Lavender Youth Recreation & Information Center (LYRIC), one of the oldest, largest, and most innovative organizations in the nation serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth, seeks a strategic and nimble Talent Manager to lead the design and implementation of robust and versatile talent development systems, promote a supportive organizational culture that fosters mutual trust, creativity, cross-team learning, and drive an innovative approach to program refinement that transforms the systems that impact LGBTQQ youth.
Founded in 1988, LYRIC works to transform the landscape for all LGBTQQ youth, particularly those who are low-income and youth of color, in schools, public agencies, and communities. With an anticipated budget of more than $3M and more than 25 staff members, 10 fellows and over 90 paid youth interns, the Talent Manager will join a passionate and mission-driven team in strengthening a network of supports for LGBTQQ youth that includes direct advocacy, community-building opportunities, and workforce development initiatives. Last year LYRIC impacted over 1,159 youth through direct services, and an additional 3,376 through outreach, in their efforts to build a Youth Leadership Pipeline – strengthening the capacity of LGBTQQ youth to develop key life skills, healthy relationships, and potential career pathways.
Reporting to the Deputy Director and working closely with the leadership team, the Talent Manager will lead the design and implementation of LYRIC’s talent development strategy, applying best practices from both human resources and key elements of youth development theory. As the primary coordinator for the organization’s hiring, onboarding, and training program for youth development staff, the Talent Manager will steward LYRIC’s organizational culture, leading evaluation, curriculum design, and systems that create efficiencies for program staff to more effectively do their work. The Talent Manager will conceive and facilitate both formal and informal learning opportunities, equipping staff in their ability to adapt and align programmatic work that collectively fulfills LYRIC’s operating principles and mission.
The ideal candidate must share a passion for building the leadership capacity of LGBTQQ youth, striving to foster a world that honors, respects and appreciates LGBTQQ youth and their contributions. The successful Talent Manager will bring at least three years of professional experience in talent development, human resources and/or organizational development, preferably in a mission-driven context. This person will have demonstrated success in the design and implementation of learning systems across an organization, including the use of data-driven practices and direct facilitation of curricula or other learning resources within and across teams.
As a nationally-recognized model for leadership development with LGBTQQ youth that is guided by its strategic initiatives and operating principles, LYRIC continues to innovate and drive excellence in its programming and internal culture and infrastructure, furthering its impact on the opportunities of LGBTQQ young people.
The search is being conducted with assistance from Allison Kupfer Poteet and Makeba Greene of the national search firm, NPAG. Instructions for submitting applications, nominations, and inquiries can be found at the end of this document.
Founded in 1988, LYRIC is an anchor institution where predominately low-income LGBTQQ youth of color collaborate with peers and adult allies to promote social justice in their communities. Combining advocacy efforts with a holistic set of services, LYRIC strives to transform the systems that marginalize LGBTQQ youth, providing the supports they need to thrive.
In alignment with the organization’s strategic plan, LYRIC envisions: (1) schools that are transformed into safe, inclusive environments where LGBTQQ students can thrive, and (2) a comprehensive network of community supports to ensure successful progression into adulthood for transitional age LGBTQQ Youth. Leadership and staff work toward this vision by uniting best practice with innovation to realize the organizational excellence needed to advance the field of LGBTQQ youth development, and growing community support that reflects a high level of partner investment in LYRIC’s mission, vision, and organizational sustainability.
LYRIC’s continued growth is guided by its strategic initiatives and the following operating principles:
• Learning: We bring curiosity, creativity, and fun to our work.
• Sustainable Impact: We commit to the long-term transformation of lives and institutions.
• Leadership: We foster leadership to support a progressive movement that spans generations.
• Allyship: We believe that everyone has a role in creating safe and thriving communities.
• Social Justice: We build upon a proud history of community self-determination by challenging institutionalized invisibility & inequity.
With an anticipated operating budget of more than $3M, LYRIC provides a robust network of supports for LGBTQQ youth through three main avenues: Youth Advocacy, Community Building, and Workforce Development. With this approach, LYRIC weaves a safety net for LGBTQQ youth, fostering systems change that is driven by young people’s leadership in advancing policy, engaging in direct advocacy, and spurring movement building within communities.
Youth Advocacy & Case Management
LYRIC provides a continuum of case management services at the individual level that build upon youth’s resiliency, providing access to mental and physical health services, jobs, educational counseling and enrollment, housing, budgeting, and basic needs, including support with legal name and gender marker change documentation. LYRIC provides these services free of charge, and this is often an entry point for young people who go on to engage further in the organization’s efforts to build a leadership pipeline of LGBTQQ young people.
Community Building & Movement Building
Strengthening young people’s abilities at the interpersonal level, LYRIC also facilitates school and community-based programming to create collaborative learning environments where LGBTQQ youth can build skills, identify allies, and develop a sense of family that enables them to be successful and truly thrive. By connecting LGBTQQ youth leaders with other community efforts working for social justice, LYRIC also builds the power of LGBTQQ young people in influencing and shaping policy and systems design and implementation.
With an understanding of the barriers that many LGBTQQ young people (particularly those who are low-income, undocumented and/or youth of color) face in gaining employment, LYRIC provides comprehensive workforce development services. Youth ages 14-24 engage in a continuum of paid, work-based learning opportunities that build their leadership and life skills. This continuum includes one of LYRIC’s newest programs, which is a two-year fellowship for transgender/gender non-conforming youth. In addition, LYRIC provides 1:1 support to youth job seekers (age 24 and younger). For many, LYRIC provides the first employment opportunity a young person has held, and a first step in building an income to support their future stability and career growth.
History and Values
As one of the first and largest LGBTQQ youth centers in the United States, LYRIC has impacted the landscape of services and supports that are available for LGBTQQ youth, both regionally and nationally. The organization emerged from the shared vision of Donna Keiko Ozawa and Beth Kivel, who sought to create a safe space and opportunity to build community for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. After the success of their first event – a community dance held in 1988 – LYRIC’s organizational goals, programming, and advocacy priorities began to take shape. In 1991, LYRIC achieved the first of many policy wins: receiving financial support from the City of San Francisco for urgently-needed youth development programs that challenged homophobia and transphobia and educated community members about sexuality and gender. In direct response to the youth-led advocacy of LYRIC, Mayor Frank Jordon signed a resolution to prioritize LGBTQQ youth needs, including the establishment of a LGBTQQ youth center in the Castro.
In its transformation from a collective to a broader advocacy and service provider that is building a leadership pipeline of LGBTQQ youth, LYRIC has become a small, but highly sophisticated leader in the delivery of youth development programming. LYRIC’s peer-based approach to working with LGBTQQ youth is a key element in their success, and the organization has been recognized by the Community Network for Youth Development (CNYD) for excellence in youth development outcomes and youth participant satisfaction.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE TALENT MANAGER
Reporting to the Deputy Director and working closely with the leadership team, the Talent Manager will lead the design and implementation of LYRIC’s talent development strategy while also serving as the primary coordinator for the organization’s hiring, onboarding, and youth staff training. The Talent Manager will steward LYRIC’s organizational culture, leading evaluation, curriculum design, and systems that create efficiencies for program staff to more effectively do their work. In the first 12-18 months and beyond, the Talent Manager can expect to engage in the following challenges and opportunities:
Lead the Design and Implementation of a Broad Talent Development Strategy
The Talent Manager will design, test, refine, and codify a broad talent development strategy for LYRIC, articulating a vision for an approach to talent development that will support and shepherd the organization through a period of significant growth and expansion. In leading this multi-year plan, the Talent Manager will work closely with the Deputy Director and members of the leadership team to ensure close alignment across programs and teams, including support functions and other key operational roles. With responsibility for managing the talent development budget, and accompanying work plans, and procedures, the Talent Manager will develop and evaluate systems and enhance the skills of staff members, supporting the fulfillment of LYRIC’s operating principles and mission.
Conceive and Facilitate Key Learning and Morale-Building Opportunities for Staff Within and Across Teams
In collaboration with members of the Leadership Team, the Talent Manager will develop strong relationships across teams, working to create a systematic approach to identify opportunities for celebration, shared learning and key skill or knowledge gaps. Using these insights, the Talent Manager will develop or seek out key learning and/or morale-building opportunities that strengthen the ability of staff to collaborate, lead youth development programs, improve data collection, develop external partnerships, and drive impact. These learning opportunities include both formal and informal opportunities, such as staff meetings, 1:1 coaching, brown bag lunches, sharing of key social media, partner site visits and the annual staff retreat.
Clarify, Articulate and Provide Accountability for LYRIC’s Internal Development Strategy
Building on the rich culture and commitment of LYRIC’s external work in the development of a leadership development pipeline for LGBTQQ youth, the Talent Manager will develop and articulate a clear strategy and progress milestones for internal promotion within LYRIC, enabling staff to navigate opportunities for professional growth, whether within the organization or with a key community partner. Using principles of organizational design and continuous improvement processes that are tied to individual goal-setting with staff, the Talent Manager will establish clear metrics and expectations for internal growth and promotion. Working closely with the Deputy Director and Executive Director, the Talent Manager will ensure fidelity to this strategy and workplan, ensuring organization-wide trust and confidence in its implementation.
Manage LYRIC’s Performance Management Activities and Broader Human Relations Oversight
The Talent Manager will utilize LYRIC’s performance management tools and processes to initiate and facilitate goal-setting efforts with staff across the organization. In managing both ongoing feedback mechanisms and the organization’s annual review process, the Talent Manager will ensure that team members receive fair, constructive, and timely feedback regarding performance expectations. To support these efforts, the Talent Manager will provide ongoing training to managers in leading goal-setting and professional development plans with their staff, providing additional coaching and 1:1 support for staff members as needed. The Talent Manager will oversee the organization’s Human Resources functions, maintaining compliance with personnel policies that govern staff recruitment, hiring, promotion, disciplinary action and employment separation.
Develop, Administer, and Track Effective Onboarding and Orientation for New Staff
Working under the direction of the Deputy Director and included within the larger creation of a talent development strategy, the Talent Manager will also develop and facilitate a robust orientation curriculum and schedule for new staff, supporting relationship-based and experiential learning opportunities that support quick and effective integration with the larger team.
Assist in Agency-Wide Fund Development, Team-Building Priorities, and Partnership Building
With responsibilities for leading change management and talent development strategies across LYRIC, it is also essential that the Talent Manager model organization-wide participation in fundraising activities, team-building, and external partnerships, fostering the expanded engagement of LYRIC youth and staff in these efforts.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
The Talent Manager will bring an understanding of both leadership development and change management and must demonstrate a passion for building the leadership capacity of LGBTQQ youth. While no one person will embody all the qualities listed below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
The successful Talent Manager will bring at least three years of professional experience in talent development, human resources and/or organizational development, preferably in a mission-driven context. This person will have demonstrated success in the design and implementation of learning systems across an organization, including the use of data-driven practices and direct facilitation of curricula or other learning resources within and across teams.
• A demonstrated commitment to and/or experience serving LGBTQQ youth and a broad and deep knowledge of and empathy for the challenges they face, both interpersonally and within systems.
• A commitment to providing culturally-responsive services that honor, value, and celebrate the diverse needs and backgrounds of LGBTQQ young people; competent in working in a multiracial, multicultural, multi-gendered, and intergenerational environment.
• At least three years of professional experience in talent development, human resources, learning and development, knowledge management and/or organizational development or a related skill area, preferably in a mission-driven context.
• Demonstrated expertise and success as a change manager, facilitator and/or coach with complex dynamics and diverse participants; maturity in balancing when to hold, reflect and process, and when to forge ahead.
• Proven ability to effectively lead and develop youth; familiarity with youth development frameworks, youth-adult partnership frameworks, restorative justice, and/or systems change is highly preferred.
• Proven ability to mentor and develop staff and deliver direct and growth-oriented feedback; ability to establish trust while also communicating clear boundaries of HR functions.
• Exceptional relational and communication skills; comfort with ambiguity and an ability to navigate challenging situations with resiliency, integrity, and good will.
• Experience and comfort with working with transgender youth, young women, youth of color, youth with disabilities, undocumented youth, young men who have sex with men (YMSM), youth living with HIV, system-engaged youth, immigrant communities, youth engaged in sex work, youth who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability, and other historically marginalized groups.
• Preference for candidates who bring an extensive knowledge of the San Francisco Bay Area and its resources, particularly for LGBTQQ youth, youth of color, undocumented youth, and their families.
• Fluency in Cantonese, Mandarin, or Spanish is highly desirable.
How to ApplyTO APPLY This search is being conducted with assistance from Allison Kupfer Poteet, Chris Cannon and Makeba Greene of NPAG. Nominations, inquiries, and/or applications including your resume and a cover letter should be submitted to: LYRIC-TM@nonprofitprofessionals.comNPAG is an executive search and consulting firm dedicated to serving the mission-driven community. We partner with global mission-driven clients to deliver highly-tailored, innovative, and strategic senior- and executive-level search services. www.nonprofitprofessionals.comLYRIC is an equal opportunity employer. Applications are strongly encouraged from women, people of color, immigrants, young people, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender and genderqueer people, people living with HIV/AIDS, people with disabilities, and bilingual and bicultural people. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.
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