Website The Urban Institute

Who we are:
At the nonprofit Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities.  Our employees are empowered to open minds, shape decisions and offer solutions.  We encourage intellectual honesty, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect, and our analysis elevates the debate, wherever it takes place.

Urban’s greatest asset is our people. We strive to attract and cultivate a vibrant, creative, and diverse community.  Our employees drive Urban’s mission through entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, effective communication, results-orientation, and relationship cultivation.  Our success depends on engaging individuals who possess and value these attributes.

How you’ll contribute:

Urban’s Human Resources Office seeks a director, talent acquisition, responsible for overseeing all recruitment processes and practices, from sourcing to hiring, managing a team of recruiters, identifying high-potential candidates, and driving effectiveness and accountability. The director will report directly to the vice president of human resources & chief administrative officer and partners directly with Senior Leaders and Vice Presidents at Urban to ensure fair, equitable and consistent recruitment practices.  Most importantly, this role will strengthen Urban Institute’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through the talent acquisition function.  Successful candidates will be passionate about the candidate experience, fostering an inclusive culture, measuring success, and building scalable processes.

What You’ll Do:
Set the vision, strategy, and roadmap for the talent acquisition function at Urban.
Develop and execute comprehensive recruitment and outreach strategies aligned to the organization’s priorities, and cultivate a pipeline of talent to meet workforce requirements at all levels; e.g., campus recruitment, mid-level roles, senior researchers and executive leadership.
Lead the design, delivery and implementation of holistic executive recruiting strategies across Urban’s research centers and offices that connects all aspects of the executive search lifecycle (search/market intelligence strategy, sourcing & identification of top talent communities, candidate cultivation, offer negotiations and executive onboarding).
Manage the talent acquisition team to define and lead programs focused on continuous improvement of recruitment practice, policy and procedures.
Lead talent acquisition program planning, develop performance metrics and reporting capabilities to make data driven decisions and evaluate results.
Cultivate relationships through organizational partnerships and implement practices to strengthen our employee value proposition.
Identify reporting and other communication mechanisms for sharing information about program outcomes and metrics, and opportunity gaps.
Establish and leverage networks and stay professionally informed and knowledgeable about best industry practices, new legal requirements, and legislative activity.
Manage special projects within area of expertise that help to facilitate transformational talent attraction and acquisition.

Who You Are:

Have a bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of 8 years of relevant experience in talent attraction and acquisition; minimum of 5 years of experience managing a talent acquisition function; master’s degree preferred
Exhibit prior experience leading a comprehensive talent acquisition program to include campus and senior-level recruitment
Demonstrate expert knowledge designing and implementing DEI strategic initiatives and success in implementing effective recruiting techniques as best practices across an organization
Strong analytical and problem solving skills as well as an ability to manage robust, organization-wide projects
Display a diplomatic and collaborative approach, use excellent relationship, communication and interpersonal skills to build rapport with various stakeholder groups; provide insight and guidance on hiring needs and talent acquisition strategies
Thrive in a dynamic work environment using strong analytical and problem solving skills
Have prior knowledge of HRIS systems to measure metrics and results; experience with Workday a plus
What You’ll Experience:


No matter your role with Urban, you will contribute to meaningful work that makes a difference for people and communities across the country. And whether you call the Washington, DC area or elsewhere home, you can expect to be part of a welcoming and hybrid workplace. We are committed to cultivating a community and working in a manner defined by collaboration, equity, inclusivity, independence, and integrity.


Urban’s greatest asset is our people.


Urban is committed to supporting our staff’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being through a robust benefits package for yourself, eligible dependents, and domestic partners. It includes generous paid time off, including nine federal holidays, medical (including prescription), dental and vision insurance, and transit benefits. Urban is unique in that we offer 403(b) retirement plan participation immediately after you’re hired and a generous employer contribution after five months of service and 1,000 hours, with immediate vesting. You’ll also have access to a health advocate, personal finance coaching, an Employee Assistance Program, and educational assistance for undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


As a federal contractor, Urban will comply with Executive Order (EO) 14042 that requires federal contractors, subcontractors, and their respective employees to comply with Covid-19 vaccinations. All Urban Institute employees must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and comply with masking and distancing requirements, regardless of responsibilities or work location. New hires must also be fully vaccinated before starting work.  Employees may request exemption from vaccination against COVID-19 based on either a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief that prevents them from being vaccinated.  Where such an exemption is approved, Urban will discuss with each employee potential accommodation.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned. This posting is not an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and requirements. Urban management reserves the right to amend and change duties, responsibilities, and requirements to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

The Urban Institute is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender or gender identity, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, veteran status, pregnancy or family responsibilities, matriculation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected status under applicable law.


We are committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical and/or mental disabilities. If you have a physical and/or mental disability and are interested in applying for employment and need special accommodations to use our website to apply for a position, please contact Human Resources at [email protected]. Reasonable accommodation requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

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