Human Resources

The mission of the Human Resources Department is to develop and support a diverse and highly skilled community in order to create a positive workplace that helps the College attract and retain the talent necessary to accomplish its goals. The department delivers best practice human resources consultation and expertise with professionalism, confidentiality, integrity, and respect, while contributing in meaningful ways to the mission of the College.

The department is committed to living and communicating the following core values:

  • Integrity: behave in an honest, trustworthy, and ethical way, consistent with stated core values and policies
  • Respect: treat others with dignity, value diversity, and strive to create bridges through understanding
  • Empowerment: encourage staff members at all levels to develop the skills needed for their professional enrichment
  • Advocacy: serve as advocates for staff members at all levels, to understand all perspectives, and to provide support for conflict resolution

The HR department works across the community to achieve the following goals:

  • provide human resource consulting;
  • administer programs to ensure the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce;
  • manage efficient human resource systems and information including payroll;
  • develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure an equitable workplace for all staff members and ensure compliance with federal and state statutes;
  • develop competitive compensation and benefits programs;
  • serve as a resource for work/life and wellness initiatives; and,
  • maintain effective communication with all faculty and staff members regarding various human resources topics

Swarthmore College is committed to sustaining our position as a competitive, private, liberal arts college through the purposeful selection, and ongoing development, of our internal talent. As the higher education environment continues to evolve, continued learning is not only an expectation for our students, but also for our faculty, staff, and administrators. Our ability to educate and graduate socially-aware and prepared students is hinged upon our ability to maintain a high-performing workforce. As a learning organization, the College provides many opportunities for professional development, supporting our employees' goals for both career growth and personal growth.

The HR Department provides the following professional development opportunities:

  • New Employee On-boarding
  • Bi-annual Faculty/Staff Development Workshop Series
  • Management Development Trainings
  • Department Communication and Team-Building Retreats
  • Quarterly Leadership Forum Meetings
  • Brown Bag Lunch Sessions
  • Compliance Trainings
  • External professional memberships, conferences, workshops, etc.
  • Tuition Reimbursement for continuing education

The College's philosophy is to foster an environment of open communication amongst all employees. It is expected that leaders within the College will communicate performance to employees throughout the year, and address concerns as they arise. Open communication reinforces desired performance and offers opportunities for immediate improvement, development and redirection. In addition, employees are encouraged to seek feedback proactively and communicate any concerns with supervisors between formal evaluation cycles. At minimum, documented formal reviews of job performance will be provided to all employees each year. Human Resources provides support for employee coaching, performance improvement and performance appraisals. Currently, the HR Department is working in conjunction with employees to create a comprehensive talent management system, including increasing the completion and accuracy of annual employee performance appraisals. Figure A below illustrates the increase in performance appraisal completion rates over the past 3 years.

Bar Chart shows increase in performance appraisals each year, 2011 through 2013.

The College has established four core competencies which are incorporated in employee performance appraisals. Competencies were selected based on the College's Strategic Directions and key aspects of the institutional culture that help sustain the College's values.

The focus and accuracy of employee performance appraisals are supported by the following strategically aligned core competencies:

  • Commitment to Swarthmore Values- Utilizes skills, tools, techniques and knowledge to support Swarthmore's inclusive excellence, sustainability, civility and community of mutual respect and shared responsibility
  • Collaboration/Team Orientation- Promotes the spirit of community by respecting all team members, recognizing the need to work effectively in various formal/informal work groups
  • Adaptability/Flexibility- Promotes the spirit of community by respecting all team members, recognizing the need to work effectively in various formal/informal work groups
  • Job Skills/Functional Knowledge- Implements skills, tools, techniques and knowledge to execute the requirements of the position, as defined by the College's standard of excellence and applicable job description

NOTE:   These competencies derive directly from the College's Strategic Directions.

Employee Relations

Employee Relations' goals and objectives are posted here.