National Director of Talent & Equity

Democrats for Education Reform

Posted: 11/14/2019

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Human Resources/Recruiting

Primary domain: Advocacy/Social Action

City: New York

Postal code: 10038

State: New York

Country: United States

Organization Information:


Not Available


Mission statement:

We are Democrats who believe there is an urgent need to expand what’s working and fix what’s broken in our nation’s public education system. We do that by supporting elected Democrats and Democratic candidates who will put student interests first and pursue the bold and innovative changes necessary to give every child in America—especially students from low-income families and students of color—a high-quality public education. 

Position Details:

Job Description:

DFER is seeking a National Director of Talent & Equity to build systems and organizational capacity to hire, retain, develop and advance outstanding talent and to ensure an inclusive, engaging and high-performing culture that helps them thrive. This role requires a unique blend of leadership presence, systems-thinking, ability to influence at all levels of the organization, a sophisticated lens on race and equity as it impacts HR work, and exceptional recruiting and hiring chops.

We need a resilient talent leader who takes a systematic approach to building HR operations that are both effective and equitable, and has the courage and people-smarts to win others over to new and more equitable ways of working. Our ideal candidate has helped leaders hire diverse, high-performing teams and manage effectively across lines of difference. Since leading this work can sometimes be challenging and take time to show results, we are also seeking someone who is unflappable and resilient, while continuing to adapt and suggest new approaches to accomplish our talent goals. Finally, we are looking for a people-whisperer: someone who deeply understands the importance of framing, messaging, emotionally-intelligent practices and the human side of change to help with the following workstreams:

Overarching Talent Strategy & Leadership (20%)
● Lead the organization’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan to establish shared values and organizational norms.
● Work with the President and senior leadership 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.
● Develop and support all managers to become high-skilled “talent champions.”
● Develop comprehensive succession plans for every senior leader.
● With support from the Director of Operations, track and evaluate effectiveness of talent management systems and act on the results.
● Participate at the executive level in decisions about strategic priorities and planning, ensuring talent management is fully integrated.
● Plan and facilitate regular leadership and staff retreats in collaboration with senior leadership and accounting for the pulse, feedback and needs of the full organization.

Recruitment and Hiring (50%)
● Enthusiastically advance the equity goals of the organization by developing and implementing inclusive hiring practices.
● Actively promote the organization as a great place to work, building our “employer brand” with potential hires.
● Increase the success rate of new hires and decrease the time and energy it takes from other team members to find them by:

○ Creating efficient systems to manage internal hiring processes;
○ Continuously building and managing diverse pools of outstanding candidates for current and future potential positions;
○ Developing systems to more deeply assess likely performance and culture fit for prospective new hires; and
○ Ensuring “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” are spot on and effectively assessed in hiring processes.

Culture Development, Retention & Redeployment (20%)
● Focus engagement and retention efforts on a diverse set of highest-performing and highest-potential team members, including quality of direct supervision, proactive leadership pipeline development at the intersection of career aspirations and potential future role opportunities across the organization and issues of compensation.
● In collaboration with managers, create growth and stretch opportunities for regional and national staff that allow them to impact workstreams outside of their immediate scope of work to boost retention and job satisfaction, as well as create new career ladders within the organization.
● Oversee initiatives and activities to build desired organizational culture, including robust internal communications that reinforce our core strategy and values.

Talent Development (10%)
● Develop orientation and new staff training practices that get people what they need right out of the gate and increase the likelihood of a good start.
● Ensure annual development plans are in place for all employees, focused on both immediate and longer-term organizational needs.
● Design and facilitate staff skill building at regular team meetings and retreats. 


The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and skills:

● Proven experience building and executing best-in-class talent practices and systems. You have built effective systems for hiring, onboarding, supporting and developing staff, ensuring high engagement and retention of top performers and fair and equitable performance management and promotion systems.

● A deep understanding of how to influence, motivate and lead people, with or without formal authority. You are skilled at reading the room and tailor your communications to the audience to improve their effectiveness. You are the first person managers or leaders think of when they have a tough communications challenge, or need help deciphering tricky feedback. You’re great at helping leaders understand employee concerns and manage change in ways that protect employee commitment, confidence, engagement and morale.

● A developed race and equity lens that informs your work and guides your leadership. You bring a strong lens on race, equity and inclusion to the talent work you lead, and help others build their capacity to consider the disparate impact of their actions or organizational practices across lines of race, gender, ability or other difference.

● Skill in engaging managers and leaders and building their support and commitment to talent work. You are clear and intentional about how you think about and share information, which leaders you engage and when, and how to build your “extra team” to support the success of our talent work. You manage across well to managers and senior leaders to ensure the weight of building an inclusive, engaged and effective organization is shared and you and your team have the supports you need to succeed.

● A master recruiter with a track record of helping leaders find (and choose) the best talent. You have built a track record in previous organizations for being a great assessor of potential hires, having diverse networks that help you recruit the best people, and serving as a trusted advisor to hiring managers to ensure their decisions are sound, rooted in data, and that bias is mitigated whenever possible.

In addition to these core qualities, you are someone who can effectively keep a bird’s eye view of the entire organization, short and long-term. You are one of the few people who touches every single part of the enterprise and it’s your job to ensure talent flourishes, living out its highest purpose wherever it can in the organization, today and tomorrow. 


A comprehensive benefits package is included. 


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

Email Tania de Sá Campos, Deputy Chief of State Operations, at [email protected] with a resume and a cover letter explaining why you are an ideal candidate for this position. With your application, also attach a sample hiring plan you’ve used in a previous role.

Please note: At this time, incomplete applications will not be considered. 


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