Head of People & Culture

Job description

Do you want to be part of a fast-growing startup while making a positive impact on the world?

About StudentFinance

StudentFinance is a venture-backed company with the mission of removing barriers to education and empowering economic mobility.

We deeply believe in the power of education and that access to education should not depend on one's financial background. Currently, millions of people are in need of reskilling and are not able to fulfill their potential due to financial barriers. So we are building the technological, data, and financial infrastructure to offer outcomes-based financing. Through Income Share Agreements, people defer the tuition payment and only start making payments after getting a job. ISAs are all about aligned incentives, and so are we at StudentFinance. Our end game is supporting our customer's transition to employment and financial health.

To get there, we are building a world-class team of purpose-driven and entrepreneurial people, working in a remote setting from cities across Europe.

About the Role

As Head of People & Culture, you will be the first people People/HR executive in our team and will make decisions that will have a significant impact on the growth and long term success of StudentFinance. You will work closely with our founders and leadership team to help us build the foundations that will enable us to continue to scale at a fast-pace growing from 20+ to 200+ employees. We are on the lookout for a master of the core elements of people operations who is passionate about creating an inspiring organizational culture and ensuring it can scale alongside a fully-distributed team.

You’ll have an extensive background building, maintaining, and improving People programs and infrastructure that attracts, supports, develops, and retains a top-tier, mission-driven distributed workforce, ideally in a fast growing startup. You’re excited about building a high-performing company culture and you’re not only skilled at designing large-scale strategic initiatives, but also at getting your hands dirty and getting things done.

StudentFinance is a remote-first, fast-paced, mission, and results driven organization that is scaling quickly. You will need to be able to stay one step ahead of our growth and be able to coach, support, and help enhance our organization as we scale


  • You will work with our leadership to design our org structure and craft our hiring plans.

  • Recruiting: You will build and manage processes to attract and retain talent across all functions of the organization. This includes both talent sourcing, interviewing, managing recruitment processes end-to-end, as well as building our employer branding strategy.

  • HR Operations - Our HR operations are the nuts and bolts of a well-run organization. You will own all of the systems, processes, and decisions related to these core areas of our business including payroll, benefits. You will build and manage the complete onboarding and offboarding process for all employees

  • Remote Culture: Define and drive a remote culture that embodies StudentFinance’s values that reward, promote and encourage high performance throughout the organization. Ensure cultural consistency as StudentFinance scales, and set up infrastructure to manage through change and maintain the level of trust and transparency across levels and functions that exist today.

  • Manager Support: Educate, advise, and influence managers on leadership development, employee engagement and retention, performance criteria and measurement, succession planning, talent reviews, and change management.

  • Employee Relations: Lead employee relations for all employees and provide support for employees at all levels to successfully navigate difficult situations. Act as a liaison with counsel to resolve legal concerns.

  • Strategic Alignment: Effectively communicate alignment between People Ops programs and support for the organization's mission and strategic vision. Secure executive sponsorship and support for new initiatives and programs, operational efficiencies, and regulatory changes in HR practice.

  • Compensation and Benefits: Collaborate with the executive team to create a competitive, contemporary compensation and benefits program by completing regular market analysis, and effectively implementing improvements.

  • Compliance: Enhance our employee handbook and enforce HR policies and procedures at StudentFinance. Help optimize our HR processes through our HR system. Understand HR policies, programs, laws, and issues and implement systems to ensure regulatory compliance across the countries where we have or plan to have employees.

  • Understand our company’s mission, vision, and values and use them to define, document, and operationalize our people philosophy; translating fundamental principles into concrete best practices

Job requirements


  • Experience leading People Operations / HR department / Recruiting at an early stage, high growth tech company and managed growth from 20 to 200+ employees

  • Experience creating an HR Roadmap and designing People Ops strategy in line with company goals and strategy

  • Experience in sourcing talent and managing the hiring process for a fast-growing company in a remote environment.

  • Flexible - you can operate at a strategic level, but can also perform all tactical HR-related duties for the company

  • Exceptional communicator (both written and verbal) with the ability to provide both strategic foresight and feedback.

  • Comprehensive understanding of employment law and compliance, compensation, benefits, organizational development, employee relations, and training ideally in several European countries. Spain, Portugal, UK is a plus as most of our team is currently in those countries.

  • Outstanding organizational skills and attention to detail with a knack for accuracy and creative problem-solving skills

  • Deeply enjoys partnering closely with team members from the most junior to the executive level

  • A solutions-oriented mindset when faced with challenges and in addressing roadblocks

  • High social and emotional intelligence - you truly enjoy mentoring team members and cultivating strong relationships with all types of people

  • Experience establishing relationships as a trusted advisor with the highest degree of integrity; exercises confidentiality and good judgment in complex and sensitive situations

  • Fluent in more languages is a plus. In particular as employment contracts, and employment laws might be in local languages.

  • You’re driven by the numbers and able to structure quantitative & qualitative data to measure, track, and derive insights. You’re comfortable diving deep into unstructured environments and coming back with order and analysis. You have great attention to detail and think critically about the cross-functional nature of the questions you look to answer

  • Tech-savvy. You like to create efficiencies with technology, you’ve hacked together your own systems to create efficiencies in your daily operating rhythm.

  • Biased for action. Working for a small company is exciting to you and you thrive when there is a little bit of ambiguity in the air. You don’t wait for direction, you seize the opportunity and want to be on a team that thinks the same way.


We are a remote first company! You can be based anywhere, however ideally in Europe considering time-zones as well as where all our team is currently located.

You must be legally authorized to work in the country you reside. We cannot sponsor any work visas.

Why you might be excited:

  • We’re tackling a big problem with even bigger potential.

  • You’ll be able to work remotely and (mostly) set your own schedule. StudentFinance was a remote-first team even before COVID, so we know what makes for a great remote environment.

  • You'll have a lot of flexibility in your role, and will be able to help define our culture and operations infrastructure going forward.

  • The company is backed by leading investors, such as Giant Ventures, Armilar VP, Seedcamp, Mustard Seed Maze, and Sabadell VC, as well as founders of successful startups such as Jobandtalent, Feedzai, Lendable, Monzo, Gocardless, Bolt.

Why you might *not* be excited:

  • We are a young company with about 25 people, so if you like more established companies, this role isn’t for you. You'll help create our company's culture.

  • We're an early stage startup. Projects and priorities are likely to shift.

  • Everyone on the team is extremely mission-driven, and works incredibly hard to push towards our lofty ambitions. Most people won’t be cut out for it.

  • You should be comfortable with just a dash of chaos. This is not the kind of job where you show up and we tell you exactly what to do every day.

  • If you’re looking for a 9-5 job, this role isn’t for you.


At StudentFinance, we believe our team is our biggest asset. We are very ambitious and hard-working and expect that this benefits package motivates and generates well-being in the team. Please find below a summary of the current benefits package:

  • Competitive salary + stock options
  • Fully remote environment
  • Flexible work hours
  • Home office allowance
  • MacBook/PC
  • Flexible vacation policy
  • Personal development budget