Who We Are
The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a non-profit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. Vera is an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. Vera is committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities.
About Acacia Center For Justice
The Acacia Center for Justice is a new non-profit created through a collaboration between the Vera Institute of Justice (“Vera”) and the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (“CAIR”) Coalition. The CAIR Coalition is a non-profit organization in the focused on providing legal assistance to adult and child immigrants detained by the government in the Capital Region. CAIR adheres to the fundamental belief that all people – no matter their story – deserve to be free, safe, supported, and have access to a just legal system.
The objective of the Acacia Center for Justice (“Acacia”) is to expand on Vera’s work over the past twenty years in providing legal support and representation to immigrants facing deportation through the development and management of national networks of legal services providers serving immigrants across the country. Acacia’s goals are two-fold: to help non-profit service providers provide exceptional legal services to immigrants and to advocate for the expansion of these programs and the infrastructure critical to guaranteeing immigrants access to justice, fairness and freedom. Acacia will focus the collective power of both Vera and CAIR on delivering accountable, independent, zealous and person-centered legal services and representation to protect the rights of all immigrants at risk of deportation.
Why the Name “Acacia Center for Justice”
The Acacia flower was chosen for two reasons. First, it is a species of plant found almost everywhere in the world. Second, the Acacia flower historically represents regeneration, perseverance, and integrity. Much of our work with immigrants and refugees builds on these principles of shared humanity and our endless pursuit for justice in the American immigration legal system.
Please note: This career opportunity will begin as a position with the Vera Institute of Justice that will transition to Acacia Center for Justice on or before the July 1, 2022.
Who You Are
The Human Resources Director leads the HR and human capital function of Acacia as it relates to recruitment, retention, onboarding and offboarding, training and job development, compensation standards, and benefit administration and strategy. Reporting to the Executive Director, the position serves as a thought partner for senior leadership and other managers on recruiting, staffing, job functions, and personnel matters. The position collaborates closely with the Legal Department to ensure compliance with labor laws and regulations and prioritizes race, equity and inclusion (REI) in hiring, compensation, employee experience, promotion, and retention strategy and practices.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Human Capital Vision & Strategy
- Develop and implement a clear human capital strategy across recruitment, employment branding, onboarding training and development, compensation and benefits administration.
- Ensure alignment of HR strategy with programs and effective organizational design and change management practices
- Partner with senior management to understand business priorities and develop workable strategies to address gaps
- Hire, lead, mentor, empower and foster teamwork and communication among the HR team in the design, implementation and execution of HR strategy that strengthens the people systems, processes, and infrastructure to support the achievement of Acacia Center for Justice’s vision, mission, values, and strategic goals
- Drive insights with our people-centric data; create HR benchmarks, metrics and analytics that provide a foundation for informed, data-driven decision-making and leadership
Talent Acquisition, Engagement & Management
- With Human Resources Manager, deliver a clear and sustainable recruitment strategy, inclusive of employment branding, that encourages and enables the development of internal talent, the identification of external talent and the use of appropriate tools and methods for recruitment, inclusive of REI and competitive pay
- Provide thought partnership to senior leadership on demographic trends and how to effectively support an evolving workforce
- Provide an engaging and consistently excellent onboarding experience that reaffirms the new hire’s decision to join Acacia Center for Justice, fast tracks productivity and acculturation, and reduces turnover
- Establish proactive approaches to the identification of high-performing talent, maintain, and make transparent clear career pathways and opportunities for progression through an equity lens, ensuring clear succession planning, strong bench of talent and retention
- Champion a performance driven culture while making recommendations for improvements and lead performance evaluation processes for Acacia that includes annual and quarterly performance reviews, goal setting and merit increases
- Consult with leadership and managers on workforce and succession planning initiatives
Compensation & Benefits:
- Deliver a comprehensive Total Reward Strategy that appropriately supports achievement of institutional goals and priorities and helps position Acacia as an employer of choice, that pays above market and a policy that staff value and understand
- Lead ts the development of equitable and appropriate position levels and competitive salary bands in response to diverse staffing needs; ensures FLSA and other compliance with salary bands
- Manage salary administration guide that provide rationale and direction for salary setting, salary increases, promotions, and (if applicable) bonuses, through REI lens
- Lead compensation studies, as necessary or as requested by supervisor and senior leadership, to ensure competitive salaries and benefits
- Collaborate with General Counsel on executive compensation
- Ensure enrollment, education, and compliance, as Plan Administrator of retirement programs
- Design and implement comprehensive, cost-effective, and health and wellness programs focused on the diverse needs of staff
Learning & Development:
- Ensure access to learning and professional development strategy for staff and foster lifelong learning opportunities for all employees
- Routinize assessments/talent reviews and learning paths, inclusive of self-directed, blended, and personalized learning, coaching, and mentoring to enable continuous learning for all Acacia Center for Justice employees
Budget Data, Technology & Compliance
- Develop and monitor Human Resources budget and report on current and future staffing costs and initiatives
- Oversee the HRIS and other related HR-related applications within the organization, including but not limited to ATS, vendor and onboarding portals, performance management and learning management systems
- Ensure system data integrity, reporting effectiveness and accuracy and that appropriate controls and processes are established and adhered to for optimum system functionality
- Responsible for establishment of personnel manual and ensuring People Resource policies and procedural workflows are in compliance
- Supervise EEOC and ensure completion of affirmative action reporting
- Ensure that all members of our community, including individuals with disabilities, have equal access to, are granted accommodations, and can fully participate in, all aspects of Acacia Center for Justice’s information technology and work.
Other duties as assigned, including but not limited to:
- Serving on ad hoc and standing committees such as incident response teams
- Lead organization-wide meetings focused on HR function
- Create opportunities for managers and other affinity groups to have a sense of belonging and make progress in their respective roles within the organization.
What qualifications do you need?
- Bachelors degree required. In lieu of degree requirement, applicable work or life experience may be considered.
- Strong strategic skills and the ability to act as a visionary for the organization
- In-depth knowledge of federal/state labor laws and HR practices
- Strong business and financial skills, including financial planning, budgeting and financial reporting
- Strong interpersonal, consulting & listening skills; skilled facilitator with sound judgment and diplomacy
- Ability to assess and implement improved processes and procedures that impact the delivery of HR services to the organization
- Expert knowledge of employment law, compensation, organizational planning and development, employee relations, reasonable accommodations, diversity and inclusion.
- Advanced degree 7+ years of significant professional experience in area. In lieu of degree requirement, applicable work or life experience may be considered.
List of required software applications:
- Familiarity with various HR systems: HRIS, Payroll, Applicant Tracking Systems, Time & Attendance / Leave Reporting Systems, Performance Management Systems
- MS Suite, particularly PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel
Applications may also be faxed to:
ATTN: People Resources / Human Resources Director, Human Resources
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.
As a federal contractor, and in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.
Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.
Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.
For more information about Vera, please visit
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