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Head of People Operations



People & HR, Operations
East Africa
Posted on Monday, May 20, 2024

Position Overview

Educate! is seeking a Head of People Operations to support a fast-growing global team, with offices in East Africa, the USA and Europe (Netherlands, Spain and the UK). This role reports to the Director of People and will collaborate closely with the Head of People Programs and Engagement to elevate our existing systems and operations in preparation for our anticipated organizational growth and scale, including new country expansion efforts.

This is an exciting and enriching opportunity for an experienced operator who easily adapts in changing environments, can bring clarity to emergent systems, engages stakeholders to embrace new processes, and enjoys working on a diverse portfolio of projects. Responsibilities include policy creation/updating, analytics, and building and iterating on systems and operational processes. In addition to the People Team, your stakeholders will include Country Managing Directors, the Finance and Operations team, Deputy COO and COO.

About Educate!

Africa has the world’s youngest and fastest-growing population. By 2035, the continent is poised to contribute more people to the global workforce each year than the rest of the world combined.

At Educate!, we're obsessed with impact. We leverage iterative learning to build highly scalable youth employment solutions aimed at unlocking the potential of the world’s youngest continent.

Educate! prepares youth in Africa learn, earn and thrive in today’s economy by:

  1. Introducing an employment-focused school subject into secondary; and,
  2. Delivering livelihood bootcamps for out-of-school youth, with a focus on marginalized rural girls and young women.

To date, more than 250,000 youth have been meaningfully impacted across Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, and along the way, Educate! has become the largest youth employment and skills provider in East Africa.

Educate! is a team of over 250 largely African staff and 300 volunteer youth mentors. We prioritize building an engaging, fulfilling and growth-oriented work environment. 50% of our top 30 leaders have been with us for over 5 years, 10+ alumni have started their own organizations and 6 current or former team members were Acumen Fund East Africa fellows.

We have been backed by top foundations such as Imaginable Futures, Big Bang Philanthropy, #startsmall, Generation Unlimited, CIFF and Echidna Giving. Educate! won a 2018 Klaus J. Jacobs Prize and a 2015 WISE Award, and has been highlighted by the World Bank’s S4YE's Impact Portfolio, an Al Jazeera documentary, BBC, The Brookings Institution as one of 14 case studies on scaling education, and the Gates Foundation as a Goalkeepers Accelerator. In 2022, we received a catalytic investment from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott to scale our systems change work.

Educate!'s long-term vision is to design solutions that measurably impact millions of youth across Africa each year. By 2025, we aim to scale our annual reach by 4x and measurably impact over 400,000 new youth.

Performance Objectives

The role will be a mixture of:

  • Maintaining core functions and improving existing systems (50%)
    • Tech platforms we currently use are: BambooHR, CultureAmp, and Greenhouse ATS
  • Building new systems that don’t exist yet (50%)

This role will encounter systems, programs and initiatives that have been in place for a while. Applicants should be skilled at quickly onboarding and executing them, as well as identifying opportunities for further improvement that have the greatest impact. Responsibilities include assessing and identifying opportunities to improve People programs and services by leveraging technology and implementing process improvements. This role is responsible for overarching policies, compensation and benefits, and the systems and technology for the People Team.

Maintaining Core Functions & Improving Existing Systems (50%)

  • Support HR Managers as the point of contact for implementation and problem solving issues regarding:
    • Maintaining accurate records of all team members.
    • Leading the process with contract renewals.
    • Assist with onboarding and offboarding processes.
  • Collaboratively with the Head of People Programs and Engagement, identify and implement systems improvements supporting existing programs including:
    • Onboarding and offboarding
    • Professional growth and development
    • 360 Feedback
    • Promotion application and approval process
    • Engagement survey
  • Lead HRIS systems improvements (BambooHR) to ensure accurate and timely updates to employee records. Help us get the most out of the platform to gain efficiencies to support our team growth.
  • Maintain updated employee and organizational policies, ensuring compliance with legal requirements in all countries of operation (i.e. benefit and payroll enrollments, mid-year changes, salary amendments, promotions, relocations, parental leaves, absences).
  • Ownership over the compensation and benefits processes, including the management and application of salary scales, conducting compensation surveys, market and peer data research and upholding our compensation philosophies.

Building new systems that don’t exist yet (50%)

  • Collaboratively with the Head of People Programs and Engagement, build systems and processes to deliver on new people programs, including:
    • Employee performance monitoring and career progression
    • Learning and development
    • Other strategic programs identified
  • Lead the creation of a Regional Employee Handbook for East Africa as an important project supporting new country expansion.
  • Unlock data-driven insights throughout People Operations to inform decision-making and efficiency gains. Maintain awareness or propose future analytic needs and ensure basic data integrity steps are built into processes.
  • Contribute to the continuous improvement of HR/People processes using technology.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders and cross-functional partner teams in building out People technology, processes, and operational capabilities globally.


  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively in a multicultural environment.
  • At least 6 years of experience working in an administrative function, with 4 of those being in an People/HR operational role.
  • Extremely organized and able to thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, juggling multiple competing priorities and responsibilities.
  • Adaptive and able to quickly switch or entirely change activities to meet team needs.
  • Very high attention to detail.
  • Exceptional judgment in maintaining confidentiality of employee and candidate information.
  • Have a clear and confident communication style to manage stakeholder expectations and to bring stakeholders along in changes to processes and adapt to new systems.
  • Ability to pick up new software and tools with ease.
  • Must be curious and seek to learn and improve while also simultaneously proactive and solutions oriented.
  • Aligned with our Five Cultural Tenets (see What is Educate! About? below) and learn more by looking at Educate!’s culture deck here.

Location Details

  • We prefer candidates based in East Africa (Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda). We welcome applicants from other locations, including the USA and Europe (Netherlands, Spain and UK).
  • We have a hybrid work philosophy! Teammates work from our offices twice per week and attend monthly team socials and culture-building events.
  • International travel will be required occasionally.


  • Salary will be based on market factors and commensurate with experience.
  • Benefits will align with the country of hire and typically include medical and travel insurance, flexibility on work hours and hybrid work, paid leave plus one week of office closure over the winter holidays, and more.

What Is Educate! About?

We’re ambitious. Are you? Educate! is growing fast, so new opportunities are opening up and expanding all the time. We’re inspired by people with drive, and we love to help them reach their full potential. We expect everyone at Educate! to contribute above and beyond their job description, grow their skills, and advance their careers, and we are committed to supporting our staff members on that journey of their careers, and we are committed to supporting our staff members on that journey.

  1. We put Youth First, Impact-Obsessed - We never forget that Educate! exists to impact youth. We are purpose-driven. We obsess over impact daily and if it doesn’t lead to impact, we want nothing to do with it. We prioritize interacting with and listening to youth. We design and manage the organization to ensure every dollar creates transformative experiences that youth value.
  2. We Exceed Expectations - We take pride in going above and beyond to achieve the best results. When we know what needs to be done, we do it. We don’t wait to be asked and we don’t stop at what is asked of us. We look for solutions as much as we identify problems.
  3. We Are Always Learning - We are committed to seeking and applying new knowledge and ideas. We stay open-minded. We know there is always another way and we are excited to learn about it. We continuously look for resources of all kinds from multiple disciplines. We try new things, experiment, grow, and improve. We invest in learning for ourselves and our teams.
  4. We are One Team, Many Views - We say what we think while treating each other well. We believe that all people have the same inherent value and that diverse ideas and open dialogue fuel excellence. We constantly strive to create an environment where everyone can and does express themselves freely. We support and respect each other as people and colleagues. We act as one team: We prioritize the organization's mission and goals over team or individual goals.
  5. We have the Startup Mindset - We will always keep innovating to grow our impact. We aspire to be game-changing. We never think “we have arrived” or “we’re done.” We question the status quo in our industry. We move fast and embrace change to move towards our long-term vision. We’re not afraid of failure. We interrogate anything that slows us down.

Every person at Educate! — from interns to the Chief Executive Officer— is evaluated by how they live up to these five cultural tenets. They are at the core of how we achieve our mission and why we work as well as we do.

Educate is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who interact in our community. In creating this environment, we encourage people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences to join our diverse team.

Child Safeguarding: Educate! is committed to child-safe/youth-safe recruitment, selection and screening. Our recruitment and selection procedures reflect our commitment to the safety and protection of children in our programs. The successful candidate will be required to provide a satisfactory Certificate of Good Conduct as a condition of employment. We reserve the right to decline to offer employment to an individual or terminate an employment contract with an employee that may pose a risk to children and youth.