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People Business Partner

Childcare is a major pain. Every parent knows it. That’s why Koru Kids is building the world’s best childcare service, starting here in the UK. We’re on a mission to profoundly improve the wellbeing of 1 million families in the next 5 years. 

This is a rare opportunity to join an inspiring tech scaleup as the first dedicated People hire, at a pivotal moment of growth. 

If you want to have an outsized impact on cultivating a workspace that inspires and challenges those within it to do their best work then keep on reading.

Your work will fundamentally impact the lives of families within the UK. 

This role brings together deep empathy, people-smarts, creativity and collaboration. And what's more, what we're providing to users is AMAZING. Our customers use words like 'love' and 'life-changing' to describe what we do.  You'll be a part of bringing that to life.

 

What we're looking for

Our C-suite are actively engaged and own the people agenda across their teams and the wider business, so we are looking for an experienced leader (that’s you!) to come in and partner with them.   In time, this role could and should develop into one that owns the entire company’s people agenda.

Your immediate mandate will be:

  • To partner with others across the company to place the right people in the right seats, so we deliver our strategy

    Note: we’re basically always in hiring mode.  You will be a part of making this work as we continue to grow

  • To establish high quality people development practices, so that every team member is growing and operating at the edge of their abilities

  • To develop our employee value proposition, so that we continue to attract, develop and retain amazing team members

  • To own and deliver on the people and HR fundamentals, so that the whole company can focus on achieving its mission

    Note: you will have support here from a dedicated policy and compliance team member

 

A typical day

9am

You grab a cup of tea and join the company-wide (video) standup to hear what’s been going on across the business. 

9.15am

You use your early morning time to do some deep thinking on your big People initiative at the moment, which is revamping how we do our informal, quarterly 360 feedback sessions.  It’s a well-established and valued practice at Koru Kids, that you think will be even more effective with some additional structure.  You’ve collated views over the last week, and are now working through them and folding the best bits, along with practices that you’ve seen work in other well-regarded companies, into a new process that you plan to roll out next month. 

11:00am

Great news!  Our CTO, James, wants to make an employment offer to a promising candidate.  You catch up with him to help him craft the offer based on our career frameworks and what we can afford.  You also work up a ‘conversion plan’ with him to help the candidate get their questions answered and talk to as many people in Koru Kids as they need to in order to make a well-informed decision (hopefully to join!).

 11.30am

You join our Finance Director, Charlie, in a meeting with Pento (a payroll solution for SMEs). The purpose is to understand whether we want to implement Pento within Koru Kids so that our payroll can run more smoothly.  Even though you don’t run the company payroll itself (that’s done by our Finance Director), you’re still involved in the decision to make sure that it integrates well with our HR system. 

12.30pm

A welcome break after a hectic morning! You grab some food and head outside to make the most of the good weather.

1.30pm

Interviews! You've got a busy afternoon ahead with 4 initial phone screens for some important marketing roles.  You’ve worked with Rebecca, our VP Marketing, to make sure you’re on the same page with the purpose, scorecard and questions. Now it’s time to put your game-face on and get cracking!  Each interview is 20 minutes and you’ve given yourself a 10 minute buffer between each one for overtime and to write up notes to share with Rebecca and update our ATS.

3:30pm

Interviews done!  You need to get away from Zoom for a bit, so you go for a quick walk to get some air and find a coffee.  In clearing your head, you come up with a few ideas on how to improve the marketing recruitment screening process and shoot off a few messages to yourself via your phone so you don’t forget them when you return to the desk.

4:00pm

It’s your weekly 1:1 with the COO, An.  This is your time to discuss whatever is on your mind with him and know that you have a captive audience.  You decide to use half the time to get a second opinion on a few decisions you want to make.  You spend the other half sharing thoughts on how you see your role progressing over the next 6 months and how developing interview training will allow others to get involved in recruitment and free you up for your next challenge.

5.00pm

Time to check up on the company’s Officevibe scores (our employee engagement platform).  You’re seeing some real positive signs in the written feedback, and you nudge managers to respond to comments.  There are also some interesting themes emerging  arising from hybrid working.  You do some research and post a brief write up of this to the whole company via Slack to get the conversation going on how we can work more effectively as a hybrid organisation.  You also schedule a deeper conversation about this with others later in the week to keep on top of it and see if we need to change anything.

5.45pm

You quickly work through your inbox to make sure there’s nothing urgent that needs replying to this evening before you wrap up. Thankfully there isn't, so you close your laptop and head downstairs to enjoy your evening!

 

Why this job is great

This is our first People hire in the company, which means you have a lot of scope, headroom and a front-row seat to develop your career along your own lines as the company grows.  This is one of the best places to solidify your track record and develop into a People leader, with exposure to some of the world's best investors who help some of the world's most exciting companies grow.  

You will have a huge impact almost immediately.  You’re joining a world-class team, and the experience and skills that you bring to the table will amplify everything that we do as a company.

You can work in a flexible working pattern that suits you.  We welcome parents and would love to discuss any working arrangements that make it possible for you to be part of our team.

 

And now about you

Full transparency is one of our values. So in the interests of full transparency:  here’s the scorecard against which we will be assessing candidates for this role.  We’re looking for a T-shaped leader, and don’t expect you to be able to nail all of the below.  We are willing (and keen) to invest in the right person to develop into this role if needed.

We’re looking for someone who can:

Partner with others across the company to place the right people in the right seats, so we deliver our strategy.  This means:

  • Supporting and coaching line managers on their recruitment efforts - from initial role definitions to securing new hires

  • Owning the entire onboarding process and experience for new team members

  • Partnering with managers to set people plans that line up with the company strategy

Establish high quality people development practices, so that every team member is growing and operating at the edge of their abilities.  This means:

  • Coordinating quarterly feedback cycles for all employees, and establishing the practices that people can utilise in these sessions

  • Owning and leading the bi-annual promotion and progression processes

  • Owning a portfolio of learning and training opportunities for team members

  • Being the trusted advisor to coach managers on people issues

Develop our employee value proposition, so that we continue to attract, develop and retain amazing team members.  This means:

  • Owning and facilitating wider employee engagement activities

  • Being the custodian of our career frameworks in partnership with department heads

  • Owning the employee benefit policies and ensuring our overall benefits package is right for our company position and overall strategy.

  • Being the custodian of the reward and compensation frameworks within Koru Kids.  Keeping them benchmarked and relevant.

Own and deliver on the people and HR fundamentals, so that the whole company can focus on achieving its mission.  This means:

  • Delivering all of the HR-related activities, including statutory employment requirements or employment law matters - note: a policy and compliance lead will support you with this

  • Owning internal compliance training

  • Advising others on employment law matters

Across all the above dimensions, we’re looking for someone who will build and develop upon our existing practices. In particular, we are looking for someone who will continually blend their own experience and other well-regarded practices into Koru Kids to improve everything we do.

Ideally, you will also have experience in a fast-paced company undergoing significant change and growth.

 

Essential skills we require of ALL team members

  • You have high levels of professional integrity

  • You’re emotionally intelligent

  • You’re a problem-solver. You can break complexity into smaller bite-sized pieces and enjoy solving difficult challenges

  • You love improving things and are curious by nature. You can create new processes, make suggestions, and tell us we’re doing things wrong  

  • You roll with it. You understand that startups are unpredictable environments. You are comfortable with a degree of chaos  

  • You’re nice. You get that no player is bigger than the team. You fit right into our culture of supporting and helping each other

  • You’re able to write clearly, simply and accurately

  • You can work at a fast pace and under pressure

 

Important things to know...

Timing: We'd like to have this person join the team ASAP, but we will wait to find the right person.

Flexibility: The role can be done flexibly. It can also be part-time if you like, although in that case you are likely have highly relevant experience as you'll have less time to learn things from scratch. We welcome parents and would love to discuss any other working arrangements that make it possible for you to be part of our team.

Salary: The salary range for this role is £55,000 - £75,000, plus significant, above-average equity.  The range of salary and equity depends on your experience.  If you're part-time, this will be pro-rated. We also have some awesome benefits — parents, among these is the ability to have a Koru Kids nanny for half price (that’s right - 50% off childcare!)

Location: You can do this role from anywhere in the UK and earn the same salary as you would if you were in London (where we are based). We welcome applications from people living outside London. Outside the UK is more complicated as it has tax and other implications, so we are unlikely to hire someone living outside the UK.


 

About us

Koru Kids is building the world’s best childcare service, starting in London. We believe that every family should have the perfect childcare for their family to flourish.

We’re growing like crazy, are backed by fantastic investors, including top venture capitalists and business angels such as Michael Pennington the founder of Gumtree, and have won a ton of awards for our technology, people and social impact.

Our culture is informal, hard-working and kind. The team is an A++ when it comes to talent but our "no dickheads" rule means we're also a humble and supportive bunch.

We’re also really committed to working with integrity, doing the right thing and building a company we are truly proud of.

We have always promoted flexible working and are currently working remotely but we will have the option of an office space to work from next year.

We can't fully capture what working at Koru Kids feels like, but here's our best attempt to give you a sense…. Every new starter in the Koru Kids team meets with our founder and CEO Rachel in their first week, to talk about our company values and what they really mean in practice. We recorded one of these sessions, and here it is. In this recording, Rachel meets with Adam, a software developer on Day 5 of his job with Koru Kids. She outlines our commitments to transparency, quick decisions, humility, continuous personal growth, recognising that we are humans and not robots, respecting each others' time, and our no dickheads policy.

 

How might I develop personally at Koru Kids?

In this recording, Rachel outlines the 7 different ways we help each and every team member to develop faster at Koru Kids than they would anywhere else on earth.

 

A series of conversations with the team

Rebecca and Kellie - Marketing

"I was so drawn by the complexity of the problem and I was immediately drawn into solving it….

It's the best team I've ever worked on and I feel like I've hit the jackpot really"


An Nguyen - Chief operating officer

"It's such a hard problem and being able to tackle that is really fun" - Koru Kids COO An Nguyen talks about why he joined Koru Kids, what he's looking for in a hire, and why we hire in a weird way at Koru Kids.


Michael Baird - Head of engineering

In this recording, Michael talks to Rachel about why he joined Koru Kids, what kind of team he's building, the technical problems we're working on, and what kind of engineer will flourish at Koru Kids.