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Head of Talent

Orca Bio

Orca Bio

People & HR
Menlo Park, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2023
Over one million people in the world today are fighting blood cancer. While a traditional allogeneic stem cell transplant has been the best hope for many patients, the transplant itself can prove fatal or lead to serious conditions, such as graft versus host disease.
Orca Bio's investigational, high-precision cell therapies are designed to replace a patient's compromised blood and immune system with a healthy one, while dramatically lowering the risk of developing life-threatening or debilitating transplant-related side-effects. The first application of Orca Bio’s platform is in blood cancer where the unmet need is most acute; with a robust pipeline of promising cell therapies, we plan to extend into autoimmune diseases and genetic blood disorders as well.
Orca Bio is at an inflection point in its growth, gearing towards commercialization of its Orca-T drug product currently under a Phase III clinical trial. We want to retain the best of our start-up culture while building a professional, world-class company, and we need a talent leader who can help us do so.
We’re looking for candidates with high integrity and low ego, someone who embodies our ethos of vigorous debate rooted in mutual trust and respect, in service of the best outcomes for our patients and team. We need someone who is energized by both thinking strategically and acting tactically and engineers ways to do things better than the status quo. As our Head of Talent, you’ll drive enormous impact by building and supporting the engine that hires and retains strong, diverse and committed talent. As you embrace and evolve our hiring philosophy and processes, you power the path for our people to achieve Orca’s ambitious goals.

What You'll Do

  • Develop a robust recruiting process, from sourcing to closing. You will have agency to set an ideal process, rather than inherit a legacy machine. This may include:
  • Pioneering new approaches to talent assessment and sourcing
  • Designing innovative and engaging talent attraction strategies
  • Implement with the right balance of fidelity and flexibility. You will execute your own process to know the ins-and-outs of how it functions operationally. This may include:
  • Collaborating with business partners to understand talent needs and develop targeted strategies to build future talent pipelines
  • Partnering with hiring managers to kick off new roles and their processes
  • Leading hands-on leadership searches, and perform end-to-end recruiting with a focus on a positive candidate experience
  • Optimizing talent acquisition tools to align the appropriate processes and measurements to ensure success

Prior Experience

  • Talent sourcing with a track record of strong retention, which can include building your own team
  • Recruiting niche technical talent — the ideal candidate can tell a story about finding and recruiting one of few people in the world who can fill a role
  • Building and improving a recruiting process from sourcing to close — you’d be able to describe all the pain points that come with change, and how you alleviated them to build a strong and effective talent pipeline


  • Bachelor's degree, or greater, in the natural sciences or engineering
  • Eager to execute — sourcing candidates, scheduling interviews, and closing candidates 1-1. The ideal candidate strives for excellence in each of these unit operations to achieve impactful outcomes.
  • Are a skilled communicator with a high EQ, who can authentically sell the vision of the company in a compelling manner and build relationships and influence at all levels of the organization
  • Genuinely love people and are driven to help them find meaningful, impactful work
  • Have experience in the biotech or the life sciences industry

In Your First 90 Days

  • You’ve developed trust quickly to act as an effective coach and partner to the current team members.
  • You’ve learned from historical successes and challenges in Orca Bio’s hiring. You understand and respect what makes our hiring approach special while being confident to suggest and influence changes when needed.
  • You have attracted and closed two of our most critical and urgent positions, and have robust pipelines in progress for three more.
  • You’ve developed a plan to prioritize and execute the programmatic elements needed to build a scalable recruiting engine, including but not limited to: employer brand, internal processes, sourcing and closing strategies, and sound reliance on metrics.
  • You are ready to propose and execute future Talent Team growth, based on company hiring goals and your results from executing your process thus far. Orca is willing to invest in the team as needed to attract, vet, and close the talent needed, but we want to be thoughtful and deliberate with our hiring.
Who we are
We are scientists, engineers and business operators working with urgency to develop new therapies for patients faced with no or extremely limited options today.
We are driven by a passion for science and compassion for patients. We act with urgency to ensure our treatments are one day accessible to all patients who need them.
We strive to do things right. Excellence in our work means the potential to unlock a better quality of life for our patients, and with that comes tremendous responsibility.
We innovate daily on a path that hasn’t been paved. This means we lean heavily on our entrepreneurial spirit and are comfortable taking calculated risks to achieve progress toward our mission. It means we aren’t afraid to ask “why not”, and encourage lively discourse around rethinking the status quo.
We work hard to preserve our start-up culture rooted in camaraderie and leadership by example - by everyone, regardless of title.
We’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and have seen how our differences - when celebrated and woven together - create stronger and more lasting solutions that better serve our team, our partners, and most importantly, our patients and the providers who treat them.
We invite you to join us and bring your unique perspective and experiences to our team.