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Cityside Journalism Initiative, an exciting nonprofit organization devoted to building community and strengthening democracy through local news, is looking for a thoughtful, experienced Director of People.

Launched in 2020, Cityside is home to two widely read, award-winning local news sites in the San Francisco Bay Area: Berkeleyside, now in its 14th year, and The Oaklandside, which launched in 2020. We have plans to report in more communities in the near future. 

Our people are our most important asset. Since 2019, Cityside has grown from one newsroom with seven employees to a team of 24, comprising editors and reporters in two newsrooms and a cohort of staff focused on growth and sustainability. We expect to grow further in the coming years. Our organization is committed to building and sustaining newsrooms and leadership teams that reflect the diversity of the communities we aim to serve. We will be hiring to fill at least five positions this year on top of this one.

Rapid growth is thrilling, but it brings challenges and responsibilities relating to our team’s welfare and professional development and our organization’s systems and culture. It’s time to bring on board an inspiring leader to recruit and support our people. We want Cityside to be a place that does great work but is also a great place to work.

Our Director of People will have an opportunity to help ensure that people in the East Bay (and beyond) have access to the local news and civic information they need and deserve by creating a thoughtful, equitable, empowering environment for everyone at Cityside to do their best work. 

In order to understand the type of professional we need to fill this new position, we asked our staff to tell us what was working at Cityside and also where they felt more work needs to be done. 

Through conversations and an anonymous survey, we heard from employees that Cityside has an inclusive and supportive culture, one in which work-life balance is respected. Some said they appreciated leadership’s transparency about the organization’s finances and the mentorship they were receiving from their managers. 

But we also heard that employees would like to have more structures and policies in place related to Cityside as a workplace, better communication about benefits, and more clarity about how promotions and compensation raises are decided. 

Our Director of People will address all those needs and many more, and play a pivotal role in helping Cityside flourish as we grow, attracting and retaining wonderful people because it’s a wonderful place to work. You will lead full lifecycle talent management by implementing best-in-class onboarding, staff engagement, and learning and development solutions. You will be a strategic, forward-thinking problem-solver and relationship builder who is adept at innovating while managing risk and exercising good judgment. 

What you’ll do

  • Create processes and frameworks aimed at ensuring that everyone at Cityside has what they need to do their jobs well and equitably 
  • Develop, initiate, and maintain effective programs for workforce recruitment, retention, promotion and succession planning 
  • Lead negotiations with the newly formed Cityside Guild union, and be the principal liaison with the union
  • Ensure Cityside is compliant with all HR-related issues
  • Identify training needs and lead a program of training workshops that help develop our leaders and managers, our sustainability team, and our journalists
  • Lead on creating an environment of equal employment opportunity, diversity and competitive advantage in support of Cityside’s DEIB and anti-racism values
  • Work closely with Cityside leaders and managers as “executive coach” on all matters relating to personnel
  • Work closely with managers on the hiring and evaluation of employees

What you’ll need to succeed

  • A systems mindset
  • Excellent leadership skills
  • Excellent interpersonal, counseling, and negotiation skills
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills 
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills 
  • Collaboration skills, including the ability to integrate and act upon diverse perspectives 
  • Applied expertise in facilitating discussions on difficult topics, and coaching others in this area 
  • Thorough understanding of people operations and best practices, as well as applicable policies and state and local employment laws and regulations 
  • Ability to design and implement full-cycle performance management programs
  • Strong presentations skills
  • Experience in leading trainings

We’re especially interested in candidates who

  • Have at least 8 years’ experience of broad HR/people operations experience, including talent management, DEIB and performance management
  • Have 5+ years experience leading/supervising others
  • Have experience both in union negotiations and working cooperatively with a union 
  • Have experience designing, developing and supporting organization-wide talent management programs that cover performance, talent development, coaching, succession planning, and relationship management
  • Have worked in, or are passionate about, nonprofit journalism

Some great candidates may not check all the boxes above, and may have valuable skills not included here. If that’s you, please don’t hesitate to apply and tell us why you would thrive in this role. If you have questions in advance of applying for this position, we encourage you to reach out to Cityside Chief Strategy Officer Tasneem Raja at

The salary range for this position is $100,000 to $125,000. We’re a hybrid workplace, but we will need this person to live in the Bay Area and to work regularly at either our Oakland or Berkeley offices. You’ll have access to Cityside’s healthcare plan, four weeks of paid leave, parental leave, and a 401(k) match. You’ll also have a $1,000 annual stipend towards professional development. 

We’re committed to building an inclusive organization that represents the people and communities we serve. That’s key to ensuring our work is as valuable and impactful as possible. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply for this position, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities.

To apply, please use our application form.

About Cityside

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