Director, Human Resources

San Diego, CA

Description: Kura Oncology is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing personalized therapeutics for the treatment of solid tumors and blood cancers. The company’s diverse pipeline consists of small molecules that target cancer signaling pathways where there is a strong scientific and clinical rationale to improve outcomes by identifying those patients most likely to benefit from treatment. Kura Oncology’s approach to drug development is focused on rapidly translating novel science into life-saving medicines. Kura Oncology was founded in 2014 and has offices in La Jolla, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Director, Human Resources – San Diego, CA

The Director, Human Resources will be responsible for proactively guiding all aspects of the human resource functions at Kura Oncology and will report to the Chief Operating Officer.  This “hands-on” role will provide strategic and tactical input to the organization, working with management and client groups alike. They will provide senior level knowledge in employee relations, performance management, compensation, benefit design and the employment process.

The successful applicant will have experience in large and small organizations as well as the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. This role will provide the right candidate with significant authority and influence in the organization, with the immediate ability to impact the company’s operations.

Essential duties and responsibilities include the following:  Other duties may be assigned.

  • Provides strategic and tactical direction of the human resource programs including workforce planning, recruitment/retention, employee relations, compensation, performance management, communication, regulatory compliance and associated technology.
  • Responsible for implementing initiatives and processes that emphasize a performance-based culture.
  • Develops staffing strategies and implementation plans and programs to identify talent for the company’s open positions. Evaluates and advises on the impact of long range planning of new programs and strategies on the attraction, motivation, development and retention of the company’s human capital.
  • Continually assesses the competitiveness of all programs and practices against best practices for the industry and market.
  • Develops progressive compensation programs to provide motivation, incentives and rewards for effective performance.
  • Counsels employees and managers regarding the personnel system, discipline, termination, grievance, job descriptions, performance appraisals and any other employee-related issue
  • Proposes and advances technical tools (HRIS, ATS, on-line benefit programs, etc.) to ensure time efficiencies and accuracy of all data pertaining to employees and human resource programs.
  • Plans and directs implementation and administration of benefits programs; evaluates services, coverage and options available through insurance companies to determine programs that meet/exceed the needs of the organization and supports the competitiveness of Kura Oncology in the marketplace.
  • Assures current knowledge and understanding of regulations, industry trends, current practices, new developments, and applicable laws regarding human resources.
  • Acts as senior level advisor on human resources issues to other executives and all levels of employees.
  • Establishes credibility throughout the organization with management and employees in order to be an effective listener and problem solver of people issues.
  • Maintains current knowledge and understanding of regulations, industry trends, best practices, new developments, and applicable laws regarding human resources.
  • Establishes and maintains networking relationships through active involvement and participation in human resource and industry groups.
  • Coordinates management training in interviewing, hiring, terminations, leadership, performance management, and sexual harassment.
  • Perform duties in compliance with applicable SOX, FDA and state regulations.

Education and/or Experience: BA/BS or equivalent years of experience in Business, Human Resources, or a related field.  SPHR Certification and or MA/MS preferred. Minimum of 8-10 years of broad-based Human Resources experience with minimum of 5 years at management level including interactions with senior management.

  • Experience in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry required.
  • Experience working for a publicly traded company and knowledge of SOX regulations effecting Human Resource programs is a plus.
  • Knowledge of current best practices within the human resource profession in addition to federal, state and local employment- related regulations.
  • Knowledge of the trends and methods for attracting and retaining employees specifically in the biotech, pharmaceutical or other related industries.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and influence amongst a business team; approachable and an effective communicator with people across all levels in the organization.
  • Ability to provide senior management with content-expert knowledge in the key areas of talent acquisition, compliance, performance management, compensation, and benefits.
  • Ability to recognize and design/implement innovative human resource programs in various identified areas within the function.
  • Strong interpersonal and written, verbal and presentation communication skills, with the ability to develop a high degree of personal credibility across client groups.
  • Technology saavy with ability to implement technology services. Must have extensive skills, knowledge abilities with computers and software programs including Word, Excel, and HRIS programs.
  • Ability to “roll up your sleeves” and individually contribute results.

Kura Oncology offers an attractive salary and benefits package, including equity incentives. To apply, please submit your resume to