Benefits Specialist

Website Colby College

Job Summary:

Colby Human Resources is undergoing an exciting period of transformation. Work is underway to elevate and modernize our HR division to support the continuous growth and innovation of the College and create an irresistible work environment where our employees can do their best work and thrive. A key component of this transformational plan is to build our capabilities to elevate the College’s brand as an employer of choice and to attract and hire the staff needed to enable the day-to-day operations of the institution and the College’s vision and strategy for the future.

Reporting directly to the Director of Benefits Administration, the HR Benefits Specialist plays a crucial role in advancing the college’s vision and strategy by providing vital support in the management of leaves and workplace accommodations. Responsibilities include overseeing critical aspects of HR such as paid and unpaid leaves, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), HRIS entry, and Long and Short-Term Disability. Additionally, the specialist will ensure compliance with record filing policies, document completion, and retention, including personnel files. They will also be responsible for handling inquiries from employees and directing them to the appropriate support resources. The individual in this role will collaborate with stakeholders at all levels of the institution, contributing to the delivery of a high-quality experience for employees.

To perform successfully in this position, an individual must be able to perform essential duties satisfactorily as well as possess education/experience, employ the knowledge, skills, and abilities as listed in representative fashion. Colby College actively supports the Americans with Disabilities Act and will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.  This listing of essential duties is not all-inclusive, but representative; other duties may be assigned.

Absences and Leaves

  • Serve as absence partner in Workday, ensure timely payouts and prompt correction of time and leave issues, in partnership with the Workday team, develop and implement strategic program changes to correct issues and improve user experience
  • Handles the FMLA leave administration process from the employees’ initial notice of the need for leave to the return to work including gathering and completing all required paperwork, determining leave eligibility, designating leave as FMLA-qualifying, requesting medical certification as needed, and accounting for intermittent and reduced schedule leave use
  • Work with payroll to seamlessly coordinate the transfer of HR related data; perform one time, relocation, transition payments, and compensation/personal information updates
  • Provide customer service and assistance for employees requiring the use of Long-Term and Short-Term Disability

Workplace Accommodations

  • Meet with Colby employees to discuss questions around accommodations or how to request them. Discuss employee’s specific barriers, brainstorm potential accommodation possibilities, connect employees to appropriate resources.
  • Facilitate the interactive process by contacting and speaking with appropriate partners and holding meetings as needed to ensure appropriate accommodations are provided, all entities are aware of available resources for additional questions, etc.
  • Provide guidance on whether certain employment-related accommodations are reasonable or if other alternatives are appropriate.
  • Participates in the work of committees such as the ADA & Steering Committees and other related committees across the College.
  • Conduct interactive discussions for ADA related accommodation requests including independent medical reviews, vaccination exemption, and remote work requests.

College Benefits

  • Provide Benefits enrollment assistance for new and existing employees.
  • Determine eligibility for employee and dependent tuition programs; assist with budget and reconciliation
  • Monitor and coordinate activities associated with Colby’s Employee Mortgage Program and other Colby specific benefits programs
  • Serve as Campus liaison for wellness initiatives such as the Wellness Working Group, health fair, EAP, or health carrier sponsored events.
  • Coordinate schedule of educational webinars and seminars, and participate in other forums as an employee resource.
  • Respond to email, phone and face-to-face benefit inquiries concerning plans, policies, etc.
  • Act as liaison between employees and third-party vendors to resolve benefits issues in a timely manner.
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with third-party vendors.
  • Assist in preparation and for benefit meetings such as open enrollment, retirement seminars, longevity recognition luncheon, and other educational sessions


  • Accountable for functioning as an effective member of the HR Team in the provision of quality service, support, and continuous process improvement.
  • Exercise confidentiality and discretion with faculty and staff managing medical related requests for the College.
  • Actively participates on various in-house teams/cross-functional work groups chartered with the responsibility for various special projects intended to add-value, increase efficiency, enhance effectiveness, improve morale, etc. of the College.
  • Perform compliance with records retention standards of employment related documents.
  • Ensures compliance with federal and state workplace standards.
  • Assist with developing and conducting associated training workshops.
  • Perform additional duties as assigned; duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
  • Provide content to the HR website.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Management, Human Resources, or related field or
  • Experience: 5-7 years of experience in office administration or commensurate work experience in a similar Human Resources role.

Licensure, certification, registration or other requirements: None

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • 2-4 years of administrative experience processing Family Medical Leave and or coordinating workplace accommodations.
  • Prior working experience with Workday.
  • Knowledge and experience focusing on human resource-related research, measures, and outcomes.
  • Compensation experience is a plus.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • College, State, and federal human resources policies, laws, and regulations.
  • Customer service standards and procedures.
  • Ability to perform detailed and routine records maintenance.
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing with a wide range of individuals and constituencies.
  • Resolve customer complaints and concerns.
  • Gather and analyze statistical data and generate reports.
  • Work with exceptions to policies that complicate work of designated unit.
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to learn and apply general human resources policies using problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and effectively handle highly sensitive and personal information with sound judgment, tact and discretion.
  • Ability to multitask and effectively organize workload.
  • Strong and effective interpersonal and customer service skills means – ability to communicate in an informative manner, effectively listen, and be able to handle escalating situations with concern and confidence.

Physical/Mental Demands

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform essential functions of this position and/or may be encountered while performing essential functions.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

To successfully perform the essential functions of this position, an employee must be able to maintain appropriate confidentiality with regard to employee data, documents, issues, etc., and respect privacy needs of employees and past employees with regard to the same.

  • The ability to comply with highly inflexible deadlines is required to successfully perform the essential functions of this position; there will be multiple occurrences of sudden, urgent task completion required.
  • There may be occurrences of employees, past employees, members of the general public, and others who express opinions, may exhibit strong emotions, which will require the employee to interact professionally, diplomatically, and appropriately in such situations.
  • While performing the essential duties of this position, an employee would frequently be required to move around the office space as well as within hallways, meeting rooms, and other parts of the campus facilities.
  • There may be multiple/daily instances of prolonged personal computer use which would include keyboard and/or mouse usage as well as viewing a computer monitor.
  • An employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 35 pounds to perform essential position functions.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, and ability to adjust focus.
  • The overall work environment requires the mental ability to shift focus quickly due to interruptions; an employee must be able to mentally track multiple projects and tasks as well.
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate; however, there may be unexpected instances of somewhat loud sounds.

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