We’re looking for an amazing Operations Manager at the Australian Writers’ Centre

Operations Manager

  • Full-time position
  • Milsons Point (North Sydney) close to train station
  • Winner in the Telstra Business Awards

Hi, my name is Valerie Khoo and I’m the founder and CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre. I’m looking for an amazing Operations Manager to join our team and help us with our plans for growth.

Our head office is in Sydney (Milsons Point), and over the past year we've expanded to Melbourne and Perth. We also offer online and weekend courses. Now in our ninth year of business, we've taught more than 17,000 students across Australia.

When you join the Australian Writers’ Centre team, you can be assured there’s always something going on. It’s for this very reason that I’d like you to take a look at our current website: www.WritersCentre.com.au to find out more about who we are, what we do, and why we do the things we do. If you like what you see, and feel this sounds like an ideal role for you, then continue reading to find out what the role involves, what you’ll be doing, and what we’ll need from you.

Before we get into the details of the role, I’d like to be upfront and say that while an interest in the world of writing, publishing and blogging is ideal, please note that this is not a stepping-stone for someone who wants to become a writer. We are looking for a career operations manager who is keen to grow with the organisation and be responsible for business targets. This must be your top priority at all times.

Our experienced staff of six people use state-of-the-art software systems to produce and deliver 40+ courses in person and online.

You will be working directly with our General Manager to manage a team of dedicated and empowered professionals. Our General Manager often works remotely so you need to be comfortable with communicating online, and on the phone.

What does the role involve?
This is a full-time role based in our Sydney office in Milsons Point. You’ll be part of a team that has been a winner in the Telstra Business Awards and that has become the “go to” centre for writing courses – both in the classroom and online. We're looking for an energetic, driven Operations Manager who will take us into the next phase of our growth.

Staff management and liaison with teachers: You will coordinate rosters, schedule courses and liaise with teachers. You will also chair weekly meetings, undertake performance reviews, and provide mentorship. You’ll identify and implement staff training plans.

Office management: You will be responsible for keeping to a budget, maintaining an asset register, and coordinating any dealings with the building manager, landlord, utilities and so on.

Your time will be spent planning and implementing systems to reduce friction and free me up from day-to-day operations.

Customer service: As part of a small team, we all answer sales calls, liaise with customers and reply to any queries. You will work with our marketing manager to coordinate delivery of corporate training bookings.

What qualities will you have?
You need to be tech-savvy. Technology is in your genes, operating in the online space excites you because it is forever changing and evolving. You understand the potential of technology and are always prepared to explore or project manage what's possible. You will contribute to helping us take our online learning platform to the next level and must be willing to do the research and propose viable solutions based on our needs.

You have at least three years’ experience as an Operations Manager, including experience dealing with external contractors. You love empowering people; you have strong people management and team building skills.

You have extremely strong skills in taking messy, complicated, hairy things, and making them streamlined, process -driven, automated and systemised. It goes without saying, but this also includes a focus on continuous improvement.

At the same time you realise that technical emergencies can happen outside of hours. Therefore, you need to be the type of person who will take charge and find a solution in the most efficient timeframe possible and see it through to completion.

You need to love and value the importance of checklists. You must have utmost attention to detail and have zero tolerance for spelling mistakes. At the same time, you are a person who loves dealing with people from all walks of life. You are a stickler for professionalism, presentation and punctuality. You are not afraid to take responsibility for projects but also have no problem doing the minutiae that comes with administration.

You are open to innovation and love finding solutions to problems. You have a demonstrated ability to deliver goal driven results. You have a sound understanding of how to run a profitable commercial enterprise.

You really do love technology. You also enjoy a range of work and, more importantly, you love systems. Creating, documenting, refining, and testing systems is what you’re passionate about to ensure the smooth running of the organisation.

You are also passionate about customer service, are calm under pressure and would be willing to be on hand to help our students with any enquiries they may have – big, small, basic or complex. You value working with a small team where there is no room for big egos and are the first to pitch in to do the work with everyone, no matter how mundane or how exciting.

You will also have the confidence to be the face of the business should the need arise. This includes being comfortable with talking in front of small audiences (after all, we are a training centre and are constantly holding courses for groups of students). Communication is very important to us, internally and externally. Therefore, being an effective open-hearted communicator is a quality that we respect and value.

Your responsibilities could involve activities including but not limited to:

  • Scheduling courses in our course program
  • Liaising with teachers
  • Administration of team leave, rosters, etc
  • Dealing with logistics, building manager, office operations
  • Schedule marketing communication (emails)
  • Handle administration and invoicing for corporate bookings
  • Answering queries and customer support by phone and email
  • Coordinating team meetings and ensuring all projects run on track
  • Management of course materials
  • Management of events such as meet-ups
  • Management of online courses
  • Coordinate administration of our overseas writing tours
  • Management of team members in other cities
  • Management of administration coordinator regarding filing, room setup, stocktaking etc
  • Support in accounting tasks such as invoicing, payments, receipts.
  • Processing enrolments both online and offline
  • Administration of accounts with suppliers and software platforms
  • Digital file management

What skills are required?
Attention to detail. A passion for technology. Attention to detail. A love for all things systems. Oh, and did I mention attention to detail? 
A background in a small business environment is ideal.

While you don’t need experience in all the software we use, you MUST have a passion for implementing technology, intuitive tech skills and the initiative to find a solution to a tech problem before asking for help. If you’re not experienced in using the internet, software-as-a-service and online platforms such as forums, blogs, e-learning and social media, this job isn't for you.

You need:

  • a commitment to excellence in everything that you do
  • attention to detail
  • strong organisational and administrative skills
  • a desire to help other people (particularly our students and presenters)
  • a pleasant and helpful phone manner
  • customer services and sales skills
  • intermediate skills in Word and Excel (essential)
  • a strong understanding of Google Docs
  • very strong skills in English and writing (if you make spelling mistakes, this job is not for you)
  • experience in InDesign, Infusionsoft, WordPress and Asana is desirable but not essential
  • an interest in writing and/or books is ideal
  • oh, and should I mention attention to detail again?

You’re part of something special
While we pride ourselves on professionalism and a commitment to excellence in everything we do, we also never forget the fact that our courses actually change people’s lives. While efficiency is paramount, this is underpinned by the fact that we serve human beings who look to us for guidance and inspiration.

The role is full time from 9am to 6pm (Monday to Friday). There is some weekend morning work as we have weekend courses. You will coordinate a roster of who will work on the weekend. So you need to be flexible to adjust your hours to include weekend work approximately once every month or two for short periods. Occasional interstate travel may be required.

Salary will be commensurate with experience.

If you are still with me, and this all sounds like the right fit for you, your skills, and your career objectives then please send us your resume, along with your cover letter explaining why you are interested in the role. Please email this to admin [at] writerscentre [dot] com [dot] au before 5pm on Wednesday 7 May 2014.

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