Senior Human Resources and Operations Lead

Position Description

IDEO.org has an opportunity for a Senior Human Resources (HR) and Operations Lead in our Nairobi studio.

This role will be a cornerstone of talent and the employee experience in Nairobi. The role will focus primarily on leading the HR and talent function locally including developing HR policies tailored to Kenya and the region, leading local recruiting, and administering benefits locally. Special emphasis is placed on helping facilitate a dynamic and collaborative working environment in the Nairobi studio. Additionally, this role will be a core member of the global talent and operations team responsible for setting talent and operations strategies and policies for the whole company. The HR and Operations Lead will report to the Managing Director and co-lead of the Nairobi studio and to the Global Director of HR.

You’re a great fit for this role if you have a passion for HR policy and administration; enjoy a fast-paced, intrapreneurial environment; thrive on a collaborative team; can think big-picture/long-term while driving key details in the here-and-now; and are excited to nurture individual growth journeys and the culture of a growing company.

Key Activities

HR, Benefits, and Compliance

  • Ensure Nairobi studio policies and procedures are in compliance with all legal and organizational requirements and are relevant and equitable to a majority East African team.
  • Annually review benefits; run the open enrollment process for the Nairobi studio; manage relationships with local benefits brokers and vendors.
  • Manage employment and benefits inquiries for the Nairobi studio, including rapid response benefits needs and leave policies.
  • Help manage the HR information system (Paylocity), continuously identifying and implementing new processes, technologies, and workflows that will help us grow and maintain an excellent experience for our team.
  • Assist the Global Finance team in administering monthly payroll for the Nairobi studio.
  • Be the primary point person for all employee relations issues in the Nairobi studio.
  • Ensure that annual goal-setting, feedback cycles, and performance reviews are effective, empowering, and efficient in the Nairobi studio.
  • Collaborate with the Global Talent Team to continuously improve our performance evaluation system and approaches.
  • Build an East African recruiting strategy for full-time hires and contractors, collaborating closely with the rest of the global HR team and the Nairobi managing directors.
  • Ensure IDEO.org is effectively represented in communities and at events that have the qualified talent IDEO.org wants to attract.
  • Manage full life-cycle recruitment processes including scoping roles, job postings, coordination of resume flow, diligent candidate correspondence, maintenance of candidate records via Greenhouse recruiting platform, and facilitating decision-making among hiring teams.
  • Manage the work authorization process for employees, where necessary, including managing our local counsel.
  • Ensure that IDEO.org Nairobi always has the talent it needs for projects by understanding upcoming teaming needs and mobilizing IDEO.org’s talent and local contractor network to find the right people for the right project
    Onboarding, Orientation, and Culture

Implement tailored onboarding plans for our new hires, creating a seamless transition from recruiting to onboarding.
Assess how onboarding is going for our new team members, troubleshoot problems with individuals.
Identify themes and patterns across new hire onboarding and collaborate with the Global Core and local Nairobi experience teams to evolve onboarding.
Learning and Development

  • Help refine our approach to learning and development globally and implement new L&D initiatives locally.
  • Support our emerging leaders in building soft and hard skills, and be a source of inspiration and knowledge on learning and development.
  • Support Business Leads to manage and guide professional development funds.
  • Advise Nairobi studio members in having and navigating tough conversations, including giving direct and timely feedback.
  • Collaborate with the global operations team to develop global policies (e.g., on technology, safety and security, travel, etc.) and implement them locally.
  • Lead specific global operations initiatives.
  • Assist in assessing safety and security risks, develop mitigation plans, and run safety meetings with Nairobi-based teams before they travel.
  • Work with the Nairobi studio leadership, studio coordinator, and COO to manage real estate and physical site needs for the Nairobi team.
  • At least seven years of professional Human Resources and Talent experience, including experience in global organizations. Experience in a creative, consulting, or nonprofit environment highly valuable.
  • Experienced in foundational HR areas (learning and development, compensation, performance management, benefits, payroll, immigration, legal, employee relations).
  • Experienced at designing, implementing, and optimizing, high-quality operational HR programs, processes, and systems across diverse teams and cultures in a global organization.
  • Passionate about supporting and coaching all members of an organization.
  • Track record of coaching, mentoring, and supporting upward growth of HR team members.
  • Data-driven. Seasoned in working with people analytics to provide valuable insights to business leaders.
  • Emotionally intelligent, with strong communication and presentation skills and the ability to deal effectively and empathetically with all levels of employees and management are required.
  • Great at establishing systems and programs to ensure operations run smoothly; detail- oriented and fanatical about follow up and seeing things through to completion.
  • Will quickly understand IDEO.org’s explicit formal policies and less formal social norms to make consistent, independent operational decisions.
  • Related Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree in Human Resources and/or Organization Development preferred; IHRM Membership required.


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About IDEO.org

At IDEO.org, we design products, services, and experiences to improve the lives of people in poor and vulnerable communities. We practice human-centered design, a creative approach to problem solving that starts with people and arrives at new solutions tailored to meet their lives. We've organized our work into four main programs, areas of deep focus that each offer a unique opportunity for design to improve lives at scale. IDEO.org is a non-profit design and innovation organization focused on solving challenges in poverty and spreading human-centered design through the social sector. Human-centered design enables organizations to create and deliver innovative solutions to pressing challenges that are rooted in the needs of people. IDEO.org works directly with organizations on projects using the human-centered design process across a wide range of focus areas related to poverty, including health, financial services, gender equity, water and sanitation.2011