Head of People

Emeryville, California
Operations /
Full time /
Prolific Machines is ushering in a new era of biotechnology with light. We harness light to produce everyday essentials more efficiently, from food and lifesaving drugs to novel biosolutions. Our first-of-its-kind photomolecular biology platform delivers unprecedented control, precisely guiding cellular behavior when and where it matters most. Unlike existing tools used to control biology, our technology unlocks dynamic control over virtually any cellular function in any cell type. We're enabling partners to unlock robust efficiency, quality, reproducibility, and sustainability advantages across pharmaceuticals, nutritional and therapeutic proteins, cellular agriculture, and more. Prolific is supported by leading investors, including Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Mayfield and SOSV.

Help us create a brighter tomorrow with biology. We're looking for mission-driven, talented, and kind people to join our team.

About this job

We are seeking a Head of People to lead our human resources and organizational development . This role is crucial for cultivating our company culture, effectively managing performance and expectations, and aligning our workforce with our strategic objectives and company mission. You will be responsible for developing and implementing long-term strategies that support our ambitious growth while being actively engaged in everyday happenings at the office.

As the Head of People, you will be a key member of the leadership team, driving organizational effectiveness and change management initiatives. You will design and oversee development programs that enhance both technical and interpersonal skills across the organization, ensuring these programs support career growth and leadership development at all levels. Your mission will include cultivating a vibrant, equitable, inclusive company culture and managing all HR operations to create a supportive and dynamic work environment.


    • Organizational Health: Implement innovative practices and systems (including values, expectation setting, etc.) that improve the overall health and effectiveness of the organization. This includes developing clear metrics for success and maintaining high standards of work and productivity.
    • Strategic Leadership: Develop and execute a people strategy that aligns with the company's vision and strategic objectives. Serve as a key member of the leadership team to drive organizational effectiveness and change management initiatives.
    • Performance Management and Compensation Strategy: Redesign and administer a comprehensive performance management system that drives organizational performance and own Compensation Strategy development.
    • Talent Development: Oversee the design and delivery of development programs that enhance both technical and interpersonal skills across the organization. Ensure these programs support career growth and leadership development at all levels. Additionally, coordinate the recruitment process from end-to-end, ensuring we hire in top talent.
    • Culture and Engagement: Cultivate a vibrant and inclusive company culture, with a strong focus on DE&I . Develop initiatives that enhance employee engagement and ensure a work environment that attracts, motivates, and retains top talent.
    • HR Operations: Oversee all HR operations including recruitment, compensation, benefits, employee relations, and compliance. Ensure HR practices are equitable, compliant with regulatory requirements, and align with industry best practices.

About You

    • Demonstrated experience in developing, implementing, and leading HR strategies that have positively impacted employee engagement and business outcomes.
    • Strong understanding of employment law, compensation, organizational planning, organization development, employee relations, and training and development.
    • Strategic thinker with a proven track record of transforming business visions and objectives into operational HR strategies. Ability to prioritize and address the most critical issues in a timely manner while maintaining, and working towards, a longer-term vision.
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to engage and influence at all levels within the organization. Proven ability to manage conflict, build consensus, and facilitate problem-solving and collaboration amongst various stakeholders. Data-focused (where helpful), leveraging internal and external data to inform decisions and strategies.
    • Demonstrated commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.
    • At least 5 years of HR experience with at least 3 years in a leadership role.
    • Experience with high-growth, fast-paced startups is highly desirable.
    • Experience with, and exposure to, deep tech R&D teams (especially Biology/Biomanufacturing) is highly desirable.
$165,000 - $200,000 a year
- Equity in the form of common stock (subject to vesting)
- Performance-based bonus
Diversity: We value diverse people, perspectives, and knowledge. To this end, we aim to foster a sense of belonging that enables everyone to bring their whole, authentic self to work everyday. We are committed to growing a diverse and inclusive team that encompasses all types of people. We believe this can only be achieved by acknowledging the ancestral, historic, and current systemic and communal inequities.

Location: The San Francisco Bay Area (Emeryville, CA)

Benefits: Outstanding Health, Vision & Dental Insurance (including full spouse coverage), at least one all-expense-paid team holiday per year, flexibility in schedule and unlimited vacation days. Free lunch every day!