Director of People


Anywhere Remote only

Full time

$160-180k (annually)

Human Resources + Talent Acquisition

100% Remote

Feb 16

This job is no longer accepting applications.


Upstatement is looking for a full-time Director of People who can lead our 50-person studio during a time of transformation. You will work closely with leadership to advance key strategic initiatives, with special focus on ensuring equity, cultivating community, and empowering employees. You’ll be supported by an Operations Coordinator to accomplish the day-to-day duties that help keep everyone on our team healthy and happy.

The ideal candidate has experience building and growing a company culture, developing employee programs, and working with employees on topics from professional development to conflict resolution. 2021 was a transformative year for us, and we’re looking for someone who can both set the stage and guide us through an exciting period of growth!

Fully remote, though East Coast working hours are expected.

Why Is This Role Important to Upstatement’s Work?

The people who work here are our top priority. Without a happy, healthy, motivated workforce, Upstatement wouldn’t be able to deliver world-class digital work that is consistent with our values. Plus, work is just more fun when we feel connected and bring our whole selves.

Over the past two years, Upstatement has grown from 40 to 50 people and gone from mostly in-person to fully remote, changes that pushed us into new territory, tested best practices, and challenged our culture. While we’ve had a good transition, we know there’s still work to do.

We have an empathetic team of top creatives who hold the highest standard and seek projects that propel meaningful change. Everyone from apprentices to top leadership want to work at a company that supports their personal career journey while embodying the change we want to see in the world.

Once Here You Will ...

🌳 Ensure equity in compensation, hiring, and promotions. One of our biggest DEI initiatives, this goal combines in-progress work to define a career lattice, establish salary bands, and develop repeatable systems for hiring/promotions.

🛠️ Professionalize our infrastructure. We want all employees to feel supported through clear and fair processes. Where possible, our tools (software, policies, etc.) should empower employees to independently find information and take action.

🌻 Cultivate community, culture, and belonging All our work supports this goal. 2022 will offer new opportunities for us to build rituals for coming together. We want to make sure we’re listening to employees and doing everything we can to deepen their connection during a high-stress time of change.

🧊 Keep People Operations running smoothly day-to-day. As a relatively small team, we all have to wear a lot of hats. While the organization is committed to our strategic goals, we’re realistic about timelines while balancing the daily responsibilities of running the studio. More on that below.


Build upon and evolve Upstatement’s overall people strategy with focus on the following areas:


  • Implement hiring and recruitment strategies to support a horizon of strategic growth
  • Partner with finance and department heads on resource needs, open headcount, and hiring strategies
  • Guide internal & external recruitment strategies with best practices in recruitment and hiring to attract quality, diverse employees at every level

Human Resources

  • Develop and execute on compensation planning, pay banding, and pay equity programs to drive retention
  • Act as principal administrator for all benefits (insurance, 401k, PTO, etc.) and develop strategies to ensure benefits programs meet employee needs and attract top talent
  • Provide payroll oversight in partnership with our external payroll team

Learning & Development

  • Work closely with leadership to implement growth paths, succession planning, and retention strategies for all talent
  • Champion staff professional development through internal and external training and identify and recommend areas for staff development
  • Direct performance management programs including performance reviews, goal setting, and raise cycles

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

  • Act as the primary leadership support on DE&I initiatives alongside our strategic partners, Canopy Equity Coaching
  • Support the development of a DE&I Committee and Employee Resource Groups

General Administration

  • Regularly track and report HR-related data and metrics to help devise programs and policies in support of Upstatement’s strategic goals and annual plan
  • Ensure compliance by communicating and educating staff on policies and procedures and ensuring that Upstatement’s employee handbook is up-to-date
  • Collaborate with department heads on employee onboarding and off-boarding to ensure smooth transitions
  • Directly manage and support our Operations Coordinator with People-related tasks and general staff support

A Day in the Life Might Look Like:

  • Running semi-monthly and bi-weekly payroll cycles
  • Drafting an onboarding agenda for a new employee
  • Setting up next month’s performance review cycle in Lattice
  • Launching new recruitment cycle: meet with the hiring committee and set up plan in Greenhouse
  • Working with department heads on building out career pathways in Progression
  • Connecting a new manager with a management training/coaching opportunity

Relevant Experience

  • 5+ years leadership experience in HR, Talent, or People roles
  • Experience keeping things stable through significant headcount growth
  • Proven track record developing, implementing, and communicating employee programs
  • Confident leadership and communication style when presenting to leadership, direct reports, and company-wide
  • Holds well-developed philosophies on people management when it comes to growth, retention, and attracting talent
  • Deep understanding of pay strategies, market trends, and compensation benchmarking
  • Experience driving initiatives related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Ability to communicate and champion Total Rewards programs in combination with the “intangible” benefits of our company culture
  • An empathetic problem-solver who can see all sides of any given situation
  • Inspired by collaboration with an inherent desire to find solutions and understanding
  • Displays intuitive judgment on personnel issues and has a strong understanding of nuance in various scenarios
  • Comfortable working with internal and external counsel to mitigate potential employee relations risk issues
  • Experience managing ATS and HRIS platforms (we use Greenhouse and Justworks, respectively)
  • Working knowledge of visa and immigration policies
  • Experience in a tech or agency setting a plus


  • Competitive Salary
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance, and supplementary health benefits (FSA, IVF coverage, TalkSpace)
  • A company-matched 401(k) retirement plan
  • $1,000 home office setup stipend
  • $1,500 annual professional development budget
  • Short/long term disability insurance
  • 3 weeks vacation to start, plus company-wide closure between Christmas & New Year’s Day (fully paid)
  • 12 weeks paid parental leave
  • One Medical membership
  • Internal events, workshops, and seminars (like our Friday Talks)

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