We thought it would be easy. We have an incredible brand, a fabulous team, a proven social mission that is changing the world, a fabulous office in one of the fastest growing economies, surely hiring a COO to run this business is going to be a breeze. Right?
Three months & five hundred applicants later and the breeze has turned cold despite the Nairobi sunshine.
We’ve always had trouble fitting definitions; Our multi-channel media platform (Shujaaz) defies all industry descriptions; our production schedule confounds even seasoned media producers; our hybrid business mode, tucked between commerce & development, turns our book-keeping into spaghetti with differing demands for data from our donors and directors.
The person we need has to be able to nurture and inspire a growing room full of 25 year old creatives, lead a change management agenda in two countries, all while handling the interrogation of auditors and helping evolve our business model. They also have to share a vision that will carry our brand into new frontiers and platforms without diluting the power it has developed.
We thought this person would leap from their cushy corporate job to join us at the wild frontier. But no such luck.
Mind you we’ve met some wonderful and talented people along the way (no offense guys – you’re great!). But none with quite the right mixture of experience, knowledge, skills and verve.
So we’re starting again. And this time we’re doing it slightly differently and hope to get a different result. What we’ve learned:
- Get the leadership team involved from the start – why didn’t we do this? They’ve added such good ideas
- We love our brand, our office and our work-style; but somehow we forgot to convey this in our old-school, corporate job description. See revised version below
- Create a clear profile of your dream applicant – experience, personality, motivations, shoe size etc. Write it down, draw them if necessary (it helps if you have an illustrator in the office)
- A phone interview that is a resume deep-dive reveals infinitely more than the traditional face to face (check out ‘Hiring With Your Head’ by Lou Adler)
- Internet job posts get attention but we went cross-eyed trying to find quality among the quantity
If you are an inspiring leader who leads people to success, who gets things done and who masters operations & finance, with the ambition to build shared value in Africa…we are looking for you
We are a research and media production company that creates social and economic value for young people in Africa through highly innovative brands and ideas. We produce Shujaaz, an on-going multi-media communications platform encompassing monthly comic books, daily syndicated radio shows, SMS, online, video, national TV and activations that has reached more than 69% of Kenyans aged 15-24, won two International Emmy Awards, and has recently launched across Tanzania.
Our success comes from deep, insightful research informing brilliant media. Our in-house researchers provide a deep understanding of our audience and clear strategies to address what hinders and motivates them. Our team of creatives translate these strategies into media campaigns distributed simultaneously across multiple interactive channels. The same research team then designs and applies a set of innovative parallel research activities to track, understand and document the many effects that our media help to create, to loop back into our media and to our partners, demonstrating the ability we have developed to create positive influence at enormous scale.
We are a hybrid company sitting between commerce and international development currently employing 40 fulltime staff in Kenya and Tanzania. Our media is free to the audience and financed by a combination of corporations and development agencies who share our aim to transform the lives of young people for the better. Partners presently include Coca-Cola, Vodacom, Unilever, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UK’s Department for International Development, The World Bank, and others. We aim to operate with the highest standards of operations and integrity and in October 2015 KPMG and Business Daily judged us 11th in Kenya’s Top 100 Midsized companies.
We are ambitious to reach more youth than ever before and to grow our company. We are actively developing new platforms, new technologies, new products, new partnerships and new global territories – more innovative ways to create value for our audiences, our partners and ourselves. If this sounds like a challenge you are up for, then you may be our new COO.
As COO, upon joining our team, you will immerse yourself in all aspects of our operations
- You will partner with the CEO in implementing our ambitious growth strategy;
- You will, together with the CEO, create business targets and be jointly accountable for their achievement;
- You will be supporting the Heads of Departments in leading their teams to success;
- You will ensure that the organization runs smoothly through ever more efficient processes and diligent coordination within the team;
- You will lead the finance function together with our Senior Manager Finance;
- You will lead our HR function together with our HR and Admin Manager;
We are looking for Leadership Skills, Talent & Attitude
- You are a people oriented leader with demonstrable experience in coaching and leading individuals and teams towards great results;
- You have a mind-set that relates to creative businesses and an aptitude for working with young people;
- You have good knowledge and grip on management and finance and a keen eye for detail;
- You are a brilliant organizer and enjoy creating order, structure and process that allows people to thrive and achieve results;
- You are experienced in East Africa.
We offer you a challenging journey, the opportunity to grow fast with our business and a competitive package
Are you ready to join us on our journey…? Send us an inspiring email along with your CV by the end of June.
We look forward to hearing from you.