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Director of Talent, East Africa

Nova Pioneer is looking for an outstanding professional who will serve as the organization’s talent development leader and manage all aspects of our people functions throughout East Africa. This is an ideal opportunity for a results-oriented, passionate talent professional who has a broad-based understanding of the various elements required to build a world-class systems for attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people.

Imagine a world in which every young person in Africa attends a school that truly sets them up for success in the 21st century. A school that demands excellence, helps students learn by doing and exploring rather than by memorizing, equips students with globally competitive science and technology skills, and builds the character that will enable them to shape a better future for the continent.

Now imagine that this school is not in one town, in one country, but across Kenya and the continent. This is what we imagine, and we want you to help make it happen.

ABOUT NOVA PIONEER ACADEMIES

We launched three years ago to build the first pan-African network of high-quality and affordable primary and secondary schools. In 2017 we are operating six schools—four in South Africa (Pioneer Academies) and two in Kenya (Nova Academies) —and are preparing for rapid growth. Our vision is to launch 100 schools and serve tens of thousands of students across the continent over the next decade.

We have a unique, entrepreneurial work environment with a strong team culture that is designed to reinforce our vision. The core elements of our culture include:

  • We model the growth mindset we want our students to embody: you are challenged every day and, as a result, you grow more than at any other point in your life
  • We pursue excellence in every detail and do whatever it takes to produce great work quickly
  • We are radically open: we share tough messages and our own vulnerabilities because doing so helps us grow
  • We put our students before our team, and our team before ourselves
  • We bring infectious energy, enthusiasm and fun to everything we do because joy fuels the hardest work and learning

ABOUT THE ROLE

At Nova Pioneer we believe that attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional people is at the heart of achieving our vision. We aim to build our organisation into one of the best environments to work and grow as a professional across the continent and world: we can only grow as quickly as we find and develop fantastic talent. This puts the talent function at the heart of our organisation and this leadership position represents an extraordinary opportunity to shape the trajectory of the organization and its impact on education across the continent.

The Director will lead this priority across East Africa, building and leading a team of strong talent professionals and working closely with the Global Head of Talent to establish and refine systems that we will use across the continent. 

Specific responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

Talent Development

 

  • Design, lead and implement a differentiated professional development program for staff across East Africa, including a robust program to develop emerging leaders and managers;
  • Manage and continuously refine all elements of the annual performance management process including: education and support to all levels of management regarding goal setting, feedback, coaching, appropriate documentation, and appropriate actions for performance issues
  • Support and develop all departmental and school leaders to ensure they are well equipped to consistently deliver strong employee development and performance management
  • Plan and facilitate world class professional development programs to large and small audiences
  • Support the application and continuous refinement of our competency framework, the backbone of our professional growth system, and establish the most efficacious ways to evaluate our staff’s growth and development

 

Recruitment

  • Build and manage a strong recruitment team that is able to efficiently review thousands of candidates every year and identify exceptional individuals to fill hundreds of critical roles as the organization grows rapidly;
  • Develop strategic activities to identify and attract top candidates to Nova Pioneer such as events, social media engagement, and partnerships with universities and other major institutions;
  • Manage and continuously refine strong recruitment systems that smoothly move candidates through a rigorous assessment process, including training and supporting hiring managers across the organization;
  • Develop and manage systems for cultivating great individuals who are not immediate candidates but who may be strong members of the Nova Pioneer family in the future

 

Talent Support

  • Build and manage our Talent Support (Human Resources) function and create systems and processes that will enhance and strengthen our team’s work in all areas of HR administration and systems;
  • Lead employee relations, including serving as a resource for staff, constantly tracking staff culture, engagement, and satisfaction, and advising the management team on appropriate actions to improve staff culture;
  • Manage and constantly analyze and refine all compensation and benefits policies for the organization’s work in the region;
  • Manage to ensure maintain administrative excellence across all HR systems and processes;

 Team and Culture Leadership

  • Build and lead a team to consistently meet the ambitious talent-related goals of rapidly-growing organization;
  • Build an exceptional culture within your team aligned to the organization’s aspirations in which individuals constantly push to meet High Expectations and there are high degrees of collaboration and joy in working together;
  • Constantly track the health of the overall organization culture in East Africa and work closely with the Managing Director and other senior managers to identify additional ways of improving culture;
  • Design and lead initiatives to strengthen organizational culture, including coaching and supporting managers to implement culture-related activities

ABOUT YOU

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree a plus
  • 8+ years of experience in results-oriented, fast-paced environments. Some experience working on modern, progressive human resources/talent experience is required. Experience in the education sector is plus but not required;
  • Exceptional interpersonal and people management skills – your colleagues and teams love working with you and you are able to handle a wide range of personalities and people situations;
  • Experience driving talent planning efforts within an organization with a focus on systematic people development;
  • Excellent project management and ability to prioritize and effectively manage time in a complex, fast-moving environment;
  • You are a creative, out of the box thinker, strategist and problem solver
  • You build strong relationships with an ability to inspire and motivate others
  • You hold high expectations for all people and believe in their ability to reach them
  • You strive for excellence in every detail of your work and inspire and challenge everyone around you to do the same
  • You take pleasure in excellence more than credit or status
  • Our culture resonates deeply with your values—and in particular, you are excited to challenge yourself by taking risks and getting more feedback than you’ve ever received before

NOTES FOR A SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION PROCESS

Please format your resume so that it is no longer than two typed pages
Please send a cover letter highlighting the following: any startup and/or entrepreneurial experience from your career, results that you’ve driven that you’re most proud of (last two years), and the main reason that you’re applying for this role as well as the team(s) that you’ve led or coached.

Please note: Where a copy of your resume is required, copying and pasting from a formatted document e.g. Microsoft Word® may not result in the formatting transferring correctly to the final resume. You are encouraged to attach your resume in Microsoft Word® or PDF format to protect formatting.

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the right candidate is identified. Only qualified candidates will be invited for interviews.

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