Position Overview

Educate!, a high-growth and award-winning non-profit social enterprise, is seeking a dynamic people & talent leader to continue building a best-in-class people & talent function that drives organizational growth and impact.

Educate! grew 20x in the 6 years before COVID, and over the next 3 years plans to grow 3-5x more. We believe that our people are at the core of our success and will be a critical lever for future growth. We aspire to be the social enterprise with the best talent in East Africa and the best known for developing talent, with a focus on developing African leaders – and we need the right talent leader to get us there.

The right person for this role will have exceptional emotional intelligence and communication skills; enjoy taking a modern, flexible, creative, and strategic approach to all things people; and thrive in a high-growth environment. You’ll also need to love the entire process of building systems for scale, from identifying needs to completing roll-out of a solution. Varied experience working across multiple sectors and/or cultural contexts is preferred.

About Educate! 

What if there was a way to measurably change the trajectory of the lives of youth across Africa? Since its launch in 2009, Educate! has worked to do just this, delivering outsized impacts at scale and at disproportionately low cost, through a product-led approach to youth development. As a disruptive, not-for-profit, social enterprise, our team leverages an obsession with evidence and entrepreneurial drive to tackle one our planet's greatest challenges - unlocking the potential of its youngest continent. 

Educate!’s core model combines training in key skills with access to practical experience starting a business and mentorship, a formula that has been validated by several independent evaluations. This model is distributed through products targeting two lead channels. First, Educate! works with governments to help reform education systems at scale through policy change, teacher behavior change and tech-enabled products targeting systems-level sustainability, while also working directly with select schools. Second, Educate! builds employment-focused bootcamps and business support services targeting out-of-school youth left out of the education system. To date, more than 200,000 youth have been meaningfully impacted by this model across Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya and along the way Educate! has become the largest youth skills provider in East Africa.

Educate! is a team of over 160 largely African staff and 200 volunteer youth mentors. We prioritize building an engaging, fulfilling and growth oriented work environment. 50% of our top 30 leaders have been with us for over 5 years, 10+ alumni have started other organizations and 5 current or former team members were Acumen Fund East Africa fellows. 

We have been backed by top foundations and product leaders such as Imaginable Futures, Big Bang Philanthropy, Echoing Green, the 1st Google Employee’s foundation, the head of Google Search and Rippleworks Foundation. Educate! won a 2018 Klaus J. Jacobs Prize and a 2015 WISE Award, and has been highlighted by Bill Gates, in the World Bank’s S4YE's Impact Portfolio, an Al Jazeera documentary, BBC, and The Brookings Institution as one of 14 case studies in their global scaling education learning initiative. Educate! was also selected by the UN’s Generation Unlimited as 1 of 20 innovative youth solutions and by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a Goalkeepers Accelerator

Educate!'s long-term vision is to design solutions that measurably impact millions of youth across Africa each year. We grew 20x in the 6 years before COVID, and over the next 3 years plan to grow 3-5x towards this vision. 

Core Responsibilities  

Make sure that the people & talent function continues to act as a driver of Educate!’s growth and impact

As Global Director of People, you’ll own the function’s overall strategy and philosophies, organizational design and staffing; and performance measurement.

  • Develop and regularly check into a three-year talent strategy, objectives, and activities aligned to organizational strategy.
  • Create and/or update core philosophies of the people & talent function and sub-functions (eg compensation philosophy and benchmarking, performance management philosophy, DEI philosophy, cultural tenets) and make sure they are widely understood across the talent & HR teams, leadership team, and organization more broadly.
  • Regularly check into the design of the function, ensuring that work is appropriately divided between global and country teams and the roles of each are clear.
  • Ensure that the function has the right people in the right roles to support high performance.
  • Develop metrics for assessing success of the talent function, and use them to continually improve the function’s performance.

Build, improve, and support implementation of org-wide talent management systems that will help drive Educate!’s strategy.

Educate! is growing, and our Global Director of People will make sure that our people processes, standards, and resources are customized for the organization’s needs as we scale.

  • Regularly check in with leaders to understand what’s working and what’s not, and to prioritize builds/improvements that will have the greatest strategic impact.
  • Build and/or improve standards, processes, and resources in all parts of the people and talent function including recruitment, onboarding, performance management, learning & development, engagement, culture, and retention. 
  • Ensure that processes, standards, and resources are user-friendly, aligned to Educate!’s strategy and values, rolled out effectively, and have internal feedback loops.

Provide strategic guidance and operational oversight for global & executive recruiting, centrally-run people operations, and org-wide internal communications.

Most of Educate!’s day-to-day HR functions are overseen by country (business unit) leaders with a dotted line to the regional Head of People Operations. As the Global Director of People, you’ll lead the teams that execute our most specialized people processes and support country HR teams.

  • Manage and coach the Director of Talent Acquisition & Leadership Development to lead a best-in-class recruiting operation that can continue building a team of top talent with an emphasis on African leadership.
  • Manage and coach the Head of People Operations for East Africa and maintain a dotted-line relationship with the US People & Ops Lead – ensuring that core people processes and policies run smoothly and are aligned to strategy.
  • Coach and support the Head of People Ops for East Africa in his role as a leader, advisor, and capacity-builder for country HR teams.
  • Work with country teams and global ops to ensure seamless global HR operations.

Be the strategic and operational business partner for Educate!’s senior leadership team. 

You’ll work closely with senior leaders to support their key people needs like team cohesion, compensation management, and performance reviews; navigate through change management when needed; handle obstacles like performance challenges; and lead high-level strategic people initiatives.

  • Lead major change management processes and build organizational capacity to manage change, including supporting other leaders to roll out smaller changes.
  • Support senior leaders with strategic planning on the people side, including planning for workforce growth and development, pipeline/succession planning and organizational design 
  • Build talent management capacity across the org through developing institutional resources & expertise and providing coaching & resources to talent/HR teams
  • Consult on talent management challenges across the org
  • Lead and/or support selected internal communications, including global internal comms function and any sensitive global, country, or individual communications
  • Be the HR and talent point person for the senior leadership team – supporting with onboarding, offboarding, talent reviews, and contract renewals.
  • Manage compensation for senior team.

Qualifications and Requirements 

    • At least 10-15 years of work experience, with significant management and leadership experience
    • Education or non-profit background NOT required, but excitement about working for a purpose-driven organization is
    • Understanding of people and passion for developing people
    • Experience in a high-growth and high-performance environment
    • Experience working with distributed teams is a plus
    • A good fit with our Five Cultural Tenets (see “What is Educate! About?” Below; learn more by looking at Educate!’s culture deck here)
    • Meaningful time spent in the Global South and ideally East Africa is required. 
  • Candidates of African nationality or descent strongly encouraged to apply.

Location and Time Zones

  • Candidates based in Africa are strongly preferred; willingness to travel to and within East Africa is a must.
  • Candidates outside of Africa may be considered as long as they are able to travel and located in a time zone where it is easy to work majority of the East Africa work day (such as Europe or the UK).

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