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HR Manager, Europe (German- Speaking)



People & HR
Berlin, Germany
Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2024

Everyone is welcome at Handshake. We know diverse teams build better products and we are committed to creating an inclusive culture built on a foundation of respect for all individuals. We strongly encourage candidates from non-traditional backgrounds, historically marginalized or underrepresented groups to apply.

About Handshake

Handshake is the world’s leading platform for early careers hiring, connecting over 15M+ students and young professionals from around the world with over 900,000+ employers. Headquartered in San Francisco, Handshake is now rapidly expanding its presence across the European region with offices in Berlin, London and Romania. Visit our website to find out more about Handshake!

Role Overview:

We’re looking for a HR Manager to provide operational HR support to our growing team in Europe, alongside leading various strategic projects and change management initiatives that help us operate more efficiently in the region. Reporting into the HR Director for EMEA, this role will suit an ambitious all-rounder who is passionate about creating and driving best in class people experiences. We’re looking for someone who has worked in a similar role previously, ideally within a fast paced entrepreneurial environment, has a proven ability to take initiative, adapt quickly as priorities shift, work with a strong sense of urgency and build strong, productive relationships with a range of stakeholders from around the globe.

Key Accountabilities:

There are 3 elements of this role which include HR Operations, Office Management, and HR Projects. Key accountabilities are as follows:

  • Provide first line HR support to employees across Germany, UK, and Romania, ensuring we’re resolving their queries in a timely manner.
  • Support with the development and implementation of key organisational policies and processes to provide best-in-class employee experience.
  • Develop our employee onboarding programme and ensure it effectively integrates new hires into the organisation, enhancing their understanding of company culture and processes.
  • Manage all aspects of the employee lifecycle, including onboarding, performance management, and offboarding, ensuring compliance with local employment laws and company policies.
  • Own all aspects of office management for our state of the art Berlin office to ensure a safe, efficient, and pleasant working environment. This includes working with our local vendors and contractors to ensure a solid system is in place to run the office.
  • Lead strategic HR projects in partnership with the HR Director and Recruitment. These projects would include building our employer brand, improving employee engagement, managing our DEI initiatives
  • Own the employee experience agenda in EMEA, ensuring we’re making Handshake a great place to work.
  • Maintain our internal HR systems (Workday) to ensure accurate employee records are in place in partnership with our global people operations team.
  • Assist with payroll processing by providing necessary employee information and resolving any payroll discrepancies in collaboration with the finance team.

What are we looking for:

  • 3 to 5 years of experience in an HR role, preferably within a start-up/scaleup environment. This role would ideally suit a HR Advisor/Generalist who is keen to step up into a new role.
  • Fluent in German and English.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to interact with employees at all levels and from diverse cultural backgrounds. Strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills
  • Strong organisational and multitasking abilities, with a keen attention to detail and the ability to prioritise tasks effectively.
  • A proactive and self-motivated approach to work, with the ability to work independently and as part of a team. We’re looking for someone who is ambitious with a can-do attitude.
  • Proven experience in managing HR projects particularly around elevating employee experience or designing new HR programmes and processes.
  • Proficiency in HRIS systems, Microsoft Office Suite, and other relevant software. Experience with remote working tools and virtual collaboration platforms is an advantage.
  • Sensitivity and adaptability to different cultural norms and practices and able to work with a very diverse group of people.
  • A genuine passion for delivering a positive employee experience and driving organisational success.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, or a related field. HR certification as well as working knowledge across HR practices, employment laws and regulations will be a plus.

For cash compensation, we set standard ranges for all U.S.-based roles based on function, level, and geographic location, benchmarked against similar stage growth companies. In order to be compliant with local legislation, as well as to provide greater transparency to candidates, we share salary ranges on all job postings regardless of desired hiring location. Final offer amounts are determined by multiple factors, including geographic location as well as candidate experience and expertise, and may vary from the amounts listed above.

About us

Handshake is the #1 place to launch a career with no connections, experience, or luck required. The platform connects up-and-coming talent with 750,000+ employers - from Fortune 500 companies like Google, Nike, and Target to thousands of public school districts, healthcare systems, and nonprofits. In 2022 we announced our $200M Series F funding round. This Series F fundraise and valuation of $3.5B will fuel Handshake’s next phase of growth and propel our mission to help more people start, restart, and jumpstart their careers.

When it comes to our workforce strategy, we’ve thought deeply about how work-life should look here at Handshake. With our Hub-Based Remote Working strategy, employees can enjoy the flexibility of remote work, whilst ensuring collaboration and team experiences in a shared space remains possible. Handshake is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Denver, New York, London, and Berlin and teammates working globally.

Check out our careers site to find a hub near you!

What we offer

At Handshake, we'll give you the tools to feel healthy, happy and secure.

Benefits below apply to employees in full-time positions.

  • 💰 Equity and ownership in a fast-growing company.
  • 🍼 16 Weeks of paid parental leave for birth giving parents & 10 weeks of paid parental leave for non-birth giving parents.
  • 💝 Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision policies including LGTBQ+ Coverage. We also provide resources for Mental Health Assistance, Employee Assistance Programs and counseling support.
  • 💻 Handshake offers $500/£360 home office stipend for you to spend during your first 3 months to create a productive and comfortable workspace at home.
  • 📚 Generous learning & development opportunities and an annual $2,000/£1,500/€1,850 stipend for you to grow your skills and career.
  • 💰 Financial coaching through Origin to help you through your financial journey.
  • 🛜 Monthly internet stipend and a brand new MacBook to allow you to do your best work.
  • 🚃 Monthly commuter stipend for you to expense your travel to the office (for office-based employees).
  • 🥗 Free lunch provided twice a week across all offices.
  • 🤝 Referral bonus to reward you when you bring great talent to Handshake.

(US-specific benefits, in addition to the first section)

  • 🏦 401k Match: Handshake offers a dollar-for-dollar match on 1% of deferred salary, up to a maximum of $1,200 per year.
  • 🏝 All full-time US-based Handshakers are eligible for our flexible time off policy to get out and see the world. In addition, we offer 8 standardized holidays, and 2 additional days of flexible holiday time off. Lastly, we have a Winter #ShakeBreak, a one-week period of Collective Time Off.
  • 🍼 Lactation support: Handshake partners with Milk Stork to provide a comprehensive 100% employer-sponsored lactation support to traveling parents and guardians.

(UK-specific benefits, in addition to the first section)

  • 🏦 Pension Scheme: Handshake will provide you with a workplace pension, where you will make contributions based on 5% of your salary. Handshake will pay the equivalent of 3% towards your pension plan, subject to qualifying earnings limits.
  • 🏝 Up to 25 days of vacation to encourage people to reset, recharge, and refresh, in addition to 8 bank holidays throughout the year.
  • 🤝 Regular offsites each year to bring the team together + opportunity to travel to our HQ in San Francisco.
  • 🛍️ Discounts across various high street retailers, cinemas and other social activities exclusively for Handshake UK employees.

(Germany-specific benefits, in addition to the first section)

  • 🏝 25 days of annual leave + 5 days of a winter #ShakeBreak, a one-week period of Collective Time Off across the company.
  • 🤝 Regular offsites each year to bring the team together + opportunity to travel to our HQ in San Francisco once a year.
  • 🧘 Urban sports club membership offering access to a diverse network of fitness and wellness facilities.
  • 🛍️ Discounts across various high street retailers, cinemas and other social activities exclusively for Handshake Germany employees.

For roles based in Romania: Please ask your recruiter about region specific benefits.

Looking for more? Explore our mission, values and comprehensive US benefits at

Handshake is committed to providing reasonable accommodations in our recruitment processes for candidates with disabilities, sincerely held religious beliefs or other reasons protected by applicable laws. If you need assistance or reasonable accommodation, please reach out to us at