HR Business Partner

Other San Francisco, California


We all live in a connected world. We discover, engage, interact with and advocate for brands quicker than ever and in more places than ever. While at the same time, advertising has never been easier to avoid or ignore. Our job is not just to make ads. It’s to help our clients’ brands come to life in more of the right places more frequently and in a way that gets them noticed, remembered, chosen and loved.

DDB North America (NAM) looks to accelerate its evolution from traditional creative agency, driven to deliver famous ads, to a more modern creative collective obsessed with finding new ways for creativity to drive business growth. The change being undertaken is for the DDB NAM region to be a connected set of progressive creative agencies, staying ahead of clients, connected into the DDB Worldwide and Omnicom networks, and using these relationships to lead the next creative revolution in our industry. We are transitioning our agencies to become total consumer experience partners to our clients who will focus on applying creativity across the entirety of our clients businesses, not just the communications side.

Across DDB NAM, growth is everyone’s business. As talent is our most critical asset and an enabler of growth, your role is to bring to life our NAM regional people strategy.  You partner with HR leadership to execute the ways we differentiate ourselves to achieve competitive advantage.  You support our efforts in providing employee experiences that attract, engage and retain top diverse talent.  And, you safeguard our agency culture, values and behaviours so that our people can achieve more than they ever imagined.

Your key responsibilities include, but are not exclusive to:


  • You are driven by supporting the growth of our business and our clients’ business. You love the Win! Win!
  • You are a passionate people person who prides yourself in helping others unlock their full potential
  • You partner with the VP Talent to evidence to leadership how employee engagement is a driver of business performance and the way it affects the agency’s financial health and profitability
  • You are responsible for the employee lifecycle from onboarding (reference and other checks, offers, contracts, managing visa applications when required, inductions), development and retention plans (including appraisals and succession planning), and exit management
  • You love solving problems and will always find a solution whatever the challenge

Business Partnership

  • You are a valued member of the HR team nurturing inclusive workplace environments where the best talents flourish, are engaged, can bring their whole selves to work and want to stay
  • You are seen as a trusted best practice advisor who provides a full spectrum of expert advice and guidance on all HR matters including company policies, terms and conditions of employment, employee relations and legislation
  • You are an advocate and ally for diversity, equity and inclusion doing what it takes to improve the demographic of our workforce
  • You know who our top talents are and create development plans to retain and engage our highest performers. And just in case, you also have effective succession plans in place
  • You work well with everyone, but especially agency and department leads to ensure there is a local learning & development offering that is strategic, progressive and aligned with our NAM priorities

Discipline Expertise

  • You work with the VP Talent and are responsible for the delivery of active talent management processes including:
  • Facilitating our Voice employee engagement survey, mining the data to identify insights and execute annual action plans that materially improve y-o-y results
  • Under the direction of the VP Talent, you facilitate the 9-box talent assessment process twice a year, inputting employee data communicated to you against placement in each cell
  • You know who the top talents are in boxes 6, 8 & 9 and work with the VP Talent to create development and retention plans, as well as succession plans
  • You facilitate performance management for the agency including, developmental feedback, personal development plans and improvement systems
  • You are responsible for maintaining all handbooks and HR policies
  • You oversee new employee onboarding, orientation and conducts exit interviews; recommending corrective action as/when necessary
  • You draft all HR documentation: offer letters, employment and consultancy contracts, secondment agreements, various employee communications
  • You oversee information/data transfer for monthly payroll submissions as necessary to ensure changes to compensation and benefits are provided on a timely basis, ensuring all new joiners/in-service changes are processed and necessary paperwork completed by payroll deadlines
  • You partner to set-up new and manage existing benefits packages, ensuring the benefits are cost-effective, relevant and that any legal requirements (such as auto-enrolment) are met
  • You are responsible for managing complex employee relations cases (disciplinaries, grievances, capability management, absence). Coaching and supporting managers and directors through any staffing issues with the view to finding a resolution at an informal stage
  • You are responsible for document management ensuring all personnel files are up to date (filing and ongoing compliance)
  • You understand employee safety, welfare, and wellness and find the best solutions to support our duty of care for employees
  • You are constantly curious and always growing your knowledge and understanding of employment regulations, industry trends, current practices, new developments and applicable federal and state laws
  • You don’t get frustrated by process and can calmly and efficiently manage reporting and information sharing requirements as stipulated by DDB Worldwide and Omnicom

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • You support the Global Director of DE&I, VP of Talent Attraction & Acquisition and the VP Talent proactively maintain pipelines of diverse candidates across all seniority levels through internal and external industry networking
  • You align with the key stakeholders above to create, implement and monitor programs and policies designed to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all
  • You support the delivery of training and culture programs that develop employee skills and improve employee retention
  • You maintain a reporting system that effectively evidences DE&I statistics

Cultural Ambassador

  • You find and utilize the best channels to optimize our DDB employer brand profile
  • You are constantly networking your network to identify top diverse talent to share with the VP of Talent Attraction & Acquisition

Additional Expectations
  • You are passionate about supporting leadership to build an agency full of the best talents
  • You are passionate about creativity, precision and business, understanding how your role contributes to driving employee and agency growth
  • You are an expert listener and communicator
  • You have strong written and verbal communication skills
  • You are a confident asserting authority when needed, to ensure the right course of action is followed to both protect the business and serve employees
  • You are experienced in managing a number of projects, operating within tight deadlines and can prioritise conflicting needs to progress matters expeditiously and follow through on projects to successful completion
  • You pride yourself in the ability to work independently in a high pace demanding environment on your own initiatives whilst being part of a wider team
  • You have a proactive approach to problem-solving with good decision-making capability
  • You take pride in being accountable in all things ‘people’
  • You are, as DDB founder Bill Bernbach famously demanded of everyone at this agency, Talented and Nice
  • You always strive and go the extra mile