Operations Manager
(Deadline: 1 September 2023)
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This role will have responsibility for Seefar’s constantly evolving central operations functions and in doing so, support the smooth running of the organisation and achievement of its objectives. This position is broad and varied and is ideal for someone with the mental agility to flex between different functions; being equally happy working at a strategic level and getting things done on a practical level. 

You will be part of the Senior Management Team, who collectively report to the Board. You can be based anywhere in the world and occasional travel will be required. Seefar has been a remote-working enterprise since 2014.

Your contract will be full-time and your starting fee range will be 6,500 – 7,500 USD per month. After three months, you receive an additional package of benefits.

Job Description

We are a social enterprise with a mission to work with vulnerable people to build a better future. We work in East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, East Africa, North Africa, the Sahel and Europe. We are a team that delivers projects responsively but takes a long-term view of improving capabilities. The Operations Manager requires a rare individual who can answer two questions simultaneously:

  • How do I respond to this immediate operational need?
  • What must I develop to deal with the next hundred cases like that?

The ideal candidate will enjoy building scalable, agile and high-performing support services. You must be a highly organised and autonomous individual who will lead the Operations agenda but also provide wider leadership as a member of the Senior Management Team

There are three primary services that your team provides:

  1. Financial management: your team manages all accounting and payments, including support to other teams to execute their budgets. You don’t need to be a qualified accountant but you’ll be able to demonstrate knowledge of monitoring cashflows, preparing financial reports and together with our Finance colleagues propose methods to optimise our financial position.
  2. Personnel: you have responsibility for our talent management strategy, ranging from personnel performance systems to professional development to improving recruitment.
  3. Entity management: your team provides support to analyse, establish and maintain subsidiary and partnership arrangements to enable us to operate efficiently in our different contexts. You also lead on regulatory compliance, including advice to other teams on how to achieve project objectives in different jurisdictions.

The following are illustrations of the kinds of strategic objectives that the Operations Manager may own:

  • Drive initiatives to continuously improve colleague engagement and retention
  • Develop approaches to achieve reductions in the fixed cost base of our organisation
  • Ensure that all global management personnel will complete 150 hours of professional development
  • Continuously improve our processes and approaches and embed best practice e.g. payroll,
  • Recruitment

This role will require someone who is smart, intrinsically motivated, worldly, interested in hard challenges, highly flexible and adaptable. It is likely that you have a combination of:

  • 7-10 years of experience in operations roles, which would likely have spanned all or some of the following disciplines – financial management, human resources or legal/compliance.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • An excellent track record of leading others.
  • Experience working remotely.
  • Proficiency with flexible data management tools, such as Google Spreadsheets.
  • Proficiency in analysing and together with Finance colleagues, reporting on financial data for accounting and regulatory purposes.
  • Experience turning a concept into detailed guidance and procedures

The following resources are examples of the skill levels that would prepare you well for this job. We may test you on skills such as these during the recruitment process. If you do not have these skills, you may still apply and you should be prepared to demonstrate in detail your track record of professional development:

Responsibilities

The following are the primary responsibilities of the role, with estimated allocations of time and attention.

Deliver: Enterprise Backbone

Approximately 50% of your time and attention:

  • Lead the Operations Team to deliver administrative and operational support, including:
    • Financial management, administration and reporting, including analysis of financial performance
    • Talent management, including managing systems for all aspects of human resources
    • Government and regulatory reporting
    • Legal compliance and review
    • Provide corporate information and review budgets for fundraising initiatives

Develop: Continuous Improvement

Approximately 40% of your time and attention:

  • Analyse the performance of operations services and identify opportunities to improve.
  • Work with the Senior Management Team and project managers to identify current and future needs, then prepare the systems, procedures, processes and communication to meet those needs.
  • Convert plans into detailed business processes, for example to specify new SOPs or to detail requirements for IT, then overseeing implementation.

Direct: Global Management

In addition to consistently demonstrating the Enterprise’s values, you will spend approximately 10% of your time and attention on global management as a member of the Senior Management Team:

  • Design, implement and assess global strategy and organisational structure across the entire Enterprise, and set priorities for the overall Enterprise.
  • Cooperate with other areas of the Enterprise to communicate substantive and administrative information that supports corporate management overall.

Your role will require you to travel. These examples are drawn from someone at your level in 2022:

  • A meeting of global personnel in Amman in February and in Porto in September.
  • An Operations Team meeting in Indonesia.
  • An opportunistic meeting of some members of the Senior Management Team in London.
  • Meeting donors in Abuja, Bern, Berlin. 

Working with Seefar

Current and former personnel have noted the points below as positive features of Seefar’s work environment and culture:

  • The Enterprise combines entrepreneurialism with a focus on social impact.
  • You work with highly diverse people and across a diversity of contexts.
  • There is a high level of trust that supports you to work autonomously.
  • The people in the Enterprise encourage innovation and experimentation.
  • Achieving results is prioritised over rigid structures and workflows.
  • You are never bored and always challenged.

Current and former personnel have noted the points below as negative features of Seefar’s work environment and culture:

  • Collaborating with geographically dispersed teams requires flexibility and patience.
  • Working remotely can make you feel isolated and so requires you to invest time in communication.
  • Travel schedules can sometimes be heavy.
  • It can be fast paced so you need to be productive and able to prioritise effectively.

To Apply for this Role

On or before 1 September 2023, complete our online application form by clicking Apply button below. Before you start, you should do the following:

  1. Prepare a CV in Word or PDF format. You will upload this in our online application form.
  2. In Word or PDF format, prepare an introductory letter that includes only the points below. You will upload this in our online application form:
    1. 1-2 paragraphs explaining an example in which you coordinated a team to improve a business process involving new IT services. What was the context? What was your role? What was the result?
    2. A paragraph interpreting your CV to answer this question: in which two of the following three areas have you got the strongest track record?
      1. Financial management
      2. Human resources
      3. Regulatory and entity compliance

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