Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
March 1, 2019
March 31, 2019
Employment Type
Full time
Designations Required/Preferred

About CIFAR:

CIFAR is a Canadian-based, global charitable organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address science and humanity’s most important questions.

By supporting long-term interdisciplinary collaboration, CIFAR provides researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, accelerates discovery and yields breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines. Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government, and society. CIFAR’s community of fellows includes 19 Nobel laureates and 400 researchers from 22 countries. In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy.

CIFAR has had a significant impact on the way the world understands such critical issues as early child and brain development, artificial intelligence, building stronger societies, and many others. Our impact comes both from our long-term commitment to leading edge research and our efforts to connect stakeholders with the knowledge our programs produce.

CIFAR is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. We recognize that bringing together individuals from multiple backgrounds, perspectives and experiences is integral to advancing excellence and increasing the impact of our organization. Ensuring that every person feels valued and welcome is vital to achieving our mission, and embodies our values of diversity, excellence, respect and collaboration.

Purpose of the Position:

Reporting to the Director, Human Resources, this position will have a big impact at CIFAR by helping to build our evolving culture and fully leverage the strengths and skills of our talented people. You will apply expertise in the implementation, delivery, and evaluation of talent management initiatives to bring the organization’s focus on it’s amazing people to the next level. The opportunities to make a difference here are endless. Key areas of focus will include organizational development and culture, employee recognition, employee relations, internal HR communications, professional development, coaching, performance management, talent acquisition, succession planning, and the enhancement and development of other HR policies and initiatives. 


Enhance employee engagement and help build a strong organizational culture:

  • Identify methods to embed CIFAR’s cultural values within the organization.
  • Act as a culture champion to support and lead culture initiatives through collaborative work with functional leaders and peers in all areas of the organization.
  • Apply diagnostic tools, organizational change management principles, and effective coaching techniques to develop organizational strategies, structures, and processes to facilitate the successful development of our talent.
  • Identify opportunities for employee engagement and develop plans and proposals to increase engagement.
  • Lead the enhancement and rollout of employee engagement surveys, provide meaningful analysis and recommendations based on results.

Support employee relations by providing strategic advice:

  • Develop strong, sustained, and trusted working relationships with the Executive, Leadership Team, and management to support the development, delivery, and integration of HR programs and processes to enhance positive employee relations including coaching, conflict management, alternative dispute resolution/mediation, and negotiation. 
  • Identify root cause issues and solutions; provide advice, guidance, and coaching for employee relations issues.
  • Keep up-to-date with employment law, legislative change, case law, and other major events/matters to inform HR policies and procedures.
  • Field, investigate and resolve employee escalated issues, concerns, and complaints.

Lead development of special HR projects and initiatives:

  • Lead the development of an enhanced performance management system and the implementation of an HRIS, incorporating an integrated and comprehensive plan for change management, defining the governance, scope, timeline, milestones, deliverables, outcomes, and benefits.
  • Lead the development and update of CIFAR’s HR policies and procedures, ensuring policies and procedures are up to date based on legislation and current practices.

Support and enhance Talent Acquisition and Talent retention strategies:

  • Analyze proactive and reactive outreach methods, compensation philosophy/practices, performance management process, and employee recognition initiatives.
  • Ensure the organization is able to attract, select, engage, recognize and retain high performing/high potential talent to meet the business objectives of CIFAR.
  • Design, develop, and deliver a proactive outreach plan in support of CIFAR’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) recruitment objectives and broader EDI organizational goals. 

Perform all other duties as required and provides support for other Institute initiatives as assigned.


Education/Experience required:

  • University degree in a relevant field of study; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Working towards professional designation: Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) preferred.
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in employee relations, talent management, organizational development (OD), leadership development, and change management.
  • Experience implementing OD and talent initiatives with knowledge of organizational design principles would be an asset.

Core Professional/Technical Knowledge & Skills required for the position:

  • Solid understanding of employment-related legislation case law, and how it relates to the implementation of policy and process in provincially regulated settings.
  • Experience applying change management principles and practices both to support the organization in change initiatives and to increase leadership capability to effectively lead change initiatives.
  • Knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Visio) and preferably experience with Google suite (Docs, Sheets, Gmail) as well as previous experience working with/implementing an HRIS
  • Strong project planning and time management skills to manage multiple demands.
  • ADR - conflict resolution and negotiation skills an asset.
  • Previous experience working in public or non-profit sector an asset.
  • Previous experience with an HRMS and HR analytics an asset.

Position reports to:  Director, HR

Term of position:   F/T Permanent                   

Start date:  June 2019

Contact:  Please send resume and cover letter in confidence to careers@cifar.ca quoting Talent & Culture Specialist, HR in the Subject Line. The deadline for submitting your application is March 31, 2019 at 11:59 pm.

To find out more, please visit our website:  www.cifar.ca

One of CIFAR's core cultural values is Diversity - we value diversity and aspire to be inclusive in all aspects of our work. CIFAR is an equal employment opportunity employer and is strongly committed to removing systemic barriers and biases, and by promoting the practice of inclusivity, so that all individuals have equal access to and benefit from the work we do. We encourage applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to diversity within our organization.

ACCESSIBILITY FOR APPLICANTS WITH DISABILITIES - CIFAR is committed to providing accommodations throughout the recruitment and selection process to applicants with disabilities, in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code. To request a reasonable accommodation, please email careers@cifar.ca and include the term 'Accessibility' in the Subject Line, or call 416-971-4251. Please provide your name, preferred contact method, and a detailed description of the nature of any accommodation that you may require. Please include any materials or processes that may be used to ensure your equal participation.

CIFAR frequently communicates in both official languages and our preference is to hire employees who are fluent in both English and French where possible. Other languages are also considered an asset.

We thank you for your interest in working at CIFAR. All applications will be reviewed however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. For a French version of the job posting, please visit www.cifar.ca.

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