensure total compensation policies and offerings are compliant, be proactive in identifying upcoming changes and update policies as required.
    • Build relationships with HR colleagues and business partners and collaborate with numerous internal departments, such as finance.
    • Undertake other duties or special projects as required in support of the Total Compensation Unit, HR department or the university.


    • University degree in human resources, data science or related discipline. 
    • Five years of progressively responsible working experience in all aspects of compensation and benefit administration in both unionized and non-unionized environments, at a professional level.
    • HR Certification, such as Certified Compensation Professional, Certified Benefits Professional, Certified Employee Benefit Specialist/Compensation Management Specialist.
    • Comprehensive understanding of job evaluation and compensation practices; and sound knowledge of benefit practices.
    • Thorough knowledge of applicable legislation (Employment Standards Act, Pay Equity etc.)
    • Proven knowledge of statistics.
    • Proven track record in a leadership/project management capacity in a university or comparable workplace setting.
    • Experience with PeopleSoft or equivalent Human Resources Information System, considered an asset.
    • Satisfactory criminal record check is required.
    • Consideration may be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience.
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills to deal with a diverse client base (e.g. committees, supervisors, department heads, deans, employees, union representative, service provides, external agencies and individuals, etc.). Due to the nature of job responsibilities, this position requires a high degree of sensitivity and confidentiality.
    • Is familiar with and applies best practices in diversity and inclusion practices, strategies, systems, policies, and is a role model for inclusive and culturally competent behaviour. Ability to show initiative and be able to identify and resolve complex issues independently. Manage risks and weigh several factors for complex situations, for which there may be incomplete or contradictory information. Develop processes and make recommendations to create solutions that address the root cause of the problem and prevent recurrence, to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
    • Strong customer service skills and the ability to effectively build relationships with clients and colleagues remotely.
    • Capable of working independently and within a team, in a dynamic and client-focused environment.
    • Proven organizational, planning and project leadership skills to coordinate a wide range of responsibilities.
    • Demonstrated analytical and research skills to support on-going programs and to assist with the development of strategic directions. Must be aware of major sources of compensation and benefits data for policy or program development for comparative purposes.
    • Advanced knowledge of statistical, spreadsheet, internet and word processing software programs.
    • Excellent oral and writing skills in order to draft policies/proposals, present reports/findings. Excellent judgment and discretion when making decisions about the interpretation of University policies and procedures and relevant legislation.


    • Evaluate jobs in relation to other positions at the university. Ensure appropriate job matches when providing job evaluation information to other universities or external groups. Anticipate the impact evaluation decisions will have on other positions or groups at the university. Ensure appropriate individuals are informed of key decisions. Determine how to advise and what recommendations to make to administrators and/or staff regarding sensitive job evaluation, organizational design and other compensation related matters.
    • Must be able to make the right decisions with respect to balancing diversity of responsibilities and conflicting deadlines with constant interruptions.
    • Makes determinations regarding bargaining unit status.
    • Interpret legislation, contracts and university compensation policies for a diverse client base. Interpretations can create a precedent and have long-term consequences for the university. Participate in the determination of goals, objectives and formulation of policy. Decide most appropriate time to involve others in resolution of complex issues (e.g. other HR staff, university administrators, service providers etc.).
    • Determine hiring salaries and other salary adjustments.
    • Decisions as required in project team coordination. (e.g. resources required, workload, priorities, HR management decisions).
    • Decisions as required in the implementation of the annual salary increase program. Find solutions to unanticipated problems, decide whether complexity of the problem warrants the involvement of more senior staff. Determine how problem/solution will impact project development.
    • Decisions required for the development and implementation of new compensation and benefit initiatives, business processes and position control.


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