Human Resources Generalist (20 Month Contract) - Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Apr 19, 2021
Toronto, Ontario

HR Generalist (20 Month Contract)

About CIFAR:

CIFAR is a Canadian-based global research organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address the most important questions facing science and humanity.

By building long-term, interdisciplinary, global communities of collaboration, we provide the world’s top researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, creating a culture of risk-taking, accelerating discovery, and yielding breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines.

Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government and society.

In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy, the world’s first national AI strategy.

Our community of researchers includes more than 400 researchers from 161 institutions in 18 countries. Our fellows, chairs, scholars, and advisors are among the most highly cited researchers in the world. Twenty Nobel Prizes have been awarded to CIFAR-affiliated researchers.

We are supported by the governments of Canada, Ontario, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations. 

Position Profile:

Reporting to the Director, Human Resources, this position will be part of a highly supportive, fast-paced and dynamic HR team. The HR Generalist role is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the HR function in support of the overall organization. Working very closely with the Director, Human Resources and partnering with the Human Resources Advisor, the duties of the HR Generalist consist of policy and compliance management, employee relations, training, equity, diversity & inclusion, performance management, recruitment, back up payroll administration and other HR programs. 


Provide day-to-day operational services to the organization in a range of Human Resource functions: 

  • Provide HR support to the organization on recruitment and selection practices, performance management process and employee recognition initiatives, to ensure that the organization is able to attract and retain high performing/high potential talent

  • Effectively communicate to employees on relevant topics regarding HR processes, main organizational changes, etc.

  • Report and analyze data in regards to headcount, turnover, compliance reporting, exit interview data and other organization critical metrics

  • Works closely with the HR team to harmonize on employee initiatives, equity, diversity & inclusion, learning & development, etc.

  • Work with the HR team to identify training and development needs through performance management system outcomes, as well as competencies and leadership behaviors evaluations

  • Ensure that the organization is compliant in Employment Standards, AODA, Privacy, H&S, practices and requirements 

  • Support staff by providing guidance, advice, options, and HR solutions to help resolve issues of an employee relations nature

  • Ensure job descriptions are up to date and current, support the job leveling process by updating all roles at CIFAR

  • Collaborate with the HR team to facilitate Return to Office initiatives and activities

  • Provide support for a healthy and productive work environment that leads to organizational and personal excellence

  • Foster positive employee-employer relationships that promote a high level of employee morale, motivation, and productivity  

  • Identify operational improvement opportunities 

Support Recruitment and Selection efforts: 

  • Support the HR, Director & Advisor with key administrative aspects of the recruitment cycle: drafting postings, posting jobs, coordinating and managing interview and selection process (short-list, phone screens, development of interview questionnaires, coordinating, communicating, and participating on selection committees, providing and gathering consent forms, reference checks, preparing and consulting on offers of employment, providing instructions to hiring managers regarding onboarding activities)

  • Research opportunities internally and source best-fit programs/schools to recruit from

  • Provide training and support on CIFAR’s recruitment process to hiring managers and ensure compliance with policies and legal requirements

  • Assist with the onboarding of new hires and facilitate the new hire orientation sessions.   

Provide day-to-day HR Administration support in a wide range of areas:

  • Ensure employee data is tracked and up to date

  • Update organization charts

  • Prepare presentations 

  • Update internal intranet page and prepare organization-wide communications from the HR department

  • Provide back up for payroll and benefits administration processes with third-party providers

  • Prepare HR memos/letters and ensure version control and archiving as required; manage employee and department filing (electronic and paper-based)

  • Organize HR-related meetings, as required (from catering to IT and document preparation)

  • Generate HR reports as needed 

Performs all other duties as required and provides support for other CIFAR 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 Practitioner or Leader (CHRP/L)

  • Minimum 3-5 years experience in an HR Coordinator or HR generalist client-facing role

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

  • Legal - Understanding of employment-related legislation case law, and how it relates to the implementation of policy and process in provincially regulated settings.

  • Computer - Knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio) and Google suite. 

  • Previous experience working with/implementing an HRIS.

  • ADR - conflict resolution and negotiation skills an asset

  • Bilingual (French/English) an asset

  • Previous experience working in the academic, health, university or non-profit sector an asset.

  • Previous experience with an HRMS and HR analytics an asset

  • Payroll experience an asset   

Position reports to: Director, Human Resources

Term of position: 20 Months

Start date: May 2021

Contact:  Please send resume and cover letter in confidence to quoting “HR Generalist (20 Month Contract)” in the Subject Line.  The deadline for submitting your application is 11:59pm on Sunday, April 18, 2021.

To find out more, please visit our website:

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 all qualified individuals and encourage women, members of racialized communities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity to confidentially self-identify at time of application.  

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 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. For a French version of the job posting, please visit

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 via email. 

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