Job Listings

Associate Director of Custodial Services

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, 02138
Facilities Management
Campus Services


Job Summary
The Associate Director is guided at all times by the mission, vision, and principles of Campus Services and instills a commitment to these values among all team members. The Associate Director fosters a welcoming, supportive, and diverse workforce and environment.

Reporting to the Director, the Associate Director assists with the day-to-day management of the Department; supervises and coordinates the activities of assigned personnel to include an overall organization consisting of approximately six (6) Operations Managers and approximately twenty plus (20+) Supervisors; and indirectly supervises 400+ non-exempt unionized hourly custodians.

This position provides senior level management support across all work groups within the FMO Custodial and Event Support unit, has direct supervisory responsibility for multiple work groups, and is responsible for overall service delivery, leadership and management of staff, customer satisfaction, and financial performance of assigned work groups and projects.

Duties and Responsibilities: 
As described in the customer service level agreement, may include but not limited to:
  • Directly supervises multiple work groups providing custodial and event support services to facilities and/or areas of the Harvard campus on a fee-for-service basis.  Managerial assignments may evolve in structure and scope based on organizational need.  Manages all operations in accordance with customer expectations and departmental objectives.
  • Provides leadership to and supervision of all assigned staff; responsible for ongoing performance management, training, mentoring, hiring, and development planning for staff, in a union environment while promoting an inclusive and innovative work environment.  Manages to and ensures compliance with union contracts, University procedures and policies, and regulations.
  • Communicates with customer representatives to determine service/support requirements and develop service delivery strategies that are responsive to their requests and needs.  Provides recommendations, scopes of service, proposals and cost estimates to customers as needed. 
  • Maintains regular contact with customers (electronic and face-to-face) to ensure optimal communication of activities, alignment of priorities and effectiveness of services.  Oversees routine inspections of scheduled work assignments across all supervisory areas to ensure effective performance of all cleaning and related support services.
  • In collaboration with the Director this position establishes and/or implements work performance standards and measures for all employees to ensure service delivery and customer satisfaction expectations are consistently met.  Assists in the development and maintenance of standards for selecting candidates for open supervisory and hourly positions.  For work groups assigned, acts as a primary contact for Campus Service Human Resources in the employee hiring process.  Responsible for managing assigned managers' and supervisors' execution and compliance with all HR policies and hiring processes, and actively managing groups compliance. 
  • Interviews, hires, orients, trains and provides corrective action as appropriate to direct reports to ensure that an effective management team is in place; reviews and approves all employee corrective action to ensure that fairness and consistency is being followed; prepares, reviews and approves performance evaluations and merit increase recommendations for exempt staff and presents recommendations to Director.
  • Optimizes customer feedback systems and measurement reports using the specialized work management database(s) to accurately reflect the effectiveness of cleaning programs and related services.  Negotiates, prepares, and manages measurable service agreements to ensure customer satisfaction and departmental success.  Adheres to Customer Service Level Agreement (SLA's).
Position Description
Duties and Responsibilities (Continued) 
  • In collaboration with the Director, implements and continually refines programs for training new employees and re-training existing employees on environmental health and safety compliance, effective "green" cleaning procedures and customer service skills.  Provides support to the Director in managing and/or maintaining certification processes (e.g. Green Cleaning, safety trainings, etc.).
  • Exercises and continuously refines the emergency response capacity of FMO Custodial Services, including contingency planning for: severe weather conditions (e.g., snow, ice, wind, and rain), building flooding, Blood-borne Pathogen or other biohazard cleanups, and other potential incidents as required.  Provides 24/7 emergency response to constituent community, physically responds to incidents/situations, acts as on-site management representative (when needed), and coordinates with other related FMO and/or vendor resources as needed at locations across the campus.  Continually updates critical emergency response contact information and protocols to ensure they are current and accurate.
  • Ensures workforce compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations related to environmental issues, workplace safety and ADA requirements. 
  • Assists in the negotiation and management of contract agreements with Harvard Purchasing and vendors for effective procurement of materials, supplies, specialty services and supplemental labor.  Oversees supervisory compliance and accuracy with weekly payroll protocols and procedures.
  • Works closely with the Director of Custodial Services and the Campus Services business support staff to develop and administer annual operating budgets and plans for new business opportunities.  Benchmarks FMO value and effectiveness against alternative service providers. Prepares responses to customer Request for Proposals (RFP) for cleaning services.  Reviews unit financial performance on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis and contributes to the development of detailed projection and financial management reports as requested.  Works closely with FMO Manager of Business Support to investigate and resolve customer issues related to billing or other cost reporting. 
  • In coordination with the Director, participates in/supports the negotiation strategy associated with custodial service collective bargaining agreements.  Serves as the primary resource for assigned managers and supervisors for initial conflict resolution and first contact for Campus Services Human Resources.  Represents FMO management in grievance hearings as directed/required.
  • Assists Director and others with all aspects of Events Support planning and execution, including representing FMO at selected planning meetings, developing critical logistics, and managing performance of event support crews. 
  • Assists Director in preparing the Department's fiscal budget, justifying budget expenses in salary and non-salary accounts; prepares and submits the capital budget needs for cleaning equipment, furnishings, etc.; assists with analyzing budget reports to ensure that the budget remains within its limitations; investigates variances and submits reports to the Director.
  • Partners with others across Campus Services groups, customers, and the University community at large to achieve optimal delivery of E&F services and efficient use of resources. Acts in the University's best interest at all times.  As a Harvard University representative, always exhibits appropriate professional conduct such that harmonious business relationships are developed and maintained.
  • Leads and/or provides support for special projects (short and long-range), initiatives, and performs other duties and tasks as assigned or required.
Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelor's Degree or equivalent work experience required.
  • Minimum eight (8) years of progressive management experience in an effective service group in a mid- to large-scale operation with high standards for service delivery and customer care.
  • Demonstrated proficiency using various computer software systems and applications such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook) and web-based applications required. Experience utilizing asset and work management systems required.
  • Demonstrated ability to read, write and perform financial calculations
  • Ability to understand, interpret, and enforce Departmental, University, and governmental procedures, policies, and regulations.
Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • Understanding of Harvard's academic, administrative, and collective bargaining agreement structures is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities and willingness to both lead a team and serve as an active team member, demonstrated ability to solve complex problems involving multiple parties without clear lines of authority, demonstrated ability to implement data-driven decision-making and process improvements, and demonstrated ability to maintain flexibility in assignments and work with constrained resources on tight deadlines or in emergency response roles.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop favorable interpersonal relationships in a diverse, customerfocused
  • environment. Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communications.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize, delegate, and manage multiple responsibilities in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
  • In-depth knowledge of cleaning technology and procedures utilized in a higher education setting.
  • Working knowledge of network-based systems preferred. Familiarity with handheld computing, equipment diagnostics, bar-coding, and related technologies desired.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in Spanish, Portuguese, or Haitian Creole is preferred.
Certificates and Licenses

Must possess a valid driver license and provide his/her personal vehicle to travel on and off campus.

Physical Requirements

Must be physically fit and mentally alert at all times. Must be able to stand and walk for long periods of time, and access non-handicap accessible workspaces/areas as well as confined spaces. Must be able to walk up and down stairs, climb ladders, etc. and routinely walk between campus buildings/areas. Must be able to enter various types of buildings, industrial plants, and/or construction sites. Required to wear personal protective equipment where necessary. Must be physically able to perform and demonstrate all custodial duties required of his/her crews.

Working Conditions

Emergency Status Designation: Critical Operations Personnel (required to provide onsite support during emergency situations as determined by management).

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Additional Information

Work Format Details
This position is based primarily on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.

About Us
Organizational Context:
Energy & Facilities (E&F) operates and manages Harvard's energy supplies, district energy plants, and utility infrastructures on the Cambridge/Allston campuses, as well as a 24/7 facilities related all, alarm monitoring, and dispatch center. E&F also provides a broad portfolio of unionized labor based services, including building maintenance, landscaping, and custodial, to a large portion of the University, as well as engineering, technical, and sustainability services. Facilities Maintenance Operations (FMO), a department within E&F, offers primary building maintenance, landscape, fire safety, custodial, and event support services to Harvard schools and departments on a fee-for-service basis. All services are provided in strict accordance with regulatory requirements and customer-determined standards.

Campus Services Mission Statement:
To advance Harvard University's mission of teaching and research, we partner to provide stewardship,
strategies, and services that create exceptional community experiences.

We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
Job Function
General Administration

Department Office Location
USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
361059 Administrative Manager

Work Format

Salary Grade

Custodial Services

00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, DMV, Drug Testing, Education, Employment, Identity

Monday-Friday 7:00am-3:30pm
Days off : Sunday & Saturday

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.
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