Director of Human Assets

· Chicago, Illinois
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Manager/Supervisor

Job Title: Director of Human Assets

Location: Chicago (IL) (preferred), NYC, Newark (NJ), or Atlanta

Employment Type: Full time

Start Date: ASAP

To Apply: Submit your application here. Send any questions to (applications submitted via email will not be accepted).

Hiring Manager: Chief of Staff

Manages: Manager of HA, HR Specialist

About Braven

In America, we’ve promised that hard work and ambition will be met with equality of opportunity. The reality is that we have a quiet crisis on our hands. Before COVID-19, a bachelor’s degree holder from a low-income background started their career earning two-thirds as much as those from higher-income backgrounds. An African American with a BA was almost twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterpart. While education has the potential to be the great equalizer, only 30% of our country’s 1.3 million first-generation or low-income college enrollees are predicted to land a strong job after graduation. And with the COVID-19 crisis still upon us, now more than ever, college students from humble beginnings need to be prepared to compete for strong jobs. 

Braven is helping to address these inequities. Braven supports students from college to career by partnering with universities, employers, and college success organizations to offer a two-part experience that begins with a credit-bearing college course followed by a post-course experience that lasts through graduation. Braven Fellows emerge with the skills, experiences and networks they need to land a strong first job and get on a path to economic freedom. Braven is a growing organization, and has worked with more than 3,300 students across four campuses (Rutgers University-Newark, San José State, Lehman College, and National Louis University) and is piloting its innovative program to serve alumni of college success organizations locally in Chicago and virtually nationwide.Learn more about Braven’s impact: 

The person:

Braven seeks someone who believes - and whose work has demonstrated a belief - that every young person deserves the opportunity to put their education to work and realize a life of impact and economic mobility.  As the Head of Human Assets (HA), you will design, maintain, and constantly improve the systems by which we attract, onboard, develop and retain the incredible team behind Braven to ensure that our strong results hold that future leaders emerge from everywhere.  You have managed teams, know how to motivate and inspire people around a vision, and can pick out the strengths and areas for growth of candidates and current staff alike.  You are passionate about Braven’s mission, are rooted in our core values, and are excited to rally current and future staff around the urgent work through a strong team culture.  You have gone after and hit big goals in the world of Human Assets, have your own point of view on what strategic anchors make an approach to talent management strong, and are an expert at fostering an inclusive, results-oriented team culture. You are ready to work in a nimble, fast-paced start-up environment where the work evolves quickly and no day is the same as the day before.

About the role:

This position reports to the Chief of Staff and is responsible for managing all internally-focused aspects of people and culture. You will drive the strategies that allow Braven to attract, onboard, engage, develop and retain highly effective team members from diverse backgrounds who collaborate and operate together with an inclusive spirit of excellence and a strong sense of belonging and connectedness. You will serve as a thought partner to the HR specialist and General Counsel to ensure that our compliance with all labor laws is carried out in a way conducive with the culture we are aspiring to.  Overall, you will serve as a primary culture carrier at Braven and will be responsible for ensuring Braven becomes a “top talent development” workplace as we scale a team that is diverse by design, along many dimensions.


What You’ll Do:

Set Team Vision and Direction for Braven’s Overarching Talent Strategy and Leadership (20%)

  • Set team vision, strategy, goals, and team operating norms that create clarity about priorities, reinforce shared communication norms, and support best practices around setting and protecting each team members’ professional boundaries
  • Develop and support all managers to become high-skilled “talent champions” and champion the talent on the HA team, ensuring each member has measurable goals, feels a sense of belonging and is coached and supported in their professional growth to maximize their impact over time
  • Work with the CEO and Braven’s executive team to set a strategic vision and priorities for all talent work, ensuring the organization has an eye on what it will need in the coming 3-5 years, including an explicit equity lens, and what it will take to get there.
  • Participate and offer guidance in conversations with executives around decisions about strategic priorities and planning, ensuring talent management is fully integrated.
  • Set team vision year to year, team goals quarter to quarter, and ensure individuals have clarity around their responsibilities, goals, and professional strengths and opportunities for growth on the Human Assets team

Develop and Retain Talent: (25%)

  • Own Braven’s Total Rewards philosophy and recommend adjustments to benefits and policies as needed
  • Manage, coach, and support the work of Braven’s HR specialist to ensure the organization is in compliance with all local and federal labor laws, that the Employee Handbook sets clear expectations that mitigate risk for the organization and individuals and maximizes clarity around workplace expectations, and that all staff are supported in their navigation of Braven’s benefits package 
  • Ensure the organization is in compliance with labor laws, including developing a system for designating roles as non-exempt and carrying out cultural and operational change management around this new policy
  • Oversee revisions to Employee Handbook on a year to year basis based on evolving needs and changes to labor laws or other pertinent policy context
  • Facilitate our annual performance review activities and offer trainings to managers as necessary
  • Design and coach managers on the creation of learning development plans for their team members, created for their direct reports
  • Serve as thought partner in bi-annual performance and compensation analysis and calibration practices
  • Train and coach managers around performance and compensation conversations with their direct reports, annually
  • Oversee annual equity analysis with regards to compensation, performance, retention, and promotion

Foster Learning and Growth: (20%)

  • Design and execute team retreats, deploying contractors where necessary
  • Create vision/philosophy for Learning and Development at Braven 
  • In partnership with team leads and external contractors, identify and create L&D opportunities for new team members, existing team members, and occasional subteam-specific content (product, regional teams, external affairs, etc) 
  • Support other teammates to execute L&D strategies, occasionally delivering content directly
  • Develop ongoing support to staff to increase inclusion and navigation of a diverse team

 Engage Team Members and Build Team Culture: (15%)

  • In partnership with the Chief of Staff and other team leads, design and oversee all weekly team calls, rituals, and other team engagement strategies that are aimed at creating a great workplace as measured by our bi-annual team survey, including demographic breakdown of results
    • Support the Manager of Human Assets to facilitate weekly team calls that maximize organizational clarity around direction, priorities, and decision making in a format that creates connection and belonging in a growing organization
  • Facilitate or help other staff create organic, responsive, learning opportunities for staff
  • Oversee execution and analysis of bi-annual Gallup survey to measure impact of organizational processes, decisions, and communication to leverage strengths and constantly improve
  • Keep finger on pulse of how people are feeling about their impact, their sense of belonging, and the direction of the organization
  • Set an agenda for the organization's commitment to advancing an equitable, inclusive, and diverse workplace, project managing cross-functional efforts aligned to this priority
  • Model what it looks like to set boundaries around your personal life in a fast-paced environment and foster a culture across the organization that encourages personal and professional alignment
  • Serve as Braven’s confidential ombudspersson

Attract Great Talent (10%)

  • Design a hiring process at Braven that is aligned to the overall talent management, team engagement, and culture vision
  • Actively promote the organization as a great place to work, building our “employer brand” with potential hires.
  • Support hiring managers with crafting job descriptions, hiring processes, performance tasks and recruitment strategies that yield an inclusive process that minimizes implicit bias, accurate assessment of fit, and a positive experience for candidates
  • Design manager and individual trainings around hiring and onboarding processes and best practices; coach Manager of HA to deliver trainings independently over time
  • Manage, coach and support the Manager of HA to execute the hiring process in line with our organizational hiring objectives

Onboard New Hires (10%)

  • Alongside Manager of HA, design and constantly improve onboarding processes that address common needs across teams that leverage hiring managers and existing teammates as efficiently and effectively as possible
    • Design pilot of a quarterly boot camp for new hires
  • Manage, coach and support the Manager of HA to execute the hiring process:
    • Guide continuous improvements as the organization learns and grows, incorporating feedback from new hires and hiring managers
    • Build and maintain up to date, high quality centralized onboarding materials and processes, creating strong channels of communication across teams that support the onboarding of new teammates
    • Execute pilot of quarterly boot camp for new hires

What We’re Looking For

(Did you know that research shows that women and people from underrepresented groups often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications? Please know that no one ever meets 100% of the qualifications. If much of this describes you, we encourage you to apply.)

The ideal candidate is a proven, low-ego leader with the drive, motivation, commitment and proven track record of successfully leading within a growing, complex and innovative organization.

  • Organizational steward and core values leader eager to exemplify Braven’s core values
  • Experience building and improving team/organizational culture and values
  • Track record of building and leading at least one extraordinary, diverse team against a unifying vision and ambitious goals over time
  • Strong business/organizational insight and analytical skills, comfortable using metrics to inform and influence decisions
  • Operates with an uncanny ability to be objective (even when their own professional information is a part of the discussion/equation) 
  • Entrepreneurial and curious about what makes people great at their jobs and what will make Braven an even greater place to work
  • Has the professional maturity and interpersonal finesse to handle confidential information with the utmost discretion and strong judgment

Additional Requirements

  • Ability to work in-person in Chicago (IL) (preferred), NYC, Newark, San Jose, or Atlanta.
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • 5-8 years management experience, demonstrated readiness to manage a growing team
  • Demonstrated track record of hitting ambitious goals through team management and strong culture building; ideally on the business side of the organization (e.g. running a program team, a regional team, having been an Executive Director or team lead) 
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering an inclusive, equitable, and diverse workplace
  • Authorized to work in the US

Working at Braven

Our culture

At Braven, our core values really do describe how we “show up” with each other. Before applying, we encourage you to take a look at them, and see if they describe you, too. At Braven, we are obsessed with making a real impact on the world, and are committed to learning and innovation as a path to get there. What that means in practice is that you can expect a proactive and nimble “startup-like” culture, where we work together to adapt, evolve, and make things happen. We also aspire to be a premier workplace for professionals who share identities with Braven’s Fellows. That means cultivating an environment of belonging for our intentionally diverse team. It means being a place that stretches and grows you as a professional. It means having fun together as we do work that matters. 

Compensation and Benefits

The salary for this position, which depends on prior work experience and our assessment of your fit for the role, will likely be between $91,300-$114,100 (Chicago, IL, the band will vary for other locations). Braven offers competitive base salaries based on the midpoint of the market among not-for-profit organizations of similar size, with opportunities for salary growth over time. We believe in compensating staff members fairly in relation to each other, their qualifications, and their impact on behalf of the organization, and take internal equity seriously. Given our commitment to equity and the inequities that can emerge from salary negotiations, Braven does not negotiate salary offers; instead each salary offer is determined carefully upfront using benchmarking. You will have an opportunity to discuss salary in more detail after you begin the application process.

Braven also provides competitive, comprehensive benefits, recognition, and career development. While Braven reserves the right to change benefits at any time, current benefits include: 

  • Unlimited vacation time in addition to org-wide shut downs in July and the end of the calendar year
  • Up to 5% match of your 401K contribution starting your first full month
  • Coverage of 85% of health insurance premium 
  • A one month paid sabbatical after 4 years on staff


When social distancing is not in place, we gather in the office four days a week. Therefore, we require teammates to live within commuting distance of Chicago, IL. Each teammate can use one flex day of their choosing per week to work remotely. We believe in the magic, connection, and collaboration that happens when people work together face-to-face and we believe in giving people flexibility to focus, balance personal priorities, and save themselves one commute per week. 

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

At Braven, we are committed to attracting, engaging, developing, and retaining a diverse team. Braven operates in the context of our American culture, against the backdrop of systemic racism and oppression of marginalized people since our country’s founding. We are committed to assembling leaders at our organization who have emerged from everywhere, with a particular emphasis on those who share the racial and income backgrounds of our Fellows, and creating an inclusive culture that allows all teammates, of all experiences and identities, to thrive.  

Braven is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, veteran status, or any other protected factor.  We encourage talented individuals of all backgrounds to apply.

Thank You

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  • Location
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience