Human Resources Director

Human Resources Edison, New Jersey


About AAK

AAK is proud to be the world’s leading producer of specialty vegetable fats. Through our unique co-development approach we develop and provide value-adding vegetable oil solutions in close collaboration with our customers, enabling them to achieve long-lasting business results.

By doing so, we solve customer specific needs across many industries including Bakery, Chocolate & Confectionery, Dairy, Foodservice, Infant Nutrition and Personal Care.

Our pioneering spirit and passion for innovation keeps us at the cutting edge of our industry and is what sets us apart. It enables our employees to work in a safe and supportive environment in which they make a genuine impact.

AAK employ more than 3,500 employees globally and with 20 production facilities and customisation plants, and sales offices in over 25 countries spanning six continents we have one of our industries most diverse global footprints.

Kincannon & Reed have been retained by AAK to recruit a Human Resources Director to be based at our Headquarters in the US.

The Position 

The purpose of this position is to provide Human Resources leadership, accountability, and direction throughout the growing U.S. organization. This is a generalist role that will oversee the Human Resources policies, services, and programs, ensuring that all aspects of the HR functions align with Division and Corporate policies and goals; follow compliance with regulations; and are on-schedule within cost objectives.  The Director will foster an employee-oriented, high performance culture that emphasizes empowerment, quality, productivity, standards, goal attainment, and the recruitment and ongoing development of a superior workforce.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Provide management information on HR matters, delivering reports with detailed analysis and recommendations
  • Help managers to improve the organization’s capability and behaviors to meet the demands of current and future business needs
  • Be an active role model promoting positive cultural change and championing diversity in an environment of constant business change and challenges
  • Form a partnership with Operations leadership to develop and drive the performance management process
  • Drive the workforce planning process including succession planning and talent management
  • Work closely with the Global HR Director on administrative tasks and rectifying diverse sets of recurring HR related issues
  • Both solo and with other HR Business Partners assume responsibilities for global HR projects.
  • Team with the other HR Business Partners and the Global HR Director to work on several recurring HR related issues and administrative tasks

Other important parameters

The role reports to the President for AAK USA and NoLA, with dotted line/matrix to the Global Director of Human Resources

The role is based at the U.S. headquarters in Edison, NJ

Travel is expected to be light

Candidate Profile

We seek and experienced, focused, and energetic human resources leader with a passion for partnering with her/his peers and teams to drivee a business to reach its goals. HR Director will have a strong background and demonstrated experience in managing the Human Resources function in businesses with multiple manufacturing sites in the U.S. Public company experience and foreign based company experience are desirable. S/he must work well with all internal and external functions and disciplines to deliver superior results, consistently, and can thrive in a fast-paced environment within a growing business. S/he will be a key member of the US Leadership Team, and will lead a highly professional HR tea, The Director must be resourceful, entrepreneurial, flexible and multi-task oriented, with a willingness to readily assist where needed.


  • Minimum 10 years successful experience in Human Resources Management positions
  • ideally in a company with a workforce exceeding 500 employees
  • minimum of 8 years managing Human Resources with multiple manufacturing sites
  • some experience with food manufacturing is desirable
  • Designed and implemented effective and vibrant reward systems and benchmarking programs
  • Led workforce planning, including succession planning, at all levels
  • Established retention programs for line workers and supervisors that significantly reduced turnover
  • Developed and led collaborative teams that attained stretch goals
  • Created strong partner relationships with other functional leaders
  • Played a key role in transforming a culture to one that is collaborative, and results focused

Skills and knowledge

  • Strategic leadership and the ability to effectively translate strategy into action
  • Passion for learning and makes a priority in staying current regarding HR best practices
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal—including public speaking and making presentations
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal and coaching skills
  • Strong project management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with division and corporate executives

Personal characteristics

Highly intelligent with excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

  • A natural leader with the professional stature to quickly command respect at all levels
  • A positive, hands-on doer; leads by example, and has a trust-based management style
  • High energy with appropriate sense of urgency.
  • Sound judgment, high intelligence, and ample common sense.
  • Detail orientation with ability to balance multiple priorities
  • High and unquestioned integrity
  • Desire for tactical “in the trenches” entrepreneurial and hands on role executing growth of a rapidly scaling company.
  • Excels at operating in a fast-paced environment; drive for results/accountability


Undergraduate degree in relevant field is required; advanced degree preferred

Please send all applications directly to for review. If shortlisted you will be contacted by a member of Kincannon & Reed, who will conduct the initial shortlisting process.

AAK prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, religion, veteran status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law in any aspect of the access to, admission, or treatment of students in its programs and activities, or in employment and application for employment.