Educating leaders for a sustainable future.

Position: Director of Talent & Human Resources

Reports to: Rwanda Country Director

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

Duration: Full time, long-term commitment desired



The future of peace and stability in East Africa lies in the hands of young women who have the leadership skills and wisdom to create jobs and build businesses that will lift their communities out of poverty. In East Africa, 85% of women work in subsistence agriculture, living on less than $2 per day. Furthermore, only 1% of the population enters university, and less than one-third of those students are female. We believe that educating young women is simply the wisest and most effective investment a developing country can make.


The Akilah Institute for Women aims to build future generations of women leaders and professionals in East Africa through the development of a network of campuses. At Akilah, we bring together the most promising female leaders from Rwanda and Burundi for an innovative three-year program
 that prepares them for professional careers and leadership roles. Akilah will graduate 1,000 students by the year 2020. In 2015, Akilah will enroll a total over 500 students on two campuses. Our hands-on and project-based curriculum is developed in partnership with the local private sector. Students start with a foundational year of English, math and leadership immersion before choosing a specialized track in Entrepreneurship, Information Systems (IS), or Hospitality Management. Students graduate with the market-relevant skills required for meaningful employment in the fastest growing sectors of the economy. 

The Position:

The new Director of Talent and Human Resources will lead Akilah’s efforts to attract, develop, and retain the best educators and professionals and further enable the organization to deliver high-quality education to our students. He/she will serve as the head of human resources and will oversee a comprehensive human resources and people development department. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to institute and direct “best practices” human resources to help a thriving organization achieve a higher level of effectiveness for the young women it serves. This position provides an opportunity to gain experience in all aspects of managing the Human Resources of the Akilah Rwanda and Burundi campus.


Key Responsibilities:


Strategic Planning

  • Collaborate with senior leadership team to set HR strategic direction and operational plans;
  • Analyze, assist and advise the staffing plans and drive a comprehensive people management agenda;
  • Create a performance-based culture;
  • Review all existing policies and procedures, propose and implement relevant changes to enhance organizational effectiveness and compliance towards policies;
  • Review a number of recommended HR systems (Cornerstone, TribeHR, etc.) and provide recommendations on which one would best fit with the organizational needs.

Talent Mobility

  • Enable employees to define and analyze career preferences and oversee the matching of employees to open roles based on talent profile;
  • Ensure clear visibility into internal job opportunities and approach internal candidates with relevant opportunities.

Staff Recruitment

  • Develop and lead an organization-wide strategy for recruiting and onboarding a high quality and diverse workforce;
  • Cultivate interdisciplinary relationships that enhance Akilah’s reputation as an employer of choice across sectors; and implement effective processes for staff screening and selection.

Performance/Talent Management

  • Develop and oversee a system of effective performance reviews, which links individual performance to organizational outcomes, values and core competencies;
  • Identify the core competencies required for excellent performance in each position; and
  • Establish succession planning strategies for identifying, developing, and promoting high-potential and high-performing staff.

Training and Development

  • Oversee the planning, implementation and resource development for staff capacity building;
  • Design and deliver effective training to staff in key competency areas; and
  • Provide specialized training for managers and prospective managers.

Employee Relations: 

  • Counsel and coach managers on employee related issues and promote an engaged and positive culture;
  • Appropriately investigate and resolve grievances and complaints; and
  • Establish effective mechanisms to receive and act on staff feedback.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Manage the annual compensation process, partnering with senior leadership team to determine annual salary increases, promotions and other compensation decisions; and
  • Oversee vendor negotiations and monitor benefits to ensure that they are cost effective and support employee needs.

Employee Surveys

Gather regular employees satisfaction surveys from employees about how to continue improving the Akilah culture and work environment.


Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  • At least 5 years of progressive human resources leadership experience, in a majority of the key functional areas of recruiting, performance/talent management, training and development, employee relations and/or compensation and benefits;
  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources required, Masters Degree in related fields preferred.
  • Well-honed people management skills, poised and capable of gaining the trust of the leadership and the employees while influencing positive organizational outcomes;
  • Strong problem-solving skills, with a track record of implementing new initiatives with successful outcomes;
  • Excellent judgment and listening skills, with the ability to handle confidential and sensitive issues with diplomacy, discretion and integrity;
  • Clear and effective communication and coaching skills;
  • Strong project management and operational experience.


Application Deadline: February 15.