IES Abroad
  • Human Resources
  • Chicago, IL, USA
  • Full Time

Job title: Human Resources Generalist

Status: Full-time/exempt

Schedule: M-F, 8.30a.m. 4.30p.m, including occasional evening and weekend work based on seasonal business needs/position requirements

Reports to: Director of Human Resources

Direct reports: None

Start date: ASAP

Location: Chicago, IL, USA

About us:

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 8,000 study abroad students every year.

From our headquarters in Chicago to our 120 study abroad programs in 85 global locations worldwide, we create authentic global education and life-affirming cultural experiences. We work at IES Abroad because we believe that every student should have the opportunity to go abroad - especially in a fun, safe, and superior academic and cultural environment.

We believe so strongly in the power of our program, that we actively recruit students from diverse populations and provide more than $3 million in scholarships year after year. We are proud that our students are as diverse and exciting as the countries we study.

We're not ashamed to admit, we're a little bit obsessed with study abroad.

Summary of position:

The HR Generalist will provide comprehensive HR support to the global IES Abroad workforce. Working in collaboration with the Director of Human Resources and the HR Team, this position will proactively build an understanding of and support Center and Chicago department needs and goals through the delivery of established HR policies, programs, initiatives and other HR solutions.  Specific responsibilities include recruiting and new employee orientation, benefits administration, keeping track of and complying with relevant state, federal and local laws, employee relations and engagement, serving as a payroll backup, assistance with the performance review process, policy development and interpretation and legal compliance.  This position is based in the Chicago headquarters office and reports directly to the Director of Human Resources.

Essential job responsibilities & duties:

Benefits Administration

  • Administers plans such as health, life, dental, vision, disability, 403(b) retirement plan, vacation, sick leave and leave of absences
  • Ensures the smooth running of the organization's 403(b) plan
  • Serves as expert on organizational benefits and answers day to day benefits questions from employees


  • Serves as Payroll backup
  • Audits and examines job descriptions for non-exempt/exempt status

Employee Relations

  • Manage employee relations to insure a consistent application of policy and practice, including coaching/counseling and problem resolution.
  • Anticipates and assesses the gaps between organizational needs and people systems/capabilities within function and uses information to drive appropriate actions.
  • Provides day to day performance management guidance to global management (coaching, counseling, career development, organizational structures and disciplinary actions)
  • Supports Managers with performance review timelines and guidelines.  Prepares and disseminates communication regarding performance review process and milestones
  • Assists in managing the annual merit cycle ensuring sound pay decisions and practices are implemented consistent with current compensation philosophies
  • Assists as needed in investigating and resolving employee relations issues
  • Provide support to managers and/or HR team within functional areas on a daily basis
  • Oversees the administration of terminating employees including managing exit interviews
  • Works collaboratively with HR team to monitor US 90-day and global annual employee performance reviews via performance evaluations.

Policy and Compliance

  • Researches, develops, implements, and maintains HR policies, procedures and practices in support of organizational objectives and ensure compliance with federal, state and local requirements
  • Maintains good knowledge of legal requirements and government reporting regulations affecting human resources functions to ensure compliance - EEO, ADA, FLSA, FMLA etc.
  • Educates managers and employees on IES Abroad's HR programs & initiatives
  • Works collaboratively with HR team to advise managers on federal, state and local employment laws and regulations
  • Streamlines and evaluate HR processes in collaboration with HR team to ensure best practice
  • Assists in development and implementation of personnel policies and procedures; prepares and maintains employee handbook and policies and procedures manual
  • Researches and develops employment contracts for both new and existing global employees


  • Leads recruitment and selection activities (including sourcing) for all exempt and nonexempt personnel, as well temporary employees
  • Partners with hiring managers to define job requirements/descriptions and facilitate strategic and efficient staffing and recruiting activities
  • Manages online recruiting system
  • Manages the organization's position request form process, tracking forms through approval process
  • Assists with compensation research and recommendations and benchmarking of job titles
  • Researches and attends Career Fairs as needed
  • Support new hires through international and domestic relocation
  • Creates offer letters for US new hires, promotions and transfers and work
  • Develops new employee onboarding program in collaboration with HR team


  • Researches and develops training to support HR and organizational initiatives
  • Helps to develop and administer training programs

Other responsibilities

  • Assists with projects or programs that originate as a local and/or global HR initiatives
  • Regular and predictable attendance is an essential function of this position
  • Any other task or duty as assigned or required

Experience & Qualifications/Skills:

  • At least 5 years general Human Resources experience with at least 3 years of progressively responsible human resource experience
  • Strong proven knowledge and understanding of benefits administration and hands on payroll experience
  • Must be well versed in HR compliance, reporting requirements and regulations
  • Advanced MS Excel skills with strong analytical and problem-solving skills and proficiency in other MS Office products such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook
  • Strong working knowledge of HRIS systems (Paylocity knowledge beneficial)
  • Global HR experience preferred
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Must have strong "people skills" and the ability to work with many different personalities
  • Work well under pressure in a fast-paced environment and maintains confidentiality of all information.
  • Ability to prioritize projects and to meet deadlines
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to interact and communicate across all departments and levels
  • Well-developed organizational skills
  • Ability to handle conflict and proven experience mediating conflict
  • Strong interpersonal and negotiation skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Take initiative to identify and anticipate needs and make recommendations for change

Education, Licenses and/or Certifications etc:

  • High School and relevant work experience required

Physical demands:

  • Ability to remain in a seated position for the majority of the day (between 70% -100% of work time) in office
  • Ability to work for extended and continuous periods in office operating a computer, phone, and other office equipment, i.e., a calculator, copier, and computer printer (between 70% -100% of work time)
  • Need to occasionally move about office to access file cabinets from 10% to 15% of work time
  • Ability to lift or move supplies, equipment, boxes, documents, and materials weighing up to 40lbs from 10% to 15% of work time in office

Working conditions/Environment:

  • Must be able to work in Chicago office on a daily basis
  • May be required to work some evening and weekends as determined by the needs of the department and this position
  • Due to the work environment, this workspace may experience varying noise levels. The workspace is well lit but may not have direct natural light

Fiscal responsibilities:

  • Responsible for following IES Abroad policies regarding any purchases and/or travel, if required, made via company credit card as well as processing expense reports in a timely and accurate manner
  • Follow procedures set by IES Abroad policy with regard to business expenditures


This job description reflects management's assignment of essential functions; and nothing in this herein restricts management's right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. The duties above are not to be considered a complete list of duties and responsibilities assigned to this position. Temporary modifications to provide reasonable accommodations do not waive any essential functions of the job requirements.

Background checks:

A background check may be conducted, based on responsibilities, as a condition of employment.

Application Deadline: 

Open until position is filled.

No phone calls or emailed status inquiries accepted.

How to Apply:

All applicants MUST submit application including cover letter, resume and salary requirements by clicking 'Apply Now' at the top right side of this page.  

Please visit for more information about working at IES Abroad.

Equal Opportunity Employment:

IES Abroad is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from all qualified candidates. We strive to treat people with respect; fully utilizing employee's abilities and promoting workforce diversity.

We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), disability, age, national origin, citizenship, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation or genetic information or veteran status and/or any other status protected by applicable laws.

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