Who we are

Semafor is a global news platform for an increasingly complex world in which consumers are overwhelmed by too many news sources and unsure what to trust. We are building Semafor from the ground up to enable world-class journalists to deliver reporting and insights with rigor in journalistic forms that ensure a new level of transparency. Our editors will distill the most important stories from all over in formats that uncover the forces shaping the stories, explain the interests behind polarizing narratives, and replenish the stock of shared facts. As a global platform, Semafor recognizes that smart people can disagree and that informed readers need to understand alternative points of view from competing centers of power and culture in a multi-polar world. Our ambitions are large, but we’re going to start small. We intend to launch in just two markets globally, learn from our experiences, and grow deliberately. Want to join us? Read on. 

About this role

We are seeking a director-level talent and people leader who will focus on building a high-performance international people operation to support our growth. Semafor is a talent-first organization with an ambition to set the benchmark in the media industry for inspiring and empowering top talent. You will lead this effort.

Reporting to the CEO and CFO, this critical leadership team role will be responsible for designing and managing Semafor’s global talent and people operations.  The ideal candidate will possess an international outlook, an entrepreneurial mindset, a deep passion for building and empowering great teams, and a vision for how it should be done. We will then empower you with the resources and collaborative support to make it happen.

As Director of Talent and People, you will:

  • Be capable of and motivated by hands-on action and strategic thinking in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment.
  • Contribute cutting edge thought leadership and innovative approaches to building and managing a globally diverse and distributed high performance workplace.
  • Design, develop, and improve the company’s compensation, benefits, culture and people programs. 
  • Leverage the latest in cloud-based HRIS and people systems to create a highly-automated and scalable digital infrastructure for global people operations.
  • Develop talent management programs for both commercial and editorial teams, and work together with management and leadership to promote professional growth across the enterprise.
  • Manage organizational growth initiatives to champion and enhance culture, talent acquisition, and retention programs that create a truly diverse, inclusive culture that will help attract and retain the best talent.
  • Ensure company compliance with state and federal legal issues, international mobility/visa requirements, and other international employee regulations, as required.

You will bring:

  • The vision and passion to be an HR leader who can grow the structure and support systems for a world-class, 21st century distributed people operation.
  • BS/BA in business, human resources, psychology, or related field.
  • MBA or advanced degree and SPHR certification preferred.
  • An international background, a global outlook, and/or a demonstrated commitment to diversity.
  • Ten+ years of progressive HR responsibility and experience with a minimum of three years in a management role, ideally in an entrepreneurial and/or international environment.
  • Hands on experience with Rippling, Greenhouse, Remote.com, and other similar cloud-based platforms for managing people operations.
  • Subject matter expertise in compensation and benefits, training and development, performance management, staffing, organizational development and change, employee relations, and employment law.
  • Understanding of the news publishing space and a passion for supporting great journalism.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills with the ability to communicate and influence at a senior management level.
  • Experience working in creative, innovative and distributed international environments.

What you’ll get done:

30 days

In your first month, you will hit the ground running by taking over the existing people operations for a 25 person company that will be scaling to more than 60 team members by the end of the year. We have the foundations in place–a US-based PEO program with competitive employee benefits, a 401K plan (Human Interest), a next generation cloud-based HRIS (Rippling), an effective recruiting program running on Greenhouse, international payroll and benefits through Remote.com–supported by an outsourced finance department running a cloud-based ERP platform (Sage Intacct). You will be working with key operations resources embedded in our Revenue, Editorial, and Talent Management departments and alongside our outsourced finance and IT teams to streamline this infrastructure and take it to the next level by implementing workflow automation to enable rapid scaling. On top of this 21st century infrastructure, you will be designing a high performance, talent-support model that enables our teams to do their very best work. 

90-180 days

Three-months in you have successfully built out the company’s people operations and are supporting our distributed teams across offices in New York City, Washington, DC, and London and are planning the launch of Dubai and Singapore. You have been working side-by-side with our brand and communications leadership to design a unified set of internal and external people communications that define Semafor as a brand and a workplace. You have benchmarked our early benefits programs against peer competitors and are preparing to cut over from PEO to direct payroll with a new package of customized benefits for our growing team. You are planning a Year 2 HR budget focused on key KPIs centered around team engagement, career happiness and operational efficiency.

1 - 2 years

You are supporting a diverse, global company of over 100 based across 10 countries. You have rolled out the company’s first performance management program and are planning the company’s first global onsite meeting. You are speaking at HR Transform 2023 in Las Vegas about the company’s global people programs and have been nominated for a Titan Human Resources award for Most Innovative Startup. The company is on course to double in size and you look back on the most productive and exciting year of your career. You have created your dream job helping other people realize theirs. You see the impact of your work every day as the inspired, world-class team you have helped build sets the news agenda around the world.



Additional job details

Comprehensive employee benefits: unlimited PTO, medical, dental, vision, short & long-term disability, flexible spending, health savings accounts, life insurance, 401(k), pre-Tax commuter benefits. (Benefits do not apply to freelance or contract work)

Salary Range: To be discussed with candidates. 

Semafor, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and enthusiastically encourages people from all backgrounds and experiences to apply. Semafor, Inc. will consider all applicants without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical and/or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, age, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, or any other protected characteristic under applicable law

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