Head of People and Culture

Our ambition is to make Blackbird the best place to work in Australia & New Zealand. Our team is now 29 people, spread across offices in Melbourne, Auckland, Sydney, Orange, and Hobart. 

We expect that the team will be 50 people by the end of 2021, and we need your help improving (not just maintaining) our culture as we grow to that scale. 

You’ll be the architect, engineer and builder of the systems, processes and teams that we need to scale our culture. You will oversee everything related to Blackbird’s people, including Recruiting and HR functions.

Here are some examples of the kinds of work you will do:

Driving Learning, & Growth

Each person at Blackbird gets to spend $5k/year on learning. You will work with each person to ensure they get the most from their learning budget, and over time, develop a Blackbird Academy (our own version of Apple University) to scale learning internally.   

Half our team is responsible for managing someone else in the Blackbird team. You will help every Blackbird manager to learn and grow into that role, and to ensure the success of others through their 1:1s, quarterly reviews, 180s, 360s, and anything else you think will make a difference. 

As people grow, you will implement a clear, and equitable process for salary benchmarking, and salary reviews, as well as helping us to fairly share carried interest in our funds, and management company ownership, across our growing team.   

Each person should have a sense of their trajectory at Blackbird, what’s now, what’s next, and what’s beyond that. As much as we have set up Blackbird to be somewhere you can thrive for many years, inevitably people will move on, and you will work directly with them to ensure the success of whatever they do next, and to foster a thriving Blackbird alumni network. 

Running Blackbird on Culture Amp

Blackbird runs on Culture Amp. We use Culture Amp to find out how our team is feeling, how engaged they are, how their wellbeing is, and we want someone dedicated full-time to implementing what we learn through our Culture Amp surveys. We want someone willing to pore over comments, simplify the key takeaways, move quickly to fix things that are broken, and work with the whole team to evolve our culture as we grow. 

In every survey, we track whether people are doing the best work of their lives at Blackbird. You will keep that score as close to 100 as you can. 

Our most recent Culture Amp Engagement score was 95, and our most recent Wellbeing score was 94. We want someone to keep us at those levels, even as we grow. 

Finding The Next Blackbirds

You will be constantly building a network and working out how to tell the stories that make Blackbird a magnetic force for attracting the best people to work here. Our mission is to supercharge the most ambitious founders, and doing that requires us to build an equally ambitious team to serve them. 

Blackbird runs hiring on Applied. This year, more than 1,000 people have applied to roles at Blackbird, and we’ve only been able to hire 1%. 

The experience we give 99% of people who apply and don’t get a job is critical to us - that’s why we obsess about having a hospitality mindset as a firm. 

1,000 people is as many people as would attend the Sunrise conference - we should think of unsuccessful applicants for roles at Blackbird as we would about guests at our annual Sunrise conference - we should care deeply about their experience. 

That experience extends from our Work with Us page, to the way we write about our roles, to where we promote them, to the questions we use to assess them, and the language we use to let people know they weren’t successful in their application. Details matter.

Through Applied, we have removed multiple biases from our hiring process. Applied has helped us to build a team that was 20% women at the end of 2019, to be 60% women today. That team traces its roots all over the world to places like New Zealand, Slovenia, Greece, Thailand, Scotland, Austria, Russia, China, Indonesia, Poland, the Netherlands, and England. 

We want you to continue to make it possible for anyone, from anywhere, of any background, to have a level playing field when applying for roles at Blackbird. 

For the folks who do get hired, you will own their onboarding experience, and ensure their success in the first 90 days.  

Reinforcing Values

Like all of us, you will be someone who has a profound empathy for the journey of a founder, a mindset of enlightened hospitality for the people you work with, and you will derive your greatest professional joy from the process of unlocking the potential of others.

You will constantly question, and seek to improve our processes around people and culture.

We have a set of values we live by - and we want to extend those to a set of operating principles for the team to work to. You will help us establish those principles.

You will be the first person on the team solely responsible for all these things, but we expect as Blackbird grows, you will grow a small and spectacular team around you too. 

Position Requirements

Your background is less important than the key skills, which might include:

A passion for helping other people grow through feedback, reflection and learning. Bonus points if you’re already a #peoplegeek

Experience owning, and executing every element of an epic hiring experience from recruitment, to writing clearly about the role, to treating every applicant (successful, or not) with respect and care. 

Originality in your use of writing, speaking, and event hosting to help potential team members find out more about Blackbird as a place to work. 


Experience owning, and implementing people processes like onboarding, performance reviews, compensation reviews, and everything legal and regulatory as it relates to employment. 

Examples of where you have transformed the lives of others through your care, passion, and push. 

You do not specifically need to have worked at a venture capital firm, but the idea of working with startups should spark joy. 

We’re looking for someone who is as obsessed as we are about building an iconic investment firm. You must have a high ownership mentality, deep comfort with autonomy, confidence in your thought process, and willingness to adapt it to new information, a hunger for finding the truth, and a desire to help us to help founders bring their better version of the future into the present.

Role posted - 2020-09-30T23:49:02Z 9:49am, 1st Oct 2020 AEST