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Head of Human Resources

Cajal Neuroscience

Seattle, WA, US
  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Function: HR
  • Industry: Biotechnology
  • Post Date: 11/22/2022
  • Website:
  • Company Address: 1616 Eastlake Ave E, Ste 300, Seattle, WA, 98102

About Cajal Neuroscience

Cajal Neuroscience is a drug discovery company focused on neurodegenerative disease. Cajal is inspired by the pioneering work of Nobel laureate Santiago Ramón y Cajal who illuminated the complexity of the brain by marrying art and science.

Job Description

Cajal is seeking a Head of HR motivated by Cajal’s mission to develop new medicines for patients with neurodegenerative disorders.  

As the Head of HR, reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, you will be responsible for the day-to-day activities of human resources, such as benefit and leave administration, HRIS management, employee relations, HR compliance, onboarding, work authorization/immigration, recruitment and more.  You will also be an important member of the company leadership, playing a critical role in growing a successful young biotech startup.  

Cajal is an equal opportunity employer that guarantees a work environment that respects and values diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.


Generalist HR functions:

  • Be the first and main point of contact for all HR matters.
  • Be a trusted coach and resource for employees and managers throughout the team.
  • Ensure that HR policies and practices are aligned to support the company, such as best practices in hybrid/remote work.
  • Administer and coordinate the company’s benefits program.
  • Provide guidance on talent management, workforce planning, headcount and personnel budget. 
  • Manage performance, promotion and compensation process.
  • Partner with Chief of Staff and leadership to enhance employee engagement and mature internal communication processes.
  • Keep up to date with local market conditions and help the company offer competitive compensation and benefits. Manage benefits selection/bid process.
  • Serve as a contact for employees and managers to address matters that require in-depth knowledge of company policies and procedures, communicate complex and sensitive information, and handle confidential information with discretion.
  • Select and implement an HRIS system (as appropriate) and manage integrity of HR data.
  • Ensure policies and written materials (e.g. handbook, offer letters) are compliant with current regulations. Develop and execute on appropriate training and development plans for staff and management.
  • Serve as the main point of contact for immigration attorneys in review and execution of visa-related applications and compliance.
  • Partner with finance on payroll and planning/budgeting.

Recruitment and talent management: 

  • Manage full cycle recruitment process for growing biotech company.
  • Develop practices to increase diversity in hiring.
  • Work with hiring managers to develop job descriptions and postings and facilitate use of our online job posting platform (currently
  • Support hiring managers and interviewers with training and frameworks for candidate evaluation against Cajal’s values and position requirements.
  • Source, phone screen, schedule interviews and manage the candidate process.  This may include offer negotiations and closing (in coordination with the CSO and COO).
  • Help select and manage outside recruiters, if needed.
  • Work with Chief of Staff and Head of Corporate Development to improve the company’s online presence (website, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) to enhance recruitment.
  • Ensure hiring practices meet legal requirements and that all staff are trained.
  • Lead our professional development processes.

This job might be great for you if you have:

  • Minimum of 6 years HR experience including recruiting, onboarding, performance evaluation, and compensation and benefits strategy; experience in biotech, healthcare or pharma industry a plus.
  • Minimum of 1 year of direct biotech, medical or scientific recruiting and sourcing experience.
  • Current in legal and compliance requirements related to hiring and employment.
  • Experience partnering with a Professional Employment Organization (PEO) a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to interface comfortably and confidently with people at all levels of the organization.
  • Comfortable in a startup environment, self-starter, eager to problem solve, comfortable with ambiguity as the company grows.
  • Bachelor's degree from accredited college or university required; advanced degree and/or HR certification helpful.
  • SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) or Professional in Human Resources (PHR/SPHR) desired 


We are a well-funded team of experienced scientists, combining state-of-the-art approaches in computational biology, functional genomics, high-throughput imaging, and translational models. Our mission is to identify novel drug targets based on a deeper understanding into the spatiotemporal progression of disease and translate those discoveries into therapeutics that change the course of neurodegeneration.

Cajal is a team of people first, motivated by our shared mission to advance the field of neurodegeneration. We are committed to ensuring that all of our team members feel supported, connected, and energized at work. Our team members eagerly navigate the uncertainty and fast-paced environment of an early-stage biotech company and thrive on getting things done. We value creativity and curiosity in our work, and we take pride in the generosity, sincerity, and kindness of our team members.

Benefits include:

  • Competitive compensation based on experience level
  • Health insurance: 100% coverage of premiums for employee, partner, & all dependents
  • Dental insurance: 100% of premiums
  • Vision insurance: 100% of premiums
  • Life insurance: 100% of premiums for 2x salary coverage
  • Access to Flexible Spending Account
  • 401(K) Plan
  • 4 weeks paid time off plus 10 company holidays
  • 8 weeks parental leave for primary caregiver or 4 weeks for secondary caregiver in additional to WA Paid Family & Medical Leave (up to 12 additional weeks)
  • Generous commuter benefits including free metro cards, on site locker rooms/showers/towel service, modern bike cage and free bike tunes

Located in the Eastlake neighborhood of Seattle, Cajal sits at the heart of a vibrant biotech community, directly between research giants such as the Allen Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. We are surrounded by fellow innovative biotech companies and startups and within a stone’s throw of the beautiful Lake Union and the University of Washington. Our newly renovated office and labs offer ample natural light and stunning views of the Space Needle downtown. Our kitchen is fully stocked with coffee, tea, and snacks. All desks are sit-stand for maximal comfort and our meeting rooms seamlessly support hybrid teams.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, employment is conditioned upon full vaccination (per CDC guidelines) from the COVID-19 virus, including submission of documented proof thereof, as of the start date. Cajal will comply with applicable law regarding the reasonable accommodation of individuals who are not vaccinated because of a disability and/or sincerely held religious belief.

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