Head of Creative Operations - Sheffield, Leeds or Newbury

Salary: Competitive

Location: Sheffield, Leeds or Newbury


The Role

We have an exciting new opportunity for a Head of Creative Operations (HCO) to join our award-winning creative department to help us create high-performing work for some of the world’s biggest brands. The role leads the Creative Operations team and supports the Executive Creative Director (ECD) in the overall operational management of our multi-disciplinary creative and development team.

The role will oversee the management and co-ordination of the ‘creative engine’, including the creative process, resource utilisation and capacity management, quality control and assurance, and multi-disciplinary resource requirements for the business. The role will orchestrate the efficient movement of traffic from client services and project management through our concept, design, production and development teams.

Building strong relationships across the business and with external suppliers, the role will have direct responsibility for ensuring that the operation of our creative studio delivers effectively and efficiently for our national and international clients, as well as supporting the broader business strategy.

Demonstrating excellent interpersonal skills, the HCO will support the ECD in shaping the culture, mentoring, and coaching internally and developing a creative operations team which is driven to exceed expectations on all levels.


Key Accountabilities

The Head of Creative Operations is a pivotal role in helping to make our exciting new proposition work across multiple locations. You’ll need an understanding and appreciation of multiple advertising disciplines (technical, digital, advertising, brand and design) and your role is to lead the project management and traffic team to help deliver smooth-running creative, technical and production teams.

You’ll be responsible for deploying multi-disciplinary campaigns for the business into the market on various platforms inclusive of digital and broadcast platforms. Your team will also be expected to generate performance reports for creative and front office teams to act upon in terms of innovation and process improvement, helping us deliver high performing creative work that’s on brief, on budget and on-time. 

  • A proven problem solver, able to solve complex resourcing and project problems independently and one of the agency’s communications go-to people
  • A proven ‘producer’, you’re brilliant at helping to cast the right people to the right jobs
  • An appreciation of great ideas and how to make sure we nurture them through the business
  • Great interpersonal skills; a mentor and a mediator; great negotiation and diplomacy skills; articulate, full of energy and committed to making the day-to-day (and new business opportunities) run smoothly
  • Managing your team and keeping a ‘single view’ of all the existing work as well as skilfully helping to plan and co-ordinate future pitches (having a short and long-term view of the business) working closely with front office teams
  • Fuelling our ‘creative engine’: building closer relationships with universities, external vendors, production companies, freelance communities and bringing the best/latest tech/talent through our doors for talks, seminars, tech showcases, book crits and presentations
  • Creatively minded/commercially sound – helping us deliver work that’s well-casted, on brief, on budget and on-time
  • An ‘always-on’ and ‘always-on it’ mindset – your role really is the oil in our creative engine


Operational Management

  • Develop and monitor creative processes to ensure an effective and efficient operation
  • Liaise with and engage all stakeholders across the business in order to coordinate the development and enhancements of workflow, resource and studio function
  • Where relevant contribute to the business continuity planning and process, and on a day to day level ensure the business is adhering to policies and standards set out


Supporting Client Services Teams

  • Provide support to client services teams across the businesses to help plan more complex projects through the creative studio
  • Liaise with client services team leaders to ensure we manage workloads appropriately. For example, ensuring briefs are prepared on time and ready to be briefed when required; that the right information is being provided by client services, that project progress meetings happen when needed to enable work to stay on track etc.
  • Attend key briefing sessions on major client projects to ensure that client services are providing the right information for the studio teams and to ensure that the right resource is being requested
  • On occasion, and when appropriate, attend client meetings where more complex resource skills and planning is needed or to provide a demonstration of our workflow processes and management


People Accountability

  • Directly responsible for the creative operations team, the HCO will ensure that the team is engaged with the wider business, delivering against individual and company objectives and that they are set up to succeed
  • Work alongside the ECD in the coordination and management of personal development and training across the creative team as well as implementing operational changes in the business
  • Ensure that best practice is adhered to and in line with workflow processes
  • Support the creative team heads in the setting and tracking of creative team goals, as well as providing data and analysis to support where necessary
  • Manage the career progression of your direct reports through Jaywing’s personal development process and ensure they deliver constructive personal development plans for their own direct reports where appropriate


Financial Accountability

  • Ensure that freelance and external suppliers costs remain within budget
  • Ensure that work is completed to schedule and to mitigate/minimise the risk of over-investing in client work by closely monitoring on investment and ensuring projects remain on track, reporting any significant risks to the business to the ECD
  • A comprehensive understanding of the agency model, the HCO should help to drive additional revenue through the team wherever possible


Workflow Management

  • Drive the effective and efficient scheduling of resources across our multi-disciplinary team
  • Day to day, orchestrate the creative studio teams to work efficiently and effectively together to ensure work is completed in line with client and business demands
  • Build a strong support network of external suppliers which complements and enhances the team, bringing in new and innovative approaches to further develop our offering
  • Ensure the most effective utilisation of freelance budgets and when needed provide a business case for an increase in budget to ensure that client work can be delivered efficiently and effectively without compromise
  • Attend key resource and project planning meetings with the relevant heads of teams, 
    to ensure that workflow is being effectively managed within teams
  • Attend key briefing sessions on major client projects to ensure that resource skills and availability can be met
  • Ensure that the operational management tool Synergist is used appropriately and effectively for workflow planning and management
  • Ensure that the business’s quality and workflow procedures are being adhered to, 
    carry out any investigations and if necessary, escalate any concerns to the creative senior leadership team and/or the ECD
  • Direct line management responsibility for the Traffic Manager and Project Management


Skills Required

  • Solid agency experience in a creative operation role, ideally within an integrated agency offering, so you have an understanding of how all departments ‘gel’ together
  • Experience working within creative brand execution, design and build, content production (including TV & digital). An awareness of how best to deliver this work is a must
  • A comprehensive understanding of project and resource management (Prince 2 Practitioner desirable), specific to agency sector
  • Excellent project management skills plus an ability to multi-task proficiently
  • Strong written and verbal skills
  • Proven ability to direct and coach people
  • Sound commercial understanding of the agency business model
  • High level of diplomacy and the ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships across the agency at all levels
  • Ideally educated to graduate level


How to Apply

Please send your CV, covering letter and anything you think showcases your talent to [email protected]