Director of Human Resources

Essential Search Partners has been retained by Gate Gourmet to identify the Unit Director of Human Resources located at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta.  We are targeting not just an experienced and highly talented Human Resources professional, but also a mature business operations partner equipped to own the process.

As the senior human resources professional for this business unit, you will partner with the top Business Unit leader for the largest hub of their business.  With 4 operating units supporting over 2,000 employees, you will be responsible for creating and directing the firm-wide human resources programs and policies in the areas recruiting, retention, labor union relations, employee relations, professional development and training, and compliance.  We are targeting a business partner comfortable with being accountable to senior-level executives operating in a fast-paced multi-faceted environment.


  • Operates as a strategic business partner to the business unit leader and his/her team to understand business objectives and identify human resource strategies and tactics to meet changing needs; develops and implements human resources strategies tactics, programs, and processes to enhance operational performance and efficiencies.
  • Partners with operations and leads the business unit recruiting functions to identify, understand and deliver hires to meet workforce needs; drives improvements in recruiting strategy and processes.
  • Develop analytics to better understand key drivers of employee satisfaction/dissatisfaction and lead in the development of initiatives to address employee satisfaction.
  • Partners with operations and other key functions to develop programs that support employee engagement and retention.
  • Leads human resource strategies, programs, and processes for the business and regularly reports on progress and action plans.
  • Leads human resources team:  large team of 25 direct and indirect reports
  • Proactively plans and conducts all local labor relations matters including establishing and maintaining positive relationships with key stakeholders; negotiations of local addenda to the National Master Agreement (if applicable), including grievances and arbitrations as needed to comply with collective bargaining agreements.
  • Supervises investigations and responses to employment-related claims from various government or public agencies (in coordination with Regional HR and Legal functions) and recommends settlement or defense based on actual of investigation facts.
  • Coaches management team on employee/labor relations, employee engagement and retention, and compliance and escalates issues to regional and corporate compliance as appropriate.
  • Partners with operations to identify training and development needs and develops and implements programs; manages delivery of new employee orientation and onboarding.
  • Manages the performance management process ensuring goal and objective setting is in line with unit goals and reviews are conducted on a bi-annual basis; supports related development planning.
  • Manages the talent review process and ensures succession plans are in place for operational leadership and talent gaps are identified and addressed accordingly.
  • Provides policy interpretation and ensures accurate and consistent application of all company policies and procedures, and related local, state and federal laws, and applicable collective bargaining agreement(s).
  • Mediates and resolves employee relations disputes as necessary.
  • Provides counseling/training for unit management in the areas of labor / employee relations, EEO, affirmative action, and discrimination.
  • Audits units in areas of HR responsibility for compliance.


  • Degreed professional in HR, or business management related field, MBA Preferred
  • 10-15 years experience in diversified Human Resources management field
  • Success as top HR professional leading multi-state organizations with 2,000+ employees
  • Significant experience in food service/supply chain/manufacturing industry
  • Expertise leading labor relations activities in compliance with collective bargaining agreements, with minimum 5 years in area of Labor Relations, Union and Employee Relations
  • True Generalist with success in leading HR programs, employee relations programs and disputes, performance management and talent review process, compliance, recruiting programs and professional development initiatives
  • Top notch leadership skills with previous experience building large teams
  • Data analytics expertise utilizing HRIS Systems and Microsoft Office

***Only those candidates deemed qualified will be contacted directly for this search.***

Director of Human Resources - Atlanta, GA

Labor relations, leadership, program management

$140-160K + bonus