Director of Human Resources

Director of Human Resources

Director of Human Resources 150 150 FoodForward
Food Forward
October 13, 2021
North Hollywood, CA. with occasional travel (this position is temporarily remote due to COVID-19)
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Wendy Chen-Epstein


Organization: Food Forward, Inc - a 501 (c)(3) non-profit

Position: Director of Human Resources

Hours: Full-time, exempted

Location: North Hollywood, CA. with occasional travel (this position is temporarily remote due to COVID-19)

Organizational Overview: Food Forward fights hunger and prevents food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce, connecting this abundance with people experiencing food insecurity and inspiring others to do the same. Fruits and vegetables are collected in Los Angeles and Ventura counties from backyard fruit trees, orchards, farmers markets, and the downtown Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. This recovered produce is provided, free of charge, to hunger relief organizations that serve community members in various ways: food banks, homeless outreach agencies, domestic violence shelters, transitional youth homes, veteran services, family resource centers, LGBTQ+ teen/adult/senior services, college student assistance programs, programs serving people with disabilities, and many more. Since Food Forward’s inception, our staff and thousands of dedicated volunteers have rescued over 200 million pounds of fruits and vegetables. This produce helped to feed millions of people across eleven Southern California counties, throughout seven states, as well as in tribal lands in the Southwest annually. See our core values posted below.*

Position Overview:  As a key member of the Management team, the Director of Human Resources will report to the Chief Operating Officer and assume a strategic role in the overall management of the organization and the development of its people culture. The Director of Human Resources will have primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing, and controlling all Human Resource related activities for the organization. This will include direct responsibility for (i) human resource policies, programs, and practices; (ii) human capital policies, programs, and practices; (iii) compensation (payroll); (iv) employee benefits programs; (v) ensures organizational compliance with all local, state, and federal requirements

This person must be highly organized, extremely proactive, and creative with the ability to think outside-of-the-box, prioritize projects, and meet deadlines. The ideal candidate will have expertise in Human Resources with a proven track record of effective operations in people management and team leadership, risk assessment and management, compliance and employee relations, HR systems implementation, serving the needs of a growing organization with staff of 50 or more, and data-driven decision-making. Additionally, they will be comfortable with setting direction and navigating ambiguous and ever-evolving situations.

Core Responsibilities:

Team Leadership

  • Is an active participant of the leadership team which includes collaborating with other team members and providing support and feedback as needed
  • Diligently seeks opportunities for professional development, acting as a coach and thought partner, and serves as an organizational role model in cultivating a culture of high expectations, performance, and support
  • Oversees and ensures successful implementation of the annual and semi-annual performance review processes
  • Directly manages staff that oversees facilities management, IT, and procurement
  • Collaborate with Finance and Accounting, oversees staff members charged with managing accounts payable and our online expense platform.

New Hires & Onboarding

  • Oversees the talent acquisition process, including setting strategies and vetting practices that promote DEI
  • Collaborates with hiring managers on designing and implementing onboarding practices
  • Ensures Job Descriptions are up to date and manages the posting of vacant positions

Employee Relations

  • Provide advice and guidance to senior leaders on team member professional development. Work with managers to develop and implement performance improvement plans when needed.
  • Balance knowledge of HR compliance with unique circumstances of Food Forward’s culture and pragmatism, and the needs of the organization with team member advocacy
  • Oversee the overall process for investigations and ongoing employee relations issues, anticipate problems whenever possible, and work with the department heads to develop, recommend, and initiate appropriate steps for resolution.
  • Respond with empathy and timeliness to managers when they need guidance on how best to navigate sensitive and at times complex employment situations.
  • Support managers through separations of employment
  • Manages day to day operations of HRIS platform

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Develop and implement Food Forward-wide DEI strategy, programs, and services
  • Attract, retain, advance, and support a broadly diverse workforce of the highest level of excellence that thrives in a respectful, inclusive, and equitable workplace culture

Payroll, Benefits, Leaves of Absence, Unemployment Insurance & Workers' Compensation Administration

  • Oversee the payroll process
  • Oversee benefits package: Recommend benefits package, negotiate contracts with carriers and vendors, oversee wellness initiatives, and manage collaborative, productive relationship(s) with benefits brokers
  • Provide guidance through providing outstanding, timely day-to-day support for team members with inquiries regarding benefits, pay, and employment questions
  • Ensure the proper administration of all leaves of absence, including FMLA, maternity, disability, and unpaid leave
  • Oversee management of unemployment insurance and workers compensation policies and other employee-related claims


  • Ensure that Food Forward is in compliance as it relates to federal, state, and local labor laws
  • Annually update Food forward’s Employee handbook, including working with internal and outside counsel as needed and making recommendations to senior leadership for policy changes
  • Ensure 100% compliance with new hire and ongoing HR safety training, certification, and health clearances required for employment with Food Forward
  • Maintain and expand knowledge and understanding of existing and proposed federal and state laws/regulations affecting human resources management. Interpret laws and policies, and advise leadership teams and team members accordingly

Minimum Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Master’s Degree or equivalent in a related field or equivalent professional certification (PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP) highly preferred
  • Six years of directly related human resources work experience in a growing and dynamic organization with at least 50+ team members
  • Minimum three years of experience in a leadership role
  • Experience identifying early on and addressing issues requiring confidentiality and discretion
  • Track record of identifiable and measurable successes in managing a complex organization with a strong human-centric culture, and implementing operational change
  • Experience overseeing an organization’s DEI efforts
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Impeccable attention to detail

Physical Requirements:

  • Periodically able to lift and carry materials weighing up to 25 pounds
  • Ability to sit, stand, walk, climb stairs and ladders, bend, lift, twist, kneel, crouch, crawl, pull, push, carry, grasp, reach and stoop as needed
  • Ability to work both indoors and outdoors.

Application Deadline: Open until filled

Desired Start Date: ASAP

Hours: Full-Time, exempted

Salary: Commensurate with experience


  • Medical, Vision, and Life Insurance coverage
  • Simple IRA with 3% employer matching (after one year of employment)
  • Generous Sick Days, Paid-Time-Off, and Holiday allocation
  • Cell phone allowance
  • Telecommuting and Work flexibility

 Food Forward Core Values:

  • Creativity – We seek to innovate in all facets of our work.
  • Joyfulness – We cultivate a meaningful, fun, positive and spirited work environment.
  • Committed to Food Justice – We believe that access to wholesome food and fresh nutritious produce is not a privilege, but a right. We work hard to end food inequality and reduce food insecurity.
  • Authenticity – We are transparent and honest in our words, deeds, and actions. We act at the highest level of integrity.
  • Disciplined – We are reliable, professional, accountable, rigorous, and committed to excellence in all areas of our work, both internally and externally.
  • Community-minded – We aim to include and connect people in the community, and to remain open, diverse, respectful, and accessible. We take pride in offering people meaningful volunteer and work experiences.

How To Apply

How to Apply: Send a cover letter and resume in PDF to  In the body of the cover letter include 1) Where did you discover this listing, and 2) Food Forward has many core values, one of which is joyfulness. Please let us know what you have done in the past to create a joyful work environment.

The subject line should read, Director of Human Resources – (Your Name). No phone calls. Please follow these instructions to ensure that we process your application

Food Forward is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and strongly encourages people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those with protected class backgrounds to apply. We value the individuals that we hire and look forward to creating a positive work environment for all identities.