Director of Human Resources and Culture

  • Full Time
  • Chicago
  • December 24, 2021

Website steppenwolfthtr Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Director of Human Resources and Culture

The Director of Human Resources and Culture serves as a member of the leadership team and reports directly to the Executive Director. This role is responsible for all facets of human resources and talent strategy for Steppenwolf’s 200+ staff and artists. This position plays an integral role as an organizational culture strategist and change management advisor to the Executive Director, partnering on initiatives ranging from company communications; business model design; succession planning; restructures; and Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access initiatives (IDEA).

The ideal candidate brings a high level of understanding of the dynamics of an arts organization and demonstrable experience building responsive environments that balance creativity and accountability for all.

Areas of Responsibility:


  • Collaborates with the Executive Director to understand the theater’s goals and strategy related to organizational culture, staffing, recruiting, and retention.
  • Provides guidance and strategic direction for all dimensions of the business impacting the organization’s structure, staffing, employee engagement, and employee relations.
  • Advises the Executive Director, Artistic Director, General Manager, and other members of the senior management team on the human resource implications and risks related to key issues and important strategic decisions.

Talent Management

  • Administers or oversees the administration of human resources and culture programs including, but not limited to: compensation, benefits, and leave; disciplinary matters; disputes and investigations; performance and talent management; productivity, recognition, and morale; and training and development.
  • Identifies staffing and recruiting needs; develops and executes best practices for hiring and talent management.


  • Partners with the Executive Director and Artistic Directors to develop a holistic people and culture strategy that deepens the theatre’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA).
  • Leads the program management of Steppenwolf’s IDEA work with the staff, board and ensemble; including, but not limited to, coordinating the development and implementation of priority initiatives and actions by the staff-driven IDEA Action Council plus the Ensemble and Board of Trustees efforts.  Supports the IDEA Steering Committee in its creation and organizational-wide oversight role.
  • Identifies and manages IDEA partner relationships and recruits facilitators and outside support, when needed.
  • Supports and shepherds affinity spaces for interested staff.
  • Serves as the primary liaison with Enrich Chicago, a collaborative of over 40 Chicagoland arts and philanthropic organizations committed to ending systemic racism in the arts.


  • Adopts and institutionalizes leading-edge human resources methods, systems, and tools that elevate Steppenwolf’s human resource capacity and establishes consistent best practices.
  • Plans, leads, develops, coordinates, and implements policies, processes, training, initiatives, and surveys to support the organization’s human resource compliance and strategy needs.
  • Develops, monitors, implements and adjusts, when needed, departmental budget (via Excel).
  • Ability to translate HR and Culture initiatives into accessible data and present it in a clear, concise and compelling manner.
  • Supervises one full time Associate People and Culture Director who manages benefit administration, oversees payroll, onboarding, worker’s comp, cultural HR events, and aspects of talent management.

Compliance/New Technology

  • Monitors and ensures the organization’s compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations, and recommended best practices; reviews and modifies policies and practices to maintain compliance.
  • Maintains knowledge of trends, best practices, regulatory changes, and new technologies in human resources, talent management, and employment law; applies this knowledge to communicate changes in policy, practice, and resources to upper management.
  • Works closely with pro-bono employment counsel on employment-related personnel issues.

Successful candidates will have:

  • Proven strong leadership skills within an HR/People and Culture department
  • Demonstrable success in creating and executing dynamic inclusion, diversity, equity, and access initiatives across a complex organizational structure.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a high emotional intelligence.
  • Excellent organizational/project management skills and attention to detail.
  • Possess excellent time management skills with a proven ability to meet deadlines.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • The ability to manage up, sidewise and down with class and calm.
  • Ability to quickly adapt to the needs of the organization and employees.
  • Thorough knowledge of employment-related laws and regulations.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, Paycom and tools that best support human resource management and communication.
  • SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP highly preferred.
  • Preference to those who have non-profit arts HR experience.
  • A deep commitment to working with diverse groups in terms of gender expression, race, sexual orientation, religion, ability, age, class, and immigrant status.
Instructions to Apply:

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and three references by 12/24.

To apply for this job please visit

Pay Rate/Range*: $90,000 – $110,000