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Director - People

Diversity Focus Veterans Focus
Gold Leaf Farming
California, United States (hybrid)
12 days ago


Gold Leaf is a fast-growing agricultural investment manager and farming company. We own and operate >11,000 acres of almonds, pistachios and dates in California and Arizona, making us a top ~25 grower of these crops globally. Our growth has been enabled by >$300M of investment from our investor-partners and our >60-person team that operates the farms every day.

Our North Star is to leave the world better than we found it. We have a significant opportunity to do well by doing good – we invest in our team, so that we can invest in differentiated, sustainable farming, so that we can drive financial results. Our farm workers have a $20 starting wage, fully-paid healthcare, retirement and parental leave. Our farms are majority transitioning to organic and all use cutting edge irrigation tech. These strategies have allowed us to generate double-digit returns on investors’ capital.

We are a dynamic firm aggressively growing our assets under management, acreage, and team in 2022 and beyond. We expect to grow by 50-100% this year and have grown by 2-3x annually for the past several years. Our two founders have a balance of investing and farming experience – Jack (CEO) is former TPG Capital, McKinsey, and Stanford GSB while Brandon (Head of Farming) is an accomplished agronomist having managed 10,000+ acres. We hold traditional farming values in high regard: taking pride in quality operations, buying and holding prime assets with a long-term view (everything we buy we’d be happy to own forever), and staying grounded in our values: being candid, putting family first, acting like owners and leading by example.

The Director of People will work closely with the CEO (Jack), VP Operations, and others on the leadership team. This person will be responsible for leading our efforts to recruit and train our team and deliver an exceptional, differentiated employment experience. Today, we have a solid baseline employment offering – we offer excellent pay and benefits to our office and field teams, we conduct quarterly employee councils and surveys to hear feedback on where we can improve, and these efforts are spearheaded by our leadership team and an excellent HR Specialist who oversees the entire company’s employment experience. We expect to roughly triple our headcount over the next 2.5 years and know we will need to continue investing in our people function to build on what we offer today. The Director of People will be responsible for all aspects of Gold Leaf’s overall employment experience – recruiting, training, HR, compensation, and other related topics. They will be charged with building a world-class people team that can deliver an exceptional company culture and the best employment experience in agriculture to our teams – both in the office and on the farms.

At a high growth company, roles will evolve, but initially the key responsibilities of this role will be:

Employee Experience and Compensation – Design and Oversight (~40% of time)

Work with CEO, VP Operations and the leadership team to design and oversee Gold Leaf’s overall employee experience. This would include traditional “HR department” offerings like compensation, benefits and an equity program but also non-HR factors that influence an employee’s satisfaction at work. For example, holding regular employee council sessions to hear directly from and respond to our hourly farm labor force; designing career paths and professional development/training that gives not only our office but also our field team opportunities for career advancement; and weighing the potential to offer non-traditional comp and benefits to a traditionally-neglected farm labor force, such as equity ownership in the farms where they work or sponsored college tuition for employees and their children. Today, we employ ~40 farm laborers who receive 25-40% more cash pay plus substantially more benefits than industry norms. Our vision is to continue to push the envelope on what “blue collar” employees can expect, and as we scale to hundreds of employees hopefully change industry norms on employee pay and treatment entirely. This would satisfy our company North Star, to “leave the world better than we found it.”

  • Partner with the CEO to design firm compensation strategy (e.g., setting cash compensation bands)
  • Administer employee equity program – which covers execs and salaried team, and will soon be offered to our field team, too (i.e., everyone at Gold Leaf will have equity ownership)
  • Oversee employee benefits and related administration
  • Oversee HR compliance
  • Design and implement other offerings to attract and retain great people in the office and the field

Recruiting (~20% of time)

Build and oversee a recruitment function that can staff great people who live our values as we scale:

  • Hire, train and manage an in-house recruiting team
  • Work with hiring managers across the company to understand their hiring needs
  • Source candidates and deliver screened, qualified, values-fit applicants to hiring managers to ensure we are growing Gold Leaf’s high-quality team in parallel with growth in acres and assets

Training and Professional Development (~20% of time)

Create and oversee a training function that can build our team’s skills and enable career advancement:

  • Hire, train and manage an in-house training team
  • Work with CEO, leadership team and functional managers to design and oversee trainings (e.g., new hires, recent promotions, etc.) that are or will be needed as Gold Leaf hires and scales
  • Design and oversee our quarterly feedback process, as well as the related conversations around career advancement, professional development, and promotion along various career tracks at Gold Leaf

Other Firm Strategy and Culture Topics (~20% of time)

  • Stay tightly in sync on company strategy; work with CEO and leadership team to execute against it
  • Assist leadership team with other topics related to our employees, employment offering, and company culture


Suggested Skills & Experience

An excellent candidate for this role will have the following skills & experience. If you have some but not all of the below, please apply anyway. We are an equal opportunity employer, prohibit discrimination of any kind, and value diversity and inclusion. We look forward to considering all strong candidates.

  • 5-10+ years of experience leading the people or HR function at a fast-growing company
  • Strong interest in creating a world-class culture and knowledge of HR topics (e.g., comp, benefits)
  • Affinity for, family ties to, or interest in agriculture
  • Spanish language fluency or proficiency
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university

The Ideal Cultural Fit

  • Ownership mindset and energized by the prospect of building a world-class people strategy for and growing, building and scaling a new and differentiated business in agriculture
  • Willingness to be candid, think critically/act differently, and embrace change
  • Energetic, positive/can-do, and fun person to have on a team!

Job Information

  • Job ID: 65795312
  • Workplace Type: Hybrid
  • Location:
    California, United States
  • Company Name For Job: Gold Leaf Farming
  • Position Title: Director - People
  • Industry: Agricultural
  • Job Function: Human Resources
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Job Duration: Indefinite
  • Min Education: BA/BS/Undergraduate
  • Min Experience: 3-5 Years
  • Required Travel: 10-25%

Please refer to the company's website or job descriptions to learn more about them.

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