Sama – Payroll And Benefits Manager, East Africa.

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About Sama

25% of the Fortune 50 trust Sama to deliver secure, high-quality training data and validation for the technology teams driving humanity forward. From self-driving cars to smart hardware, Sama fuels AI. Founded over a decade ago, we’re experts in image, video and sensor data annotation and validation for machine learning algorithms in industries including automotive, navigation, AR/VR, biotech, agriculture, manufacturing, and e-commerce. Our staff are driven by a mission to expand opportunity for low-income people through the digital economy, and our social business model has helped lift over 50,000 people out of poverty.  

Sama offers a unique employee value proposition of being an exciting start-up with a social mission. Sama started as a non-profit focused exclusively on connecting people to dignified digital work that pays a living wage. Since that time, Sama directly impacted over 55,000 students, workers, and their dependents in Kenya and Uganda. Sama recently became a for-profit, certified B-Corp company, currently employing over 3,000 impact employees and growing. We manage ourselves to the double bottom line of profit and social impact.

About the Job:

In preparation for Sama’s next phase of growth, we are searching for a Payroll and Benefits Manager in East Africa..

This role will manage our East Africa Payroll and Benefits with emphasis on Kenya and Uganda. Our ideal candidate is someone who can manage the hands-on, day-to-day processing with expert-level knowledge, but also provide a consultative perspective on long-term positioning and approach tol payroll and overall benefits  at our company.  This candidate must be able to meet strict time-sensitive deadlines, have a strong work ethic, and have exceptional attention to detail.

If you are someone who thrives in a fast-paced environment, working as a team player and collaborating cross-functionally with multiple departments and stakeholders, and winning as a team – we’d love to connect

You will serve as a key partner to the Senior People Operations Manager  and  report  directly to this role.

Key Responsibilities: .

  • Manage and facilitate the timely and accurate day-to-day, end-to-end Payroll operations for our monthly payrolls, such as the below:
    • Process expenses and commissions
    • Tax payments and reconciliations as needed
    • Calculate and enter payroll data
    • Update employee information and deductions
    • Time-tracking and/or overtime for few hourly employees and interns 
    • Data entry, records management, and analytics as needed
  • Manage the accurate and timeline processing of Year-End Payroll
  • Managing compliance with all statutory regulations, as well as company policies.
  • Advise on long-time strategy for East Africa Payroll and drive more immediate process improvements, including a potential system implementation and SOP development
  • Communicate developments in a clear and actionable manner to other internal stakeholders, including People, payroll, and legal teams.
  • Partner with People and Finance teams to support other initiatives such as time-tracking, records management, compensation, people analytics, People data privacy, and systems
  • Manage employee data changes such as new hire entry and direct deposit set up, promotions, status changes, terminations, etc.
  • Process Leave of Absences/leave management
  • Develop new and improve existing SOPs for payroll, compensation, benefits administration and more.
  • Provides support in the presentations that educate employees about their benefits and inform employees about any changes to the benefits structure.
  • Maintains compensation databases and ensures employment records are properly maintained in the system.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 7+ years’ facilitating Payroll within high-growth or complex organizations
  • 3+ years’ overseeing/managing a Payroll team/function
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Kenyan payroll processing and compliance
  • Prior experience with Leaves of Absences (LOA)
  • Prior experience managing year-end reporting
  • Exceptional attention to detail and analytical mindset 
  • Consultative approach with proven track record of process optimization
  • Tech savvy:  advanced proficiency in Excel; comfort with G-suite
  • Excellent, succinct communication

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with multiple payroll systems, preferably Sage
  • Comprehensive knowledge of both Kenya and Uganda payroll

Our Culture:

Sama is quite unique. We are a technology company with a social mission. People that thrive in a high growth environment, love working on the bleeding edge of technology, and really care about having a positive impact on the world are a great fit for the Sama culture. Our core values are grit, integrity, humanity, and GTD (Get Things Done).

Our Benefits:

Sama offers competitive compensation commensurate with experience and a full benefits package, including: medical, pension scheme, annual leave, paid disability insurance, and professional development opportunities


At Sama, we pride ourselves in being a diverse and equal opportunity employer.




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