People & Operations Manager

This role is a unique opportunity to shape our organisation from the ground up. You’ll be critical in building the team and nurturing an outstanding employee experience. You’ll enable everyone you work with to have the most positive impact possible towards the foundation's mission.

Deadline: 31 July 2022 23:59 UTC
06 November 2022 23:59 UCT

The Cooperative AI Foundation (CAIF, pronounced “safe”) is a new charitable entity whose mission is to support research that will improve the cooperative intelligence of advanced AI for the benefit of all. This mission is driven by our belief that many of the most important problems facing humanity – climate change, nuclear war, and pandemic preparedness, to name but a few – are problems of cooperation, and that AI will be increasingly important when it comes to solving (or exacerbating) such problems.

With an initial endowment of $15 million from the Center for Emerging Risk Research, our ambition is to build the nascent field of Cooperative AI, improving the ability of AI systems to engender cooperation between humans, machines, and institutions. A more detailed introduction to this field can be found in our recent Nature piece and paper on open problems in Cooperative AI.

The “benefit of all” sits at the heart of everything we do. We are relentless in our ambition to have the greatest possible positive impact, both supporting and trusting our staff (and our external partners) to perform at their best. We strive to learn from our failures, through a culture of curiosity, openness, and compassion, alongside evidence-based reasoning and rigorous evaluation. With a diversity of perspectives and values forming the core of any cooperation problem, we must also practise what we preach: maintaining plurality, equity, and inclusiveness in all that we do.

The Role
The Organisation

We’re looking for a People & Operations Manager to become the COO’s right hand person at CAIF. This is CAIF’s first full year of operation, and you’ll be the first full-time People & Operations hire. This means it’s a varied and exciting challenge for someone with a diverse skill-set and lots of energy and ideas! You’ll take ownership of our recruitment processes and structure how we use internal tools. You’ll be the person who spends the most time thinking about employee experience, and never stop improving it. You’ll jump into our highest priority projects, lending your skills wherever possible, to help supercharge what CAIF can achieve.

In your first 6-12 months, you’ll:

  • Run hiring rounds including including reviewing applications, outbound sourcing, phone screens, communicating with candidates and proposing improvements to the overall process and ATS to ensure effectiveness, fairness and efficiency;
  • Provide documentation and carry out ‘housekeeping’ on other organisational systems (Slack, GDrive, 1Password, HRIS) to enable team engagement, productivity and security;
  • Run and optimise our onboarding process to be legally compliant, consistent, and a great experience for new joiners and the rest of the team;
  • Organise team socials and support with other events (in particular, an inaugural Cooperative AI summit).

Expected future responsibilities:

  • Administrate (and support with the improvement of) other HR tasks, such as performance reviews, benefits, offboarding;
  • Manage contractors and other third parties e.g. payroll, legal, IT, insurance, offices we have access to;
  • Support the COO and ED with other activities e.g. tracking organisational KPIs, developing our employer branding, building out a CRM.

We’re primarily a remote organisation, with opportunities to meet colleagues in person (currently based in London, Oxford, and Sheffield). We offer lots of flexibility to fit your hours around your life, whether that’s because you’re most productive at a particular time of day or because you need to do the school run. We’re flexible as to whether this role is full-time, or part-time (4 or 4.5 days per week).


Salaries at CAIF account for demonstrated competencies and location-based cost of living. For this role we expect salaries offered to be between £40,000 and £55,000 (or the equivalent in your home currency). A successful candidate with less prior experience should also expect their salary to increase in the role, contingent on performance.

Other benefits include home office equipment; travel expenses to co-locate with colleagues; 33 days of paid holiday (including bank holidays); 5% pension contribution; generous learning & development budget and health & wellbeing support. (Note that CAIF is in the early stages of defining our benefits package and would like the People & Operations Manager to work with the COO to develop this further.)


The application deadline is the 6th November at 23:59 UTC. Please apply using this form. You will be asked to submit a CV and respond to a few short questions. Candidates who succeed in passing the application review process will be invited to a short interview in the two weeks following submission of their application. The next stages will consist of a short remote work test, followed by a presentation and final interview. We hope to communicate final decisions by early December.

We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion, and we encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. We especially encourage applications from underrepresented groups, and are an equal opportunity employer. If you have specific needs or circumstances that require accommodation, please contact us.

Hopefully, you’ll be some or all of the following:

  • Having a track record of successfully running recruitment rounds and interviewing for various hires (including niche/technical roles);
  • Familiar with a range of administrative areas, e.g. office, HR, IT, events;
  • Practise inclusivity in everything you do;
  • Highly organised, attention to detail and solve problems proactively;
  • Like talking to people, build rapport quickly, and care about the experience of everyone you interact with;
  • Comfortable working in a small, dynamic organisation.

Some extra skills that would be great:

  • Tech- and social-savvy: you know your way around typical internal systems and social platforms;
  • Data-driven and logical: you’re comfortable using metrics to inform decision making and improvements.

Note that prior knowledge of Cooperative AI is not required.

Application Process