Lead Employee Relations Consultant

Northwestern Mutual | Milwaukee, WI

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Posted Date 4/17/2024

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.


As part of a central team that collaboratively works with Human Resources Business Partners and Consultants, Compliance, Security, Internal Audit, and Employment Legal. You will provide strategic, trusted consultation and thought leadership on employee matters to maintain positive and effective employment relationships throughout the company. 

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Works on a variety of complex, high-risk employee relations issues, including advising on Northwestern Mutual’s policies, practices, how to address workplace issues, reorganizations, performance management, and coaching/development.
  • Using knowledge of applicable employment laws as well as our policies and practices, independently leads or serves as a trusted subject matter expert on a variety of strategic projects related to Employee Relations that impact enterprise-wide philosophy and/or policy.
  • Independently lead complex investigations and partner with other teams to ensure that investigations/disciplinary processes are handled in a fair, timely manner including assessing and documenting best practices for investigations. 
  • Provides thought leadership to drive best practices for employee relations
  • Develops and implements training, tools, systems, and templates for Employee Relations, embedded HR and/or people leaders to facilitate effective execution of employee/labor relations strategies and practices across the organization. 
  • May be responsible for the development and delivery of HR's responses - including proposed policy updates - to regulatory changes and inquiries from agencies including the EEOC, ERD, Homeland Security, and DOL.
  • May lead, with partnership from legal counsel, the efforts to comply with various federal or state legal or regulatory reporting and/or training requirements. This includes, but is not limited to EEOC, affirmative actions, VETS, EEO-1, Illinois Equal Pay reporting, California violence prevention, etc.Provides counsel to embedded HR and to business leaders on escalated issues


  • Minimum of 7 years of human resources experience including a Bachelor’s degree in HR or an equivalent combination of education and progressively responsible work experience.
  • Excellent consultative, interpersonal/influencing skills, including the ability to build trusted advisor relationships  and stakeholder successfully across the organization.
  • Ability to lead and engage in constructive dialogue, willingness to offer or to hear new and potentially challenging ideas to foster conversation and critical thinking, ability to deliver difficult / complex messages and help others understand multiple points of view to drive outcomes.
  • Must be able to handle conflict situations.
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of human resources management and employee relations required.
  • Demonstrated leadership and decision-making skills required
  • Demonstrated expertise leading complex harassment, discrimination, and retaliation investigations.
  • Strong analytical and data skills and the proven ability to translate the data into information to facilitate business decisions.
  • Superior oral and written communications skills. Ability to build rapport with all staff levels required.
  • Demonstrated ability to anticipate and respond quickly, independently adjusts to competing priorities, comfortable operating through risk and uncertainty in a high-volume work environment.
  • Desired experience: A master’s degree in labor relations or JD is preferred and may be substituted for some of the relevant work experience.

Compensation Range:

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Northwestern Mutual pays on a geographic-specific salary structure and placement in the salary range for this position will be determined by a number of factors including the skills, education, training, credentials and experience of the candidate; the scope, complexity as well as the cost of labor in the market; and other conditions of employment. At Northwestern Mutual, it is not typical for an individual to be hired at or near the top of the range for their role and compensation decisions are dependent on the facts and circumstances of each case. Please note that the salary range listed in the posting is the standard pay structure. Positions in certain locations (such as California) may provide an increase on the standard pay structure based on the location. Please click here for additiona l information relating to location-based pay structures.

Grow your career with a best-in-class company that puts our client’s interests at the center of all we do. Get started now!

We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you work or would be working in California, Colorado, New York City, Washington or outside of a Corporate location, please click here for information pertaining to compensation and benefits.

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