Director of Human Resources & Labor Relations

The Metropolitan Opera

Posted: 3/16/2021

Position Type: Full-Time

Function: Human Resources/Recruiting

Primary domain: Arts, Culture and Humanities

City: New York

Postal code: 10023

State: New York

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$20M +


Mission statement:

To enrich people's lives through an awareness and deeper appreciation of opera while supporting the Metropolitan Opera by expanding its reach to diverse communities and a wider audience.

Position Details:

Job Description:


The Metropolitan Opera is a vibrant home for the most creative and talented singers, conductors, composers, musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers, and dancers from around the world. Founded in 1883, the Met has grown to become one of the leading institutions for opera across the globe. Since the summer of 2006, Peter Gelb has been the Met’s general manager—the 16th in company history. Under his leadership, the Met has elevated its theatrical standards by significantly increasing the number of new productions, staged by the most imaginative directors working in theater and opera, and has launched a series of initiatives to broaden its reach internationally.

Each season, the Met stages more than 200 opera performances in New York. More than 800,000 people attend the performances in the opera house during the season, and millions more experience the Met through new media distribution initiatives and state-of-the-art technology.

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The Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations will lead organizational design, professional development, performance management, talent acquisition, mediation and culture initiatives. In addition, the Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations will drive operational HR best practices in a range of areas including benefits, compensation, and oversee the execution of our various collective bargaining agreements.

Reporting to the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), the Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations will manage, coach, and mentor a team of six HR professionals.  They will bring strategic talent skills, expertise in core human resource functions, and a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced human capital leader to develop strategy and implement best practices designed to enhance the overall employee experience at The Metropolitan Opera. 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Leadership & Organizational Development 

  • Serve as the organization’s subject matter expert and coordinator in matters pertaining to recruitment, orientation, employee relations matters, mediation, compliance, leadership development and organizational learning

  • Design a comprehensive on-boarding process that fully introduces and integrates new staff members into The Metropolitan Opera

  • Drive employee engagement and retention efforts, collaborating with leaders to develop effective internal communications strategies, processes, tools, and training to promote morale and achieve annual goals

  • Ensure systems, processes, and policies are in place to support managers and teams

  • Build a comprehensive approach to professional development at The Metropolitan Opera, incorporating the development of coaching and management skills throughout the organization 

  • Work with managers throughout the organization to help establish and communicate annual goals for team members; ensure managers are tracking progress against goals and providing continuous feedback to team members 

Talent Acquisition & Management 

  • Develop a creative and innovative vision for talent acquisition at The Metropolitan Opera, and establish best-in-class recruitment practices to meet current staffing needs and build a pipeline for future roles

  • Develop strategy for building diverse slates of candidates (internal and external) from varied backgrounds and establish and implement processes for external hiring, internal role changes, and promotions

  • Evaluate and enhance the full cycle recruiting process to streamline efficiencies and avoid delays or gaps in the process and timelines

  • Serve as a trusted advisor to hiring managers to ensure The Metropolitan Opera recruits and hires exceptional and diverse talent

  • Implement talent management processes including surveys, performance reviews, and compensation reviews, and utilize data, in partnership with managers, to strengthen performance management and culture 

Employee Relations & HR Administration 

  • Serve as primary Labor Relations Officer with responsibility for day-to-day labor relations management including development and implementation of strategy regarding current and emerging issues; provide Chief Diversity Officer with status updates and recommended actions to promote a positive workplace, consistent with values

  • Develop and maintain communication with all levels of staff, including union representatives and program/department heads

  • Ensure benefits and other aspects of human resources infrastructure operate with both exceptional accuracy and a strong customer service orientation

  • Continuously review and leverage resources (staff, budget, technology) to ensure appropriate best practices in HR administration and procedures so that they are efficient, equitable, timely, auditable, and responsive

  • Work closely with the CDO and HR team to ensure The Metropolitan Opera’s compliance with federal, state, and local laws, and collective bargaining agreements (CBAs)

  • Manage the HR department budget; review and negotiate HR-related contracts and agreements

  • Enact and direct policies and practices that provide protection in all areas including employment, employee relations, benefits, compensation, equal employment opportunity, diversity, and protection from harassment and discriminatory practices



The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Minimum of 8-10 years of talent management/HR experience across a range of competencies; at least 5 years of experience leading in a unionized work environment 

  • Professional Certification preferred: SHRM-SCP, SHRM-CP, PHR or SPHR

  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of HR compliance, benefits administration, records retention, employee and union relations, DEI, and HR policies and procedures

  • Previous experience managing people, with a track record of leading others to achieve ambitious goals

  • Excellent relationship building skills with a demonstrated ability to work well with people from a wide variety of backgrounds 

  • Aware of the sensitive nature of this position with a proven track record of meeting ethical and confidentiality guidelines

  • Influences senior leaders on organizational development, talent, and HR issues

  • Strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, with the ability to analyze and problem solve situations of both technical and personal natures

  • Achieves goals and align interests through cooperation and collaboration with other groups and cross-functional teams, even where no direct reporting relationship exists


Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:


The Metropolitan Opera is an equal opportunity employer and encourages candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Posted By: On-Ramps


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