Location: United States Eastern or Central time zone (Remote)
Do you believe that an organization’s most valuable asset is its people? Are you ready to support purpose-driven teams that are correcting the vision of millions of low-income customers so they can work, learn, stay safe, and care for their families?
The pioneering social enterprise, VisionSpring, seeks a dynamic and experienced global director/VP of people and culture to develop a growing team of 275 colleagues in eight key markets (India, Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia) and the U.S. support office.
Since its founding in 2001, VisionSpring has corrected the vision of 8.7 million people living on less than $4 per day. In 2021, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Vision for Everyone resolution recognizing eye health and vision correction as a driver of multiple sustainable development goals. At the 74th World Health Assembly, member states agreed on a goal to increase the effective coverage of refractive errors with eyeglasses (or contact lenses) by 40% by 2030. With this new global consensus and VisionSpring’s 20-year track record of delivering vision access solutions, we are poised to scale up our most promising product and service delivery models—blending the talents, skills, and unique perspectives of team members who hail from both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
Since 2015, VisionSpring has tripled its eyeglasses sales and impact, and expanded operations from 90 people in two countries to more than 275 people in nine countries. The organization executed a highly successful pivot through the COVID pandemic that allowed us to maintain our full staff capacity and protect frontline health workers and our customer communities. Our momentum is backed by a robust portfolio of leading venture philanthropists, innovative partnerships with corporations, and collaboration with government agencies.
The global director/VP of people and culture creates and owns the organization-wide human resource strategy, analysis, processes, and implementation to ensure that VisionSpring offers an exceptional team experience in service of our mission. The director/VP is a values champion, leading organizational development, talent and performance management, culture and belonging, compensation and benefits, and human resources administration and compliance. The global director/VP of people and culture leads a team of eight people located in Dhaka, Lagos, New Delhi, and New York. As a member of the global leadership team, the director/VP reports to the CEO (based in New York). The person in this role may be based in the Eastern or Central time zone of the U.S.
- You promote belonging, equity, and performance across dispersed teams with broad ranges of experience. You have a flexible, sensitive style while working with colleagues from diverse cultures and linguistic backgrounds.
- You are resourceful in a fast-growing organization. You seek answers, create structure, and devise solutions when obstacles appear. You are iterative in your approach, building solutions that are layered on feedback loops and in a spirit of continuous improvement. You enjoy designing and building out the HR infrastructure.
- Empathy is your superpower. You create psychological safety by building trust and encouraging risk-taking and courageous conversations. You have no qualms about being an ombudsman.
- You have a people-focused, modern take on human resources. When designing and implementing programs and policies, you learn about new and best practices to evolve our unique approach to people operations.
- You are a roll-up-your-sleeves, hands-on leader. In building a business, you are not above doing any task, large or small. You are a player-coach, working alongside your team and helping others in the organization to excel.
- VisionSpring is creating access to affordable eyewear, everywhere. Clear vision creates opportunities for increased learning, work, safety, civic participation, and quality of life.
- As a social enterprise, social change motivates us first. Our focus on sales and revenue targets serves and advances our mission objective—to increase functioning, productivity, and income earning potential for our low-income consumers by correcting refractive error with eyeglasses.
- We are working to transform the systemic dysfunction of an optical market that has failed to deliver eyeglasses—a 700-year-old technology—to 1.1 billion consumers in need of vision correction, most of whom live on less than $4 a day.
- We serve low-income consumers, not as beneficiaries but as customers. Our customers expect a high-quality and affordable product, and they will spend limited discretionary income for the immediate and tangible benefits of vision correction.
- By selling eyeglasses, we awaken new demand and seed a viable market. By selling new eyeglasses we are able to serve four times as many people per dollar input than the alternative of donating recycled ones. To efficiently scale, we must deliver each new unit with lower cost.
- We run our business on both sales metrics and social impact measures. We use a range of organizational forms and practices to get the job done.
- We believe in scaling our impact, not our organization. We are a lean team of doers.
WHAT YOU’LL DO
Values and Culture
- Serve as a visible “values champion” in the organization. Examine how we can do even better to live our values: (1) Help others to do well; (2) Advance equity; (3) Constantly adapt, relentlessly improve; (4) Default to transparency, reveal hard truths; and (5) Learn together.
- Promote an inclusive, participatory work environment, creating a sense of belonging among all colleagues and customers, respecting and celebrating differences, and understanding diversity as an organizational strength.
- Support cross-cultural teams in a matrixed management structure, serving institutional clients and individual customers in 18 countries, by fostering relationships, active listening, and shared ownership. Promote decentralized decision making closest to VisionSpring’s clients and customers.
Global HR Strategy and Planning
- Partner with the executive team to develop multi-year human resources strategies and plans to support VisionSpring’s rapid global expansion.
- Develop a thorough understanding of the connections among organizational management systems and identify the levers for change.
- Lead an overall organizational and work environment assessment to build the next iteration of organization design, employee practices, and culture building to support rapid growth in alignment with DEI goals.
- Design, build, and implement standardized processes and tools across the organization to harmonize HR practices across all global locations.
- Partner with legal, finance, and operations teams to develop policies and procedures that ensure VisionSpring continues to operate at high standards of ethics and integrity in all countries where business is conducted.
- Support integration of organizations in potential merger activities.
Performance Management and Talent Development
- Develop and administer a dynamic, conversation-based performance review and goal-setting practice that ties individual goals and plans for personal growth with organizational objectives and career development paths.
- Support team members in sharing and receiving constructive feedback across the organization to ensure everyone is learning and growing in their roles.
- Develop a framework for promotional tracks and the transparent basis for advancement.
- Work with organizational leaders to invest in high-performers and establish opportunities for professional growth.
- Build a succession plan to cultivate the internal talent with significant potential to be VisionSpring’s future leaders. Identify areas of the business where the human capital pipeline needs strengthening.
- Create training plans and ensure delivery of training for teams and individuals in the areas of skill development, teamwork, leadership, compliance, and safety.
Compensation Management and Reward/Recognition Programs
- Establish organizational compensation philosophy and guidelines, and develop optimum pay levels and commissions/bonus plans, based on factors such as experience, responsibility, location, relevant benchmarks, and statutory requirements.
- Support organizational development as the enterprise expands by recommending changes in compensation structure/bands, titles, and role definitions in order to maintain equity and organizational agility, and promote career advancement.
- Identify opportunities for team- and organization-based incentives.
- Provide recommendations on the benefits plan and ensure fair and consistent compensation practices.
- Develop and implement team member engagement, reward and recognition programs, and celebrations to foster a positive, inclusive, ethical, and collaborative work environment.
Team-member Relations and Support
- Work with VisionSpring recruiters to define recruitment priorities and coordinate the recruitment schedule for hiring team members globally.
- Ensure consistent on-boarding, orientation, and confirmation processes for new hires.
- Proactively address queries and team member concerns, and resolve complaints, in a consistent and equitable manner that is responsive to unique needs and cultures.
- Conduct investigations, when necessary, to resolve team member complaints.
- Provide support and guidance to team members and managers on all team member-related matters, including policy clarity and adoption, benefits, disciplinary actions, etc.
- Build a communication and feedback loop to surface constructive input for managers through organization-wide meetings, one-on-one meetings, and exit interviews.
- Create and administer an exit plan and process. Conduct exit interviews and prepare and analyze attrition reports.
HR Administration and Compliance
- Manage HR administration and compliance for VisionSpring’s teams in key markets, bringing to bear knowledge of, and research on, medical insurance, labor laws, etc.
- Update and maintain a global policy handbook so VisionSpring team members continue to perform at the highest level of ethics and compliance in all markets.
- Develop communications and training protocols to disseminate and implement HR policies and processes.
- Support the finance team with payroll processing and benefits.
- Work with managers to renew agreements with VisionSpring’s contracted team members.
- Annual salary ranges: Director level is $120,000-$140,000 (15-20 years’ experience); VP level is $140,000-$160,000 (more than 20 years’ experience). Offer dependent upon depth and breadth of experience and training/education.
- Performance-based bonus.
- Comprehensive benefits, including health insurance (medical, dental, and vision), 401(k) with match, work-from-home contribution, flexible spending account, and generous vacation/personal time.
- We want to know more than just what you have done. We want to know who you are. What are the passions and talents that draw you to this role?
- Please update your CV/résumé to include a phrase or sentence describing the business of each organization where you have worked. Applications without this information are disadvantaged in the process.
- Please submit a complete application, including a thoughtful cover letter and CV/résumé.
- Please note, only candidates invited to interview will be contacted.
- At VisionSpring, diversity, equity, and inclusion are directly aligned with our core value to advance equity. Our mission is predicated on removing a fundamental barrier to full economic and social participation—uncorrected blurry vision. The values that underpin our mission energize our commitment to a diverse and inclusive team. A diverse team also allows VisionSpring to approach problems with nuance and develop unique insights that drive an outsized positive impact in the world. We actively recruit, develop, and retain talented people from diverse backgrounds and support everyone in being exactly who they are. VisionSpring is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes people from all experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply.
- Minimum of 15 years of professional experience in human resources, with at least eight years working with team members located in international geographies.
- Prior experience supporting internationally distributed teams of more than 200 people in organizations with budgets of $10 million or more.
- Experience providing leadership and guidance to a team of at least six human resources professionals.
- Demonstrated interest in social enterprise models and desire to learn how to articulate and share VisionSpring’s unique value proposition.
- Extraordinary follow-through, attention to detail and deadlines, and a strong personal sense of accountability.
- Must meet the highest standards of ethics, with a demonstrated capacity for discretion and for handling sensitive information with care.
- Strong commitment to respectful collaboration with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. Experience supporting multi-lingual teams and speakers of English as a second language.
- Fluency in English, written and spoken.
- Ability to travel 20% of time. Willingness to travel internationally and work in locations with limited infrastructure.
- Must be permanently authorized to work in the United States.
- Preferred experience and skills: (1) Working in an international organization operating in low- and middle-income countries; (2) Supporting team members in Africa or South Asia; (3) Working in a high-growth or start-up environment; (4) Building an integrated DEI program in an international organization; (5) Proficiency in a South Asian or African language; (6) Master’s degree in a relevant field; and/or (7) PHR or SHRM certification.