VP People and Culture

Pula Advisors

Pula Advisors

People & HR
Nairobi, Kenya
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2023

Position: VP People and Culture

Location: Remote

Engagement: Full time

About Pula:

At Pula, we are radically restructuring agricultural insurance, using technology to insure the previously unbanked, uninsured, untapped market of 1.5 billion smallholders worldwide.

We work in over 17 countries across Africa and Asia, and by 2021, we have facilitated crop insurance cover to over 5.3 million farmers across Kenya, India, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Zambia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Malawi. Since raising our Series A our operations have expanded globally including now Asia and Latin America.

Pula is a fast-paced space, constantly adapting to new opportunities and challenges and we are made up of a high-performance, multi-cultural team. We expect our team to value performance, results and professionalism.

At Pula, we:

  • Obsessed with results: We are responsible for our future and therefore we get things done!
  • Connect the Dots: We continuously identify different customer needs & business problems and build solutions that deliver value.
  • Have a Can do Attitude! We dare to do things differently to make things work.
  • We have each others’ back: We look out for each other & we share high quality, timely feedback that makes us better.

Who you are:

  • You understand that we are helping to protect the food security of nations.
  • You want to make a difference.
  • You bring a missionary zeal to the people's function.
  • You thrive in a fast moving, high performance environment.

What you will be doing:

The VP of People and Culture at Pula is far from the typical manager of the People Ops function. We believe our employees give us a competitive advantage and this role will aim to create innovative human resources services and programs that enable our people to develop, grow, and succeed. You must fulfil the role of a modern VP People and Culture within an innovative and dynamic InsureTech environment.

One of the VP People and Culture's main responsibilities is to build a sustainable data driven talent acquisition engine inside Pula, to take advantage of a broad pipeline of opportunities in multiple geographies.

As the VP People and Culture, you will shape the end-to-end talent acquisition and employee retention experience by delivering best-in-class people strategies including:

  • A global talent acquisition function which delivers the best candidates in the market.
  • World class on-boarding and learning and development programs.
  • A performance management system that drives focus, transparency, and accountability by aligning individual performance contracts with business plans to enable the success of the business.
  • A culture-driven organization

Recruitment & Onboarding 40%:

  • Management of global TA operation and accountable for the targeted delivery and fulfilment of recruiting activities.
  • Build a sustainable data-driven talent acquisition engine inside Pula, to achieve a pipeline of prospective candidates across multiple geographies, with a focus on enterprise sales teams.
  • Craft talent acquisition strategies to build strong pipelines for future hiring needs.
  • Define Pula’s Employee Value Proposition to attract candidates and ensure that the organization is recognised as an employer-of-choice in a competitive market.
  • Manage key supplier relationships with a focus on delivery and operating costs.
  • Build strong relationships across all levels of the business, providing trusted and credible advice to managers regarding talent acquisition.
  • Coach and develop the TA team to ensure successful outcomes in securing the best talent for the organization.
  • Design and deliver a seamless onboarding process for new employees that includes training materials on company culture as well as systems for both HQ and country-based staff (e.g., how to use internal technology systems such as CRM, Task Management System etc).
  • Work with the Pula team to develop and deliver learning materials that brings new employees up to speed on the organization's goals and strategy, rules, internal processes, expectations, culture, etc.
  • Deliver an effective offboarding process to understand why employees are exiting the business.

Learning & Development 20%:

  • Establish and manage the Pula sales academy and certification program for the sales team.
  • Identify and manage a list of company-approved training providers to ensure quality programs are delivered to employees within a predetermined and acceptable cost framework.

Performance Management 20%:

  • Review existing performance management systems and effect improvements.
  • Ensure individual goals are properly formulated, measurable and linked to company goals and objectives.
  • Set and enforce quality standards and benchmark with respect to the new and existing talent in the business.
  • Ensure the performance management system delivers a radically transparent meritocracy with clarity of who is doing well and who is not.
  • Develop and implement succession planning strategies to deepen Pula leadership and manager bench.

Driving Culture and work environment, 20%:

  • Work with Pula senior management team to define a range of culture programmes focused on fostering positive interpersonal engagement within the team and outside the work context.
  • Define cadence for existing internal culture activities such as the “lunch and learn” program and provide actionable suggestions for strengthening employee engagement in these.
  • Conduct and review existing staff feedback surveys and suggest improvements / best approaches to synthesize and respond to feedback.

What should I have to qualify for this exciting opportunity?

Professional Attributes:

  • Proven human capital leader with a minimum of 12+ years’ experience and with a firm understanding of best practices in recruitment, performance management and culture building.
  • Previous experience with hiring in a start-up or fast-growth business with a focus on execution and delivery.
  • Experience in an enterprise sales environment with direct involvement in recruitment and driving productivity of the sales team (preferred).
  • Experience developing human capital systems and processes from scratch; from recruitment to daily activities to performance management.
  • Experience in driving strategic recruitment initiatives and contributing to continuous improvement projects and strategy.
  • Previous experience with hiring in a fast-paced and volume environment across all levels, as well as managing stakeholders up to executive level
  • Track record in partnering with business leaders and key stakeholders to develop and execute talent strategy.
  • Demonstrated previous experience with developing and building strong diverse talent networks and channels.
  • Experience designing people and culture initiatives particularly in a fast-paced
  • environment.
  • Ability to translate complex and challenging HR situations into detailed action plans for immediate implementation.
  • No nonsense ‘get it done attitude’, quickly diagnosing HR issues, propose and execute solutions in a short amount of time.
  • Ability to plan for and manage multiple projects with competing priorities simultaneously.
  • Ability to use Google Drive Apps, Task Management Systems, and other productivity technology with ease.
  • Fully comfortable with GSuite applications (Google Sheets, Google Docs, G-Slides etc.) and able to adapt to new systems easily (e.g., Asana, Slack, Jira, Metabase, KOAN)

Personal Attributes:

  • It is crucial that this professional is hands-on, connects the dots, and gets things done;
  • High energy, assertive and must know how to influence people and get the best out of the team in a constructive manner;
  • Willing to speak up independently when there is a problem to be solved.
  • Ability to professionally and respectfully dissent, and logically debate challenges;
  • Excels at operating in a fast pace, with ability to work under pressure;
  • Ability to effectively prioritize and manage multiple projects;
  • A transparent team player who is articulate, collaborative, tactful and able to deal effectively with people, and to influence effectively.
  • Good communicator with the capability to inspire others and to develop the team.

What Pula brings to the table:

  • Growth potential: With an untapped market of 1.5 billion smallholders worldwide, on track to doubling the number of farmers insured in 2020, and with the ongoing geographic expansion, the VP People and Culture has a tremendous growth potential.
  • Market Leader: Not only is the opportunity massive, but Pula is by far the market leader in it’s category with 5.3m farmers insured as at the end of 2022.
  • Solid: Pula has been funded by leading venture capital investors (Omidyar Network, ACCION, MercyCorps) and global philanthropic institutions (MasterCard Foundation, CGAP/World Bank as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). Pula closed a $6m series A funding in December 2020 in the right in middle of the pandemic a clear testimony of the opportunity that Pula is going after
  • Respected: Winner of the Singapore FinTech Festival 2019, Winner of The InsureTech of the Award, Africa. Featured on TED talks, The New York Times, The Economist.
  • Impact and creation: This is a high-impact role, reporting to the Co-Founder & CEO, that offers a unique opportunity to bring the company to the next level, whilst developing new strategies, approaches and ideas.
  • Leadership: The founders & CEO’s foster a culture of transparency, respect, high performance, pragmatism, execution and personal development.
  • Purpose: It is rare to find a professional opportunity that offers accelerated professional development and a life purpose. Pula is going through a second phase of accelerated growth that will naturally provide professional development, whilst contributing to the financial stability of small farmers in the emerging markets.
  • Remuneration: Competitive base salary accordingly with seniority and experience, plus benefits (pension, health insurance, and life insurance), and an employee share option plan that offers an attractive equity upside.

To learn more about Pula:

  • TED Talk: Crop Insurance, an Idea Worth Seeding
  • New York Times: He Grew up on a Farm. Now, He Helps Protect Them
  • The Economist: The Poor, Who Most Need Insurance, Are Least Likely to Have It