Director of People Operations

Director of People Operations


New York, NY   |   November 4, 2020

About Zearn

Zearn creates a math learning and teaching experience where all kids feel they belong and can love learning math. At the core of Zearn’s mission is a belief that an understanding and love of math is critical to creating a generation of engaged learners who can change the world. Zearn has created a curriculum and digital learning experience for K-5 math that now serves 1 in 4 kids nationwide, and the organization is continuing to expand its impact while maintaining a focus on access and equity. Zearn is a nonprofit and provides its core instructional materials at no cost, sustaining its work through philanthropy and products that support implementation.

Zearn has expanded rapidly since its founding in 2012 and anticipates continued growth in the near future. The Zearn team, currently 75 people across the U.S., operates as a learning community of teachers, software developers, and designers who are passionate about providing a rigorous, supportive, and engaging math learning and teaching experience.

For more information on Zearn, please visit

The Opportunity

Zearn is seeking an experienced and hands-on Director of People Operations to lead recruitment, retention, professional development, and culture- and team-building activities and to oversee employee benefits and policies. The Director will build and implement strategies that will ensure best-in-class human resources management across the organization. Through their work in codifying best practices and providing effective coaching to managers, the Director of People Operations will position the organization to continue to attract, retain, support, and develop a diverse, strong team and promote a values- and mission-driven culture.

The Director of People Operations will report to Zearn’s General Counsel; supervise the Administrative Assistant; and work in collaboration with the Finance Director as needed, in addition to providing expert support, guidance, and service to staff at all levels of the organization.


Talent Acquisition, Retention, and Development

  • Develop, manage, and continuously refine a centralized, efficient system for attracting, evaluating, and hiring Zearn team members:
    • Partner with hiring managers to develop job descriptions and interview frameworks for maximum impact and consistency
    • Establish best practices for job postings and ensure high-quality and diverse candidate pools
    • Screen applicants, maintain communications with candidates, and prepare and send offer letters
  • Coach and support supervisors to provide effective management to team members:
    • Ensure consistent and effective execution of annual performance evaluations and regular performance management feedback
    • Partner with managers on how to provide employee development and training that maximizes potential and addresses any performance concerns
    • Serve as the main point of contact for HR personnel issues and respond in collaboration with Zearn’s General Counsel

Organizational Culture Building

  • In close collaboration with Zearn’s General Counsel, develop, execute, and manage culture initiatives and support Zearn’s diversity, equity, and belonging goals
    • Identify and implement culture-based initiatives that promote organizational values and foster a strong sense of community across the team
    • Conduct and/or coordinate diversity and anti-bias workshops and trainings to promote an equitable and inclusive environment

Employee Benefits, Onboarding, and Offboarding

  • Manage the employee onboarding and offboarding process to ensure effective support through all stages of the employee lifecycle
    • Liaise with Zearn’s Professional Employer Organization (PEO) for new hires and terminations
    • Serve as point of contact for onboarding and benefits-related questions
    • Maintain complete and accurate personnel records; manage new hire background checks; and oversee the Administrative Assistant in collecting and maintaining relevant files and preparing employee equipment
    • Conduct exit interviews and manage offboarding documentation
  • Oversee the administration of team member benefits in partnership with Zearn’s PEO and relevant internal team members
    • Coordinate with the PEO on human resources matters such as annual benefits enrollment, Leave of Absence (LOA) management, relocations, etc.
    • Serve as point of contact for review of annual renewal plans and insurance carrier recommendations; lead internal communication across the team regarding benefits
    • Manage LOA policies and tracking; coordinate across Zearn’s PEO, Finance team, and employees on leave eligibility, payment, and paperwork


  • Ensure all personnel policies, procedures, and records remain in compliance, proactively reviewing those currently in place and identifying necessary changes based on relevant laws and reporting standards
  • Collaborate with the General Counsel to maintain and update Zearn’s employee handbook
Candidate Profile

As a strong candidate, you will demonstrate many, though perhaps not all, of the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • You offer at least 10 years of professional experience, including prior success in human resources positions that have required a generalist’s range of knowledge across recruitment, retention, employee development, benefits, and compliance.
  • You have demonstrated expertise in leading, building, and/or managing systems, processes, and relationships related to talent acquisition, performance management, and/or staff development.
  • You are able to leverage excellent communication and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain strong relationships with managers and staff at all levels of an organization, offering a responsive and effective customer service experience. Experience in advising Director-level leaders is required.
  • You have been successful in fast-paced and/or growth-oriented organizations that are committed to high standards and high levels of accountability. You are self-directed and able to identify and act on opportunities for improvement.
  • You work with the utmost discretion, respect for confidentiality, and sound professional judgment.
  • You have experience working across a remote or geographically distributed organization.
  • You are excited about joining a team that provides transformative learning experiences.
  • You hold a Bachelor’s degree or have equivalent professional experience.
Compensation & Benefits

The salary for this position is expected to be $110,000. Zearn offers a competitive benefits package, including comprehensive medical, dental and vision plans, short- and long-term disability, life insurance, 401K matching, parental leave, and a generous PTO policy.

While Zearn is currently operating as a fully remote organization, the individual in this position should be based within commuting distance of New York City and be prepared to work from the New York City Office upon its reopening in 2021.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Cassie Scarano and Kirstin Griffiths are leading this search. To express your interest in this role please click here.. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Zearn is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member 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.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit