Director of Talent Acquisition

Director of Talent Acquisition

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR   |   March 27, 2020

“Talent is at the heart of the higher education enterprise. As research universities expand the boundaries of knowledge through creativity and innovation, talent is the driver that differentiates institutional outcomes.” Oregon State University (OSU) believes wholeheartedly in the value of excellent and engaged faculty, staff, and graduate assistants to its present and future success, and this commitment is codified in SP4.0 — Transformation, Excellence and Impact, OSU’s Strategic Plan. Comprehensive Talent Management is a significant aspect of the plan and OSU is seeking to hire their inaugural Director of Talent Acquisition (Director) to be an influential leader in helping to meet the plan’s objectives.

Reporting to the Chief Human Resources Officer, the Director will be a proven HR professional, charged with leading an OSU HR Center of Expertise. The primary objective of the Director will be to design strategies and procedures that can be operationalized University-wide and that will transform the way the institution sources, attracts, and onboards world class and diverse talent. Coordinated and integrated talent management efforts such as these are uncommon in higher education and that makes this opportunity extraordinary and exceptional.

About Oregon State University

Founded in 1868 and one of only two land, sea, space, and sun grant universities in the U.S., Oregon State is an internationally recognized public research university that draws people from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. OSU is Oregon’s statewide university. With its main campus in Corvallis, a branch campus in Bend (OSU-Cascades), and a presence in Newport (Hatfield Marine Science Center), Portland (OSU Portland Center) and online (Ecampus), the university offers more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs. It is the largest university in the state with a total enrollment exceeding 32,000 and has more majors, minors, and special programs than any other university or college in Oregon. More than 250,000 degrees have been awarded from OSU since its founding. Oregon State has earned the national distinction for Carnegie Classifications for “community engagement” and for “very high research activity.” OSU’s research expenditures have steadily risen in the recent past, with annual expenditures ranging from $380 to $440 million. OSU is distinguished by several very highly ranked programs and colleges, such as its programs in forestry, oceanography, and robotics. As a member of the Pac-12 Conference, OSU offers seven men’s and 10 women’s NCAA Division I sports.

Oregon State has a steadfast commitment to engage in exceptional 21st-century teaching, research, discovery, innovation, and engagement and to integrate that research and engagement mission with the delivery of a high-quality, globally relevant and affordable education for the people of the state and beyond. OSU is committed to the idealthat higher education is a public good and that education of the kind it provides, as a research-intensive land grant institution, is uniquely important and should be accessible to all learners. Leaders across the state — within healthcare organizations, community-based not-for-profits, industry, community colleges, and local governments, among others — know OSU as an institution that is highly collaborative and inclusive, one that values its partnerships, seeks input and works constructively to advance solutions that address issues of vital importance to Oregon and beyond. These issues include promoting economic prosperity and social progress through access to education, improving the sustainability of ecosystems and advancing health/wellness.

Oregon State University is guided by its 2019-23 strategic plan SP4.0 — Transformation, Excellence and Impact, which articulates the university’s distinctive focus on academic excellence in all aspects of learning, discovery, and engagement. SP4.0 is the fourth five-year plan developed by OSU and coincides with the celebration of Oregon State’s 150th anniversary. This fourth iteration of the university’s strategic plan lays out goals and actions that will drive the institution closer to a set of distinctive strengths achievable by the year 2030 that are articulated in OSU’s Vision 2030 document.

An outstanding university is built on an outstanding faculty and staff. At the foundation of supporting the people of Oregon State is further strengthening the culture of inclusive excellence where diversity, equity and inclusion are vital to the university’s future success. Oregon State established the Office of Institutional Diversity in 2015 and hired its first Chief Diversity Officer in 2016 to strengthen that commitment. Students of color made up more than 25 percent of Oregon State’s overall enrollment in 2018, and OSU offers seven cultural resource centers where students can gain support and build community. Although OSU is making progress toward the goal of inclusive excellence, building a community that’s equitable and just requires an ongoing effort. The Director, Talent Acquisition will embrace and lend personal credence to this important charge as well as be a vocal and compelling advocate for inclusive excellence. For more information on Oregon State University, please visit website.


Cathy Hasenpflug, Chief Human Resources Officer

Cathy is Oregon State University’s chief human resources officer responsible for creating an innovative vision for HR services, leading HR professionals across the university in providing excellent services and developing effective strategies for recruiting and retaining a diverse and engaged workforce. Reporting to the vice president for finance and administration and sitting on the President’s Cabinet, Cathy seeks to align HR practices to support organizational strategy. She previously served as associate vice president and chief human resources officer at Montana State University and spent more than ten years leading human resources teams within the technology sector, including serving as a senior vice president for human resources and leading HR at a global firm. Cathy holds a B.S. in Organizational Behavior from University of San Francisco.

The Opportunity

This is an opportune time to join the Human Resources team at OSU as the institution has just launched a Talent Management Initiative as an integral part of their strategic plan. The Director will serve as a key leader within the University Human Resources (UHR) team; a team charged with building a systemic and strategic approach to talent management that addresses the full cycle of employment at OSU. The Director of Talent Acquisition will have direct impact in shaping OSU’s approach to implementing this major strategic objective. Specifically, the Director will be charged with creating and implementing strategies, policies, and procedures designed to develop robust candidate pipelines, build and foster strong employer branding, and generally create an excellent candidate experience. The Director will champion diversity and inclusion in hiring and interview practices and will be responsible for training in these areas. The Director will collaborate with university stakeholders to evolve and operationalize strategies for workforce planning, candidate sourcing and advertising, diversity hiring strategies, search and selection processes & compliance, the OSU search advocate program, and dual career program.

The Director will sit organizationally within the UHR Centers of Expertise. Their peers will include directors of learning & development, classification & compensation, employee benefits, and HR information systems & data. Strong collaboration with their HR peers will be necessary for the Director to complete their objectives successfully. The Director will directly lead a team of two recruiters and the Director of a nationally recognized Search Advocate program.

It will be critical for the Director to engage partners across the university to lead the strategic initiatives for talent acquisition. Close consultation with the Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA), the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (EOA) and the Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) will be vital. Additionally, multiple campus stakeholder groups, including the President and Provost’s Leadership Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (PPLC), the President’s Commission on the Status of University Women (PCOSW), and the Association of Faculty and Staff for the Advancement of People of Color (AFAPC) have contributed significant work toward evaluating campus climate, challenges and needs, and researching best practices across the broad landscape of talent management over the past few years. Information and reports on these groups can be found by clicking on the links above.

OSU Talent Management Framework

OSU is creating a talent management framework to successfully attract, develop and retain world class faculty, and graduate assistants. The framework represents both a set of programs and a cycle of activity that lies at the heart of effective management practice and positive employee engagement. OSU core values are at the center of everything they do to attract, manage, develop, and retain talented faculty and staff. The Director of Talent Acquisition will be directly responsible for designing approaches to workforce planning, talent acquisition, and onboarding.

Workforce Planning

The Director will forecast, advise, and plan for the workforce needs of the university to achieve future strategic and academic objectives by assessing the roles, responsibilities, and capabilities needed to support future and current business and academic strategy.

The Director will have the opportunity to shift the culture and introduce best practice workforce planning into leadership practices and budget cycles.

The Director will create a systemic workforce planning process by providing expert knowledge and consultation on the future of higher education talent, by benchmarking OSU with other institutions, and by leveraging talent management technology and workforce analytics.

Talent Acquisition & Onboarding

The Director will lead efforts and initiatives aimed at attracting diverse world class faculty and staff. The Director will foster supportive and inclusive initiatives that will retain faculty, staff, and administrators who represent diversity; and set objectives and metrics to measure recruitment and retention outcomes.

By re-evaluating the recruitment process through the lens of the candidate, the Director will establish best practices that will build engagement. Additionally, the Director will ensure quick time to productivity for new hires and holistic integration into the OSU community to establish initial engagement and influence long-term retention.

The Director will be charged with shifting the culture from operational to strategic to efficiently and effectively source, attract, select, and hire the best and most diverse talent to the university. Leveraging the strong OSU brand and search advocate program and adding modern HR talent acquisition strategies, the Director will make a significant contribution to establishing OSU as an employer of choice.

The Director will have an opportunity to evaluate relevant technology and tools and potentially replace the current applicant tracking system. The Director will integrate and simplify technology systems, data practices, and policies to increase organizational agility across talent acquisition dimensions.

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate should be a person who takes initiative and thrives on accountability and delivering exceptional results. The Director will have strong problem-solving skills, an optimistic, customer-service mindset, resiliency, and perseverance. The successful candidate has excellent interpersonal and communication skills, integrity, and an eye for detail.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Candidates will be proven leaders demonstrating a minimum of 5 years of progressive and strategic talent acquisition responsibilities;
  • Candidates will have a Bachelor’s degree or a combination of education and experience equivalent to;
  • Candidates will be highly collegial and have the experience and/or ability to develop and sustain relationships with customers/clients/colleagues across an organization;
  • Candidates will have experience designing and operationalizing strategies and procedures that drive how an organization sources, attracts, and onboards talent;
  • Candidates will have experience creating and integrating diversity strategies into recruiting processes; and
  • Candidates will have knowledge of employer branding best practices, and experience developing and implementing recruitment marketing strategies.

Preferred Qualifications include:

  • Experience developing a talent acquisition life cycle model including the implementation steps and customer buy in;
  • Experience developing programs that result in excellent candidate and hiring manager experiences;
  • Experience identifying methodologies and tools to collect and analyze meaningful data to measure performance and guide talent acquisition strategies;
  • An in-depth understanding of a university academic environment, academic recruitment dimensions and cycles and the roles of faculty, students, staff, and administrators;
  • Social media savvy, as it pertains to sourcing talent;
  • A professional human resources certification (SPHR, PHR, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP);
    LEAN certification;
  • A diversity and inclusion recruiter certification.

Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Tom Phillips, Charlotte Harris, and Andy Jordan are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link here. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Oregon State University, as an institution of higher education and as a community of scholars, affirms its commitment to the elimination of discrimination and discriminatory harassment, and the provision of equal opportunity for all. An objective of Oregon State University is the creation and maintenance of a positive atmosphere of nondiscrimination in every phase and activity of university operations.

Oregon State University, in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status in any of its policies, procedures, or practices.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.