Who are we?

Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company tackling the challenges of urban growth. Our vision for cities is rooted in a cross-disciplinary approach that is reflected in our team, composed of experts from real estate, government, finance, technology, engineering and more.  Since its founding in 2015, Sidewalk Labs has evolved into an organization of over 100 employees based primarily in New York and Toronto.  

We are currently designing a new kind of mixed-use, complete community on Toronto's waterfront in partnership with the tripartite agency Waterfront Toronto and the local community. This joint effort, called Sidewalk Toronto, will combine forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create a people-centered neighborhood that achieves precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.

We are working to achieve something unprecedented — help us build it.

What is the role?

We are looking for an Associate Director, People to join our team, reporting to our Head of People, Davina.  You will join a scrappy People team of two at a pivotal time in the organization’s growth and history.  While most of the foundations of People Operations are in place (performance reviews, compensation, benefits, etc), you will be part of completing our evolution into a strategic People function.  Our People strategy is already linked to Sidewalk’s top 5 strategic priorities for 2019, and we will now build the programs and operations to match it. In particular, we will look to you to play a critical role in culture-building, designing and implementing a learning & development strategy, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion efforts and full employee life cycle Business Partner support.  

We are looking for an ambitious HR / PeopleOps / Talent individual with expertise in building and implementing programs like L&D, a passion for building a culture, fostering equity & inclusion and who is looking to build some HR Business Partner experience. This is a real growth opportunity to make an impact in a unique organization, dense with diverse talent.

Day-to-day, you will work closely with the People team on:

  • Instituting new manager training that is dynamic and creative
  • Coaching individual employees & new managers
  • Building out equity, diversity & inclusion initiatives
  • Driving employee engagement and reinforcing culture through all interactions & HR solutions
  • Designing innovative talent management and performance management solutions.
  • Working with different HR / People Operations technologies (UltiPro, CultureAmp, LMS systems, Greenhouse, etc)
  • Benchmarking and identifying best in class talent / HR solutions & technologies.

What are the deliverables?

Within your first 3 months you will:

  • Build a Sidewalk Labs Manager Foundations (via formal training and mentorship) to support new managers in gaining skills around Managing Oneself and Managing a Team (giving feedback, communicating, building a team, developing others)
  • Build out 1:1 Feedback framework & quarterly career conversations
  • Roll-out & analyze our annual employee engagement survey and support the Department Heads in action planning based on key gaps and priorities.
  • Promote the culture of the organization and help drive employees to be cultural ambassadors (partnering with our cross-functional “culture working group”)

Within your first 6 months you will:

  • Institute an impactful Learning & Development approach that is within the fabric of our culture and organization
  • Participate in and support  Sidewalk Lab’s internal employee communities (e.g. Women of SWL) as part of a large Equity, Diversity & Inclusion effort
  • Build a talent and manager dashboard (to track new managers and overall team / org health)
  • Lead efforts to improve key areas of our annual employee engagement survey

After 12 months you will:

  • Be seen as a trusted advisor for employees in key departments (as specified)
  • Be seen as a thought-leader who brings best in class People Operations and culture practices
  • Have contributed to the roll-out of our internal values and broader culture efforts
  • Lead the identification and implementation of an internal Learning Management System that supports our learning, development and career pathing framework

What We Expect

To thrive on this journey with us, you will need to bring interest in our work, probably 5+ years of relevant experience, and have examples for the below:

  • Collaboration: Can quickly build credibility and respect with leaders and employees across the organization.  Collaborates closely with the Operations team to ensure talent / HR solutions built are realistic and feasible to implement.  Identifies key cultural ambassadors across the organization and enlists them to help build and/or implement key solutions.
  • Eye for Improvement: Is constantly scanning the organization for opportunities (quick wins and longer-term issues) to improve our People Operations processes, documentation and workflows as we continue to evolve our business.   Constantly keeps a pulse on the organization by building credible relationships with employees and senior leaders.
  • Executive Presence: Quickly emerges as a trusted and empowered member of the People team, both in the eyes of leadership and all staff.  He/she must be comfortable working with senior managers to solve problems and craft policies that can serve multiple departments.  Has the spine, influence and communication skills to push back on leaders when necessary. He/she must act as a cultural ambassador at all times and be able to work independently with Department Heads across the organization.  
  • Action-Oriented: Has a strong sense of urgency - balancing speed with strong detail orientation. Is not fazed by a chaotic, dynamic office environment where he/she is interrupted often for urgent business issues or employee concerns.   Has implemented new programs & tools under short timelines. Enjoys being an individual contributor who rolls up their sleeves to build, implement, track and measure company-wide talent / HR solutions. Can juggle short-term requests (from employees & managers) with individual priorities and goals.  
  • Analytical Orientation:  Demonstrates an analytical mindset.  Is curious and asks well-worded questions in order to get to the heart of a problem, request or opportunity.  Is confident and experienced using a) spreadsheets to analyze and track employee data and b) slides to effectively communicate ideas and build understanding and adoption.  Consistently uses data to solve problems (collects & analyzes data in order to make a recommendation, build a program and sell an idea to the Head of People).
  • Non-Traditional Talent Mindset: We are a fast-paced company with ambitious goals; we are trying to do something that no other company has done.  The People team needs to be influential, forward-looking, and business-minded. We must support the business in solving problems.  This individual must understand the business strategy and operational needs in order to built the most appropriate talent / HR solutions.  Everything we do should serve to reinforce our culture, drive our employees’ growth and support our leaders. This is not HR for HR’s sake.  

Equal Opportunity Statement

The community of the future is a place for everyone, and Sidewalk Labs is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All employment is based on merit and business need.

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