Director of People

About The Houston Local News Initiative

The Houston Local News Initiative (“HLNI”) is growing our team of passionate people on a mission to advance democracy in our communities and strengthen the lives of all Houstonians one story at a time. HLNI is launching soon as an independent, non-profit digital news operation that will cover a broad range of topics serving the Greater Houston community. HLNI is initially supported by a coalition of three of Houston’s leading philanthropies including Arnold Ventures, The Houston Endowment, and the Kinder Foundation.

At HLNI, we are expanding our Operations team to include a Director of People. The Director of People will report directly to the COO and will be responsible for the People Operations, Talent Acquisition, and Benefits Management functions. You will be responsible for the high level strategy of these functions as well as leading day to day operations. You will be responsible for the full employee lifecycle, from attraction and recruitment, employee experience, engagement & performance feedback, benefits, and everything in between. Simply put, you will be responsible for the happiness and development of our people. 

Our aim is to provide our employees with all the tools they need to be successful at work, by driving people programs that have a direct impact on teams happiness, efficiency and productivity as we scale. This is a real opportunity to nurture and develop the People function while championing the People agenda as HLNI continues to scale.

We will consider applications on an ongoing basis, but we encourage those who are interested to apply ASAP.

The Role

What you’ll do

People Operations
  • Partner with the COO and other senior leaders to scale the business with a people-first culture
  • Develop cohesive strategies to drive business outcomes across all departments
  • Drive a positive employee experience, from initial recruiting to ongoing development and engagement
  • Design and create people programs that support and develop our team and mission
  • Oversee the company's recruitment strategy and headcount planning, including leading high level recruitment and supporting recruitment of lower levels
  • Ensure operational excellence through the development of scaled systems and processes
  • Bring knowledge of HR policies, programs, laws, and best practices to the company, ensuring compliance
  • Mediate employee relations and performance issues as needed and provide counsel to fellow managers on appropriate methods of managing performance
  • Manage the employee development and review process
  • Maintain full responsibility for all people-related systems, including payroll processing and managing the administration of all payroll-related tasks

Who you are

  • Experience in a senior multi-faceted people role
  • Experience in working with PEOs (e.g., Justworks, Bamboo HR)
  • Excellent end-to-end recruitment experience
  • Ability to navigate a complex, ever-changing environment, helping others to navigate change, and supporting the business through organizational changes or strategic shifts
  • Ability to influence, coach, and develop effective working relationships with employees at all levels, gaining their acceptance, and driving change
  • Intellectual curiosity, bringing valuable insights into the team and business
  • You are able to anticipate the needs of both the business and its people. You can connect the dots between these and ensure that the needs of both are being addressed and fulfilled wherever possible
  • Strong EQ and great understanding of people
  • A proven track record of delivering cultural change and delivering efficient people centered services and programs

Our Values

EXCELLENCE: We wake up every day with the intent to be the best at what we do. We hustle. We have grit. When we make mistakes, we’ll learn from them.

INCLUSION: We aren’t all the same, and those differences are what make us better. We’ll respect each person’s uniqueness. Perspective, context and life experiences help us to tell the story.

AMBITION: We will be bold and creative, open to all ideas big or small. We really mean it.

FUN: We are not making widgets, although there is nothing wrong with widgets. We tell stories - and stories are often fun, so we believe in having lots of fun.

COLLABORATION: We are all in this together. We may not always agree, but we will listen to each other and communicate candidly and respectfully.


Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation commensurate with experience.
  • 401(k)
  • Healthcare benefits - 100% premium paid for employees and 50% for dependents
  • Twenty vacation days
  • Ten sick days
  • Generous paid maternity leave 
  • Hybrid work policy (initially we all work together to build culture)
  • Annual development / learning stipend

We are committed to building an inclusive organization that represents the people and communities we serve. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, veterans, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities.

Apply using the form below