Director of People & Culture

Website Digital NEST Digital NEST

Digital NEST

Full-time: 100% FTE, Exempt

Compensation range: $84,000 – $100,000 Annual Salary

Benefits Overview: Medical, vision, dental and life insurance, vacation and sick time off, paid federal holidays, and retirement plan (See full job description for more details).

Organization Size: 50+ employees

Report to: President and Chief Operating Officer

Location(s): Hybrid – Primarily located at the Headquarters office in Watsonville, CA, with a remote work option for up to 2 days a week for eligible employees.



Digital NEST is a workforce development center that has welcomed hundreds of youth from working-class, farmworker communities to develop the technical and professional skills they need to achieve their dreams. It is an exciting time for the NEST as we are on the precipice of expanding to a total of five communities across Northern California by the end of 2026. Digital NEST has centers in the heart of Watsonville, Salinas, and Gilroy. The first Digital NEST in the Central Valley is expected to launch in Stockton in 2023, with plans to scale across the San Joaquin Valley also underway.



To lead the organization through our current stage of rapid growth, Digital NEST is seeking a Director of People and Culture who will provide senior-level leadership and guidance on human resources and culture and lead us through the important work of further developing and strengthening our culture. The collective sum of life experiences, knowledge, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of our culture, our reputation, and our organization’s achievement. Our employees are Digital NEST’s most valuable asset. The Director will oversee the strategy and delivery of an exceptional employee experience; one that develops and retains employees and creates a culture of inclusivity and equity. The Director will be responsible for creating and evaluating internal organizational policies; personnel management and leadership development; diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility programs; and overall management of organizational culture and morale.



Organizational People Leadership (35%)

  • Serve as a strategic thought leader for the organization and lead every aspect of the employee experience.
  • Oversee employee recruiting, onboarding, performance management, development and long-term organizational strategic planning.
  • Design progressive total rewards program, feedback cycles and recognition program to foster an inclusive environment that acknowledges employee growth and development.
  • Advise and manage employee relations matters through the lens of equity and emotional intelligence to ensure fairness and consistency.
  • Effectively direct our HR Senior Manager responsible for the transactional aspects of the employee experience, i. e:  benefits and HRIS.
  • Serve as a visible values champion in the organization.  Examine how we can do even better to live our values.
  • Support cross-cultural teams in a matrixed management structure, serving youth in 5 cities in California, by fostering relationships, active listening, and shared ownership.
  • Partner with the executive team to develop multi-year human resources strategies and plans to support Digital NEST’s rapid expansion.
  • Design, build, and implement standardized processes and tools across the organization to harmonize HR practices across all centers.
  • Partner with legal counsel, finance, and operations teams to develop policies and procedures that ensure Digital NEST continues to operate at high standards of ethics and integrity in all counties where business is conducted.

Learning and Development (20%)

  • Manage staff development opportunities and processes for the organization and staff.
  • Help to create learning and development programs that are person-centered, value-driven, and ensure equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Seek out and vet learning and development partners for management and leadership training.
  • Manage the annual employee performance appraisal process to identify strengths and developmental needs that feed into individual and overall organizational learning agendas.
  • Develop and administer a dynamic, conversation-based performance review and goal-setting practice that ties individual goals and plans for personal growth with organizational objectives and career development paths.
  • Support team members in sharing and receiving constructive feedback across the organization to ensure everyone is learning and growing in their roles.
  • Develop a framework for promotional tracks and the transparent basis for advancement.
  • Work with organizational leaders to invest in high-performers and establish opportunities for professional growth.
  • Build a succession plan to cultivate the internal talent with significant potential to be Digital NEST’s future leaders. Identify areas of the business where the human capital pipeline needs strengthening.
  • Create training plans and ensure delivery of training for teams and individuals in the areas of skill development, teamwork, leadership, diversity and inclusion, compliance, and safety.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (15%)

  • Lead an overall organizational and work environment assessment to build the next iteration of organization design, employee practices, and culture-building to support rapid growth in alignment with DEI goals.
  • Develop and implement diversity and inclusion strategies and action plans as they relate to recruitment, performance management, leadership development, employee engagement, and retention.
  • Promote an inclusive, participatory work environment, creating a sense of belonging among all colleagues, respecting and celebrating differences, and understanding diversity as an organizational strength.
  • Manage the process and assist with hiring a consultant to work with Digital NEST in our efforts to diversify our culture and to name, address, and prevent harm to staff and to those with whom we work.
  • Effectively design and implement onboarding and retention strategies, including staff engagement initiatives, diversity and inclusion strategies, and retention efforts focused on elevating our commitment to equity.

Select, Train, Coach, and Mentor Staff (15%)

  • Support efforts and processes to select, retain, and develop talent and expertise in staff.
  • Work with supervisors/managers to assist with designing a consistent and effective supervisory and coaching practice across the organization.
  • In partnership with executive leaders, provide strategic talent management and learning opportunities to influence a learning organizational culture.
  • Set and monitor organizational metrics designed to evaluate efficiency, employee engagement, and the quality of human resources service delivery.
  • Develop equity-centered learning opportunities to strengthen Digital NEST organizational culture in alignment with its annual and quarterly priorities and goals.
  • Proactively address queries and team member concerns, conduct investigations, when necessary, and resolve complaints, in a consistent and equitable manner that is responsive to unique needs and cultures and provide support and guidance to team members and managers on all team member-related matters, including policy clarity and adoption, benefits, disciplinary actions, etc.
  • Build a communication and feedback loop to surface constructive input for managers through organization-wide meetings, one-on-one meetings, and exit interviews.

HR Compliance and Administration (15%)

  • Maintain responsibility for Digital NEST’s compliance with federal and state legislation pertaining to all personnel matters (ADA, FMLA, Wage and Hour, benefits, etc.).
  • Handle all employment law matters such as FMLA, Wage and Hour, ADA.
  • Develop, administer, and communicate HR policies, procedures, and directives including oversight of Digital NEST’s Employee Handbook.
  • Annually review and make recommendations to executive leadership for improvement of the organization’s policies, procedures, and practices on personnel matters, based on industry trends and innovative practices.
  • Work with the executive leadership to establish a competitive and fiscally responsible benefit, compensation, and leave program, including merit increases, bonuses, COLA, etc.
  • Manage HR administration and compliance for Digital NEST’s teams in key markets, bringing to bear knowledge of, and research on, medical insurance, labor laws, etc.
  • Update and maintain a global policy handbook so Digital NEST team members continue to perform at the highest level of ethics and compliance in all markets.
  • Develop communications and training protocols to disseminate and implement HR policies and processes.
  • Work with the finance team to process payroll and benefits.
  • Work with managers to renew agreements with Digital NEST’s contracted team members.


  • At least 10 years as a leader in non-profit organization.
  • At least 12 years of experience in Human Resources, organizational development, culture development, and employee relations.
  • At least 12 years of expertise and demonstrated commitment to workplace diversity, inclusion, and equity.
  • At least 7 years of experience in a supervisory role.
    Bachelor’s degree and/or advanced degree in a related field is preferred; however, education does not take the place of robust/relevant work experience.
  • Knowledge of HR policies, systems, and related laws and a commitment to keeping current with policies, systems, and related laws.
  • Proven experience in handling complex employee relations matters; can quickly investigate and adeptly address root cause issues with managers and employees
  • Results-driven, agile change agent with demonstrated ability to manage execution of small and large-scale projects or programs
  • Ability to contribute and lead in building a culture of equity and belonging
  • Personal integrity, fairness, and credibility. Able to manage confidential information and act with discretion.
  • Ability to communicate effectively at all levels inside and outside of the organization. Superior written and verbal communication skills.
  • Track record of success in driving organizational change and results.
  • Ability to act with confidence and professionalism with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Professional understanding of intersectionality, anti-racism, inclusion, and power dynamics and how these play out across teams and organizations.


  • Passion for the mission of Digital NEST and belief in upholding organization’s core values.
  • Understanding of and sensitivity to issues of culture/ethnicity/race, gender, sexual identity, class/SES and immigration status.
  • Ability to be an ally to people of color, women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning and intersex individuals and their allies (LGBTQIA).
  • Candidates must have a valid CA driver’s license, pass a background check, and be able to travel and work evenings or weekends occasionally, or as needed.
  • NOTE: The job offer will be contingent upon the successful completion and passing of a background check.


ABOUT OUR BENEFITS: We take a holistic approach to wellness, physical, emotional, and financial. Our comprehensive benefits package includes:

  • 100% Agency Paid Medical, Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance for the employee
  • SIMPLE IRA Retirement Benefit with up to 2% employer match
  • 10 Paid Vacation Days for Full-time Employees (non-Director and non-Chief positions)
  • 15 Paid Vacation Days for Full-time Employees (Director and Chief positions)
  • 13 Paid Holidays Annually Plus Business closure/holiday the week between Christmas Day and New Years Day
  • Paid Sick Time Off
  • Annual Parking Permit

Digital NEST, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


Digital NEST is also committed to an inclusive experience for all applicants and will endeavor to make  reasonable accommodations in the interview process, to the known physical or mental limitations of qualified employees with disabilities unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business.  


Please refer to our career page for more information on how to apply for reasonable accommodations.

To apply for this job please visit

Nonprofit Connection Santa Cruz County is a 501(c)3 corporation, Federal Tax ID# 87-2130376

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