Published 14 days ago

Director of People

On-site, Work must be performed in or near Richmond, CA


Job Type:Full Time
Experience Level:Mid-level
Salary:USD $130,000 - $140,000 / year
+ $12,000 Temporary Cost of Living Allowance and MWA Benefits


Job Description

Title: Director of People

Division: Making Waves Academy (Central Office) - On-site

Reports to: Chief Operating Officer (COO) 

Status: Full-time, Exempt (Year-Round)

Supervises: Human Resources Manager, Recruitment Manager, and other contractors (as needed)

Salary Range: $130,000-140,000 + $12,000 Temporary Cost of Living Allowance and MWA Benefits

Position Summary

The role of the Director of People is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to attract, develop, engage, and retain top talent at Making Waves Academy (MWA). MWA is a mid-size organization with 150-200 employees (approx. 160 full-time). This position will be responsible for strategic leadership and operational management in the areas of talent acquisition and human resources. The Director of People works with executive and senior leadership to constantly improve MWA’s talent and employee management strategy. Through the use of data/metrics/analytics, the Director focuses on creating a culture of efficiency and excellence across the whole organization. They accomplish this by assessing the current systems for hiring, performance management, employee recognition, total compensation, and employee relations. Specifically, the Director of People is responsible for:

  • Managing the employee journey from recruitment to offboarding
  • Developing a people strategy and employee journey mapping 
  • Maximize the potential and effectiveness of employees, resulting in higher productivity, improved performance, and greater retention within the organization
  • Updating/refining HR & Talent systems
  • Analyzing data and progress and progress monitoring on established HR & Talent metrics and goals
  • Helping to achieve the wider goals of the organization
  • Managing position control initiatives and processes

The Director of People develops and implements research-based and best practice approaches, programs, policies, tools, and guidelines to effectively support the application, management and compliance of appropriate HR tools and strategies. They proactively provide data, analysis, and insights for consideration to support MWA’s strategy as it relates to attracting and retaining high-performing employees. The Director of People maintains up-to-date knowledge of Human Resources laws, policies, and best practices to ensure HR practices are compliant with all state and federal employment laws and regulations (e.g. FMLA, ADA, EEO and FLSA). They lead and empower the People Team through strategic oversight, conducting regular one-on-one and team meetings, fostering professional development opportunities, and implementing initiatives to optimize team performance and effectiveness in achieving individual and team objectives each quarter/school year. Most importantly, this person is passionate about educational equity and believes in helping the students we serve to learn, have the skills to pursue college and other appropriate post-secondary education and career options, and contribute to revitalizing their community.

Primary Responsibilities 

Leadership and Supervision 

  • Be the leader and face of MWA talent recruiting and human resources, modeling organizationally-aligned and compliant actions and behaviors; work with leaders across MWA to make sure they feel supported, knowledgeable, and trained to carry out similar leadership for their respective areas.
  • Develops and monitors fidelity to People Team's planning calendar to ensure timely execution of initiatives and tasks throughout the school year, coordinating and delegating to responsible partners to meet organizational objectives.
  • Establish and oversee key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics of the following areas to gauge effectiveness, foster ongoing learning, drive iterative improvements in processes, and analyze trends for developing strategies that support school-wide objectives:
  • recruitment 
  • onboarding 
  • policy compliance & safety regulation
  • total compensation 
  • benefits 
  • performance management 
  • employee engagement 
  • Collaborate closely with Executive and Senior Leaders to align employee engagement strategies and culture and climate initiatives with the school’s objectives and vision. 

Strategic Hiring and Talent Development 

  • Develop innovative recruitment and retention strategies and partners with the Recruitment Manager to implement these strategies, with effective sourcing of talent to generate a robust pipeline of high quality teaching candidates, staff, and leaders that align to the organization’s goals and to support the growth of MWA.
  • Collaborate with the Recruitment Manager to lead initiatives aimed at enhancing MWA’s employer brand. 
  • Develop and execute a long term cultivation plan to fill anticipated teaching vacancies well in advance of the academic year.
  • Design and implement comprehensive programming tailored to identify, support, evaluate, develop, and retain high-performing employees, emphasizing succession planning and talent pipeline development.
  • Evaluate and refine the organization’s Total Compensation approach In partnership with the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer to ensure MWA’s compensation model is competitive and in alignment with the overall fiscal goals. 

Compliance, Employee Relations and Risk Management

  • Oversee and refine complaint processes, procedures and practices for management of compliance requirements, employee relations and risk mitigation.
  • Evaluate risk as it relates to employee matters and provides courses of action based on the risk level to the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer. 
  • Oversee and refines existing processes for monitoring compliance requirements as it relates to employee policies. Examples include: credentialing, state reporting, EEO, Cal/OSHA, etc. 
  • Routinely and consistently monitor data related to culture and climate in the workplace and partner with supervisors to address trends of concern. 

 Additional Responsibilities and Expectations

Mission Alignment

  • Demonstrate knowledge of and support Making Waves Academy’s mission, core values, standards, competencies, and code of conduct outlined in the Employee Handbook.
  • Participate in the school community – attending school competitions, performances, assemblies, and extracurricular activities.


  • Perform additional duties as assigned.

 Work Environment

  • This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as laptop computers, photocopiers and smartphones.
  • After six months of employment, this position may offer the opportunity for a hybrid work arrangement, allowing for up to one day of remote work per week only.

 Physical Demands

As part of this job, the employee may need to do the following tasks:

  • Walk frequently around the middle and upper school campus.
  • Participate in required campus supervision duties every week, from Monday to Friday, with varying frequency depending on the semester's supervision assignment.
  • Lift files, open filing cabinets, bend or stand on a stool as necessary, and sit for extended periods.


Some travel is required for MWA-related events, such as workshops or conferences.



  • Minimum 10  years of progressive experience in HR, talent, or related fields required with at least 3 years at the Director level or above
  • Minimum 3 years of supervisory experience required 
  • Demonstrated experience with full employee lifecycle, including successful recruitment strategies and practices. 
  • Demonstrated experience with Applicant Tracking Systems and Human Resources Information Systems
  • Experience of labor law/legislation and a full understanding of HR best practices
  • Experience in compensation, employee relations, performance management, employee engagement and retention strategies


  • Ability to build and influence relationships to effectively support the team and build trust up, down, and across the organization
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and consistently demonstrate strong decision-making and judgment skills
  • Innovative thinking as it relates to creating sustainable workflow and processes
  • Ability to take initiative and produce in a fast-paced, start-up environment
  • Ability to leverage data to influence decisions and solve problems proactively
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent supervision and management skills and abilities
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and problem solving skills and abilities
  • Strong leadership skills through the use of written and verbal communication, collaboration, delegation, planning, and goal setting.
  • Strong abilities in the management and maintenance of HR Information Systems
  • Strong customer service orientation
  • Advanced technical skills (i.e., Google Suite, Microsoft Suite, Slack, and other information systems) 


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Advanced degree required

Licenses or Certificates Needed

Employment eligibility will include fingerprints, tuberculosis, and other employment clearance 

Preferred but not required

  • Spanish language proficiency
  • PHR\SPHR certification

Reasonable Accommodation

Consistent with its obligations under the law, MWA will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

Equal Employment Opportunity Is Our Policy

Making Waves Academy is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of the School to afford equal employment and advancement opportunities to all qualified individuals without regard to their perceived or identified: race (including traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and hairstyle, including but not limited to braids, locks, and twists); color; gender, (including gender identity, gender expression, and transgender identity, whether or not the employee is transitioning or has transitioned); sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and medical conditions related to such); religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices); marital/registered domestic partner status; age (forty (40) and over); national origin or ancestry (including native language spoken and possession of a driver’s license issued to persons unable to prove their presence in the U.S. is authorized by federal law); physical or mental disability (including HIV and AIDS); medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics); taking of a leave of absence pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), Pregnancy Disability Leave (“PDL”) law, Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”), the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), or laws related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking laws; genetic information; sexual orientation; military and veteran status; or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws.

This policy extends to all job applicants and employees and to all aspects of the employment relationship, including the hiring of new employees and the training, transfer, promotion, discipline, termination, compensation and benefits of existing employees. For a full copy of our non-discrimination policy, visit:

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Job Description

Title: Director of People

Division: Making Waves Academy (Central Office) - On-site

Reports to: Chief Operating Officer (COO) 

Status: Full-time, Exempt (Year-Round)

Supervises: Human Resources Manager, Recruitment Manager, and…


Richmond, CA 94806, US

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