Chief People Officer (CWC)

Please note: Compass Working Capital has engaged Positively Partners to manage this search on its behalf. Please see information about how to apply at the end of this description. 

Anti-poverty programs in the United States provide critical, but insufficient, support to families with low incomes. If we are to end poverty and close racial and gender wealth gaps in our communities, we must support families to build the financial assets and capabilities needed to achieve their goals and dreams.

Since 2005, Compass Working Capital (“Compass”) has been working to do just that, by providing savings and financial coaching programs that support families with low incomes to build assets, achieve their financial goals, and become financially secure. Our vision is to build a leading, nonprofit financial services organization that promotes economic mobility and financial security for families with low incomes by influencing field-related practice and policy.  Within the last decade alone, Compass clients, who are primarily women of color, have built over $6 million in savings across our programs in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

In 2019, through philanthropic investment, Compass embarked on a strategic plan to significantly expand its national scope and impact. This investment provides Compass with the funding and support to ready the organization for greater impact by ending asset poverty for 220,000 families with low incomes by 2030. We envision a day when asset building is the norm, and not the exception, in our nation’s anti-poverty work. 

About the Position

Compass seeks an experienced manager and coach to join our team as the founding Chief People Officer (CPO) at this exciting juncture in our organizational growth.  By 2021, Compass will increase its staff team to 60 as its programs and operations expand nationally.  The CPO will lead the vision, strategy, and implementation of people development to support, retain, and expand its staff. Compass seeks solutions-focused and collaborative problem-solvers who have demonstrated alignment with Compass’ mission, either through prior work or volunteer experience with low-income communities and/or service on a non-profit board. 

The CPO will lead in aligning the organization’s priorities with its most valuable asset: its people.  As a member of the Executive Team, the CPO will ensure Compass continues to build an inclusive culture across today’s organization and with an eye towards future growth. 

The CPO will be responsible for outcomes related to all human resources areas, including talent management and sourcing, compensation analysis and benchmarking, benefits administration, employee relations, and workforce and professional development planning. Compass’ national headquarters is based in downtown Boston, and the organization has a growing field presence in Philadelphia. Staff live and work across the northeast region and in Philadelphia. The CPO reports to the CEO and will oversee a growing Human Resources department. 

Compass Working Capital has retained Positively Partners for this search.

Addressing Current and Future Needs

The urgency of Compass’ work has been underscored by the current pandemic crisis, which has had a disparate health and economic impact on communities of color. At the same time, the crisis has accelerated the pace of innovation and entrepreneurship across the organization, particularly regarding talent development. As of March, the Compass staff have been working fully remotely and continuing to provide financial coaching by phone and video.  To learn more about Compass’ response to COVID-19, please click here.


Human Capital Strategy, Vision + Execution 

  • Partner with the Executive Team and Board on human resource planning, allocation, and structure, organizational goal setting, including key performance indicators  
  • Execute and continually refresh a talent and human resources approach that is aligned with Compass’ vision and strategy
  • Lead a growing and diverse Human Resources department
  • Design, recommend and implement service delivery strategies, including HRIS systems and outsourcing opportunities
  • Oversee the organization’s total compensation policies and practices, including external benchmarking and calibration
  • As Compass expands programming into new states, ensure compliance with relevant local and national employment laws and regulations

Steward Organizational Culture + Employee Engagement

  • Set the tone for Compass’ culture by leading by example, coaching others, and listening deeply to the full team
  • Model and implement an approach to staff management, coaching, accountability and performance development that successfully cultivates the safety, mission-fit, sense of belonging and deep engagement needed to drive employees to be their best
  • Serve as an active, communicative, and present leader of the organization. Provide staff with a strong day-to-day leadership presence  
  • Design and implement an approach to professional learning, including leadership and management practices that align with the organization’s goals and priorities, and the individual and team attributes essential to achieve them

Be an Active Voice for Diversity, Equity + Inclusion

  • In partnership with the rest of the Executive Team, serve as an organizational leader to support Compass’ efforts to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are primary in all decision making, organizational practices and culture
  • Co-lead with the rest of the Executive Team internal efforts to embody and operationalize Compass’ core values:  believe in people, pursue excellence, focus on impact, value diversity and pursue equity, practice humility, keep learning and innovating, and go further together
  • Apply a diversity, equity and inclusion lens to all job design, recruiting, staffing and transition processes and ensure that all systems support the organization’s goals in these areas


We seek a CPO with a strong “roll-up-your-sleeves” attitude and entrepreneurial spirit.  Competitive candidates will demonstrate a strong technical background in human resources and agility within a resource-constrained environment.   

There are innumerable ways to learn, grow, and excel professionally. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. We want to get to know you and the unique strengths you will bring to the work. This said, we are most likely to be interested in your candidacy if you can demonstrate the majority of the qualifications and experiences listed below.

  • Experienced Talent Management + Human Resources Leader: The CPO will have demonstrated expertise in scaling human resources and talent management functions. This person will have an extensive background managing and developing Human Resources Teams and demonstrated experience coaching Executive Teams in building their own leadership and management skills.  Highly qualified candidates will bring innovative and proven practices in building and supporting teams in a remote work environment.
  • Adept at Change Management + Continuous Improvement: The CPO will bring a background of managing significant organizational change and staff development, with a focus on continuous improvement and insights into the impacts of these changes on the culture of an organization. They will have practical experience in communicating change to executive leadership and staff within the organization. The CPO will have demonstrated success in a fast-paced, collaborative, and learning-oriented environment.
  • Experienced Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Leader: The CPO will work across the organization to nurture a transparent and compassionate culture where staff feels able to bring their full selves to work, supported and cared for personally and professionally and able to productively and openly engage in critical conversations. He/she/they will uphold the values of equity and inclusion in all systems and policies of the organization.
  • Relationship Builder + Collaborator: Critical to success in this role, the CPO will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships both within and external to Compass. S/he/they will be a natural partner with demonstrated ability to connect, build bridges and work collaboratively. This person will model passion for the mission, a respect for people and a commitment to moving the organization forward. 
  • Strategic Partner + Communicator:  The CPO will model adaptive problem-solving skills with a focus on strong written and verbal communication, and the ability to articulate a clear and compelling vision and generate buy-in for that vision.

Compensation + Benefits:

This is an outstanding opportunity to contribute to a highly effective nonprofit’s executive team. Salary will be $125,000 with a competitive benefits package. Full benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance, flexible spending accounts, paid parental leave, retirement savings, generous vacation, STD/LTD/Life Insurance, and paid professional development and certification, as well as discounts offered by our partners related to auto and home insurance, legal services, and retail providers.


Compass Working Capital is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We consider applications for all positions, without regard to age, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, citizenship, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, military status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

Compass Working Capital is committed to ensuring individuals with disabilities receive the accommodations required for them to interview for a position on our team. Should you require accommodations, please contact [email protected].

As a contractor of Boston Housing Authority, Compass also provides hiring preference to Section 3 residents. Section 3 Residency is defined as being an authorized resident of Boston Housing Authority or a “low-income resident” of the Boston Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Suffolk, Norfolk, Middlesex, Essex, Plymouth, Strafford (NH), and Rockingham (NH) Counties. For the purposes of Section 3, low-income is defined as 80% of the Area Median Income. To learn more information about Section 3 income eligibility, please refer to the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Website


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