VP Human Resources – Houston, TX: Job Description

Our client is a global industrial leader in transportation with 50,000 employees worldwide.  The organization supplies trucks, buses, diesel engines, turbo machinery, and special gear units.  One of the company’s major global divisions is the world market leader for large diesel engines for use in ships and power stations and is one of the three leading suppliers of turbo machines.  From gen sets to two-stroke engines for giant container ships, from power units to turnkey diesel power plants, from single compressors and turbines to complete machine trains for various industrial applications, our client has a suitable product solution for every application.  Currently, the power generation division is active in 150 countries and employs more than 15,000 employees worldwide. Current revenues in the US are $330 Million with goals to hit $500 Million in 5 years.

TRANSEARCH International, specialists in global executive search in manufacturing, industrial supply, and human resources, has been retained to recruit candidates for this key role.

The Role

The Vice President of Human Resources (VP HR) will be based in the Houston, Texas office and will have overall responsibility for the Human Resources function reporting directly to the President. It will require an individual of immense passion, ability and organizational skill to make human resources a competitive advantage that can be relied on by the executive team.  The VP HR will be responsible for planning, designing, and executing HR services and programs that are aligned with functional business strategies.  As a member of the leadership team, this individual will support and drive aggressive growth initiatives over the next several years.

The VP HR will be able to maintain a strategic and high-level perspective of the company and functional objective and be able to “swoop” into areas that need more tactical assistance.  The individual who succeeds in this position is one who will quickly assess areas that need improvement and prioritize issues to be addressed.  This individual must be adept at communicating with remote teams via written and oral means.  This individual must be capable of driving change, asking tough questions and implementing new strategies.

Core Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Our client needs a seasoned human resources professional who has experience working with multiple locations, who can support a diverse work force, and who can work as a partner to the various internal business leaders.  Working for an international firm and experience negotiating union contracts is preferred.  This position is located in the North American corporate headquarters in Houston, TX.  There are 101 employees in the Houston Office and an additional 320 nationwide. This person will have 5 human resources staff to manage and will be part of the management team with the President and CFO.  The VP of Human Resources, along with the CFO will serve as a key counselor and partner to the CEO.

The VP HR will have a keen understanding of how a best in class Human Resources function performs. Initially, the key objective will be to identify areas of improvement and design strategies to address underperforming areas.  This individual will be charged with re-tooling the existing performance management system and also design and implement a comprehensive compensation and benefits program.   Talent Mapping and Succession Planning are both areas that will also be under consideration for re-design.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Implement and Execute Human Resources Processes
    • Talent Mapping
    • Talent Development
    • Succession Planning
    • Performance Review and Management
    • Compensation and Benefits Programs

Skills / Abilities/ Knowledge 

  • Demonstrates strong leadership style.
  • Ability to think strategically but also focus on tactical and operational issues.
  • Working knowledge of and experience managing staffing and employee relations.
  • Working knowledge of and experience designing compensation, benefits, and retirement plans.
  • Working knowledge of and experience managing deployed HR services.
  • Working knowledge of and experience managing talent management functions such as learning and development, succession planning and performance management.
  • Knowledge of best practices in HR and issues impacting our workforce.
  • Good understanding of employment law.
  • Experience negotiating with Unions.
  • A track record of building strong, effective teams of people with complementary skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively at all levels – with the President and leadership team and with employees at all levels.
  • Demonstrable change management execution experience.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Strong collaborative problem solving skills.

Experience / Education 

  • Bachelor’s Degree required; Master’s Degree preferred.
  • A minimum of 10 years of progressive HR experience, preferably in a manufacturing environment.
  • Experience in union and non-union settings preferred.
  • Experience in managing others and leading initiatives.
  • Experience with the creation and management of budgets.
  • Experience dealing with and presenting to senior leaders.
  • Proficient in Word, Excel, and HRIS systems.

Reporting Relationship

This position reports to the President. 


  • Highly competitive base salary commensurate with experience
  • Bonus potential


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