Director of People & Culture

Director of People & Culture

RALLY: communications firm

Flexible Location (LA or San Francisco, CA preferred)   |   May 12, 2021


RALLY is an issue-driven communications firm with a record of driving progress around complex political and social problems. The firm was founded in California and over the past seven-plus years has grown to four offices and a team of over 65 professionals. Organizations like the ACLU, Black Lives Matter, March for Our Lives, Earth Justice, and GoFundMe are among the more than 300 clients with whom they’ve worked. As a team, RALLY strives to be:

  • Adaptable and agile
  • Inspiring and persuasive
  • Innovative and inventive
  • Curious and growth-minded
  • Collaborative and team-oriented
  • Culturally intelligent and equity-promotive

RALLY is proud to work on an extensive range of critical social issues, including education, environmental protection, immigration, health care, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, financial inequality, gun violence, and more. They work with leading foundations, advocacy organizations, philanthropists, high-profile individuals, and commercial entities who strive to shape public policy, discourse, and opinion. They are engaged to:

  • Identify unique strategies to advance critical issues.
  • Design and execute impactful communications campaigns with powerful messaging.
  • Build advocacy organizations from the ground up.
  • Develop and execute sophisticated digital campaigns.
  • Design compelling brand identities, graphics, and storytelling content.
  • Conceive of and execute large-scale events.

For more information on RALLY, please visit their website.

The Opportunity

RALLY has grown rapidly over the past five years and are looking to build capacity around their current systems, structures, and practices to better support both the current 75+ staff as well as those expected to join the team in the coming years with the overall goal of shaping and fostering RALLY’s culture, ensuring the agency is living its values in all of its HR and people policies and practices.

Reporting to the President and serving as a member of the Executive Leadership Team, the Director of People and Culture will lead the charge of moving RALLY forward by implementing new practices, systems, and tools where they currently do not exist, and improving all structures and practices wherever possible. This role will work closely with RALLY’s current Manager of Organizational Development and HR Manager as well as team members across the entire organization who are committed to creating an inclusive, fair, and safe culture.

RALLY is seeking a leader who has experience in supporting and defining organizational culture, including developing positive values and behaviors, creating a diverse and inclusive work environment, fostering professional development and learning, and ensuring RALLY continues to be a place where high-performing people love coming to work. Additionally, RALLY is seeking a leader with a progressive HR mindset, excellent communication skills, and the highest ethical standards and values.

This is an exciting opportunity for an entrepreneurial leader to further develop the people function at a mission-driven, rapidly growing agency that is just as focused on culture as the bottom line.

Candidate Profile

Strong candidates will be motivated by the opportunity to join a rapidly scaling and growing agency that is deeply committed to culture and values. They will have some background in HR/people operations, including understanding current HR trends in compensation/benefits, learning and development, and performance management. They will be excited to work across the entire organization on culture building initiatives, leveraging engagement and ideas from all of RALLY’s talented and committed team members.

RALLY is open to candidates who do not have a traditional HR background, since they are looking for someone who can think outside of the box and suggest new ways of working. Candidates should thrive in a fast-paced, hands-on, collaborative, and client-driven environment.

While no candidate will bring every qualification desired, the details provided below are representative of the knowledge and skills RALLY is seeking for this important hire.

Strategic Leadership

  • Shapes the vision for People and Culture at RALLY, driving forward key objectives related to transforming organizational culture, systems, and processes to ensure that they are best in class
  • In collaboration with the Manager of Organizational Development and colleagues across RALLY, supports on overall organizational strategy development and decision-making
  • Helps drive change management by engaging with and coaching staff at all levels of the organization, with a demonstrated ability to multi-task and carry projects from infancy to completion
  • Through expert relationship-building skills, supports the organization through change by keeping all internal stakeholders apprised of the vision and objectives, the status of deliverables, and progress to goals
  • Establishes credibility and trust at all levels of the organization in order to be seen as a responsive, thoughtful, and effective leader of all human capital related matters

People, Culture, and HR Expertise

  • Leads primary HR functions (employee relations, compensation and benefits design, HR administration, and compliance) with Manager of HR
  • Leads strategy for performance management, including:
    • performance problems, performance improvement plans, and terminations
    • compensation policies, including conducting salary and bonus conversations with staff
    • annual review process
    • promotion process and decisions (in collaboration with managers and others)
  • Drives implementation and adoption of key people analytics to help drive thoughtful, data-driven people decisions
  • Makes recommendations for continuous improvements and, where necessary, for automation and/or streamlining to improve efficiencies
  • Manages and works closely with current Manager of HR

Team Leadership & Culture Building

  • Creates a vision for what the employee experience at RALLY should be; serve as a guardian of the company culture to ensure that as the organization grows, RALLY’s culture is focused on cultural fluency, learning, inclusivity, and high performance
  • With a focus on retention, creates clear pathways for staff development, providing training and support in this area to individuals at all levels (building upon the success of RALLY’s Account Lead Training and other existing trainings)
  • Moves forward organizational practice and culture to achieve substantive change, while fostering a workplace environment that is transparent, collaborative, goal-oriented, and values-driven

Talent Acquisition & Recruitment

  • Builds a compelling company brand and value proposition to win world-class talent
  • Partners with firm leadership and account leads to proactively evaluate talent gaps and create a hiring plan to achieve business goals
  • Creates best-in-class processes for identifying and sourcing potential talent (where to post jobs, where to recruit from, how to encourage referrals), interviewing and evaluating talent, and onboarding talent
  • Builds the company’s professional network through relationships with universities and other partners
  • Drives senior-level talent recruiting, including proactive partnerships with firm leadership and recruiting firms as needed to create a coordinated approach
  • Creates systems and processes for ensuring updated and new job descriptions are compelling and on brand in messaging

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Leads the firm in DEI best practices and experience building inclusive and engaged workplaces, including cultural awareness, and engaging and supporting diverse constituencies
  • Leads with a collaborative and inclusive leadership style, with an understanding of how to manage up, down, and across an organization
  • Ensures consultative and inclusive approaches to developing policy and process changes and to negotiating projects and deliverables across departments so that staff feel included, understand their roles, and are engaged in decision-making processes
Desired Skills, Qualities, and Characteristics
  • Proven influencer with demonstrated ability to coach and counsel both executive-level management and employees
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, strong customer service orientation, and the ability to partner effectively with all levels of the organization, including expectation setting
  • Strong business partnership skills, able to establish credibility and rapport with department heads and managers
  • Desire to think outside the box and come up with creative new systems with a solutions-focused approach to work even if they are outside of the typical HR approach
  • Strong project and process management skills, demonstrated track record of delivering results
  • A background in equity work, with an explicit racial equity lens and with global context
  • Proven ability to plan, prioritize, and work independently and with a cross-functional, remote team
  • Prior experience with a client service company, consulting, PR, or advertising firm a plus
Culture and Benefits

At RALLY, we believe that a business is only as good as its people. That’s why we’re invested in providing a broad range of employee benefits and perks that demonstrate our commitment to our people, their growth and development, and to the vibrant RALLY culture we are building together.

We believe that changing the world should come with a healthy paycheck, time to recharge, and support to reach new heights. RALLY offers a competitive salary plus eligibility for performance-based and new business bonuses. We also offer a healthy benefits package, plus some perks:

  • Three and a half weeks paid vacation, as well as paid holidays
  • One week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day
  • One week of paid volunteer days to work pro bono on any issue you believe in
  • Summer Fridays and half-days prior to Federal holidays
  • Evolving work-from-home policy
  • 401(k) plan with an employer match
  • Transit stipend of $125 per month or paid office parking
  • Cell phone and data service stipend up to $150 per month
  • Generous health, dental, and vision benefits with coverage for spouses/partners
  • Paid family and medical leave policy which greatly exceeds what the law mandates
  • Flexible, family-friendly workplace
  • Annual review with 360 feedback and semi-annual check-ins
  • Annual RALLY Day of Action (Cesar Chavez Day)

For this role, salary is competitive and commensurate with experience that will be discussed directly with interested candidates.

This position is ideally based in Los Angeles or San Francisco.


Molly Brennan and Shelby Woods of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email [email protected]. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


As a firm, RALLY is committed to fostering belonging in a diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn and work together to change the world. RALLY is strengthened by our team’s diversity, including race and ethnicity, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression, just to name a few. RALLY is an equal opportunity employer, and all applicants will be considered. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.

Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone. Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit