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8 Mar 2021

Operations / Administration Director of Talent and Equity

Code Nation
 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States

Job Description


Code Nation is a community of teenagers, technologists, teachers, business leaders, and other champions. A movement spanning cities, cultures, and industries, our community builds bridges across social and economic divides and unites people with the power to change each others’ lives.

Code Nation equips students with the skills, experiences, and connections that together create access to careers in technology. With a volunteer teaching cohort of over 300 professional web and software developers and a network of school and company partners, we provide coding courses and work-based learning programs to students who attend under-resourced high schools. Our industry-aligned curriculum and vast network of supporters provide students with the tech skills and social capital they need to break into the tech workforce.

During the 2019-2020 school year, Code Nation pivoted to reach 1,630 students in 72 programs across the Bay Area, Chicago, and New York City, 100% virtually. Software developers collectively volunteered more than 45,000 hours to provide in-person and remote learning in support of Code Nation’s mission in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and New York City.

Code Nation is committed to being an inclusive, pro-Black, and anti-racist organization. Ideal candidates are committed to educational and tech equity and working against institutional inequities. We believe that anyone can learn to code, and everyone should have access to careers in the thriving tech workforce. Check out our latest commitment with CS for All to provide coding courses, workplace experiences, and industry mentorship with a focus on equity and representation for 1,200 students across New York City, Chicago, and the Bay Area by Summer 2021.



Code Nation is seeking our first ever leader of our human resources function, the Director of Talent and Equity. The Director of Talent and Equity will develop and manage our efforts to support a thriving team and an inclusive organizational culture. They will ensure equitable practices are infused throughout our internal processes, including recruitment, hiring, onboarding, professional development, retention, and team member engagement. The Director of Talent and Equity will have strong DEI experience, an inclusive and collaborative approach to the work, and the ability to build strong connections within our team. 

In the first year, the Director of Talent and Equity will refine our performance management system and processes, help inform our emerging compensation philosophy and strategy, and develop an approach for evaluating and updating our benefits that ensure we are meeting the needs of our staff and remaining competitive in recruiting talent. They will also design and coordinate onboarding and offboarding experiences that make our team feel valued. Our emerging vision is that a team member in each region will spend ~25-30% of their time working on HR initiatives (culture, hiring, etc.) and that the Director of Talent and Equity will implement their vision through thoughtfully centralizing some things and supporting these regional liaisons to implement locally (e.g.hiring, team culture, etc.) in service of regional program autonomy.

The Director of Talent and Equity will report to our COO, Fra Balbi. Fra and the Director of Talent and Equity will co-manage a Senior Manager of Human Resources and Finance. Code Nation currently has 34 full time team members with plans to grow to 40 by August 2021. The majority of our staff work on our regional program teams in the Bay Area, Chicago, and New York. 

Code Nation is committed to being an inclusive, pro-Black, and anti-racist organization; ideal candidates are committed to educational and tech equity and working against institutional inequities.

The salary range for this position is $100,000 – 140,000.



The primary responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Performance Management + Leadership Development
      • Work with leadership team to develop a vision for excellent management at Code Nation
      • Work with Managing Directors to develop robust and equitable staff, manager, and leadership development pathways across Code Nation to facilitate professional growth and provide a foundation for ongoing performance management
      • Serve as a trusted resource to all team members to help navigate career development, management, and ensure a great team member experience
      • In collaboration with Code Nation leadership, improve upon and scale current performance management processes, including ensuring staff received annual performance review and are equipped to engage in clear and collaborative conversations around workload, goals and performance
      • Work with managers to establish a culture of transparency and growth orientation with regard to performance and promotion through intentional habits and structures designed to facilitate feedback and nurturing professional development experiences
  • Talent Strategy
      • Lead Code Nation in maintaining and developing best practices across all areas of talent management and culture, including recruitment, hiring, professional development, staff management, performance evaluations, promotion pathways, and team member retention plans
      • Build and deliver long-term, data-driven professional development pathways and plans that positively impact individual and team performance, leadership, and Code Nation’s strategic goals
      • Develop robust, consistent onboarding procedures to welcome and orient new team members with the knowledge and support to thrive from the outset
      • Manage team member engagement processes, including developing and analyzing our annual staff culture survey and co-leading efforts to track organizational progress and integrate feedback into policies and practices
      • Manage periodic compensation analyses to ensure staff are compensated competitively and equitably
      • Consult with and advise programmatic staff regarding talent and organization development opportunities and solutions
  • Equity & Inclusion
      • Create and champion learning opportunities that build staff knowledge and skills for embedding equity and inclusion throughout our programmatic work, internal practices, and organizational culture; co-lead the design and implementation of organization-wide accountability measures, such as incorporation of equity core competencies into job descriptions and performance reviews
      • Establish methods for the ongoing tracking of the impact of our policies and practices to ensure they are equitable for all staff while identifying and recommending improvements
      • Develop robust recruitment processes and support to create the highest caliber candidate pools and provide guidance and coaching on explicit recruitment-focused responsibilities
      • In conjunction with leadership, work to ensure cultural changes are embedded across all levels and in alignment with strategic plans and desired business outcomes
  • Human Resources
    • Maintain team member handbook, including evaluating all human resources policies and procedures and identifying and implementing policy improvements
    • Work with Code Nation’s HRIS vendor to manage team member documentation; utilize relevant human resource and company systems to track candidate flows and manage team member performance management records (e.g., professional development plans, performance reviews, performance improvement plans)
    • Serve as a point person for Employee Relations, including confidential and sensitive personnel issues and management of the confidential internal grievance process



Success in this position will require, but not be limited to, the following proven experiences and competencies:

  • What you’ve accomplished (required):
      • Minimum of 5 years in human resources or talent roles in an analogous setting (e.g. direct service or youth development program). We will eagerly consider candidates with compelling experience at other social sector organizations or from the private sector who demonstrate strong instincts around the needs of our organization in the interview process
      • Found success through influencing and managing people to execute when they do not report into you (through dotted line relationships)
      • Knowledge of human resources best practices, from compliance to strategic engagement
      • Experience helping organizations progress on their journey to become more equitable and inclusive, and receive constructive feedback
      • Ability to coach others; deep knowledge of adult learning strategies and tactics
  • Other things you might have accomplished (preferred) or would be excited to learn here:
      • Owning the talent life cycle from beginning (recruitment/hiring) to end (offboarding)
      • Developing an ongoing talent strategy including forecasting of future needs
      • Significant experience advancing equity as a mission-critical facet of your role
      • Facilitating staff experiences around diversity, equity, and inclusion or strong instincts around selecting and managing external vendors
      • Creating and/or managing an org-wide performance management system that is equitable and growth oriented
      • Developing and/or strengthening a comprehensive compensation policy that is equity driven
  • Skills you have developed and knowledge you have acquired:
      • Ability to organize and keep track of many projects, deadlines, and priorities at the same time
      • Ability to organize and manage the actions of others who do not report to you
      • Ability to manage self while leveraging manager for strategic support rather than accountability
      • Ability to set vision for a small dispersed team with dotted reporting lines while managing to strong outcomes and job satisfaction
      • Ability to produce work that is clear and accessible to all internal audiences
      • Ability to give and receive constructive feedback
      • Ability to coach others; knowledge of adult learning strategies
      • Ability to communicate verbally and in writing in clear, concise, and linear ways
      • High level of self-awareness, humility, interpersonal skills, and emotional intelligence
      • Ability to track and research trends in organizational design and human resources strategy in a virtual, dispersed context
      • Ability to take hard data, qualitative information, feedback, input from internal and external stakeholders, to develop and inform talent strategies
      • Ability to prioritize actions that will efficiently produce the most desirable results while deciding not to take other worthwhile actions due to time constraints
      • Knowledge of how race, racism, class, classism, gender, sexism, and power and privilege and related equity issues show up in the work of mission-driven organizations and their programs
  • How you work and what you value:
    • Deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • Comfortability with ambiguity while finding responsibility in driving towards and/or creating clarity
    • Enjoys iterative work
    • Self starter and entrepreneurial. Comfortable with failure as a path towards progress
    • Exemplary ethical standards, discretion, and an excellent track record of managing confidential matters and developing trust with colleagues at all levels
    • Enjoys working on a team and operates in a way that will build trust with teammates (e.g. curiosity, integrity, consideration, etc.)
    • Driven by results
    • See yourself in our core values



Code Nation has a high-performing culture characterized by our desire to provide our staff members with the support, resources, and information they need to be successful in our organization and in the non-profit field in general.  If you take on this position, you can expect to be offered a compensation package, including salary and benefits, that will be commensurate with your experience and competitive within the non-profit sector. Some of the benefits we offer to our staff members include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance and a Flex spending account for out of pocket medical costs
  • Generous Time Off policy-15 days of paid time off & 14 paid holidays/office closures
  • 401k Retirement Plan 


How to Apply

TO APPLY Code Nation is partnering with RCG Talent Solutions to find our next Director of Talent and Equity. Please submit a resume and cover letter to with the phrase “Code Nation Director of Talent and Equity” in the subject line. We ask that when writing your cover letter, you focus on naming both what interests you about Code Nation’s work and how your experience would lend itself to successfully leading our human resources function.
Code Nation strives to build a staff and board that reflect the cultural diversity of the communities and neighborhoods we serve. Code Nation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, handicap, age, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin. BIPOC individuals are encouraged to apply.

Bureaus: Chicago. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Operations / Administration. Salaries: 100,000 and above.