Director of Human Resources


Equator Coffees is an award-winning coffee roaster, retail operator, and coffee farm owner headquartered in Marin County, CA. Founded in 1995 by Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell, Equator's strong commitment to a sustainable, transparent approach spans more than two decades. Today, Equator operates seven cafes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since our founding Equator has been a leader in sustainability and social responsibility. In 2011, Equator formalized its commitment to sustainability by becoming a certified B Corporation, making it the first California coffee roaster to do so. If you believe what we believe, in racial and gender equality - come join the Equator team. We’re always looking for motivated people to join us in our retail cafes and at our Marin, California headquarters. We’re especially interested if you love spending as much time as possible drinking coffee, feel more at home in a coffee shop than an office, and have a passion for something greater. We are proud anti racists and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community. We welcome and encourage people who are authentic, kind, passionate and love coffee. 



The Director of Human Resources leads the development and execution of all of Equator Coffees’ people operations and programs. Specifically, this includes recruitment, selection, retention, payroll, professional development strategy and execution, legal compliance, employee benefits, employee relations, employment practices and procedures, employee communications and events. This position will work strategically and tactically with all areas of the organization and will be called upon to support wholesale and retail operators on a regular basis. This role reports into the Executive Vice President of Operations



  • Oversee and execute the delivery of all HR functions for retail cafes, wholesale roastery and corporate office, including employee relations, compliance, recruitment, hiring, onboarding, ongoing training and development, performance management, benefits, compensation, payroll, and workers compensation.
  • Develop, implement, maintain, and provide guidance on all HR and company policies for 100+ employees.
  • Advise executives, managers and hourly team members on legal and policy matters including EEO, FMLA, ACA, SFHCSO, ADA, OSHA, harassment, diversity & inclusion, Covid-19 protocols, I-9 compliance, and disciplinary action, proactively recommending needed changes to mitigate risk, and facilitating resolution of routine and overly complex issues.
  • Maintain HRIS systems, specifically for new hire, onboarding, and training programs.
  • Oversee the full cycle hiring process including recruitment, interviewing, selection, offer drafting, onboarding, and training of new management level team members. Conduct all onboarding activities for managers and corporate office staff. Ensure that field managers are following set processes when hiring, onboarding, and training hourly team members.
  • Lead and thread Diversity, Inclusion and Equity practices into all employee experiences and culture.
  • Oversee employee benefits and workers compensation administration, serving as main point of contact for brokers, vendors, attorneys, and all employees. Research, select and implement new benefits and programs to comply with local, state, and federal laws on an ongoing basis. Advise and present to executives and board on complex benefits issues.


  • Previous HR experience in a multi-unit café, restaurant, retail, or hospitality company required
  • BA/BS degree in Human Resources, Business Administration or another related field
  • 10+ years’ experience in human resources with increasing level of responsibility, with at least four years in a management role
  • SHRM and/or PHR Certification preferred
  • Extensive experience developing, managing interpreting, and communicating complex policies and employment related laws, particularly related to ACA, SFHCSO, EEOC, ADA and other Bay Area specific ordinances
  • HRIS database management, reporting, analysis, and audits
  • Experience with leadership development and/or management training initiatives, including the design and delivery of training
  • Ability to thrive in an entrepreneurial, fast-paced environment with little direction in a growing company
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills with impeccable attention to detail and minimal errors
  • Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills and the ability to influence team members across all levels
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Strong written, verbal, communication, and presentation skills
  • Ability to manage a heavy workload, prioritize well, meet deadlines, and embrace ambiguity
  • Passionate about coffee, and the hospitality industry
  • Embrace new and ever-changing technology with a strong commitment to streamlining systems and increasing efficiencies



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This position description intends to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. It is not intended to include all duties and responsibilities. Job responsibilities can change according to the operational needs of the business. The order in which duties and responsibilities are listed is not significant.

Equator Coffees is an equal opportunity employer. All aspects of employment including the decision to hire, promote, and discharge will be based on competence, performance and the business needs. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability or any other applicable legally protected characteristics.