Human Resources Partner - Riverbend Industries Human Resources Partner - Riverbend Industries

Human Resources Partner

Company Summary

Managed through the Riverbend Industries portfolio, American Wheatley is a leading manufacturer of ASME stock and custom hydronic and pressure tanks. American Wheatley is also a distributor of related valves and other components used across a wide array of industrial applications. American Wheatley leverages more than forty years of experience, a robust assortment of specialty HVAC hydronic systems and technology, and a commitment to speedy, quality work to ensure clients receive the right product for their jobs.

Riverbend Industries (RBI) is a private family-owned portfolio holding company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The portfolio is primarily comprised of several small, independently operated, previously family-run businesses in the light manufacturing and distribution sectors. The portfolio is a long-term holder of its investments/assets and plans to grow both organically and through acquisitions into the foreseeable future.


The Human Resources Partner is responsible for the effective administration of all human capital-related activities within American Wheatley as an “HR department of one.” A member of the management team, this role serves as a trusted advisor to the President and other functional leaders on talent acquisition, employee relations, health & safety, and talent development. Additionally, this person co-develops employment-related policy and procedures and implements broader human resources campaigns as part of the RBI portfolio with the President. Further, this role is responsible for the administration of employee data, benefits, and payroll through a cloud-based HRIS and related tools and for ensuring compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. 

The HR Partner is a hands-on organizational cheerleader and driver of change. He/she will work daily to recruit and onboard the best employees, assess and develop talent at all levels, and promote a best-in-class approach to running a business. This role is a key player in American Wheatley’s short- and long-term success and requires someone comfortable with rolling his/her sleeves up and getting the job done.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Lead by example with a Safety First mindset in every task
  • Collaborate with senior leadership to understand the organization’s goals and strategy related to staffing, recruiting, and retention
  • Develop and implement policies, processes, training, initiatives, and surveys to      support the organizations and broader portfolio’s talent engagement, development, and compliance needs
  • Administer all human resources plans and programs including but not limited to: group health, welfare, and retirement benefits (local champion; primary administration takes place at Home Office); performance management, employee reviews, and compensation setting; absences and leaves; progressive discipline; employee disputes and workplace investigations; employee engagement, recognition, and morale; occupational health and safety; and talent training and development
  • Promote employee engagement and workplace satisfaction through meaningful programs and activities with a focus on mitigating organizational distractions and friction
  • Own training for all functions of the organization
  • Develop leadership team building
  • Facilitate talent acquisition and employee onboarding processes with hiring managers
  • Co-lead local safety management to drive workplace safety and reduce occupational incidents & injuries and leverage external partnerships to drive best-in-class training
  • Maintain knowledge of trends, best practices, regulatory changes, and new technologies in human resources, talent management, and employment law; apply this knowledge to communicate changes in policy, practice, and resources to local leadership
  • Leverage HRIS and other systems to analyze, report on, and provide recommendations relating to employee, demographic, and productivity trends
  • Ensures the organization’s compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws, company policies, and general best practices; reviews and updates policies and practices to maintain compliance
  • Report and track workers’ compensation claims with outside partner
  • Work with Home Office HR leadership and other HR partners in sister companies to develop, promote, and execute materially impactful human capital projects
  • Track and manage time and attendance and process regular payroll batches
  • Maintain all relevant employment files and records in an accurate, secure fashion
  • Other duties as assigned

Education, Experience & Qualifications


  • Bachelor of Arts/Science in a broadly relevant field3-5 years experience as a human resources professional with a generalist scope
  • 3-5 years working in a light manufacturing environment 
  • 3-5 years directly supporting frontline production employees


  • Bachelor of Arts/Science in Human Resources, Organizational Psychology, or a related field
  • 7+ year experience as human resources professional with full local functional ownership
  • + years recruiting manufacturing laborers, skilled technicians, and small business leadership
  • PHR or SHRM-CP certification

Skills & Characteristics

  • Ability to influence and persuade at all levels of the organization
  • Ability to foster a sense of trust and promote healthy accountability
  • Enthusiasm for learning the business, the people, and the strategy in order to deliver the most value to the organization
  • Willingness to collaborate with internal and external partners to achieve desired outcomes
  • Demonstrate strong time management, delegatory, organizational, and analytical skills
  • Ability to grow, flex, and adapt successfully within an evolving organization
  • Comfort building relationships at all levels and demonstrating professional compassion
  • Ability to identify, understand, and mitigate risks to employees or the organization
  • Strong comfort with digital tools like HR Information Systems and Learning Management Systems; preference for exposure to Paylocity HR & Payroll
  • Advanced user in Microsoft Office applications to include Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneDrive, Sharepoint, and Teams

Competency Statements

  • Accountability & Dependability – Takes personal responsibility for the quality and timeliness of work and achieves results with little oversight.
  • Adaptability & Flexibility – Adapts to changing business needs, conditions, and work responsibilities
  • Customer Focus – Builds and maintains customer satisfaction with the products and services offered by the organization.
  • Business Alignment – Aligns the direction, products, services, and performance of a business line with the rest of the organization.
  • Change Leadership – Manages, leads, and enables the process of change and transition while helping others deal with the impacts. 
  • Communication – Ability to communicate effectively with others using the spoken word and written language. 
  • Creative & Innovative Thinking – Develops fresh ideas that provide solutions to all types of workplace challenges.
  • Enforcing Laws, Rules, & Regulations – Enforces governmental laws, rules, and regulations, and initiates enforcement actions in a way that the public perceives as fair, objective, and reasonable.
  • Ethics & Integrity – Earns others’ trust and respect through consistent honesty and professionalism in all interactions. 
  • Facilitating Groups – Enables cooperative and productive group interactions.
  • Influencing Others – Influences others to be excited and committed to furthering the organization’s objectives.
  • Listening – Understands and learns from what others say.
  • Organizational & Political Savvy – Uses knowledge of the organizational and political climate to solve problems and accomplish goals.
  • Problem Solving – Resolves difficult or complicated challenges.
  • Providing Consultation – Partners with clients to identify and resolve complex or sensitive issues.
  • Relationship Building – Builds constructive working relationships characterized by a high level of acceptance, cooperation, and mutual respect.
  • Results Focus & Initiative – Focuses on results and desired outcomes and how best to achieve them. Gets the job done.
  • Safety Focus – Adheres to all workplace and trade safety laws, regulations, standards, and practices.
  • Stress Tolerance – Maintains composure in highly stressful or adverse situations.
  • Tact – Diplomatically handles challenging or tense interpersonal situations.

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to travel locally up to 10% of time in support of recruiting efforts; rare non-local travel for portfolio-wide activities
  • Ability to remain seated for extended periods
  • Ability to stand, walk, kneel, squat, climb, and navigate in closed manufacturing spaces on occasion
  • Ability to safely lift and move objects up to twenty-five (25) lbs. over short distances

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