Human Resources Director

Virginia Retirement System Full-time

The Position

The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) seeks a human resources leader who is visionary, collaborative, focused on organizational development, committed to exceptional customer service, and a strategic partner for the agency’s leadership.

The Human Resoures Director oversees all human resources functions within VRS. These functions include the following: talent acquisition and retention, classification and compensation (including separate pay and incentive plans for the investment professionals and investment operations and administration employees), benefits administration, mediation and employee relations, organizational development and training, compliance with applicable employment laws, records management, onboarding and orientation, consulting, coaching and counseling, performance management, professional development and training, internal communications, and employee recognition.

The Human Resources Director reports to the Director of VRS and manages a seven-person department, with a budget of approximately $1 million.

The current organizational structure includes a Human Resources Administrator, two Senior Human Resources Analysts, a Senior Human Resources Business Analyst (Communications and Intranet), and a Human Resources Manager, all of whom are direct reports to the Human Resources Director. Two part-time staff members also report to the Human Resources Administrator.

The Organization

VRS is an independent state agency responsible for administering defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, a hybrid retirement plan, and other benefits for Virginia’s public-sector employees, including teachers, state employees, and most local government employees. The agency’s governing body, the VRS Board of Trustees, consists of nine members: five are appointed by the Governor, and four are appointed by the Joint Rules Committee of the Virginia General Assembly. All members of the VRS Board are confirmed by the Virginia General Assembly. The VRS Director is hired by the Board and serves as the agency’s chief administrative officer. The Chief Investment Officer and the Internal Audit Director are also hired by and report to the Board of Trustees.

VRS has in-house investment staff who are highly skilled and perform the functions of a private-sector investment firm. VRS manages over $80 billion in assets. The agency paid out $4.8 billion in FY 2018 to retirees and beneficiaries, 86 percent of whom reside in Virginia. VRS is the 19th largest pension system in the United States and the 41st largest in the world, based on assets. VRS serves more than 722,000 members, retirees, and beneficiaries.

VRS employs approximately 300 FTEs, 40 wage employees, and 40 contractors.

Vision: To be the trusted leader in the delivery of benefits and services to those we serve.

Mission: VRS delivers retirement and other benefits to Virginia public employees through sound financial stewardship and superior customer service.

Commitment: Serving those who serve others, and helping members plan for tomorrow, today.

Core Values:

  • Act with INTEGRITY as we perform our role and represent VRS.
  • Display TEAMWORK as we create, plan, and execute our work in a trusting and caring way.
  • Demonstrate ACCOUNTABILITY in our words, actions, and decisions as we work and commit to our Vision.
  • Perform with AGILITY as we respond to change.

Headquartered in the City of Richmond, VRS’ administrative offices are located in the heart of downtown, near the Capitol. Richmond is situated on the beautiful James River, and the city offers amazing restaurants, unique neighborhoods, more than 30 craft breweries, and outstanding arts and culture. Founded in 1742, Richmond is one of the nation’s oldest independent cities. Richmond is ideally located less than 100 miles from both Washington, D.C., and Virginia Beach. The region is steeped in history and is home to several major higher education institutions.

With an estimated population of over 225,000, Richmond is a vibrant capital city and anchor of the Greater Richmond Region, which is home to more than 1.2 million people. The city’s demographics are 67.8% Black or African American, 46.9% White, 7.1% Hispanic or Latino, 2.4% Asian, 0.5% Native American and Alaska Native, 0.2% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and 2.3% identify as two or more races. Median resident age is 38.5 years, and much of the labor force is employed in either the public sector or in the financial services, bioscience, and technology industries.

The Ideal Candidate

VRS is seeking a Human Resources Director who is a proven HR leader with a strategic vision to advise and collaborate with the VRS Director and other organizational leaders to make VRS an employer of choice. The ideal candidate has a strong understanding of all HR functions, including employee relations, organizational learning and development, talent acquisition, HRIS/records management, compensation and benefits, workforce planning, performance management, and compliance and risk management. A change management practitioner, the next Human Resources Director will bring innovative ideas to the table, support and encourage staff development, and work collaboratively with agency leadership and staff.

The ideal candidate offers a comprehensive understanding of HR systems and their implementation, the ability to leverage technology to streamline and enhance processes, experience in enhancing an organization’s human capital, and proven drive in improving customer service via organizational development and training. This individual has a detailed and current knowledge of relevant employment laws, regulations, and practices, and is skilled in project management. The next director is approachable, fair, strong, and resilient enough to have difficult conversations when necessary and to advocate on behalf of employees or a department when needed.

VRS is in search of a progressive, visionary, adaptable leader who will be a champion of the agency’s overarching goals. He or she has a positive, can-do attitude and utilizes a team-oriented approach. As the agency’s Human Resources Director, this person has a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as success in conflict resolution and shaping organizations into employers of choice.

The ideal candidate is trustworthy, wise, and will help support the organization’s mission and goals. The Human Resources Director will empower staff at all levels to set and achieve organizational and professional goals and will model the organizational values.

Experience and Education

Any combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree and graduate work in human resource management, public administration, or a related field and seven years of HR management experience is required.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree and PHR, SPHR, or IPMA-CP certification and demonstrated expertise in organizational development, employee relations, compensation systems for investment personnel or other highly competitive positions, and experience in a multi-dimensional work environment that is recognized as an employer of choice.


The salary range for this position is $130,000 - $150,000, depending on qualifications. Benefits offered include paid time off, the VRS retirement plan, a deferred compensation plan, health benefits and flexible spending program, life insurance, telework and flexible work schedules, relocation assistance, tuition reimbursement, state employee discounts, on-site parking, and more. While VRS is an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is independent and has its own compensation system, including gain-sharing and other bonus potential.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume with salary history. Open until filled with the first review of applications on November 8, 2019.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 513-221-0500.

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