Benefits Specialist (Job ID: 2023-3172)

Human Resources
Job Function
Human Resources
Posted Date
3 weeks ago(3/8/2023 4:15 PM)
Job ID
Commensurate with experience


Join one of the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think tanks!


The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.


We bring together leading experts in government and academia from all over the world, rooted in open-minded inquiry and representing diverse points of view, who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis. Research topics cover a full range of public policy issues in economics, foreign policy, development, governance and metropolitan policy.


With fair and transparent business practices, clear communication, mutual respect, and a collaborative atmosphere that offers both professional and personal development opportunities, Brookings offers an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values the efforts of all contributors.


Brookings Human Resources (HR) team actively develops and implements HR best practices aligned with organizational priorities. The HR team delivers high quality HR services and ensures the recruitment, development, recognition and retention of a diverse, high performing and engaged workforce, and smooth and efficient operations. We are a collaborative HR team of 15, including Staffing, Benefits, Compensation & HR Technology, and Learning & Development, working to provide a supportive and well managed workplace where all employees have a sense of belonging and can contribute in an impactful and meaningful way.


Position Location: This position is hybrid. Hybrid positions combine regular in-person presence at our Washington, DC office with the option of at least two days of remote work each week.


Vaccine Policy: Brookings requires all staff and visitors to submit proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 to be in Brookings buildings.  


Individuals that (i) have a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination, or (ii) who object to being vaccinated based on a sincerely held religious belief, may request a reasonable accommodation. Brookings policies on masks and other pandemic mitigation measures will continue to be informed by DC and CDC guidelines. 


Ready to contribute to Brookings success?


The Benefits Specialist’s primary responsibilities include supporting the daily administration and analysis of employee benefits and maintaining up-to-date and accurate records in the Human Resources Information System (Workday). This position serves as a point of contact for benefits-related questions, supports the onboarding and orientation process for new staff, and provides general administrative and project support as needed. The Benefits Specialist reports to the Director, Benefits with oversight from the Director, Compensation and HR Systems and Benefits Manager for all data records, system maintenance, and benefits administration.


Benefits Administration and Communication (35%)

  • Serve as the first point of contact for employees seeking guidance, assistance, and clarification regarding benefits policies and procedures. Regularly monitor the benefit email ticketing system and respond to all tickets within one business day. When needed, elevate questions, concerns, and issues to appropriate sources for additional follow up to resolve the issue.  
  • Monitor the Workday dashboard and benefits tasks. Perform timely follow up on missing forms and/or information. Ensure that all required information is processed according to established guidelines. 
  • Conduct benefits overview at new hire orientation. Prepare and maintain benefits enrollment and orientation materials.
  • Coordinate the employee departure process related to benefits, ensuring all task are completed, vendor records are updated, and final benefit deductions are processed appropriately through Workday. Provide timely responses to questions and conduct follow up as required.
  • Partner with the Benefits Manager on leave administration, processing, and tracking leave requests. Ensure employee questions are addressed and required notices and paperwork is completed.
  • Assist Benefits team with employee communications as needed, including content development for the intranet, meetings, emails, open enrollment materials, etc. Ensure benefits information and collaterals on the intranet is up-to-date and accurate.
  • Work with Benefits team  to routinely evaluate benefits-related processes in Workday. Update system, help text and create simple instructions and process documentation for employees (i.g., job aids) as needed.

Benefits Data Management and System Administration (35%)

  • Serve as primary lead in ensuring that benefit enrollments, separations and coverage changes are completed according to established deadlines. Ensure that Payroll and other stakeholders are alerted of benefits enrollments and changes.
  • Ensures the accuracy and consistency of employee benefit transactions and in using and managing related business processes.
  • Maintain integrity of all benefit and absence time tracking related data in Workday and related systems by consistently auditing enrollments and changes using thorough knowledge of all benefit and leave eligibility rules. 
  • Run scheduled and ad hoc reports to perform audits and data analysis related to benefit processes.
  • Monitor inbound & outbound benefit files to/from vendors to ensure accuracy of employee data, plan enrollments, and changes. Troubleshoot benefit file issues by working with vendors and HCM technical team as needed.
  • Prepare and reconcile monthly benefit premium invoices and billing for approval and processing.
  • Process monthly transportation enrollment, passive events, and early waiver changes and inquiries in Workday system. Assist with adhoc projects, such as surveys, data analysis, and presentations. Research and apply different methods for presenting data and analysis in usable and compelling ways.
  • Serve as first point of contact for benefits-related questions and concerns related to Workday and related systems.
  •  Troubleshoot benefits data and technical issues and, when needed, elevate questions, concerns, and issues to appropriate individual(s) on the HCM technical team.

Project Coordination (20%)

  • Work closely with the Benefits team and Payroll to understand data and business process needs based on those needs, identify and recommend opportunities for enhancement including developing new reports or delivering new configuration.
  • Collaborate with the Benefits team and AWA committee to research and state specific leave requirements. Gather information, make recommendations based on research, and assist with implementation and coordination of policies and procedures to ensure requirements are met.
  • Work with Workday HCM technical teams to capture details for and maintain a pipeline of all benefit related enhancement requests, regularly reviewing, prioritizing, and recommending benefit projects to be worked on.
  • With oversight from the Benefits and Workday HCM Technical Lead, support or lead delivery of work on benefit enhancement projects, including but not limited to project management tasks such as coordinating project meetings and ensuring deadlines are being met; gathering requirements; researching solution options  and assisting with designing and building solutions; conducting user acceptance testing and/or pilots; and supporting change management, communications, and training.
  • Assist in the planning and coordination of benefits and wellness events and activities, including benefit meetings, vendor meetings, retirement meetings, flu clinic, wellness seminars, health fair, and open enrollment activities.

General Human Resources (10%)

  • Ensures compliance with Brookings’ policies and procedures as well as federal and state regulations.
  • Proactively recommend new approaches, policies, and procedures to effect continual improvements in efficiency of department and services performed.
  • Seek learning and development opportunities to improve professional competencies and stay current on HR best practices.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Ready to make an impact? In this role you will support Brookings values of collegiality, respect, inclusion, diversity and community, and bring the following qualifications:


Education/Experience Requirements


Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience required. Prior Workday or similar HCM experience required. Minimum three years of related benefits administration work experience required.  Strong preference for candidates with previous large enterprise experience. Workday administration experience; Workday, CBP, CEBS, or other relevant certifications preferred. Must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S.


Knowledge/Skills Requirements


Strong working knowledge of Section 125, FMLA, ADA, ACA , ERISA and COBRA laws. Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint).  Strong quantitative and analytical skills and expertise in interpreting and presenting data. Demonstrated ability to audit data and identify, analyze, and develop solutions.  Ability to produce high quality work with a focus on accuracy, attention to detail, and continual improvement.  Ability to express ideas, thoughts, and concepts clearly and concisely. Must exhibit sound judgment and maintain a high degree of confidentiality. Demonstrated excellence working in a fast-paced environment with multiple assignments, shifting priorities, and deadline pressures. Ability to work effectively both independently and on a small, collaborative team. Excellent interpersonal skills with a strong customer service orientation and a proactive work style. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.  


Additional Information


What can we offer you? Brookings provides a generous benefit package that is comprehensive and includes both traditional benefits and unique offerings.


Brookings requires that all applicants submit a cover letter and resume. Please attach your cover letter and resume as one document when you apply. Please note: if you have applied to more than one Brookings job opening you should add a position-specific cover letter as a separate attachment.


Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.


Brookings welcomes and celebrates diversity in all its forms.  We welcome applications that reflect a variety of backgrounds based on ideology, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, first generation college goers, and other factors protected by law. Brookings is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace.


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