People Specialist

  • Role type
  • Permanent

  • Location/s
  • Van Buren, MI

Job Description

Role: People Specialist

Location: Detroit, MI


Automotive and Industrial is one of Ricardo plc’s five operating business units and is a trusted global engineering services partner for clean and efficient integrated propulsion and energy systems. Our experience and history over more than 100 years at the forefront of mobility innovation enables us to deliver solutions to the most complex challenges, allowing our customers across all global transport sectors to achieve a sustainable zero-carbon future. 



Providing an HR advisory and administration service to the business. Involved in all aspects of HR conducting a 'generalist' remit alongside supporting project work that supports specific organizational change/development strategies. Support for recruitment activities where agreed. Support for payroll activities where agreed. 

Key activities


  • Understanding HR policies in detail and provide guidance and advice to managers, employees, People Partners and Head of People Services. 
  • Manage employee relations cases - Disciplinary, Grievance, Absence and Disability, Performance/Capability and monitors case load to understand trends and implement interventions such as targeted management training/coaching to reduce the number of cases. 
  • Providing input to the design of HR policies/handbook, programs, projects, methodologies and solutions in support of business' projects for greater co-ordination and consistency of approach. 
  • Supporting the execution of change programs, strategic HR initiatives and projects across the business (e.g. regional and group policy updates, restructures, people transitions, performance management, employee opinion surveys, talent programs, management development, succession planning etc.). 
  • Lead new-hire process for US and Canada including offer of employment, onboarding/induction, probation monitoring, e-verify and background checks. 
  • Initiates all organizational and personnel changes in systems, including co-ordination with Payroll Administrator (including but not limited to prepare and administer payroll activities where agreed as part of this role).
  • Administer the provision of employee Health and Welfare programs, including benefits, annual open enrollment, handling general employee queries, and liaison with vendors and annual compliance testing. 
  • Manage compliance activities including OSHA log, CMS, 401k NDT HSA/FSA nondiscrimination testing, EEO filing. 
  • Oversee employer responsibilities to aid immigration into US and Canada where an out of country candidate is hired to fulfill a position.  
  • Manage activities to support the mobility of employees into US and Canada including ensuring consideration for employment status, employment contract, taxes, social security, and other employment matters. 
  • Organizes various employee activities and events. 
  • Lead all aspects of the leaver process including separation agreements where applicable, communication with payroll, handling life insurance portability, final pay and benefits letters, conducting exit interviews. 
  • Maintains official human resources reports / filings. 
  • Prepares necessary reports required internally and externally as needed. 
  • Active participation on key continuous improvement projects for the function, specifically related to HRIS needs. 
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned. 

Key accountabilities:

  • Five years of progressively more complex HR generalist experience preferred. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in human resources or related field, or equivalent work experience - PHR or SPHR certification a plus. 
  • Strong detail orientation, with editing and proofing skills. 
  • Outstanding prioritization and organization skills, with ability to multi-task, work independently, and use good judgment to deliver high-quality results. 
  • Excellent research and problem solving skills, including the ability to analyze, compare, evaluate, reconcile and order data. 
  • Client-centric approach that projects credibility, professionalism and a positive HR brand. 
  • Ability to effectively collaborate and interact with a diverse blend of personalities. 
  • Ability and genuine intention to work cooperatively with others and be part of a team, as opposed to working separately or competitively to further one’s own agenda. 
  • Excellent skills in perception and evaluation, engaging people in insightful conversation, and negotiation. 
  • Excellent image projection of the Company and personal professionalism. 
  • Ability to excel in a fast-paced, dynamic and matrixed organization. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to influence others. 
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively multi-task.  
  • Strong problem solving, analytical and listening skills. 
  • Proficient knowledge of Microsoft Office to include Word, Excel, and Power Point. 

Working here

Ricardo is an exciting and rewarding place to work and you have the opportunity to make a difference. You will work with teams of talented, dedicated, and supportive individuals. Alongside having a fantastic opportunity to develop your career with us through our broad range of projects, mentoring opportunities and a personalized approach to your learning and development. We are always keen to hear from people who have driven, ambition and a flair for innovative thinking.


Diversity, Equality and Inclusion statement

We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, height, weight, gender identity and sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, arrest record (MI only), parental status (IL only), military or veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. VEVRAA Federal Contractor.



Our core benefits include paid vacation time off, emergency/sick time, plus 14 holidays, Medical/Dental/Vision plus 401k. We also offer a wide range of flexible benefits to suit your lifestyle.


Once you have submitted your application, if qualified, a member of our Recruitment Team will be in touch. Please be aware that the timing can vary dependent on the volume of applications that we receive for each role and in some cases, we may start to review applications prior to the closing date.