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Human Resources Specialist

This job is no longer available

Oakland, California, USA

The Opportunity

Essie Justice Group (Essie) is building grassroots power to dismantle the US incarceration system, the most egregious creator of racial and gender injustice of our time. We are a loving and powerful community of women with incarcerated loved ones and include cisgender women, transgender women, formerly incarcerated women, gender nonconforming people, elders, and young people. Essie is focused on intentional institution building to catalyze the accessibility of our programs to reach 1 in 4 women who have loved ones behind bars and sustain bold decarceration advocacy. On the precipice of significant organizational growth, we are seeking a skilled, values-aligned, and entrepreneurial Human Resources Specialist to join our team. 

The Human Resources Specialist is an ethical, process-oriented people-person whose warm approach, clarity of insight, and knowledge of field best practices will enable Essie to hire, develop, and retain qualified and purpose-driven staff members. The Human Resources Specialist serves as an internal resource for staff seeking to understand policies and practices. And what makes this person special is that they are also an active curator of a work environment where brilliant, hard working people thrive in pursuit of social justice. The work of the Human Resources Specialist makes Essie’s ambitious growth goals possible and sustainable by equipping Essie with the staff team necessary to fulfill our operational plan goals. 

As the first point of contact for all future staff and internal resource for every member of the team, the Human Resources Specialist is a vital carrier and communicator of Essie culture externally and facilitates values-aligned decision-making internally.  

Areas of Responsibility: 

Core Responsibilities

Talent Recruitment & Hiring 

  • Co-design and coordinate rigorous and participatory hiring processes that equip Essie’s Founder and Executive Director to make sound hiring decisions and build excitement in candidates about the opportunity to work at Essie. 
  • Develop and lead trainings for members of the staff team and the Essie member hiring committee, enabling meaningful participation in the hiring process. 
  • Draft hiring process materials including rubrics, hiring exercises, and interview questions. 
  • Evaluate applications, conduct screenings, interview candidates at multiple stages within the process, and be the anchor communicator with candidates through the hiring process.  
  • Conduct recruiting outreach including drafting materials, communications, and graphics to staff, Board, members, and partners to share job announcements with them, and involve them as partners in the recruitment process. 
  • Research websites, listservs, local groups, social media platforms, and other avenues for position-specific outreach; post and maintain up-to-date job postings on general and position-specific sites. 
  • Develop Essie’s candidate pipeline through presentations at job fairs and other recruitment events. 
  • Manage vendor relationships with temporary staffing companies; vet and secure temporary staff as needed. 
  • Conduct informational interviews with volunteers to assess interest and fit with the evolving needs of the organization. 
  • Draft job descriptions for new positions and revise job descriptions for vacant roles to meet the evolving needs of the organizations as necessary. 
  • Lead hiring, placement, on-boarding, and off-boarding processes for internships at Essie. 
  • Maintain all applicant files, communications, and notes related to hiring through advanced knowledge of BambooHR hiring platform. 


Employee Support & Compliance 

  • Coordinate a seamless, comfortable, informative, and on-culture on-boarding process for new hires once an offer has been made. 
  • Serve as an internal expert and staff resource regarding Essie’s employee manual; conduct regular trainings for a well-informed staff. Draft, update, and recommend policies as needed. 
  • Administer Essie’s benefits package including annual open enrollment; manage relationships with brokers and vendors; make recommendations for opportunities to enhance or adjust benefits provided; ensure staff are equipped to make sound decisions about benefits through trainings and one-on-one meetings. 
  • Maintain compliant labor law postings in all Essie offices. 
  • Coordinate professional development trainings by contracting with experts in the field.  
  • Serve as an internal resource to staff for questions during Essie’s annual performance evaluations. 
  • Oversee off-boarding process for transitioning staff including compliance and work transfer. 
  • Field any personnel complaints or grievances; escalate to Director of Strategy, Executive Director, or Board of Directors when necessary. Conduct personnel investigations when necessary. 
  • Run on-time, accurate semi-monthly payroll including ensuring appropriate withholdings, pre-tax benefit deductions, reimbursements, bonuses, compensation adjustments, and garnishments. 
  • Maintain all personnel records.
  • Process and administer all leave-of-absence requests and disability paperwork: medical, disability, and FMLA. Coordinate employee payments with EDD or other state agencies.
  • Respond to employment verifications, EDD requests, workers’ compensation, and accommodation requests as needed.

Who We’re Looking For

Ideal Qualifications

  • +2 years professional experience in a human resources role, preferably in a small organization.  
  • SHRM or PHR certified. 
  • Familiarity with basic local, state and federal employment law.
  • Effective and empathic correspondence writing; clear and persuasive verbal communication.  
  • Experience in project management of processes with complexity, importance, and urgency. 
  • Ability to facilitate trainings for staff and members.
  • Highly developed ethical decision making and ability to apply values and legal requirements to day-to-day processes. 



  • Exceptional eye for talent. You have a powerful ability to recognize each person’s unique gifts. You see potential in people and thoroughly enjoy connecting them with roles, information, and professional development opportunities that will help them fulfill their purpose. You excel at supporting people to thrive in their work environment.
  • Sees #Woke as a verb. You are committed to continuously deepening and evolving your own understanding of systems of oppression through study, openness, and humility. And you easily recognize your own relationship to privilege and power, examining and shifting your behaviors as appropriate.
  • Values people, process, and results. You are an exceptionally hard worker. You thrive in inspiring environments in which stuff gets done with speed, great impact, and focus.
  • Discernment and honesty we can trust. You are a thoughtful communicator who acts in alignment with your integrity and are unfailingly trustworthy. You readily follow the rules when no one is looking and are sought-after by friends and colleagues for help to navigate gray areas because they know you’ll hold them accountable to what’s right. 
  • Uplifting and additive. You see mistakes as opportunities for growth; problems as catalysts for solutions, and inspire others along the journey. You carry a positive approach, can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and authentic kindness wherever you go.

The Position

The Human Resources Specialist is a full-time, salaried, exempt position. This position is supervised by the Director of Strategy. The salary for this position is between $60,000 – $65,000 depending on experience with full medical, dental, and vision benefits, optional 401(k), a substantial vacation package, and a monthly personal wellness stipend. The position is based in Essie’s office in Oakland, California.

How to Apply: 

To Apply

Please address a thoughtful cover letter to the “Essie Hiring Committee” and submit along with a resume through our hiring portal (

Essie values and specifically seeks applicants who are people with incarcerated loved ones, formerly incarcerated people, people of color, women, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender fluid people. We welcome applicants who thrive in the pursuit of social justice.

Essie Justice Group provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all staff members. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, and skills. Essie does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race or traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, size, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, familial status, veteran status, disability, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, prior conviction, arrest history or any other characteristic protected by law.

Additional Information: 

About Essie Justice Group

Essie Justice Group is a non profit organization of women with incarcerated loved ones taking on the rampant injustices created by mass incarceration. Our award-winning Healing to Advocacy Model brings women together to heal, build collective power, and drive social change. Learn more at

Organization Info

Listing Stats

Post Date: 
Sep 21 2019
Active Until: 
Oct 21 2019
Hiring Organization: 
Essie Justice Group