Thanda: Head of Operations

Thanda After-School NPC
Opportunity closing date: 
Thursday, 3 December, 2020
Opportunity type: 
Employment

Thanda is currently seeking a Head of Operations. This is a senior leadership role within the organisation, similar to that of a Deputy Director. The Head of Operations plays a dynamic role within the senior leadership team.

The right candidate for this job will be an excellent collaborator, who will work very closely with the Executive Director, taking responsibility for overseeing many ongoing operations and processes, as well as handling diverse things that may arise. This will enable the Executive Director to focus on networking, fundraising, and strategy, which sometimes involves extensive travel and off-site meetings.

The ideal person for this job will be a high capacity individual, eager to take on a lot of responsibility within a very dynamic non-profit organisation. It is absolutely essential that The Head of Operations deeply understands all of Thanda’s programmes, internal systems, strategic and operational plans, grant agreements, and budgets, and is able to integrate these into his/her leadership role within the organisation.

The Head of Operations is responsible for directly overseeing a number staff, and in particular, he/she will lead the Reports and Monitoring & Evaluation team. Leading this team requires very strong analytical skills, and an interest in both understanding and demonstrating the impact of Thanda’s programmes.

Outstanding management skills are required for this role. An important aspect of this job will be ensuring that a number of staff members adhere to their deadlines and fulfill their functions. This may require stringent oversight, capacity building, and/or mentorship of staff to ensure that systems and processes are established and maintained on an ongoing basis. This role also involves a number of HR related responsibilities.

The Head of Operations will also take responsibility for overseeing implementation of all aspects of the operational plan. This will involve working closely with the Senior Programmes Manager, and maintaining a high level of familiarity with grant agreements and reporting deadlines in order to ensure that Thanda is achieving all aspects of planned projects and programmes with beneficiaries in the community.

The Head of Operations also plays a key role in acting as a liaison between Thanda’s office and site teams, providing regular updates to the team he/she manages with relevant information from the programmes.

The ideal candidate for this job is a natural problem solver, who is able to think both logically and creatively, and take action as appropriate. Excellent organisational and logistical skills are required, and an adaptable personality is key.  It is essential that the successful candidate has an extremely high level of attention to detail, and is very thorough and reliable. The Head of Operations needs to be able to work with very little supervision, as well as to be able to handle a lot of responsibility in this role.

This is a full time position, and is based in our administrative office in Hibberdene, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This position requires regular travel for visits to our rural Community Centre (32 kms). This position is ideal for someone looking to live close to the ocean to swim, surf, hike, and enjoy the beautiful nature on the South Coast. The culture at Thanda is one of passion, energy, hard work, and good sense of humour. We promote flexible working hours & locations, within an atmosphere of trust and team-work. We are not only looking for the right person for the job, but the right person for the team.

Thanda was founded in 2008 and is changing the way people see themselves in the rural community of Mtwalume on the South Coast of KZN. Our innovative Early Childhood Development, After-School, Organic Farming, and Creative Learning Programmes work directly with over 1600 individuals daily. It is important that the successful candidate for this position believes in Thanda’s mission. Visit www.thanda.org to find out more about our programmes and impact.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Ongoing collaboration with the Executive Director;
  • Playing a collaborative role within the Senior Management Team;
  • Leading the Reports and M&E team;
  • Working with the Senior Programmes Manager, and overseeing implementation of all aspects of the operational plan;
  • Oversee HR processes and registers;
  • Ensuring functionality of internal processes and systems;
  • Acting as liaison between the site and support (office) teams;
  • Providing logistical, research and/or administrative support to the Programmes Director and/or the Executive Director on a project-by project basis;
  • Networking and collaborating with partner organisations as appropriate;
  • Providing management and oversight to members of the Support Team to ensure that processes are followed, activities are on track, and deadlines are met;
  • Managing and overseeing specific staff members;
  • Undertaking ad hoc projects, administrative, and other tasks as delegated by Executive Director and/or Programme Director.

For further details, please see detailed job description below
 
Qualifications & Experience:

  • Bachelor's Degree required
  • At least 5 years’ relevant work experience required
  • Strong managerial experience required
  • Logistical or operational experience required
  • Finance experience preferred
  • Monitoring and Evaluation experience preferred
  • Donor reporting experience preferred

Skills & Attitude:

  • Creative problem solver
  • Detail-orientated personality
  • Advanced Excel skills
  • Strong writing skills
  • Strong collaborator
  • Excellent people skills
  • Ability to create systems and improve procedures
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks on tight timelines
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work well under pressure
  • Ability to follow procedures
  • Flexible and adaptable personality
  • High levels of responsibility, energy, and enthusiasm
  • Willingness to learn new things
  • Willingness to take on task that may not fit into the core of the job description
  • Ability and willingness to work evenings and weekends, if necessary in order to meet specific deadlines

Remuneration: R360 000 - R 468 000 CTC per annum, depending on skills, qualifications, and experience

To apply: Please send the following to applications@thanda.org  

  • Your CV (max 4 pages
  • A one page cover letter (explaining why you are interested in working at Thanda specifically, and how your skills are relevant to job description)
  • Please do not send any additional documents (such as identity documents or certificates)

In the subject line of your email, please write “Application: Head of Operations 2020_[Insert Your Name]”
 
Deadline: 04 December 2020. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis up until the deadline.

Please do not call our offices. If you have questions, please ask them via email.

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted. If you do not hear back from us by 15 December 2020, please assume that your application has been unsuccessful.
 
 Detailed Job Description

  1. Take responsibility for overseeing implementation of all aspects of the operational plan. This responsibility includes the following activities:

    1. Work with the Senior Management team to understand all aspects of the Operational Plan;
    2. Work with the Senior Programmes Manager and other relevant managers to understand the aims, design, and implementation of Thanda’s programmes;
    3. Ensure that the Operational plan contains everything it should, in particular all external deadlines and projects committed to in grant agreements;
    4. Monitor progress of projects and programmes against the Operational Plan;
    5. Take a proactive approach to monitoring implementation of the Operational Plan, including checking in with relevant managers with regard to progress on upcoming deadlines, providing reminders, and setting internal deadlines for aspects of projects, where necessary;
    6. Hold regular meetings with the Senior Programmes Managers to follow up on developments in relation to the Operational Plan;
    7. Take responsibility for ensuring that the Operational Plan is followed;
    8. In situations where it appears that the Operational Plan cannot be adhered to, escalate this to the Executive Director.
  2. Play a collaborative role on the Senior leadership team. This responsibility includes the following activities:

    1. Work with the Executive Director to understand Thanda’s strategic plans and “bigger picture” direction;
    2. Play an active role in strategic planning in relation to operations and staff management;
    3. Come up with suggestions of how to streamline operations within the organisation, and share these with the Senior Management team;
    4. Oversee implementation of the operational plan, and, in partnership with the Senior Programmes Manager, provide the senior management team with relevant updates;
    5. Assist Executive Director with developing strategies to improve processes, programmes, or project management, as needed.
    6. Work closely with the Head of Finance to monitor spending according to budget and grants;
    7. Work closely with the Head of Fundraising Strategy to communicate work being done;
    8. Work closely with the Head of Development Strategy to assist with funding proposals, as needed.
  3. Lead the Reports and M&E team. This responsibility includes the following activities:

    1. Review and understand all grant agreements, in particular understand the intention and purpose of each grant received;
    2. Ensure ongoing awareness of key project implementation dates as well as reporting dates, arising out of grant agreements;
    3. Work with the Executive Director to understand funder relationships, history, and background motivations that may not be clear from grant agreements alone;
    4. Ensure familiarity with all funder reporting deadlines;
    5. Oversee the Reports Manager in his/her preparation of funder reports;
    6. Ensure that reports are of a high quality and accurate;
    7. Ensure that reports for each funder are sent on or before the relevant external reporting deadlines;
    8. Oversee the Impact Coordinator in his/her implementation of M&E systems;
    9. Ensure that relevant M&E test and tools are sent to site, and are being administered in programmes;
    10. Ensure that data is being collected, recorded, and is available for analysis;
    11. Oversee analysis of data;
    12. Ensure that M&E being collected is relevant to programme aims;
    13. Ensure that specific M&E required by donors and partners is available for reporting purposes;
    14. Ensure that funder reports contain interesting and relevant M&E;
    15. Ensure that relevant, user-friendly, useful statistics and results of M&E are available to the Marketing & Partnerships Team and the Executive Director for use in communications, promotional materials and funding applications.
  4. Provide management and oversight to members of the Support Team to ensure that processes are followed, activities are on track, and deadlines are met. This responsibility includes the following activities:

    1. Ensure familiarity with the Job Descriptions and responsibilities of individual team members;
    2. Regularly liaise with individual team members with regard to their deadlines, progress and challenges;
    3. Ensure that all staff meet relevant deadlines, and on track with their operational plan for the year;
    4. Work with staff to develop strategies if they are behind schedule;
    5. Ensure that staff are efficient and effective, while using a strengths-based approach that enables capacity building;
    6. Ensure that staff grievances are considered and addressed or passed on to the Executive Director.
  5. Take responsibility for ensuring functionality of internal processes and systems. This responsibility includes the following activities:

    1. Maintain and oversee all internal HR systems;
    2. Ensure that Thanda is compliant and up to date with annual registrations each year;
    3. Ensure that monthly systems are functional, up to date, and adhered to;
    4. Proactively develop strategies to support Managers or other staff in their systems as needed;
    5. Take necessary steps to ensure all internal systems and processes are operating in a way that  maintains strong controls, efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance.
  6. Act as liaison between the site and support (office) teams. This responsibility includes the following activities:

    1. Understand the purpose and goals of all projects and programmes happening at Thanda at all times;
    2. Meet regularly with the Senior Programmes Manager and other staff to get regular updates on progress and developments;
    3. Meet regularly with support team members to share updates on new projects, progress of projects, and changes in projects;
    4. Be able to answer questions from staff members or funders about the purpose, progress, or success of any project or programme at any time.
  7. Facilitate collaboration with partner organisations, as appropriate. This responsibility includes the following activities:

    1. Attend events and workshops upon request of the Executive and/or Programmes Director;
    2. Network with relevant partner organisations;
    3. Ensure a deep understanding of Thanda in order to facilitate partnerships and collaboration where appropriate.
  8. Provide logistical and administrative support to the Programmes Director on a project-by project basis. This responsibility includes the following activities:

    1. Collaborate with Programmes Director on new or ongoing projects, upon request;
    2. Provide the Programmes Director with research support, upon request. This may including research information or sourcing materials for projects;
    3. Provide the Programmes Director with administrative and/or logistical support, upon request. This may involve organising travel, obtaining quotes, or ordering supplies.
  9. Undertake ad hoc projects, administrative and other tasks as delegated by the Executive Director

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