“Cost-effective impact at scale” is the anchoring goal that guides everything we do at Evidence Action. Over the last few years, the pursuit of this goal has led us to focus more keenly on our organizational functions, investing in our operations and the global team responsible for delivering measurable benefits for hundreds of millions of people in poverty.

As a result, we have taken steps to enhance our recruitment and onboarding practices, as well as staff engagement across the organization. We also recognized the need to consolidate these efforts under the umbrella of a cohesive “people/talent” strategy and created a new role within the organization: Chief People Officer. We are pleased to announce that we recently welcomed Ryan Noll in this role. A member of our global leadership team, Ryan leads efforts to enhance and sustain a positive organizational culture – an environment in which all our staff can apply themselves most fully and achieve their maximum potential – while remaining guided by our core values. You can get to know more about Ryan in the interview below.

  1. What initially drew you to working in human resources?

    I was drawn to the idea of working between organizational goals and business decisions and the impact those decisions have on employees. It was appealing to me to work in a capacity that allowed me to inform leaders how business decisions would impact people in the organization and ensure decisions were made with an educated perspective on the impact they will have on employees. 

  2. It’s been a couple of months since you joined. What excites you most about taking on this new role at Evidence Action?

    The energy and excitement of the employees about the work we’re doing is contagious… And it’s really exciting to know that my role is to build a human resources function focused on providing a great employee experience for all of those dedicated employees. It’s also exciting to know that on a daily basis, we’re supporting employees all over the world who are having such a tangible impact on others in need.

  3. You’ve worked in evidence-driven organizations before. Why do you believe evidence and data are important to decision making in human resources? 
    Evidence and data should always inform your decisions and that holds true for human resources decisions as well. The initiatives that come from the human resources department should be based on data that shows what employees want and need to have a positive employee experience and proven through evidence to be effective ways of accomplishing those initiatives. Data and evidence make us more efficient and effective in our recruiting, knowing where to find talent, how much to pay them and what benefits we need to be competitive in the market.

  4. You’ve led numerous talent initiatives elsewhere. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned that you’ll carry with you into this role? 
    When making decisions about rolling out a new policy, process, or initiative that impacts your employees, make sure that employees have a voice in that decision and are well informed about the reasoning behind decisions.

  5. When you’re not working, what else might you be doing?

    I have a 19-month-old son so right now any spare time I have is spent chasing him around and trying to keep him happy. But if I can get some free time I enjoy smoking meat and making my own beef jerky.

  6. If you were stranded on an island, what one thing would you want to have with you and why? 

    I think I’d want to have one of my dogs with me to help pass the time and explore the island with. 

Ryan Noll is the Chief People Officer. He leads the development and execution of Evidence Action’s culture and global people strategy helping the organization to attract, recruit, and retain a strong, diverse, and motivated global workforce.

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