Associate Director/Director, Human Resources

Boston, MA, USA Req #273
Friday, May 17, 2024
Who We Are:  
Xenon Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:XENE) is a neuroscience-focused biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing, and commercializing innovative therapeutics to improve the lives of people living with neurological and psychiatric disorders. We are looking for great people who thrive in a respectful, collaborative, inclusive, and productive culture to join the Xenon team. 
What We Do: 
We are advancing an exciting product pipeline to address indications with high unmet medical need, including epilepsy and depression. Our flagship azetukalner program represents the most advanced potassium channel modulator in clinical development for multiple indications. Building upon the positive results and compelling data from our Phase 2b “X-TOLE” study in adult patients with focal epilepsy, our Phase 3 epilepsy program includes multiple clinical trials evaluating azetukalner in patients with focal onset seizures and primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures. In 2024, we are planning to initiate a Phase 3 azetukalner program in major depressive disorder, based on topline data from our Phase 2 “X-NOVA” clinical trial. In addition, we are proud of the leading-edge science coming out of our discovery labs, including early-stage research programs that leverage our extensive ion channel expertise and drug discovery capabilities to identify validated drug targets and develop new product candidates. Backed by a strong balance sheet to support our growth plans, we continue to build a fully integrated, premier neuroscience company with strong discovery, clinical development, corporate, and commercial operations. 

About the Role:

We are seeking an Associate Director/Director, Human Resources to join our team.  The Associate Director/Director, Human Resources will bring life sciences industry expertise to manage the Compensation program (non-executive, commercial) in support of Xenon’s compensation philosophy to continue strong talent attraction and retention, and act as a Business Partner providing counsel, coaching and support to assigned departments, employees and managers in the U.S.  and Canada.

The Associate Director/Director, Human Resources will have provide leadership and project management abilities in a fast-paced, multi-jurisdiction environment and will interact with all levels of internal staff, as well as external advisors and suppliers.

This position reports to the Senior Director, Human Resources and will be in Boston, MA, USA. We will consider other jurisdictions for exceptional candidates. The level of the position will be commensurate with the candidate’s education and industry experience.


  • As an HR Program Manager, Compensation,
    • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge on life sciences compensation trends and governance
    • Collaborate with HR Business Partners to ensure compensation philosophy and principles are adhered to during workforce planning, recruitment, annual and mid-year performance reviews, and promotion activities; lead and manage the compensation system for base salary ranges, merit review, and other features and requirements as needed with HR Systems and Operations colleagues.
    • Manage the employee base compensation program for all non-executive employees, including, but not limited to budget (i.e. workforce planning, annual review), salary ranges (i.e. preparation/approval, maintenance, pay transparency/compliance), annual increase and promotion cycles, and metrics & analysis. Lead post-mortem discussions within the HR Management team to ensure a continuous improvement process. 
    • Collaborate with HR Business Partners and HR Operations to ensure timely and accurate data sets for HRIS systems.
    • Ensure knowledge and application of Aon Radford tools, framework, and methodology.  Prepare and submit surveys and compensation data to Radford, Mercer, and BioTalent.  Present trends and market information to ensure compensation program is competitive for the company stage and jurisdictions (i.e. US and Canada) to ensure talent acquisition and retention objectives are supported.
    • Coordinate equity compensation programs and activities in collaboration with HR, Finance, and Legal for current and proposed programs. 
    • Collaborate with Commercial Sales Operations and Commercial HR Business Partner on sales compensation, including sales incentive, programs.
    • Coordinate equity compensation programs and activities in collaboration with HR, Finance, and Legal for current and proposed programs.
  • Collaborate with HR and Finance colleagues on the US Benefits program.
  • As Business Partner, provide expert counsel to assigned departments in the US and Canada for all HR programs – workforce planning, recruitment, performance management, compensation, training and development, employee engagement and relations, succession planning, employee global mobility; collaborate with business and science leaders to coach and to ensure HR programs are optimally used by managers and employees to positively impact employee attraction, orientation, engagement, performance, development and retention.
  • Act as a champion for Xenon’s evolving culture and values.
  • Develop and propose short- and long-term objectives for the function in accordance with overall Company strategies and plans.
  • Plan and manage budget proposals and approved budgets in accordance with the Company’s strategic and operating plans and Finance policies.
  • Recruit, lead, direct, develop, coach and evaluate direct reports, if any, in accordance with the Company’s Human Resource policies and practices.
  • Act in accordance with Company policies, including, for example, the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and ensure policies are understood and followed by direct reports, if any.
  • Some international travel may be required.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • At minimum, a relevant undergraduate degree in Business Administration or Finance.
  • 8+ years of experience managing total compensation programs; experience with equity programs is highly desired.  CCP designation is preferred.
  • 8+ years of experience in progressive HR management and business partner roles in a public, multi-national company – strongly preferred in public company life sciences/pharma – experiencing rapid growth and change.
  • Knowledge of and experience with Canada and US employment, privacy, human rights and immigration laws; previous experience with US employment agreements is preferred.
  • Knowledge of HRIS systems experience (e.g. needs analysis, systems selection, configuration, implementation, maintenance) is highly desired.
  • Strong abstract reasoning and critical thinking skills, strong business acumen.
  • Excellent leadership skills with influencing, conflict resolution and collaboration skills; ability to build credibility and trust inside and outside of the Company.
  • Highly proactive, with a strong track record of delivering high quality results.
  • High level of empathy, maturity and sound judgment, ability to balance business needs with the role of employee advocate.
  • Ability to multi-task, propose and establish priorities in accordance with Company objectives.
  • Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills.
  • Effective interpersonal skills with the ability to build relationships and interact with all levels in the organization. 

The base salary range for this role is $167,400 to $237,800 USD; we will consider above this range for exceptional candidates. Base salary is determined by a combination of factors including, but not limited to, education and other qualifications, years of relevant experience, and internal equity.

Our Total Rewards program includes base salary, target bonus, and stock options, as well as a full range of benefits including medical, dental, vision, short-& long-term disability, accidental death & dismemberment, and life insurance programs, Employee Assistance Program, travel insurance, and retirement savings programs with company matching contributions.

Xenon encourages time to rest and re-charge through vacation, personal days, sick days, and an end-of-year company shutdown. Xenon highly values employee development and has an expanding Training, Learning & Development program, including a Tuition Assistance program for advanced degrees.
US positions only: Xenon Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. participates in the E-Verify program in all states in which we hire. Learn more about the E-Verify program here 

To apply for this position, click Apply Now to complete the application. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, due to the volume of applicants, only those chosen for interview will be contacted.