Skip to main content

Director of People & Culture

Job Details

San Jose, CA
Full Time


Company name: FIRST 5 Santa Clara County
Title of position: Director of People & Culture
Position Classification: Full-time exempt
Pay range: $116,501 - $135,058
Location: San Jose, California
Posting date: April 18, 2024; Reposted date: July 16, 2024Closing date: Until filled

Background on FIRST 5:
FIRST 5 Santa Clara County (FIRST 5) was formed when California voters approved Proposition 10 in November 1998. FIRST 5 is a local public entity governed by a nine-member Commission. FIRST 5 Santa Clara County supports the healthy development of children from prenatal through age five and enriches the lives of their families. FIRST 5 allocates funds to promote, support, and improve early childhood development for children prenatal through age 5 and their families.

Commitment to Diversity:
FIRST 5 Santa Clara County is committed to fostering an inclusive environment where all individuals are valued, respected, and empowered to succeed. We believe that diversity enriches our community and enhances our ability to innovate and thrive. We are dedicated to creating a culture that celebrates differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion, socioeconomic status, and other dimensions of diversity. We recognize that diverse perspectives lead to better solutions and stronger relationships. Through ongoing education, training, and intentional efforts, we strive to eliminate bias and discrimination in our policies, practices, and interactions. We are committed to providing equal opportunities for growth, advancement, and recognition to all members of our community.

Position Summary
As the Director of People & Culture, you will play a pivotal role in fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment where employees can thrive and contribute to the organization’s mission of ensuring the optimal development of young children in Santa Clara County. Reporting directly to the Executive of People & Culture, you will be responsible for the development and implementation of strategic initiatives related to human resources, talent management, and organizational culture. This position supervises the People & Culture Coordinator and is not part of a bargaining unit.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Recruits, interviews, hires, and trains new staff in the department.
  • Provide support, training, development, and supervision to the People & Culture Coordinator.

HR Administration

  • Support the organization with both transactional/tactical and strategic functions/actions.
  • Extract and analyze data to inform leaders and drive business that positively impacts the workforce.
  • Monitor workforce productivity, retention, and engagement trends and changes that require intervention.
  • Support the development of HR-related strategies and ensure implementation and execution.
  • Process new hire background checks and ensure fingerprinting process and reports are completed.
  • Effective administration of employee onboarding process including I-9s, W-4s, Information Sheets, and Benefit enrollment applications. Audit information andmaintain data accuracy and integrity.
  • Oversee the verification of employment process and handle the verification of employment inquiries.
  • Serve as FIRST 5’s in-house administrator for the agency’s Paycom HRIS system (sometimes referred to as a Super-Admin). This includes developing and applying knowledge of all modules, including for new hires, importation of new employee data, maintaining changes, direct deposit, premiums, and other deductions, setting up reporting structure, accrual rates, department codes, performance review system, tracking leaves of absence, and complete terminations.

Talent Selection and Onboarding

  • Collaborate with the Executive of People & Culture to design and execute recruitment, hiring, and retention strategies.
  • In collaboration with the People & Culture Coordinator oversee the development and placement of advertisements for job vacancies.
  • Oversee the job posting process for effectiveness and legal adherence.
  • Partners with the leadership team to understand and execute the organization’s People & culture and talent strategy particularly as it relates to current and future talent needs, recruiting, retention, and succession planning.
  • Develop and lead orientation and onboarding sessions for new hires.

Employee Relations

  • Develop, maintain, and administer staff administrative policies and corresponding manuals.
  • Assist managers with counseling employees on performance and other issues.

Performance Management & Talent Development

  • Work with leadership to identify staff development needs, workforce challenges or talent gaps, and learning solutions.
  • Create learning and development programs and initiatives to bolster competencies across the organization; provide internal professional development and identify external resources for group-based and self-directed learning.

Benefits Administration

  • Administer and oversee the administration of employee benefit plans (including FSA 125 plan, HRA 105 plan, Dependent Care Reimbursement, and Tuition Reimbursement plans).
  • In collaboration with Finance, oversee administration of retirement and deferred compensation plans.
  • Oversee administration of self-funded trust plans.
  • Assist employees with accessing benefits and understanding policies and procedures.
  • Administer employees’ enrollment in and termination of benefits and COBRA coverage.
  • Work with brokers to perform a review of benefit plan performance and make recommendations for updates and changes.
  • Coordinate ongoing employee education opportunities regarding benefits, including retirement plan orientation sessions, open enrollment, etc.

Employee Engagement

  • Foster and promote a strong culture that aligns with FIRST 5 Santa Clara County values, emphasizing continuous improvement and employee engagement.
  • Collaborate with the People & Culture Coordinator to plan and attend staff events.

Compliance / Policy / Procedure

  • Stay abreast of HR trends, best practices, and regulatory changes, ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws.
  • Maintain accurate employee data and records in the Paycom HRIS, including interview forms, hiring recommendations, promotions, transfers, terminations, employee performance reviews, background checks, references, etc.
  • Administer HRIS and benefits training programs to train employees on relevant apps and online portals.
  • Review benefits and employee assistance programs annually and work with the Executive of People & Culture to identify additional or supplemental benefits.

Labor Relations

  • Understands and proactively identifies labor relations trends and issues that may drive/shape or change management strategy/approach. Builds relationships with union and stewards. Collaborates and facilitates conversations with managers and stewards to resolve grievances with a focus on long-term positive labor relations.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Extensive experience in HR, with a focus on HR strategy development, policy development and compliance, change management, HR technology and systems, learning and development.
  • Extensive knowledge of HR-related federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through continuous development, modeling inclusive behaviors, and proactively managing bias.
  • Results-oriented with the ability to quickly identify problems and use initiative and sound judgment to drive solutions.
  • Ability to quickly establish credibility and effective business partnerships with leaders and employees at all levels of the organization.
  • Demonstrated optimism and relentless problem-solving, with a strong sense of empathy.
  • Ability to maintain an upbeat, positive environment that inspires a sense of urgency, constant innovation, teamwork, and a strong commitment to individual and team accountability.
  • Demonstrates strategic acumen, ability to prioritize tasks, and flexibility to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent and effective written and verbal communication skills along with strong attention to detail,
  • Demonstrates emotional intelligence in interactions, negotiations, and communications.
  • The ability to work under pressure while exercising good judgment and handling conflict and uncomfortable situations with peers, and direct reports with tact and diplomacy.
  • Must be self-initiating and be able to work with minimal supervision.
  • Thorough knowledge of labor relations practices and legal requirements.
  • Ability to adhere to and maintain strict confidentiality standards.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office suite, including Team, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, and SharePoint. Willingness and capacity to learn new online platforms are a must.

Physical Requirement
The ability to lift and carry objects weighing up to 25 pounds occasionally, and the capability to sit and stand for extended periods, bend stoop, and perform tasks requiring manual dexterity. Will require participation in FIRST 5 related community events and working some evenings and weekends.

Work Environment
The work is performed in a typical office setting which is adequately lighted, heated, and ventilated. This is a hybrid with two (2) days per week in the office.

Job Classification
This position is full-time exempt and is not part of a bargaining unit.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, Organizational Psychology, or Organizational Development, or a related field; OR an equivalent combination of education and 10+ years of experience in the field.
  • Minimum 7 years of progressively increased responsibilities.
  • At least 3 years of supervision experience required.
  • Project Management certification is a plus.
  • Union experience required.
  • Paycom HRIS experience required.
  • Experience in the public/nonprofit/government sector a plus.