Chief Human Resources Officer

Location: San Diego, CA
Reports To: CEO
Status: Full-time / Exempt
Salary: $115,000 – $130,000 DOE/NEG
Direct Reports: Payroll & Records Mgr. (1.0FTE), HR Generalist (0.75FTE), HR Administrator (0.5FTE), Volunteer Engagement Administrator (0.5FTE), AmeriCorps VIP Volunteer (0.82FTE)

Who We Are:

Since our founding in 1970, we have grown from one of the nation’s first shelters for runaway and homeless youth to a nationally recognized agency providing emergency services, safe places to live and long-term solutions for ending homelessness, breaking the cycle of child abuse and neglect, preventing delinquency, and promoting mental health and addiction recovery. Our mission is to empower youth to reach their highest potential, improving their lives through meeting basic needs such as shelter and nutrition, creating positive social connections, assisting with life skills, and promoting overall health and well-being.

San Diego Youth Services (SDYS) serves youths from age 0-25, including those struggling with mental health concerns and substance abuse. We provide a comprehensive continuum of trauma informed care that includes a range of housing solutions as well as crisis response, prevention, early intervention, treatment, mentoring and case management. The strength of our organization stems from a strong culture of program excellence, based on 1) integration of community-oriented grass roots approaches,

2) implementation of the latest clinical services and training, 3) comprehensive partnerships with other nonprofit organizations, funders, and elected officials and 4) fiscal strength and stewardship.

Our integrated and collaborative intake center is based on a “no wrong door” philosophy, ensuring that all youth who contact us receive services, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, or sexual orientation. With an annual operating budget of $22M and nearly 300 team members, SDYS serves over 20,000 youth annually through our 9 program sites located across San Diego County. More information about our specific programs is available at


This newly created position represents an extraordinary opportunity to impact the way our organization thinks about and develops our people. At the broadest level, the Chief Human Resources Officer will ensure SDYS meets its commitment to developing all team members to their fullest potential, ensuring our organization is an outstanding place to build a career in the nonprofit sector. The Chief Human Resources Officer will oversee all areas Human Resources, including HR administration, diversity, succession planning, talent management, change management, performance management, training and development, and compensation. This position will also serve as a member of SDYS’ 4-member executive leadership team, serving alongside our CEO, CFO, and Associate Executive Director, and playing a key role in discussions and decisions about the strategic direction of the organization. The Chief Human Resources Officer will take full ownership of our HR function, shifting the department’s focus from the tactical and transactional levels to a strategic, high-impact focus. They will serve as a sounding board and thought partner to the CEO and other members of the executive team. This is a very high-profile position within our organization and will have significant impact on the employee experience of every team member at SDYS.

We seek an experienced HR executive, who will keep staff and their well-being at the heart of everything we do. This is an opportunity to have major impact across almost every area of the organization, leading a strong HR team with a cohesive internal culture. The Chief Human Resources Officer will expand HR’s role from basic employment administration to thought leadership and strategic support for all areas of the organization. The role requires a thoughtful change agent who listens intently before making recommendations and remains attuned to the organization’s capacity for change and adapts accordingly.

Areas of Responsibility:

HR Management & Administration

  • Position HR as a customer-focused business partner that proactively seeks opportunities to support SDYS’s various programs and departments.
  • Take ownership of the HR function, including department management and the full suite of human resource-related services and operations including:
    •  Direct staff in addressing human resources questions and issues.
    •  Facilitate personnel audits, grievances, and investigations as needed.
    •  Consult, teach, train, and explain personnel requirements and regulations.
    •  Direct the continual updating of SDYS’s HR-related policies and procedures.
    •  Respond to legal inquiries, serving as liaison to outside counsel; coordinate and monitor personnel issues and involuntary terminations as necessary.
    •  Coordinate and monitor unemployment and worker’s compensation claims. Assist staff with unemployment, disability, and worker’s compensation claims.
    •  Maintain confidentiality and privacy standards in accordance with applicable regulations and laws including HIPAA.
    •  Perform other related duties as assigned.
  • Provide an overall assessment of our current HR structure, including Volunteer Engagement and Quality Management, and provide recommendations for changes/upgrades as appropriate.
  • Implement backup systems and procedures to ensure adequate redundancies, as well as checks and balances are in place.

Leadership & Strategy

  • Introduce us to new ways of thinking about our people analytics and drive activity accordingly.
  • Partner effectively with staff at all levels of the organization, building trusting, respectful, and highly communicative relationships.
  • Instill a culture of performance inside the HR team and partner with the executive team to do the same at the organizational level.
  • Conduct SDYS manager trainings, helping them to be better managers and ensure they are well- informed and empowered to talk to their teams about basic employee relations/benefits issues.
  • Serve as SDYS’ Diversity Officer; architect the employee experience at SDYS and take ownership for our diversity initiatives.
  • Ensure staff understand the role and leadership activities of the Board of Directors.
  • Collaborate with our fundraising and grant writing teams to support SDYS’ grant writing and development efforts with data and narratives.

Talent Acquisition & Development

  • Develop a talent acquisition strategy to help us attract and retain talent in an extremely competitive market; lead efforts to brand SDYS as an employer of choice.
  • Introduce new and/or improved methodologies for attracting, assessing, selecting, rewarding, and developing a strong and diverse workforce of staff and volunteers.
  • Develop and manage a performance evaluation strategy that works across all our programs and departments, ensuring both consistency and effectiveness, and that it integrates with our compensation plan, L&D initiatives, and talent management strategies.
  • Conduct a thorough market analysis and create a comprehensive compensation strategy to ensure SDYS remains competitive; recommend creative performance incentives and non-cash forms of compensation as appropriate.
  • Keep abreast of how external forces impact our organization’s culture, and our ability to recruit, retain and motivate high-performing team members.
  • Create and improve employee career pathways within the organization.
  • Build a robust Learning & Development function.
  • Provide ongoing coaching and mentoring to the HR team so that they may continue growing and developing their capabilities.

Culture & Communications

  • Increase HR’s profile, playing a more active role in all areas of the organization; boost connectivity between staff across all our locations and departments; work to eliminate silos.
  • Serve as the “voice” of the staff at the executive leadership level, advocating for programs and driving solutions that align with business goals.
  • Drive employee and volunteer engagement through the refinement, maintenance, and evolution of the SDYS culture.
  • Analyze and interpret the results of our annual employee survey, make strategic recommendations accordingly.
  • Ensure we instill a culture of diversity and social justice in every area of our organization and that our team reflects the communities we serve.
  • Implement and manage an employee recognition program.
  • Review our current volunteer management program and make upgrades, including a plan for recruitment, retention, and recognition.
  • Champion employee wellness by reinforcing a culture of work-life balance and ensure staff are practicing an appropriate amount of self-care to avoid burnout.

Priority Areas:

  • Create a strategic plan specific to the HR function.
  • Develop a deep understanding of SDYS: go on a listening tour across the organization, visiting each program site on a regular basis to keep HR visible and build relationships at all levels.
  • Spend time with each HR team member, developing relationships, building trust, and getting to know their individual roles and skill sets.
  • Review our current HR team structure to ensure optimal staffing and performance.
  • Analyze our current HR operations top-to-bottom and make recommendations for increasing efficiencies and service levels.
  • Review our current policies and procedures and upgrade them to ensure they are at the forefront of both best practices and legal requirements.
  • Leverage technology to improve efficiencies and outcomes; implement new HR systems and platforms with the goal of taking the organization paperless.
  • Create and implement a succession planning strategy ahead of several upcoming leadership retirements over the next 2-3 years.
  • Develop and implement a strategy to address attrition
  • Risk assessment – review current processes to ensure confidential information is being handled appropriately, particularly within the programs.

Candidate Profile and Qualities:

  • Experienced: someone who is at the top of their game in the HR field.
  • Compassionate: cares deeply for the populations we serve and appreciates the barriers they must overcome to achieve success in life.
  • Determined: a resilient professional who is excited by the opportunity to lead during a time of significant institutional and social change.
  • Strategic: ability to see across the entire organization, with an appreciation for the interconnectedness of all the various people and functional areas; understands “the big picture”.
  • Collaborative: ability to build professional relationships and work effectively with a diverse range of people inside and outside the organization; always open to new ideas, strategies, and opinions.
  • Connected: keeps a pulse on the organization by remaining highly visible across all our sites and programs; maintains a robust network of healthy internal and external relationships.
  • Creative: a connector of ideas and strategies who enjoys doing what has never been done before.
  • Listener: brings a highly developed sense of self-awareness and emotional intelligence who seeks first to understand, then reflect and act.
  • Customer focused: excellent relationship management and communication skills across all mediums (in-person, phone, email and virtual); demonstrates judgment, tact, and diplomacy at all times; polished and articulate; keeps the customer at the center of everything.
  • Self-actualized: ability to work with minimal supervision, someone who is innately driven and goal-oriented and enjoys “figuring it out”.
  • Business savvy: a results-oriented leader who can translate business and operations plans into HR strategies and results; comfortable with the budgeting and planning processes.
  • Accountable: ability to take full responsibility for every aspect of our HR operations and strategy; highly reliable.
  • Charismatic: a true “people person” who enjoys “getting out from behind the desk” to regularly visit staff in the field and across departments; highly approachable.
  • Organized: incredible attention to detail, with the ability to manage several projects simultaneously; someone who naturally checks and rechecks their own work.
  • Empathetic: able to see things from the perspective of managers and front-line staff, serving as the “voice” of the employee in leadership discussions.
  • Communicative: a natural communicator who can translate complex and technical HR information into terms easily comprehended by non-HR practitioners.
  • Optimistic: someone who instinctively starts at “yes” and then finds a way to make it happen.
  • Flexibility: a nimble leader who can quickly adapt to changing requirements.
  • Hands-on: someone who enjoys being on the front line and making things happen.
  • Proactive: constantly looking ahead, anticipating potential changes, and proposing new solutions and alternatives.
  • Confident: brings a “can-do” attitude, remaining calm and focused under pressure, self-assured in their skills and abilities
  • Ethical: possess the highest ethical standards; ability to exercise discretion, professionalism, and uncompromising integrity.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in the HR field, with at least 5 years in leadership positions.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in business or an HR-related field preferred.
  • SHRM certification and nonprofit sector experience preferred.
  • Specific experience in HR management & administration, talent acquisition and development, retention, career pathways and succession planning required.
  • Hands-on experience building and maintaining positive and inclusive workplace cultures.
  • Prior experience selecting and implementing HR systems and technology platforms and upgrading department policies, procedures, and operations.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Tia Anzellotti, Directo
1855 1st Ave., Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92101