The People team is committed to enable Upwork to win, and become the most desired place to work. We are doing this by building a talent-dense team that is high performing, engaged, and one that accelerates our ability to achieve our ambitious business goals. Our mission is to implement modern and innovative people programs to create conditions for our talent to unleash their potential, deliver business and customer impact and achieve their professional and financial goals with Upwork.

We are seeking a seasoned thought leader to join us as the Director of Talent Development & Learning. Reporting directly to the VP of Leadership and Development, you will be instrumental in shaping and executing our Talent Development and Learning strategy to foster a culture of high performance and impact.

You will directly contribute to building the world’s work marketplace, by advancing the use of innovative technologies to enhance leadership and learning programs, ensuring that Upwork’s learning and development initiatives are at the forefront of the industry. Your role will be crucial in enhancing the skills and capabilities of our workforce while driving our Talent Development practice, including performance management, career mapping, and succession planning.

Your Responsibilities:

  • Design and execute a comprehensive talent development strategy that includes leadership development, performance management, career progression, and succession planning, aligning with Upwork’s strategic objectives.
  • Lead, coach, and motivate a team of 3-4 Talent Development and Learning professionals, supporting their growth and development while enabling them to effectively contribute to Upwork’s vision.
  • Drive the creation and implementation of a career development framework framework that supports transparent career development and progression across all organizational levels.
  • Oversee the design and execution of initiatives focused on Director+ education and management programming.
  • Oversee development and evaluation of key L&D programs (e.g., onboarding and competency building programs) for all levels of talent, aligning it closely with the organizational talent strategy and business objectives, identifying strengths and areas for improvement, and implementing strategies for enhancing the effectiveness of our learning initiatives for a hybrid workforce.
  • Utilize your expertise in learning management systems (LMS) to support the transition to our internal education platform to expand the reach, accessibility, and effectiveness of our eLearning and instructor-led training solutions for all employees, including compliance based training.
  • Establish measurement strategies to analyze the impact of our L&D programs on key people metrics such as performance, engagement, and retention. Utilize data-driven insights to continuously enhance and refine our learning solutions.

What it Takes to Catch our Eye:

  • Proven experience in leading talent development and learning initiatives, preferably in a fast-paced and dynamic organization.
  • Strong understanding of learning management systems and technology-driven learning solutions.
  • Experience with cross-functional stakeholder management and change leadership.
  • Strong understanding of talent development frameworks.
  • Excellent leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams and stakeholders at all levels of the organization.
  • Effective listener, able to connect and develop relationships with employees at all levels in the organization.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills with a data-driven approach to decision-making.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, high-growth environment and adapt to change proactively.
  • A passion for fostering a culture of continuous learning and talent development within the organization.
  • Global mindset: able to think outside of your direct cultural context and incorporate experiences, ideas, and communication strategies that affect team members around the world.

The annual base salary for this position in California and Washington ranges from $147,000 – $220,000.

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