Director of People and Culture

DTES SRO Collaborative logo of hammer and gavel

Deadline for Applications: October 31, 2023 (extended deadline)
Posting Date: September 25, 2023

Job Title: Director of People and Culture

Job Type:
Full Time (40 hours/week), permanent salaried position

Working Location: Chinatown, Vancouver

Reports to: Executive Director

Salary & Benefits:

  • $33.00 per hour base rate, plus top up based on SRO-C’s wage grid, 40 hours per week.
  • Top up for cell phone and internet costs.
  • Annual raises in line with cost-of-living increases.
  • Six weeks paid vacation and generous sick leave policies.
  • Full benefits package, including extended health and dental coverage.
  • Flexibility to work from home when possible.
  • Opportunities for professional development and growth.


The Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving habitability and affordability for the 4,000 low-income residents living in 100 privately-owned single-room occupancy (SRO) hotels in downtown Vancouver. We are a grass-roots organization that experienced rapid growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, and are continuing to actively grow. 

We are seeking a highly motivated and experienced Director of People and Culture to join our team and oversee all aspects of Human Relations operations for our organization. The Director of People and Culture will develop and implement strategies and policies that builds organizational capacity to fulfill the mission and goals, including strategies/policies around recruitment, people management, work culture, employee/tenant relations, professional development, recognition, and retention of staff and tenants, especially those who are racialized, multilingual and/or 2SLGBTGIA+ in the workplace. This is a leadership role that contributes to organizational strategy, planning and the fiscal responsibilities of the organization.

The experience gained will be unique and rewarding (and challenging), as the strategies/policies to be developed and implemented will have as a focus supporting staff in empowering tenant peer workers and all low-income SRO tenants living in the Downtown Eastside and Chinatown.

Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative Society Environment and Work Culture:

Organizing is the heart of SRO-C, and tenants are the soul. SRO-C tenants are disproportionately affected by poverty, colonialism, and discrimination. The tenant community includes people who use drugs, have physical and mental health concerns, people with behavioural issues, criminal records, and histories of trauma, among other challenges. As a result, the tenant organizing work we do can be very demanding, but equally rewarding. Our staff are our most valuable resource and we prioritize their well-being. Staff are continually building skills around trauma-informed practice, de-escalation, and conflict mediation in order to address the complex challenges of our work, and helping tenants do the same. We strive to cultivate a supportive work environment that encourages continuous learning, where staff can think creatively and act courageously, with the understanding that failing better is a crucial stepping stone on the path to positive and meaningful change for our community.

Cultural Safety and Anti-Oppressive Practices

The ideal candidate will have a solid understanding of the issues impacting communities living in and around the DTES and Chinatown and is committed to  intersectional, anti-oppressive, anti-racist practices. SRO-C values staff who can work in this challenging environment, be extremely patient, and provide practical, emotional, and human resources to their fellow staff and share in mutual support of the team. This person will have experience using non-violent communication, conflict resolution, and coaching skills while effectively and compassionately setting and maintaining expectations and accountability with their team.

Key Responsibilities

  • Equity Lens
    • Lead the development of people and culture using a trauma-informed approach and equity lens (poverty, Indigeneity, race, gender, class, able-body) on all aspects of policies and practices.
  • Personnel recruitment
    • Manage the recruitment and selection process for staff, including job postings, candidate screening, interviews, and reference checks.
  • HR management systems
    • Complete and implement an organization HR Manual, including appropriate staff training
    • Oversee the completion and implementation of an Employee Handbook, including appropriate staff training
    • Develop and maintain a comprehensive HR information system, including employee records, contracts, payroll, and benefits administration.
    • Oversee the development and implementation of the organization’s staff compensation and benefits programs.
    • Develop and implement systems for staff performance management, develop processes for regular and supportive performance reviews that grow the potential of each employee.
    • Maintain accurate and up-to-date HR records and reports, including turnover, absenteeism, and performance metrics.
    • Ensure compliance with all relevant federal and provincial employment laws and regulations.
  • Work culture and employee/peer worker relations
    • Develop and continually update a work culture strategy that puts tenants and their needs at the centre of the SRO-C’s work culture, and that helps staff work effectively with the tenants.
    • Support the development and agreement on organizational values and guiding principles, and help create and implement structures to integrate them into work culture where staff and community thrive and effectively meet the organizational mission
    • Oversee the development of policies and protocols that provide clarity, consistency, and transparency around the processes for addressing HR-related issues. Policies and protocols may relate to workplace safety, cultural safety, (non-violent) communication, conflict resolution, code of conduct and other needs/supports, tailored to different relationships including:
      • Among staff members;
      • Between staff members and tenants workers;
      • Among tenant workers as well as other tenants.
    • Provide guidance and support to staff around using these protocols and policies to address HR-related issues.
    • Assess staff and peer worker job satisfaction, and make recommendations to the Executive Director.
    • Create a process for conducting exit interviews and for learning from them.
  • Professional development, recognition, and retention
    • Train and support staff on supervision, including giving and receiving feedback, communication, probation, performance management, mentoring.
    • Develop and implement employee training and development programs for both staff and tenant peer workers, including: orientation, onboarding, and ongoing professional development. 
    • Develop and implement an employee recognition strategy, including celebrating collective and individual achievements of both staff and tenant peer workers.
    • Organize parties, plus yearly tenant convention and Karaoke.
    • Benefits: Review and optimization of staff benefits, including adding pension to benefits package
  • Leadership
    • Creates and oversees budgets as required
    • Leads collaborative team-work that builds capacity to fulfill the SRO-C mission
    • Positive and consistent role modelling of organizational values and policies
    • Strong mentorship that grows the potential of others
    • Effectively manages conflict and consistently models de-escalation
    • Attending, creating and/or facilitating effect meetings
    • Providing cultural and language brokering to enhance programming equity (preferred)


  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management, Business Administration, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 3 to 5 years of experience in HR management, with a focus on recruitment, mentoring and training supervision skills, employee relations, and retention.
  • Lived experience with equity issues/self-identify as BIPOC preferred
  • Knowledge of the Downtown Eastside community and its unique needs, challenges and intersectionalities.
  • Experience working in the non-profit sector is an asset.

Skills (Has competencies and can mentor in all these areas):

  •  Ability to build and maintain trusting relationships
  • Commitment and openness to learning
  • Excels at independent and collaborative team worker
  • Adaptable and effective communication to different stakeholders
  • Ability to set boundaries
  • Ability with de-escalation
  • Ability or willingness to learn a trauma-informed approach

Qualities (Has competencies and can mentor in all these areas):

  • Determination and passion
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Active listening, non-judgemental
  • Humble, self-aware and reflective
  • Accountability
  • Courageous
  • Originality and creativity

Please send a resume and a one-page cover letter outlining why you would be a good fit for this job via email to by October 15th, 2023.

We thank all prospective applicants for their time; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. BIPOC and/or LGBT2SIQ+ applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

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